Vitamin D

In large-breed puppies, an excess of vitamin D is more common than a deficiency. Excessive intake causes severe ossification problems (osteochondritis).

Vitamin D deficiency causes:

  • rickets (rare in dogs and cats);
  • osteomalacia (joint and muscle pains, bone fractures).

A little background information

The rickets-fighting power of fish liver oil was discovered in 1782 and vitamin D was isolated in 1932. This liposoluble vitamin is provided in the diet. It is naturally synthesised by humans and herbivores by the conversion of skin sterols under the action of solar rays. To be active in the body it must be modified, first in the liver, then in the kidney.

Its role in the body

Vitamin D plays an essential role in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus metabolisms :

  • increase in the intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus;
  • optimisation of calcium bonding (or unbonding) by the bone;
  • reduction in the loss of calcium and phosphorus in the urine.

Natural sources

Meat and vegetables are almost completely lacking in vitamin D, which is naturally found in fish liver oil, oil fish (sardines, tuna), egg yoke, milk and dairy products.

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