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This poor rescue pup has frog legs, a sign of rickets.

This poor rescue pup has frog legs, a sign of rickets.

 

Rickets is a nutritional deficiency that hinders the proper development of bones, leading to potential fractures and deformity. The predominant cause is a vitamin D deficiency, and lack of adequate calcium and phosphorus.

Symptoms include delayed growth, bow legs, weakness and pain in the spine, pelvis and legs.

Treatment consists of feeding the missing nutrition. If detected early enough, the pup can grow up healthy and strong. However, once the disease has progressed to a stage where the dog’s movements are hampered, the possibilities of a successful treatment are slight.

Many rescued dogs have had no adequate food which can lead to severe malnutrition to the point of starvation. For a chance to catch up on their development, feed them a highly nutritional diet, complete with all needed vitamins and minerals.

 

To prevent rickets disease, provide a diet sufficient in vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus.

 

Beware though that an overdose of vitamin D is just as harmful:
If there’s too much vitamin D in the diet, life-threatening levels of calcium (hypercalcemia) and phosphorus can occur. The result is hardening or calcification of body tissues.
Vitamin D Poisoning can occur when a dog takes more than 4,000 iu per kg of bodyweight.

Also note:  If you only use calcium without phosphorus / zinc and vitamin D, C and other minor minerals, the condition will get worse.

 

Dietary sources of vitamin D for your pup

– Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, tuna, halibut, canned sardines

– Fish liver oils: cod liver oil

Egg yolk

Liver: beef, lamb, chicken, pork

 

Dietary sources of calcium for your pup

– Fish: salmon, tuna, sardines

– Yoghurt

– Low fat cheese: cottage, mozzarella

– Egg shells, cuttlefish bone

– Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, sweet potato

 

Dietary sources of phosphorus for your pup

Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia, sesame

– Fish: salmon, carp, whitefish, cod, tuna, sardines, mackerel

– Meat: pork (lean sirloin), beef and veal (lean beef)

– Low fat dairy: yoghurt

– Legumes: lentils, chickpeas

 

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