What is Dog Rickets?

Rickets are bone dystrophy caused by the lack of vitamin D and the lack of calcium, phosphorus or one of them or an imbalance in the ratio of fast-growing puppies. 

There are two types of rickets that affect dogs and these are as follows:

Type I: This is a Vitamin D-dependent form of rickets.

Type II: This form of rickets is Vitamin-D resistant.

Most dogs suffer from type I which is caused by their diets which are deficient in Vitamin D or phosphorus, or the levels of calcium in their diet is too high which can affect large and giant breeds when their bones are still developing.

Premature weaning, gastrointestinal diseases, and lack of light can all contribute to the occurrence of this disease. Especially the captive dogs born in winter are prone to this disease due to the small sports venues, insufficient exercise, and lack of sunlight.

The initial clinical symptoms are mostly mental fatigue, loss of appetite, unkempt coat, dull body, weak body, strange addiction, like to bite stones, wall mud, wood blocks and other foreign objects. Bone and joint deformities (such as knees, wrists, etc.) can be seen in the middle and late stages; the bone ends are swollen and the limbs are bent. The diseased dog has joint pain, deformation, and lameness. As the disease progressed, the limbs deformed into "X" or "O"-shaped legs; palpation showed rosary swelling at the junction of ribs and costal cartilage. Severely ill dogs will have curvature of the spine, deformed facial bones, mobility impairments, and can't afford to lie on the ground. Body temperature, pulse, and breathing are generally unchanged, and puppies are stunted. Diagnosis is easy to judge based on joint swelling and abnormal posture. In addition, auxiliary X-ray examination, blood biochemical examination, and blood calcium measurement are required.

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