• 1.

    Matīse-VanHouten I. I did my research, blew the whistle and found myself at war. Available at: tedxriga.com/research-blew-whistle-found-war/. Accessed Mar 30, 2019.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Mansfield C, Renwick M, Stevenson M, et al.. Summary of the University of Melbourne investigation into megaoesophagus and its association with pet food. Available at: www.u-vet.com.au/news/megaesophagus-and-pet-food/megaoesophagus-and-pet-food-report14122018. Accessed Mar 30, 2019.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Renwick M, Stevenson MA, Wiethoelter A, et al.. A case-control study to identify risk factors for adult-onset idiopathic megaoesophagus in Australian dogs, 2017–2018. BMC Vet Res 2020;16:157.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    McGreevy P, Thomson P, Dhand NK, et al.. VetCompass Australia: big data and real-time surveillance for veterinary science. Animals (Basel) 2017;7:74.

  • 5.

    Harris PA, Taylor R, Thielke R. etc. Research electronic data capture (REDCap): a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support. J Biomed Inform 2009;42:377381.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Harris PA, Taylor R, Minor BL. etc. The REDCap consortium: building an international community of software partners. J Biomed Inform 2019;95:103208.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Oberbauer AM, Belanger JM, Bellumori T, et al.. Ten inherited disorders in purebred dogs by functional breed groupings. Canine Genet Epidemiol 2015;2:9.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Gaynor AR, Shofer FS, Washabau RJ. Risk factors for acquired megaesophagus in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:14061412.

  • 9.

    Mallebrera B, Prosperini A, Font G. In vitro mechanisms of beauvericin toxicity: a review. Food Chem Toxicol 2018;111:537545.

  • 10.

    Shao M, Li L, Gu Z, et al.. Mycotoxins in commercial dry pet food in China. Food Addit Contam Part B Surveill 2018;11:237245.

  • 11.

    Klotz K, Weistenhöfer W, Neff F. The health effects of aluminum exposure. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2017;114:653659.

  • 12.

    Thompson MF, Fleeman LM, Kessell AE. Acquired proximal renal tubulopathy in dogs exposed to a common dried chicken treat: retrospective study of 108 cases (2007–2009). Aust Vet J 2013;91:368373.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    van den Ingh TSGAM, Grinwis GCM, Corbee RJ. Leukoencephalomyelopathy in cats linked to abnormal fatty acid composition of the white matter of the spinal cord and of irradiated dry cat food. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 2019;103:15561563.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Mansilla WD, Marinangeli CPF, Ekenstedt KJ. Special topic: the association between pulse ingredients and canine dilated cardiomyopathy: addressing the knowledge gaps before establishing causation. J Anim Sci 2019;97:983997.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    McCauley SR, Clark SD, Quest BW, et al.. Review of canine dilated cardiomyopathy in the wake of diet-associated concerns. J Anim Sci 2020;98:skaa155.

  • 16.

    Satchell PM, McLeod JG. Megaoesophagus due to acrylamide neuropathy. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1981;44:906913.

  • 17.

    University of California-San Diego Comparative Neuromuscular Laboratory. Sample requirements. Available at: vetneuromuscular.ucsd.edu/samplerequirements.html. Accessed Jan 7, 2018.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

A comparative analysis of two unrelated outbreaks in Latvia and Australia of acquired idiopathic megaesophagus in dogs fed two brands of commercial dry dog foods: 398 cases (2014–2018)

Karyl J. Hurley DVM1, Caroline Mansfield BSC, BVMS, PhD1, Ilze Matīse VanHoutan DVM, PhD1, Lauren Lacorcia BVSC, MVSC1, Karin Allenspach Dr Med Vet, PhD1, Geoffrey Hebbard B Med Sci, MBBS, PhD1, Stanley L. Marks BVSC, PhD1, Robert Poppenga DVM, PhD1, James H. Kaufman PhD1, Bart C. Weimer PhD1, Kevin D. Woolard DVM, PhD1, Joe Bielitzki DVM, MS1, Derek Lulham BSC1, and Jerome Naar PhD1
View More View Less
  • 1 From Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Mars Inc, McLean, VA 22101 (Hurley); Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, Melbourne Veterinary School, The University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia (Mansfield, Lacorcia); Riga, Latvia (Matīse VanHoutan); Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 (Allenspach); Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC 3050, Australia (Hebbard); Department of Medicine and Epidemiology (Marks), California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory (Poppenga), Department of Population Health and Reproduction (Weimer), and Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology (Woolard), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616; IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA 95120 (Kaufman); National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Merritt Island, FL 32953 (Bielitzki); Sourcing Quality Management, Mars Inc, Sydney, NSW 2060, Australia (Lulham); and Mars Petcare, 30470 Aimargues, France (Naar).

