Rickets affects dogs in puppyhood, when animals, especially large breeds, grow rapidly. The most dangerous age is considered to be from three months to a year. Pathology can be associated with a lack of vitamin D, as well as with the inability to absorb phosphorus and calcium. Rickets in puppies is treatable, but the process is long and requires a lot of effort and patience from the owner.
Description of the disease
Rickets is translated from Greek as "spine", and means violations in bone formation with insufficient supply of bone tissues with minerals during the period of active growth of the animal. Rickets in puppies at an early stage can be detected by taking an x-ray. The picture shows altered end sections on long bones.
Rickets is also called an English disease, because it was first described by an English orthopedist Gleason. When studying the disease, ways were identified to prevent its development. For prevention, it was recommended to take fish (cod) oil, andirradiation with quartz lamps was prescribed for early treatment.
Rickets in puppies, the photo of which is presented in the article, can be of several types, each of which has its own characteristics and varieties.
In the classic type (vitamin D deficiency), rickets is distinguished by clinical variants:
1. According to the saturation of blood with phosphorus and calcium, rickets happens:
- calcium penic;
- with unexpressed changes in the norm of elements.
2. Forms are distinguished along the course:
- acute - with osteomalacia and neurological symptoms;
- subacute - osteoid tissues grow intensively: frontal and parietal tubercles form, bones of the wrists, phalanges of fingers and ribs thicken at the junction with cartilage;
- recurrent (wavy) after previous active rickets.
3. According to the severity, there are three degrees of illness:
- light - initial stage;
- moderate - with moderately severe deformation of bone tissues and organs;
- severe - damage to many parts of the skeleton, internal organs and nervous system, the animal lags behind in development, complications of the disease appear.
The occurrence of secondary rickets contribute to:
- malabsorption syndromes, when nutrients are absorbed in insufficient quantities, that is, they are poorly absorbed;
- chronic kidney and biliary diseasesways;
- violations of metabolic processes;
- long-term use of anticonvulsants.
Vitamin D-dependent and vitamin D-resistant (phosphate-diabetes) types of rickets are also 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 in the dog's body or inability to assimilate them leads to the rapid development of the disease.
- Disruption of the parathyroid gland prevents the body from receiving the necessary elements and leads to an imbalance in the hormonal background.
- Cellular disorders passed down from the puppy's ancestors.
Vitamin D aids calcium absorption, and calcium deficiency occurs as a result of disruption of the biosynthesis process under the influence of ultraviolet radiation in the skin, subcutaneous tissue and liver. The use of fish (cod) oil, fermented milk products (cottage cheese, cheese), vegetable oils, seafood and some types of herbs will help fill the lack of this vitamin.
Incorrect conditions in rooms with high humidity and lack of sunlight prevent proper physical development, and rickets in a German puppy (or any other large breed) develops from the first month of life.
For the timely diagnosis of the disease, it is necessary to carefully monitor the development of the pet from birth. The first noticeable signlack of important elements in the animal's body are defects in tooth enamel.
Rickets in a German Shepherd puppy at an early stage can be identified by:
- reducing activity and fatigue on walks;
- lack of desire to play and meet other dogs.
Often, such symptoms are confused with character traits and situational manifestations of a pet and do not pay due attention to them. But if no action is taken, the situation will worsen, leading to more severe symptoms:
- curvature of the spine and strong stoop;
- weakening of muscle tissues: when walking, the animal's paws bend, the limbs become flabby and soft, there is no tone in the muscles;
- osteochondrosis, which is manifested by thickening of the joints of the paws, formations in the form of knots are formed on the ribs;
- tooth decay and loss;
- fragility of bones - fractures become more frequent, even a slight impact provokes serious injuries;
- Changes in the chest, which grows and bulges due to the fact that the bones can no longer cope with the weight of the dog;
- sagging belly;
- disproportionate large head and short limbs;
- problems with hair that becomes dull, dandruff and baldness appear;
- violation of the functions of internal organs;
- frequent gastrointestinal upset;
- disorders of mental development.
You should especially pay attention to the inadequacy of behavior, which is manifested by the fact that the puppy begins to eat, gnaw and lick inedible objects: earth, stones, walls, floors - these are clear signs that he is actively developing the disease.
Diagnosis of disease
In order to diagnose rickets in puppies, the symptoms of which at an advanced stage are visible to the naked eye, it is necessary to conduct a series of examinations. Veterinarian orders:
- Blood test for biochemistry and calcium and phosphorus content.
- Assessment of motor functions.
- General examination of pet in progress.
When the diagnosis is confirmed, appropriate treatment is prescribed.
Rickets in puppies, the treatment of which will be discussed below, will require patience from the owner. This is a rather lengthy process that requires attention and effort. But if you start therapy immediately after the detection of the disease, then you can quickly achieve good results.
How to treat rickets in puppies, the veterinarian will tell you, after using tests to determine which element deficiency led to the development of the disease, and prescribe the appropriate therapy.
- Shows an aqueous solution of vitamin D in combination with calcium gluconate in the form of injections. Vitamin is consumed every day, and injections are carried out two to three times a week. The course is one month.
- Prescribe trivitamins in the form of drops daily or as injections once every seven days.
- Forimproving the condition of the joints can be shown shilajit.
- Artificial ultraviolet irradiation with a quartz lamp, which is carried out under the supervision of a specialist.
Infection with worms can complicate the course of the disease. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly carry out antihelminthic therapy and monitor the treatment process through tests.
You should also provide your pet with frequent exposure to the sun and introduce more liquid gelatin, dairy products, fish oil (one teaspoon every two days) and vitamin complexes into the diet.
Treatment of rickets is quite expensive. Therefore, in order to save the family budget, you should provide the pet with good living conditions, complex nutrition and long walks in the fresh air.
Drawing up the right diet is quite a difficult task. After all, it is necessary to take into account not only the presence of nutrients necessary for the development, but also their digestibility by the body. A specialist will help develop a proper nutrition scheme, the basic principles are a varied and he althy diet, which should contain fermented milk products, vegetables, fruits, meat, cereals, balanced feeds and vitamin complexes. Food should always be fresh and in the amount that a puppy of a certain age needs.
The importance of walking
Ultraviolet stimulates the natural production of vitamin D. Therefore, it is especially important to provide your pet with long walks insunny weather. In cloudy weather, the walking time should be increased, as the amount of ultraviolet radiation decreases.
In winter, it is recommended to artificially irradiate puppies with a quartz lamp. This procedure can be carried out at home or go to the sessions in the veterinary clinic.
Rickets in puppies is a rather dangerous and common disease. Timely diagnosis and the necessary therapy will help to cope with the disease and put the pet on its feet. Do not forget that the love and attention of the owner significantly affect the recovery process, so you need to take care of your four-legged friend with all your heart.