Rickets in puppies: symptoms and treatment
Rickets affect dogs at the puppy age, when animals, especially representatives of large breeds, grow intensively. The most dangerous is the age from three months to a year. Pathology can be associated with a lack of vitamin D, as well as with the lack of digestion of phosphorus and calcium. Rickets in puppies is treatable, but this process is long, and it will require the owner of considerable effort and patience.
Description of the disease
Rickets is translated from Greek as "spine", and denotes violations in bone formation with insufficient provision of bone tissue with minerals during the active growth of the animal. Rickets in puppies at an early stage can be identified by making an x-ray. The picture shows altered end sections on long bones.
Rickets is also called English disease, because for the first time it was described by the orthopedist-Englishman Gleason. In the study of the disease, methods were identified that could prevent its development. For the prevention recommended the reception of fish (cod) fat, and for treatment in the early stages of prescribed exposure to quartz lamps.
Rachitis in puppies, the photo of which is presented in the article, can be of several types, each of which has its own peculiarities and varieties.
In the classical type (vitamin D deficiency), rickets are distinguished by clinical options:
1. The saturation of blood with phosphorus and calcium rickets happens:
- calcium penicidal;
- with non-expressed changes in the norm of the elements.
2. In the course of leaching, the following forms are distinguished:
- acute - with osteomalacia and neurologic symptoms;
- subacute - the osteoid tissues grow intensely: frontal and parietal tubercles are formed, the bones of the wrists, the phalanges of the fingers and the ribs thicken at the place of the transition to the cartilage;
- recurrent (wavy) after an earlier active rickets.
3. In terms of severity, there are three degrees of ailment:
- easy - the initial stage;
- moderate - with moderate deformation of bone tissues and organs;
- severe - the defeat of many parts of the skeleton, internal organs and nervous system, the animal lags behind in development, complications of the disease appear.
Occurrence of secondary rickets is facilitated by:
- syndromes of malabsorption, when nutrients are absorbed in insufficient quantity, that is, they are poorly absorbed;
- chronic diseases of the kidneys and bile ducts;
- disturbances in metabolic processes;
- long-term use of anticonvulsants.
Also, vitamin D-dependent and vitamin D-resistant (phosphate-diabetic) types of rickets are isolated.
Etiology of the disease
Rickets in puppies can develop for several reasons. The most common are:
- Insufficient intake of phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D into the body, or inability to digest them, leads to a rapid development of the disease.
- Violation of the parathyroid gland prevents the entry into the body of the necessary elements and leads to an imbalance of the hormonal background.
- Cell disorders, transmitted to the puppy from ancestors.
Vitamin D helps to assimilate calcium, and its deficiency arises as a result of disruption of the process of biosynthesis under the influence of ultraviolet in the skin, subcutaneous fat and in the liver. Will help to fill the lack of this vitamin consumption of fish (cod) fat, fermented milk products (cottage cheese, cheese), vegetable oils, seafood and some types of herbs.
Incorrect conditions in rooms with high humidity and lack of sunlight hinder proper physical development, and rickets from a German puppy (or any other large breed) develops from the first month of life.
For timely diagnosis of the disease, it is necessary to closely monitor the development of the pet from birth. The first noticeable sign of the lack of important elements in the animal's body are defects in the enamel of the teeth.
Rickets in a German Shepherd puppy at an early stage can be determined by:
- decreased activity and fatigue on walks;
- lack of desire to play and get acquainted with other dogs.
Often this symptomatology is confused with the characteristics of the character and the situational manifestations of the pet and do not give them due attention. But if you do not take any measures, the situation will be aggravated, which will lead to more pronounced symptoms:
- the curvature of the ridge and strong stoop;
- weakening of muscle tissue: when walking, the legs of the animal buckle, limbs become flabby and soft, muscle is not tinged;
- osteochondrosis, which is manifested by thickening of the joints of the paws, on the ribs formations are formed in the form of nodes;
- destruction and loss of teeth;
- fragility of bones - fractures become more frequent, even insignificant impact provokes serious traumas;
- a change in the chest, which increases and sticks out due to the fact that bone tissue ceases to cope with the weight of the dog;
- sagging belly;
- disproportion of the large head and short extremities;
- problems with wool, which becomes dull, dandruff and baldness appear;
- violation of the functions of internal organs;
- frequent disorder of the gastrointestinal tract;
- disorders of mental development.
Particular attention should be paid to the inadequacy of behavior, which is manifested by the fact that the puppy begins to eat, gnaw and lick inedible objects: the ground, stones, walls, sex are clear signs that the disease is actively developing.
Diagnosis of the disease
In order to diagnose rickets in puppies whose symptoms are visible to the unaided eye at a neglected stage, a number of examinations are necessary. The veterinarian appoints:
- A blood test for biochemistry and the content of calcium and phosphorus.
- Evaluation of motor functions.
- A general examination of the pet is carried out.
When the diagnosis is confirmed, appropriate treatment is prescribed.
Rickets in puppies, the treatment of which will be discussed below, will require the master of patience. This is a fairly long process, requiring attention and effort. But if you start therapy immediately after the disease is detected, you can quickly achieve good results.
How to treat rickets in puppies, the veterinarian will prompt, after by means of analyzes will determine, the lack of which element led to the development of the disease, and will appoint the appropriate therapy.
- An aqueous solution of vitamin D is shown in combination with calcium gluconate in the form of injections. Vitamin is used every day, and injections are carried out two or three times a week. The course is one month.
- Assign trivitamins in the form of drops daily or as injections every seven days.
- To improve the condition of the joints, a mummy can be shown.
- Artificial irradiation with ultraviolet light through a quartz lamp, which is carried out under the supervision of a specialist.
To complicate the course of the disease can be infected with worms. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly carry out antihelminthic therapy and monitor the treatment process through tests.
Also, the pet should be provided frequent exposure to the sun and enter into the diet more liquid gelatin, fermented milk products, fish oil (one teaspoon every two days) and vitamin complexes.
Treatment of rickets is quite expensive. Therefore, in order to maintain the family budget, it is necessary to provide the pet with good living conditions, integrated nutrition and long walks in the open air.
Making a proper diet is a difficult task. After all, it is necessary to take into account not only the availability of useful substances necessary for the development, but also their digestibility by the organism. To develop a proper nutrition plan, a specialist will help, the main principles are various and useful feeding, in which there should be sour-milk products, vegetables, fruits, meat, cereals, balanced feeds and vitamin complexes. Food should always be fresh and in the amount that is necessary for a puppy of a certain age.
What is the importance of walking?
Ultraviolet stimulates the natural production of vitamin D. Therefore, it is especially important to provide the pet with long walks in sunny weather. In cloudy weather, the time for walking should be increased, since the amount of ultraviolet light decreases.
In winter, it is recommended to artificially irradiate puppies with a quartz lamp. This procedure can be done at home or go to sessions in a vet clinic.
Rickets in puppies are quite a dangerous and common disease. Timely diagnosis and the necessary therapy will help cope with the disease and put the pet on his feet. Do not forget that the process of recovery is greatly influenced by the love and attention of the owner, so take care of the four-footed boyfriend with all his heart.