There has recently been a recall for dog foods containing high levels of vitamin D. These potentially toxic levels can cause a variety of organ, nerve, muscle, and skeletal problems. Vitamin D’s main effect is to increase calcium absorption from the gut and kidneys. It also acts in concert with hormones from the parathyroid gland to start pulling calcium from the bones. Think of those as the two keys to a lock that have to be turned simultaneously in order to work. All of this calcium that gets pulled then goes into the bloodstream and gets distributed to muscles, nerves, and major organs in the body. This can easily lead to muscle and bone diseases. If you think your pet food might be affected by the recall, here’s what you can do:
Vitamin D toxicity can affect all animals. This recall primarily affects dog foods, but we want to take the time to remind you to check on your cat, farm animal, or reptile’s diets. Food is the best preventative measure for health. In cases like vitamin D, it is important to make sure you are able to supply your pet with the right amount and form. Be sure to take into account environmental factors that affect vitamin D intake.
VCA hospitals: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/vitamin-d-poisoning-in-dogs
FDA fast facts, list of brands: https://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/newsevents/ucm627485.htm
Vitamin D levels for a 500kg working horse: https://aaep.org/sites/default/files/issues/proceedings-11proceedings-z91001113120p.pdf
Reptile supplements: http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Supplemental-Nutrition-for-Your-Reptiles/