Symptoms and Treatment

Estimated read time 8 min read

Rickets in dogs is a disease that affects the bones and joints of puppies growing up due to a dietary lack of vitamins and minerals. Puppies affected by rickets walk abnormally, their bones pain They can feel and even break their legs.

Rickets can often be treated quickly by providing a properly balanced diet with vitamins and minerals. However, if rickets in dogs is left untreated, it can lead to irreversible damage to the puppy’s bones. Fortunately, rickets is now an extremely rare disease in economically developed countries. Even so, recognizing the symptoms of rickets and understanding how proper nutrition plays a role in your puppy’s musculoskeletal development is beneficial for all pet parents.

What Is Rickets In Dogs?

Rickets is a bone disease that usually affects the normal development of bones and disrupts the mineralization process. Rickets is caused by a lack of vitamin D or an inadequate intake of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.

Rickets in dogs is a condition that can be seen especially in growing puppies. A puppy can develop rickets when he does not get enough vitamin D or his body is not able to metabolize vitamin D properly. However, a lack of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus in a puppy’s diet can also lead to rickets.

What Causes Rickets in Dogs?

Rickets in dogs occurs when the levels of phosphorus, vitamin D or calcium in the growing body are too low or improperly balanced. Puppies usually get these nutrients from their food, so their diet Rickets occurs when this particular vitamin or mineral does not provide enough. Rickets can also occur when growing dogs are not exposed to enough sunlight.

The right amount and balance of nutrients in the body plays an important role in the development of bones in dogs. Without the proper amount of vital vitamins such as vitamin D, phosphorus or calcium, the areas of bone where new bone grows, called growth plates, do not receive adequate nutrition and cannot make new bone normally. Because of their rapid growth rate, malnourished large and giant breed dogs are more prone to developing rickets and other developmental bone and joint diseases than small dogs.

Rickets in dogs is usually caused by:

Vitamin D Deficiency: Vitamin D supports the proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus and bone health. When dogs are deficient in vitamin D, rickets can develop. This deficiency can be caused by factors such as insufficient sunlight exposure, an unbalanced diet, or problems in the areas of the dog’s body that synthesize vitamin D.

Mineral Deficiencies: Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are important for the healthy development of bones. Dogs’ diets If they do not contain enough of these minerals or their absorption is problematic, rickets may develop.

Malnutrition: An inadequate or unbalanced diet can prevent the dog’s body from getting the nutrients it needs. Growing puppies, in particular, are at risk for rickets if they don’t get the right nutrients.

With Genetic Factorr: Certain dog breeds are more prone to developing rickets. Among these races Great Dane, rottweiler, Golden Retriever And German shepherd dog including large breeds.

Digestive Problems: Digestive system problems can prevent the dog from properly absorbing and using nutrients. This, in turn, can increase nutrient intake and increase the risk of rickets.

Rickets in dogs is usually caused by a combination of multiple factors. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the dog is fed a healthy diet, is exposed to adequate sunlight, and is taking supplements as recommended by the veterinarian. If you are seeing signs of rickets in your dog, it is important to consult your veterinarian and seek help for the appropriate treatment and feeding plan.

Rickets Symptoms in Dogs

Rickets in dogs affects puppies in several ways, including the following clinical manifestations:

  • Lameness: Puppies on one or more limbs when walking or running he may limp. This is often the first symptom that rickets owners notice.
  • Abnormal gait: With an unwillingness to bend their elbows or knees when battling rickets in dogs, puppies may appear stiff when walking.
  • Difficulty getting up after lying down or sitting: Puppies may struggle or take longer to stand after they’ve been sitting or lying down for a while.
  • Bone swelling and joint pain: Puppies on their limbs can resist when touched and even cry. This is because bone pain And is joint pain. They may also have noticeable swelling near their joints.
  • Oblique limbs: The front legs of puppies with rickets may appear abnormally curved outward.
  • Broken bones: In the advanced stages of rickets, puppies’ bones gradually weaken, which can lead to soft and deformed bones with fractures. Such fractures occur without significant trauma to the limb.
  • Decreased playfulness and depressive attitude: chronic pain Because of this, canine rickets can appear depressed or lethargic. They are less reluctant to play and move than healthy puppies.

