Despite the fact that dogs are more enduring and have good health, in many respects these qualities are based not only on natural data, but also on conditions of keeping and nutrition. They, like people, can become ill without getting the necessary elements, and vitamin deficiency leads to the manifestation of beriberi in dogs. How can a pet recognize this condition and, most importantly, how can it be helped?
Which dogs are at risk
Veterinarians secrete a lot of reasons for the fact that an animal has a vitamin deficiency. They may be associated with health, physiological features, nutrition. There are a number of situations when animals become most vulnerable to various pathologies, including avitaminosis. The risk categories include the following categories of dogs:
- elderly animals;
- dogs carrying and feeding puppies;
- growing offspring;
- pets that have had a disease or surgery;
- street dogs (especially in the winter).
An additional source of vitamins needs a dog preparing for competitions and receiving an increased load.
Why does beriberi develop in dogs?
The owners of four-legged friends should know when their pet may have a lack of vitamins and what are its reasons:
- Infectious diseases. Deficiency can develop on the background of parvovirus, coronovirus infections, distemper, leptospirosis , infection with chlamydia, mycoplasma and other often very dangerous diseases. During the struggle of the immune system with a pathogenic pathogen, the body spends a large number of vital components and their replenishment is required, otherwise beriberiosis develops.
- Diseases of the digestive tract. These diseases provoke violations of absorbability of useful components in intestinal tissues, which subsequently leads to the fact that vitamin substances are poorly absorbed. Diseases of the digestive tract are more often affected by pets that are kept in inappropriate conditions and whose feed does not meet regulatory requirements. To avoid complications, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian or an experienced breeder about proper feeding and maintenance of a pet. In some cases, it requires the preparation of an individual diet for the animal .
- Medication for infection. In most cases, to eliminate the disease caused by pathogens, can only be special drugs. Unfortunately, most of them are not too picky, eliminating not only microbes, but also beneficial bacteria that produce vitamins in the body. For example, gram-negative microorganisms are responsible for the production of vitamins of group B, etc. To reduce side effects, you should strictly follow the recommendations of the veterinarian.
- The period of intensive growth. For small breeds, this period lasts for 2-3 months, for large dogs it lasts much longer. But those and other pets at this time require special food and all the necessary trace elements. Otherwise, the animal will not fully develop, and developed deviations from the norm will last for a lifetime. If the baby eats dry rations, you should choose a menu specifically designed for puppies. With natural feeding, you may need additional vitamin complexes. On this issue, it is better to consult a specialist.
- Sexual hunting time. This is a difficult period for the animal. The dog shows remarkable physical activity and is constantly in nervous excitement. The processes occurring in the body require an increased amount of nutrients in order for the body to function normally under this load. It is important to provide your pet with good nutrition and, if necessary, with additional additives. Especially if we are talking about an animal involved in breeding.
- Pregnancy, lactation. A pregnant and lactating animal needs as much care and nutrition as possible. The diet should contain vitamins, trace elements, minerals. Almost all manufacturers of high-quality food produce special food lines for dogs in position or feeding puppies. With natural feeding, you can purchase additional supplements that not only enrich the diet, but also improve lactation. Some dogs in this period need an individual diet. Agree on a correct and balanced menu will help a veterinarian.
If in any of the above situations, the pet began to grow poorly, gain weight, began to eat poorly, appeared lethargy, weakness, could not conceive offspring, etc. - it is necessary to undergo examination in a veterinary clinic, perhaps these are signs of a lack of vitamins.
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"Dog vitamins" and their deficiency
Avitaminosis is a deficiency of any vitamin that has various signs, depending on the missing component, but the therapy in all cases is the same — replenishment of the required substance.
Mild vitamin deficiency is called hypovitaminosis. He is not so hard tolerated and rather easily treated. True, this is possible only in the case when the disease is detected in a timely manner. As a rule, not all owners are attentive and can determine the pathology at the very beginning of development, allowing its progression and transition to a more severe form.
There are a number of vitamins that are vital for a dog's body, these include the following substances:
- Vitamin A. Deficiency leads to the fact that the dog begins to eat poorly, or completely refuses to eat . He has problems with the digestive tract. For puppies, the lack of such a vitamin can lead to problems with growth, as well as pathologies associated with the replacement of teeth. The animal is lethargic, apathetic, with an extinct gaze. You can fill the deficit in a proven way by giving your pet fish oil. In addition, this component is rich in egg yolk, beef liver, butter. If a dog suddenly comes out of saliva while looking at a butter sandwich, this may be a reaction to a lack of vitamin A.
- Vitamins of group B. Components of this group (and there are quite a lot of them) are necessary for the excellent appearance of the dog. When they are deficient, the coat is the first to suffer, it becomes faded, lifeless, falls into mats and starts falling out . Also, these vitamins are involved in metabolic processes, affect the hemoglobin level. Lack of these substances can cause diseases of the nervous system, which are accompanied by exhaustion of the animal, impaired movements, and convulsive seizures are possible. It is possible to enrich the dog's diet with these elements by including offal in the menu - liver, heart, kidneys, buckwheat, eggs, dairy products.
- Vitamin C. In an animal whose body lacks this element, the liver and gastrointestinal tract are impaired. The deficiency is manifested in the form of swelling of the gums and hyperemia of the oral cavity. If a person can get such a vitamin from citrus, then this is not an option for a dog. In the pet menu, it is desirable to include dairy products, lettuce leaves, give nibble raw carrots. You can also add a little ascorbic acid to food.
- Vitamin D. This "vitamin of the sun" is able to be produced only under the influence of ultraviolet rays. Therefore, after the winter period, its deficiency occurs in almost all. Growth is worse for growing up individuals, since this substance affects the development and functioning of the musculoskeletal system. If the growing body lacks vitamin D, then the animal develops rickets, as well as various pathological conditions in the bone tissues. The first symptom of beriberi in this case is a strange change in taste - the dog begins to eat the earth, chalk. The disease requires mandatory ultraviolet irradiation and sunbathing. The ration is recommended to enrich with salts of phosphorus, meat and bone meal, crushed shell of eggs. Vitamin D is found in chicken eggs, beef liver, and dairy products.
- Vitamin E. This vitamin prolongs youth and affects the reproductive system. Its deficiency can cause infertility. This vitamin contains a large amount of wheat germ and vegetable oil. If the first product to feed the dog is problematic, the oil can be added to the daily diet.
- Vitamin K. Blood can be called the most valuable fluid in the body, and vitamin K is responsible for its condition. If the body lacks this element, then we can talk about poor blood clotting. In such a situation, there is a risk for the animal to suffer from large blood loss, even when receiving a small wound. A large amount of vitamin K contains greens and fish meal.
To avoid complications associated with beriberi, care should be taken about a complete, balanced pet diet. When feeding with ready-made feeds, choose a quality product suitable for age, size, breed characteristics. With natural feeding, if necessary, give the dog a multivitamin and include only healthy foods in the diet. As in the case of other diseases, avitaminosis is easier to prevent than to try to correct the damage done to the animal's body.