Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Failure to Absorb Vitamin B12 in Dogs

Cobalamin Malabsorption

 

Cobalamin malabsorption refers to a genetic abnormality by which the vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, fails to be absorbed from the intestine. This condition occurs secondary to the absence of a specific binding receptor in the lower intestine (the ileum) for intrinsic factor-cobalamin complex (IF-cbl). This is a rare disease that tends to affect Giant Schnauzers, Border Collies, and Beagles. In the Giant Schnauzer, it is inherited as a simple autosomal recessive trait. Symptoms generally appear at 6 to 12 weeks of age in Giant Schnauzers, and around four to six months in Border Collies.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Failure to gain weight

 

Causes

 

The cause of this disease is genetic inheritance.

 

Diagnosis

 

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your pet, with a complete blood profile, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. The blood serum will be examined for cobalamin concentration levels; low levels would be indicative of an absorption failure. The serum check will also give some information on any secondary conditions affecting the body by how high the levels of white blood cells are in the blood serum. Urinalysis may return higher than normal levels of white blood cells as well. You will need to provide a thorough history of your pet's health leading up to the onset of symptoms, including any genetic information you have.

 

Your veterinarian may find chronic non-regenerative anemia, where the body does not respond to a deficiency of red blood cells, or mild to severe neutropenia, where the body is suffering from an abnormally low amount of white blood cell neutrophils.

 

Further tests may show that the failure of cobalamin to absorb is related to other congenital metabolic diseases, or to a parasite in the gastrointestinal tract.

 

 

Treatment

 

Medical treatment can typically be on an outpatient basis, with long-term supplementary administration of cobalamin. Any other appropriate medications will be as prescribed by your veterinarian, based on the medical findings.

 

 

Related Articles

Colonic or Rectal Inflammation in Dogs
Although inflammation of the colon and rectum can occur in any breed of dog, Boxers...
READ MORE
Dog Diarrhea Treatment And Cures - Diarrhea (...
Veterinarians find it controversial to give antibiotics to treat diarrhea, but when...
READ MORE
Stomach Disorder (Loss of Motility) in Dogs
The spontaneous peristaltic (involuntary, wavelike) movements of the stomach muscles...
READ MORE

Does your pet have an identification tag or microchip?

  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search dog Articles

 

Latest In Dog Nutrition

How Obesity May Shorten Your Pet's Lifespan
Obesity is a nationwide epidemic for our pets. Unfortunately, being obese can shorten...
READ MORE
5 Tips to Keep Your Senior Dog Healthy
Senior dogs have different health requirements than younger dogs. Here are some tips...
READ MORE
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...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM