What is Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism?
Inadequate diets consisting of meat only are usually responsible for this condition. Although an all meat diet sounds as though it should be great for your dog, the point to remember is that wild dogs don’t just eat meat… they consume the bones and all sorts of carrion, giving them a balance in their diet. Strictly meat diets result in a build-up of phosphate that prevents the absorption of calcium; to prevent this your dog requires a diet rich in variety. This condition can affect your dog whether they are male or female, and is noticeable in your young dog as it affects their growth.
Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism results from a nutritional deficiency in calcium and vitamin D and is associated with a diet lacking in nutrients.
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Symptoms of Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in Dogs
- Bone deformities especially in your young growing puppy
- Reluctance to walk
- Slowness to get up or lay down
- Poor body condition
- Bone fractures
- Lack of energy
- Primary hyperparathyroidism occurs when a tumor of the parathyroid gland produces a larger than normal level of the parathyroid hormone, causing enlarged glands and other complications
- Secondary hyperparathyroidism is diet-related causing poor body condition with your dog
- Secondary renal hyperparathyroidism affects your dog if they are suffering from kidney disease or failure
Causes of Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in Dogs
- Malnutrition caused by a diet of one type of food
- Diets rich in natural meat alone can cause malnutrition with deficiency of calcium and vitamin D
- Advanced stages of malnutrition can cause kidney disease
- Feeding your dog with a varied diet to assure a good mix of vitamin and minerals is essential for healthy growth
- Lack of calcium for strong bone growth
- Excess formation of phosphorous
- Lack of calcium and Vitamin D – this affects the kidneys which in turn affects any absorption of the available calcium
- Long term kidney disease
Diagnosis of Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in Dogs
The equine specialist will want to know the diet your dog is being fed, how long your pet has been on this diet, and in addition, will ask how your dog is being affected by the food regimen. If you can keep a record of what your dog is eating it will help the specialist to determine the cause of your dog’s illness. While your dog is there, your veterinarian will give your pet a full examination to assess their health and to make sure there are no other underlying conditions that may be existing concurrently.
The tests that the veterinarian will undertake include a blood analysis test, and X-rays of the legs and backbone to see the effects that the condition has had on the bones. Urinalysis may reveal hematuria and proteinuria. If your dog is a younger dog, the specialist will be able to immediately suggest corrections to your dog’s diet that may prevent any further damage.
Treatment of Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in Dogs
Once the cause of your dog’s condition has been established, your veterinarian will proceed to advise on how to correct the diet and will also suggest a calcium supplement. If your dog has suffered abnormal bone growths or fractures, an external splinting can be applied to give support to your friend and allow the bones to strengthen in the best possible position to allow easy painless movement. Attached splints will entail keeping your dog rested and confined to restrict their movement, to allow for the fractures to heal and for the new diet to take effect. Treatment is continued at home through diet, supplements, and regular visits to the clinic to check progress. The veterinarian may suggest some easy exercise for your friend once healing is well underway. Time and an effective healing program for home care can be planned and implemented which will hasten your dog to recovery.
Recovery of Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in Dogs
Recovery at home involves time and diet more than anything to allow the bones to strengthen and to allow for any fractures to heal. Keeping your dog calm and in a confined area will help. Try not to allow them to be excited or engage in play as this may put pressure on the leg bones and cause fractures. Feed a variety of food to your dog and include the supplements your veterinarian suggests; this will help build the bones back to health. Usually, dogs will eat most things, but try mixing the supplements with a delicious meat and gravy to cover any odd flavor. If you have a young puppy, use gentle play and lots of encouragement to get them moving quietly at first, before introducing stronger exercise as they regain condition. Even if your dog is not suffering from this condition, be sure to provide a wide variety of food in your dog’s diet to prevent this disorder. If you are in doubt, as for your veterinarian’s advice.