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

In Latvia in 2014, acquired idiopathic megaesophagus (AIME) was observed in increased numbers of dogs that consumed varieties of 1 brand of dog food. Within 2 years, 253 dogs were affected. In Australia in November 2017, 6 working dogs that consumed 1 diet of another brand of dog food developed AIME. In total, 145 Australian dogs were affected.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

AIME was diagnosed predominantly in large-breed male dogs (> 25 kg [55 lb]). Regurgitation, weight loss, and occasionally signs consistent with aspiration pneumonia (coughing, dyspnea, or fever) were noted. Most Latvian dogs had mild to severe peripheral polyneuropathies as evidenced by laryngeal paralysis, dysphonia, weakness, and histopathologic findings consistent with distal axonopathy. In Australian dogs, peripheral polyneuropathies were not identified, and histopathologic findings suggested that the innervation of the esophagus and pharynx was disrupted locally, although limited samples were available.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

Investigations in both countries included clinical, epidemiological, neuropathologic, and case-control studies. Strong associations between the dog foods and the presence of AIME were confirmed; however, toxicological analyses did not identify a root cause. In Latvia, the implicated dietary ingredients and formulations were unknown, whereas in Australia, extensive investigations were conducted into the food, its ingredients, the supply chain, and the manufacturing facilities, but a cause was not identified.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

A panel of international multidisciplinary experts concluded that the cause of AIME in both outbreaks was likely multifactorial, with the possibility of individualized sensitivities. Without a sentinel group, the outbreak in Australia may not have been recognized for months to years, as happened in Latvia. A better surveillance system for early identification of pet illnesses, including those associated with pet foods, is needed. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021;259:172–183)

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION

In Latvia in 2014, acquired idiopathic megaesophagus (AIME) was observed in increased numbers of dogs that consumed varieties of 1 brand of dog food. Within 2 years, 253 dogs were affected. In Australia in November 2017, 6 working dogs that consumed 1 diet of another brand of dog food developed AIME. In total, 145 Australian dogs were affected.

CLINICAL FINDINGS

AIME was diagnosed predominantly in large-breed male dogs (> 25 kg [55 lb]). Regurgitation, weight loss, and occasionally signs consistent with aspiration pneumonia (coughing, dyspnea, or fever) were noted. Most Latvian dogs had mild to severe peripheral polyneuropathies as evidenced by laryngeal paralysis, dysphonia, weakness, and histopathologic findings consistent with distal axonopathy. In Australian dogs, peripheral polyneuropathies were not identified, and histopathologic findings suggested that the innervation of the esophagus and pharynx was disrupted locally, although limited samples were available.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME

Investigations in both countries included clinical, epidemiological, neuropathologic, and case-control studies. Strong associations between the dog foods and the presence of AIME were confirmed; however, toxicological analyses did not identify a root cause. In Latvia, the implicated dietary ingredients and formulations were unknown, whereas in Australia, extensive investigations were conducted into the food, its ingredients, the supply chain, and the manufacturing facilities, but a cause was not identified.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

A panel of international multidisciplinary experts concluded that the cause of AIME in both outbreaks was likely multifactorial, with the possibility of individualized sensitivities. Without a sentinel group, the outbreak in Australia may not have been recognized for months to years, as happened in Latvia. A better surveillance system for early identification of pet illnesses, including those associated with pet foods, is needed. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021;259:172–183)

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 219 KB)

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Hurley (karyl.hurley@effem.com).