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Effect of different calcium and phosphorus contents in the diet of growing Great Danes
Large and giant breeds have special nutritional requirements during their growing phase - imbalances and mistakes can cause severe and sometimes lifelong problems. This study tested 3 different diets on Great Dane puppies radiographically, histologically and biochemically.

The skeletal development of three groups of great dane dogs, fed a diet composed according to the published nutritional requirements for dogs (controls) or with increased calcium or calcium and phosphorous content, was examined radiographically, histologically and biochemically.

The diets were fed from the time the dogs first began eating food in addition to their dam`s milk, until they were 17 weeks old. Thereafter, the calcium and phosphorus intakes of the dogs in the high calcium groups were normalised for a further l0 weeks.

The dogs fed the high calcium diet without a proportionally high phosphorus intake became hypercalcaemic and hypophosphataemic, and had severe disturbances in skeletal development, growth, and mineralisation which were typical for rickets. After their calcium intake was normalised the lesions of rickets resolved but osteochondrotic lesions became apparent.

The dogs fed the high calcium and phosphorus diet became slightly hypophosphataemic, their growth was retarded, and they had disturbances in skeletal development resembling osteochondrosis, which had only partly resolved after 10 weeks on the normal calcium and phosphorus diet.

Source: Schoenmakers I, Hazewinkel HAW, Voorhout G, Carlson CS, Richardson D (2000): Effect of diets with different calcium and phosphorus contents on the skeletal development and blood chemistry of growing great danes. In: Veterinary Record Dec 2 2000; 147 (23) : 652-660.





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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

Reference intervals for blood parameters in Shetland Sheepdogsmembers
Several breeds have physiological peculiarities that induce variations in reference intervals (RIs) compared with the general canine population. Shetland sheepdogs (SSs) are reported to be more predisposed to different diseases (eg, hyperlipidemia, gallbladder mucocele, and hypothyroidism). Consequently, a breed‐specific approach is more often required. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine whether the RIs of the general canine population could be applied to that of SSs, and to generate breed‐specific RIs, where appropriate.

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