by Amy in Franklin, Tennessee
This is Lilly, my 11-year-old Golden girl! In 2018, Lilly was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF), secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Her DCM was indeed taurine responsive! When we first had her plasma taurine levels tested, the results came back extremely low at 15 nmol/mL. We swapped Lilly’s food and started supplementing her with 2000mg of taurine twice daily, along with several heart medications: Lasix 50mg, Enalapril 10mg, and Vetmedin 10mg, also twice daily.
After six months on the new regimen, we took Lilly back for a repeat echocardiogram of her heart. Here are the exact results emailed to us from our vet:
“We are beyond pleased to report that Lilly’s echocardiogram is now normal, with the diet change, medications and taurine supplementation. Her cardiac ultrasound now shows a very normal heart. Therefore, we can discontinue her cardiac medications and taurine and continue her current diet. Her prognosis is now great, and she does not have any residual evidence of heart disease. Wonderful news for sweet Lilly!”
Even though this recount is really short, I have to say those six months were quite a roller coaster, not knowing if our girl would respond to treatment and get better. When Lilly was eating grain-free food, she typically ate 4Health or Taste of the Wild kibble in a turkey or fish variety. She ate grain-free food her entire life, right up until her DCM diagnosis. When we posted Lilly’s story in the big Facebook group dedicated to this issue, our primary care vet posted in the thread that the night we brought Lilly in to see her, she didn’t think Lilly would make it through the night. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was that bad.
Lilly’s recovery is a miracle in my book. I want to give hope to people going through this! If you’re concerned about food, or if you’re going through this, please speak to your vet on suggestions for dietary changes and the possible need for testing. I am so thankful that Lilly made an amazing turnaround, and I am so thankful for the cardiologists and veterinarians who are doing the incredibly important research and work on this issue.