The Effect of Exogenous Taurine Supplementation on the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System of Dogs with Stable Congestive Heart Failure

The University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine is currently recruiting dogs with congestive heart failure for a study evaluating the effect of taurine supplementation on a hormone system called RAAS (renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system) that is over-activated and detrimental in heart failure.

  • Inclusion Criteria: 
    • Dogs >8 lbs of any breed and age are eligible if they have been diagnosed with stable (not currently having difficulty breathing) congestive heart failure secondary to degenerative mitral valve disease
    • Dogs can be receiving diuretics (e.g. furosemide) and pimobendan (Vetmedin), however, they cannot be receiving enalapril, benazepril or spironolactone
  • Exclusion criteria:
    • Dogs cannot be receiving enalapril, benazepril, spironolactone or taurine
  • Procedures: Dogs enrolled in the study will have blood drawn for evaluation of taurine concentrations and evaluation of RAAS hormones before and after 2 weeks of oral taurine supplementation.  Dogs will also receive genetic testing of the RAAS using a cheek swab.
  • Cost: If your dog is eligible for the study at the time of the evaluation, the study will cover the costs of whole blood and plasma taurine concentrations, RAAS blood testing and genetic analysis of the RAAS.  The costs of other tests, hospitalization, or medications other than taurine are not covered by the study, nor is financial incentive provided.
  • Contact: Contact the Cardiology Service at the Small Animal Hospital (352) 392-2235, Dr. Darcy Adin ( or the Clinical Studies Team (
  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Darcy Adin


Taurine is an amino acid that is important for heart health.  Some dogs with heart disease have shown improvement in their heart function with taurine supplementation, and it is unclear whether this happened because they were deficient or because taurine might have other beneficial actions. The purpose of this study is to determine if taurine can suppress the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (a hormone system that can be over-activated in congestive heart failure and contribute to progression) in dogs with heart failure. Suppression of this system has been shown to improve quality and duration of life in dogs with heart failure, and therefore discovery of additional medications or supplements with this action has potential to help dogs suffering from heart disease.

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