Carnitine Deficiency in Dogs
L-Carnitine Deficiency in Dogs
L-carnitine is an important nutrient that acts as a transport for fatty acids, essential for the cellular production of energy.
L-carnitine is an important nutrient that acts as a transport for fatty acids, essential for the cellular production of energy. Deficiency of this nutrient can cause a variety of health problems for animals; most significantly, the association with heart disease (cardiomyopathy) in dogs. The heart and skeletal muscles do not synthesize the nutrient on their own, requiring it to be transported there for use. Because of this, when the body is deficient in carnitine, the heart and skeletal muscles are negatively affected. While carnitine supplements are not always able to reverse the effects of this deficiency, they have proven to be the most successful course of treatment.
Symptoms and Types
The signs of this deficiency may include:
L-carnitine is important for muscle tissue to receive energy and function normally; therefore, a deficiency in this nutrient can create a negative impact throughout a dog's body.
While causes of carnitine deficiency is unknown, it is believed some dog breeds show an increased risk of developing the deficiency, including Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, and other giant breeds.
In order to diagnose this deficiency, heart (endomyocardial) muscle biopsies must be performed to measure carnitine levels.
The size of the dog will determine the proper dosage. While L-carnitine supplements may improve this deficiency, keep in mind that many dogs will not show improvement. In addition, some dogs will show an increase in diarrhea as the carnitine dosage in their diet increases.
Living and Management
After the carnitine treatment begins, it is recommended that the dog have an EKG (echocardiogram) every three to six months to ensure the treatment has been effective.
There are no known methods of prevention, other than maintaining a healthy diet for your dog and monitoring for signs of deficiency, especially if your dog is a breed that is known to be affected by this condition.
The condition of being drowsy, listless, or weak
Fluid in Abdomen in Dogs
Ascites, also known as abdominal effusion, is the medical term referring to the buildup...
Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis...
The mycoplasma is a class of bacterial parasites belonging to the order of Mollicutes....
Latest In Dog Nutrition
5 Tips to Keep Your Senior Pet Healthy
Senior pets have different health requirements than a younger dog or cat. Here are...
What Are Lean Proteins and How They Can Help ...
Protein is an important component in your pet's food, but not all proteins are the...