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Is Your Dog Deficient in Taurine?
Although it’s not quite a household name, taurine deficiency is on the rise. Lack of this essential amino acid can lead to cardiomyopathy, or rather “heart muscle disease,” which ultimately leads to heart failure and death. Taurine has been supplemented in cat food for years but until recently scientists didn’t realize dogs also need this in their food. There are eight breeds most affected by taurine deficiency:
Unfortunately there is so no way to tell if your dog is deficient before this hideous disease strikes. Taurine is just now gaining recognition but it may responsible for many unexplainably young canine deaths.
Before you completely panic, most dogs produce taurine naturally from B-6 and the amino acids methione and cysteine. A smaller percentage though, for reasons still unknown, do not- or if they do produce it it’s not in efficient qualities. Taurine is vital because it helps cells cling onto necessary potassium, managing this in the tissue of the heart along with helping to control heart beat makes it one of the most important amino acids in heart health. Taurine is found in meat, fish, eggs, milk and sea veggies; kelp being the best source.
One theory gaining support is that since we are feeding livestock unnatural food, they are no longer producing the amino acids and nutrients that turn them into a nutritious meal once packed into dog food. Keep in mind, taurine is not supplemented in meat meal or by-product feeds.
Because of this studies fresh nature, it’s difficult to find taurine supplements specifically for canines. Instead, purchase the powdered capsule from a variety of grocery stores, break them open and sprinkle into their regular food. The recommended dosage is 500mg, two to three times a day.
If you happen to love one of the eight most susceptible 8 breeds, do some research, talk to your vet, do some Google searching! But for the sake of your buddies health, do not let this valuable information slip your mind.