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Nutritional Management of Dog Diseases

Nowadays dogs and cats live longer lives as a result of their relationships with humans and the Petcare they received. This has lead to the development of certain diseases or conditions related to age. Some chronic diseases such as, osteoarthritis, renal insufficiency and stress/anxiety can be managed with nutritional supplements.

Osteoarthritis is a common condition in geriatric dogs and there are certain supplements that can improve your dog’s quality of life. It has been proven that several dietary supplements can help in the management of pain related the canine osteoarthritis and act as chondroprotectants (substances that protect cartilage or promote its synthesis). The following supplements can be used for the management of osteoarthritis in dogs: glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) and perna mussels.

Renal insufficiency can be managed with a proper diet. Dogs that are diagnosed early and treated properly can have good quality of life for various years. A proper diet for this disease should include a small amount of high quality and easily digestible protein (cocked eggs, chicken, liver, among other), low amounts of phosphorus and sodium. In addition, it is thought that vitamin D and fatty acids can be beneficial for the management of this disease. The recommended concentrations of nutrients for a renal diet are: 30% of high quality protein, 0.5% of phosphorus, 0.24% of sodium and 0.33% of omega-3 fatty acids.

Finally, stress and anxiety can be managed with the supplementation of some amino acids like L-theanine, L-tryptophan and alpha-casozepine. L-theanine and L-tryptophan are amino acids that act as precursors for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Alpha-casozepine is a peptide (a short chain of amino acids) obtained from milk, which has anxiolytic properties.

Sources:

Bierer, T.L. and Biu, L.M. (2002). Improvement of arthritic signs in dogs fed green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus). J Nutr. 2002 Jun; 132(6 Suppl 2):1634S-6S.

Grimmett A. and Sillence, M.N. (2005). Calmatives for the excitable horse: a review of L-tryptophan. Vet J. 170(1): 24-32.

Helio Am, (2005): Manejo De La Insuficiencia Renal Cronica: Viviendo Más Y Mejor. Rev. Navc, 8 (12): 1-3.

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