Nutritional Deficiencies in Dogs
Providing your canine companion with the essential nutrients in his diet is necessary to keep him healthy. But it’s not advised to place your dog on vitamins or supplements without first consulting your veterinarian. One way you can make sure you dog is receiving adequate nutrition, is by learning about the common nutritional deficiencies in dogs. Nutritional deficiencies that are often seen in dogs include; calcium deficiency, iodine deficiency, and vitamin B deficiency.
Ricketts, a health condition caused by calcium deficiency, occurs when dogs are fed a high-phosphorus, low-calcium diet. Deformities, fragile bones, weak muscle tone, change in urine color, pain, hypotension, low calcium blood levels, and a slow heart rate are some of the signs of the condition in canines.
In addition to Ricketts, calcium deficiency can also cause hypocalcemia (low levels of calcium in the blood), a condition that develops when not enough calcium is provided in the dogs diet. Hypocalcemia is most common in nursing dogs, as their bodies require more calcium in order to produce milk. Symptoms associated with the condition include; seizures, stiffness, fever, trouble walking, and vomiting.
Both Ricketts and hypocalcemia can be treated with a calcium supplement.
Iodine is an essential nutrient in dogs which plays a key role in regulating the thyroid. An iodine deficiency can cause health problems such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism to develop. Signs of iodine deficiency in dogs include, but are not limited to; hair loss, skin problems, weakness, low energy levels, diarrhea, and weight gain.
Most veterinarians recommend thyroid supplements for dogs with hypothyroidism, or surgical removal of the thyroid for those with an overactive thyroid gland. However, some people prefer holistic treatment options such as an iodine water supplement.
Vitamin B Deficiency
Vitamin B deficiency mainly occurs because the dog food is exposed to heat, which destroys vitamins. In general, the condition causes lethargy, itching, increased shedding, and other health problems related to the skin. Anemia can also develop as a consequence of the condition. Vitamin B deficiency is treated with a supplement called vitamin B complex, which contains all of the B-vitamins.