The aims of this study were to evaluate taurine levels in English cocker spaniels with dilated cardiomyopathy and assess their survival time and natural progression of their disease.
Retrospective comparison of English cocker spaniels with dilated cardiomyopathy phenotype with and without taurine deficiency at the cardiology department of a UK academic referral centre between 2008 and 2018.
Taurine plasma concentration was available in 16 English cocker spaniels with dilated cardiomyopathy phenotype; 13 of 16 had congestive heart failure and three of 16 did not. Taurine concentration was low (<50 μmol/L) in 13 of 16 and normal in three of 16. Deficient dogs received taurine supplementation in addition to conventional cardiac medications. Eight dogs were still alive at the end of this study and eight were dead. MST for all dogs included in the study was 2800 days. Left ventricular systolic function improved and left ventricular dimensions reduced in English cocker spaniels with taurine deficiency following taurine supplementation and conventional cardiac therapy, although similar results were observed in English cocker spaniels with normal taurine concentration on cardiac therapy alone.
Based on laboratory reference intervals, low taurine concentrations were common in English cocker spaniels with dilated cardiomyopathy, showing a possible association between dilated cardiomyopathy in English cocker spaniels and taurine deficiency; supplementation with taurine was not curative.

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