What to Do if your Dog Has a Zinc Deficiency

Dog owners who have dogs with zinc deficiencies need to become educated on the subject to properly care for their pets and ensure their continued good health. It’s a condition that is fairly rarely diagnosed in dogs. If your pet has been diagnosed by a vet with this condition, or if you suspect this might be the case here is everything you need to know about Zinc deficiencies in dogs and what you should do. Zinc is a mineral that is used by the body in all living things to produce cells and to ward off infections. It has a role in the healing of injuries through the creation of genetic cell blueprints called DNA. Deficiencies in zinc in the diet can lead to health issues and open the body up to illness and infections. It’s a necessary mineral. Dogs that do not get enough zinc in their diets experience zinc deficiency.

Symptoms of a Zinc deficiency in dogs

According to Healthline, dogs that have zinc deficiency may develop some or all of the following symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is hair loss. Your dog may also experience a reduction in the sense of smell and taste. He may also appear less alert. Other signs of a zinc deficiency may include wounds that won’t heal with open sores on the skin, weight loss because food is unappetizing, and in some cases diarrhea.

What to do if your dog has any of these symptoms

Make sure that your dog’s diet is enriched with zinc supplements, but it’s also time to take him in for a medical examination. The only way to know for sure is to have his blood tested by a qualified animal health care professional. Your vet can read the test results and determine if your dog has a zinc deficiency, and if so, how severe the problem is. He or she will provide you with a treatment plan that will help your pet to live a healthier and longer life without troubling and dangerous side effects.

Most common health conditions caused by zinc deficiency

VCA Hospitals discloses that one of the most common zinc-deficiency-related health issues is Zinc Responsive Dermatosis. It looks like a skin infection but it’s a health condition that arises because there is not enough zinc in the body for the immune and thyroid systems to function properly.

Other diagnosed related issued

Zinc deficiencies also interfere with sexual functioning and can cause problems for breeding dogs. Sexual dysfunction is common. Changes in the skin and coat are also common along with digestive problems. There are many ways that zinc deficiencies can manifest including multiple problems at the same time. Puppies may experience cracks and bleeding of the footpads making it difficult for them to get around. Many exhibits stunted growth and a variety of infections. Not all puppies respond to zinc supplement treatment and these dogs are either euthanized or die from related health problems.

What is the treatment for zinc deficiency?

True zinc deficiency is not common. It is believed to be caused by a problem with the absorption of zinc in the small intestine. Most high-quality dog foods contain ample amounts of zinc to promote good health. The first step in the treatment process is to ensure that the dog’s diet is rich in zinc that is bioavailable or easily absorbed. Some vets may recommend an oral zinc supplement. Positive results are usually observed within 2 weeks. Generic dog food should not b fed to dogs with zinc deficiencies. The cheaper brands may not provide adequate nutritional value.

Which dog breeds are more prone to zinc deficiency?

According to Dermvettacoma, zinc deficiencies are most common in Arctic dog breeds. These include Samoyeds, Malamutes, and Huskies. Although it can happen in any breed, this rare condition is most commonly seen in these types. It can happen in adults and puppies.

What is the prognosis when your dog is diagnosed with zinc deficiency?

For most dogs, the prognosis for recovery and living a long and healthy life is good. This is, however, a lifelong condition that requires supplementation for the rest of your dog’s life. Each case is different so it’s wise to consult with a trusted vet and follow his or her directions to ensure the proper treatment of your dog. Some vets may opt to treat zinc deficiency as well as related conditions at the same time. Although restoring zinc levels to the optimal amounts is the goal of treatment, some of the more uncomfortable symptoms such as skin lesions may be treated with a secondary line of defense to help make your pet more comfortable during the healing and recovery process.

Final thoughts

Zinc deficiency is a very rare condition in dogs, but it does happen, particularly with larger Arctic breeds. If caught early and treated, the outcomes for most dogs are favorable. If your dog has been diagnosed with this condition, there is no substitute for professional guidance to ensure that your pet receives the most appropriate course of treatment. Treatments can vary from one dog to another depending on the nature of the problem and the severity. Follow the instructions that are provided by your health care provider and continue to take your dog in for regular medical checkups as advised. There are other reasons for the symptoms of zinc deficiency to occur but it’s better to be safe and have them checked out by a professional animal health care provider. The sooner the problem is identified, the more likely you are to have a positive outcome. Most dogs will never experience zinc deficiency if they are fed a healthy and balanced diet. While you don’t need to buy the most expensive dog food, the cheap brands are not recommended. Read the labels the same way you do for the humans in your household and settle for nothing but the best when it comes to canine nutrition.

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