The Food and Drug Administration has recently issued a food recall on numerous dog food brands due to a variety of alarming issues, including “potentially elevated levels of vitamin D.” The American Veterinary Medical Association has an extensive list of the brands that the FDA has recalled. According to USA Today, several of these brands include: “Ahold Delhaize, ELM Pet Foods, Inc., Kroger, Lidl (Orlando brand), ANF, Inc., Sunshine Mills, Inc., Natural Life Pet Products and Nutrisca.”
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Why are elevated levels of vitamin D dangerous?
Vitamin D is necessary for dogs to thrive, although elevated levels can pose dangerous risks. According to the Veterinary Centers of America, “Vitamin D poisoning causes an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus.” Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, and if calcium levels become too low, the body will use the calcium stored in the bones to avoid reaching fatal levels. Plus, calcium is necessary for heart, muscle, and nerve health. If an unusually high dose of vitamin D is consumed, this creates an abnormal balance of calcium and phosphorus, which can be potentially fatal.
What are the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity?
The effects of vitamin D poisoning do not appear immediately, and you may not notice your pup is in distress for up to 8 to 48 hours after your pup has consumed their food. The early signs may include depression, weakness, and a loss of appetite. Later, they may experience dehydration, vomiting, constipation, elevated thirst, and increased urination. A pup who is experiencing vitamin D poisoning may also experience a slow or abnormal heart rate among other symptoms. If a pawrent is concerned that their pup may be affected by vitamin D poisoning, or any other type of poisoning, it is crucial that you consult your veterinarian immediately.
Will my pup be okay?
Vitamin D poisoning treatment includes having your pup’s blood calcium and phosphorus levels monitored for at least a week after they have been affected by vitamin D poisoning. After levels have returned to normal, your dog may go back to their regular activities. Dogs who are severely affected by vitamin D poisoning or exposure may experience kidney, heart, or gastrointestinal disease, which requires life-long care. Although, most pups are expected to recover entirely once owners stop feeding their pup any of the brands that have been recalled by the FDA.
What foods are safe?
There are a few brands that have never encountered a food recall. Acana dog foods, produced by Champion Petfoods, is one of those rare companies. Their dog foods are made with 70% meat ingredients, along with sun-ripened vegetables, fruits, and botanicals. Earthborn Holistic dog food also falls into this category. They offer wet and dry food choices, as well as grain-free options, and only use high-quality ingredients that will benefit your dog’s health.