It’s important to remember that puppies with rickets don’t necessarily look sick and malnourished (too skinny and bony). They can be at a healthy weight with shiny and healthy looking fur.

rickets in dogs

Diagnosing Rickets in Dogs

The diagnosis of rickets in dogs is usually made by a veterinarian. Below are some of the methods used to diagnose rickets in dogs:

  1. Clinical Examination: The veterinarian performs a physical examination of the dog and evaluates the signs of rickets and bone deformities. The shape and size of the bones, mobility in the joints, and other physical findings are examined.
  2. Medical History: The veterinarian evaluates the dog’s medical history. Previous dietary habits, growth process, symptoms, and other relevant information can be helpful in diagnosing rickets.
  3. Blood Tests: Blood tests can be used to evaluate levels of vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals. Vitamin D deficiency or mineral imbalances can be associated with rickets.
  4. X-Ray: X-ray examination is used to evaluate the dog’s bones in detail. Rickets may become evident on X-ray images, depending on whether the bones are weak, soft, or deformed.
  5. Biopsy: Rarely, your veterinarian may use a bone biopsy. In this procedure, a sample of the dog’s bone tissue is taken and examined under a microscope. This can be used to confirm changes associated with rickets.

If you are seeing signs of rickets in your dog, it is important to consult a veterinarian. The veterinarian will examine your dog, perform the appropriate tests and make a diagnosis based on the results. This diagnosis will play a fundamental role in determining your dog’s treatment and feeding plan.

Treatment of Rickets in Dogs

Correcting a deficiency or imbalance of phosphorus, vitamin D and calcium in the diet is the typical treatment for rickets in puppies. The puppy should be switched to a complete and balanced diet going forward to correct this poorly balanced diet. If the cause of the rickets is a severe vitamin D deficiency and the puppy is only housed indoors, increased sunlight exposure may also be part of the treatment.

Nutrition Correction: Nutritional correction is of great importance in the treatment of rickets. Your veterinarian will review your dog’s diet and make recommendations to supplement any missing nutrients. Often, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and other mineral supplements may be required. Your veterinarian can use commercial dog food or food to meet the dog’s needs by creating an appropriate feeding plan. special diets can suggest.

Vitamin D Supplements: In the treatment of rickets Vitamin D supplements widely used. When vitamin D deficiency is a major factor, your veterinarian will recommend vitamin D supplements for your dog. These supplements help support the healthy development of bones and increase the absorption of minerals.

Calcium and Phosphorus Supplements: Adequate calcium and phosphorus intake is important for the healthy development of the dog’s bones. In the treatment of rickets, your veterinarian may recommend calcium and phosphorus supplements to your dog. These supplements may help improve the symptoms of rickets by promoting the mineralization of bones.

Sunlight Exposure: Sunlight enables the body to naturally synthesize vitamin D. Regular and appropriate amount of sunlight exposure of the dog is important for preventing and treating vitamin D deficiency. Your veterinarian will guide you on the duration and conditions of your dog’s exposure to the sun.

Exercise and Physical Therapy: Bone deformities and weaknesses resulting from rickets can be supported by exercise and physical therapy. Your veterinarian can recommend appropriate exercise programs and physical therapy methods to keep your dog’s physical activity level under control.

Treatment for rickets will be customized based on the dog’s condition, the severity of symptoms, and the veterinarian’s assessment. It is important to make regular checks during the treatment process, to follow the veterinarian’s recommendations and to monitor the dog’s recovery process.

Important Note: The above information is for general information purposes only. If you are observing signs of rickets in your dog, it is important to seek professional advice from a veterinarian. Only a veterinarian can properly assess your dog and recommend appropriate treatment.

It Might Get Your Attention

Preventing Rickets in the Dog

Fortunately, rickets is a preventable disease as long as your dog meets his nutritional needs. If puppies eat a balanced diet with proper intake of vitamins, calcium and phosphorus, they will not develop rickets. Almost all commercially available dog foods contain healthy amounts of vitamins and minerals such as calcium to prevent rickets.

However, all-meat diets and homemade diets high in protein and fat may lack the proper concentration and balance for phosphorus, calcium levels and vitamin D. If you are feeding a homemade or all-meat diet, it is essential to consult your regular veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist as to whether your dog’s diet is properly balanced.

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