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Thread: Odd Advice from Vet Nurse in Re: Calcium Requirement for Large Breed Pup (inc Photo)

  1. #1

    Default Odd Advice from Vet Nurse in Re: Calcium Requirement for Large Breed Pup (inc Photo)

    Hi Everyone,

    I just received some VERY odd (Read: Scary) advice from a vet nurse at the practice I take Asha to. She was there on the day I took her for previous needle and remembered her (at this stage she was 9.5 weeks old and 10.2kgs from memory.)

    She is now 18kgs at 15.5 weeks (very long legs, on the lean side, but I prefer them like that and she looks fantastic, you can see the faint outline of her ribs when she eats and bends around, but not when she stands still, she looks amazing, so much skin to grow into)

    I explained how much she'd grown and she asked what food I have her on. I explained that she came to me on raw mince plus Optimum puppy dry (which didn't agree with her, went straight through her) so I transitioned her onto Taste of the Wild (TOTW) Sierra Mountain All Life Stages and Beef Mince plus Minced Chicken Frames. She has been doing BRILLIANTLY on this food, but I still believe it's a little high in calcium at 1.6%, but as I have her on the raw stuff as well, I think this is a fair compromise.

    Her fur has improved out of sight and her bodily functions are 300% better.

    The vet nurse explained "no no no, you should put her back on puppy food and especially a large breed, she needs extra calcium and protein to grow - You can pick up Calcium tablets from us tomorrow when you come in"

    Um............. Where did I miss that an expected-to-get-to 50kgs PLUS large breed puppy should be getting EXTRA calcium??!!

    In all the reading I've done, shouldn't she be on as close to 1% or less as possible? (I understand that it's more complicated that that, as there is the calcium from calories calculations etc (she is on the upper side of the safe scale on this food) so there is absolutely NO WAY I would ever consider putting her on calcium tablets - I'm just wondering why a vet nurse would offer such terrible advice??

    I will mention it to the vet tomorrow, to see if he shares her opinion.

    10151243_10205159925021921_8798085974158083393_n.jpg 11218875_10205189050310035_8696687639567993749_n.jpg
    Last edited by Schnecke; 09-08-2015 at 12:46 PM.
    Asha - 22/05/15 Wolfhound cross a Dogue De Bordeaux X American Bulldog.

  2. #2
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    Your diet is wonderful. That TOTW was highly ranked in a dog food testing summary we had on here a year or so ago, perhaps a mod can show you the link.
    Ive never been advised to add calcium to the dogs diet in tablet form. As a additional.
    I have been owning rotties and GSD's, there is concern over the protein content in large breed pup's diet. You dont want too much growth, slow n steady.

    A dog that eats a supermarket kibble, may gain from calcium tablets.

  3. #3
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    I've been thinking that grated cuttlefish bones might be a good source of calcium but my dog gets yogurt.

    Sometimes vet nurses speak before they've checked the details - I had that problem when I made the mistake of asking one about how much chicken and rice to feed... and she recommended chicken and rice in a can (ARGH). I made her read the ingredients and explain why those would be good for a dog with a tummy upset. Cos the first four or five were cereal grains. Like corn, wheat etc.

  4. #4
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    I have medium sized working breeds so could be different from large but I like to grow them out lean. I dont bother with puppy foods. I put them straight onto Wellness core grainfree and Blackhawk and a commercial BARF and bones once every 1-2 weeks. I certainly have never considered supplements and a friend of mine who is a vet told me that with that diet I shouldnt need to.

    Vets and vet nurses dont always offer the best advice on nutrition. I have friends who are vet nurses but also have performance dogs and they certainly know what they are taliking about but that is not always the case.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the responses everyone!

    It just struck me as strange - You seek the advice of veterinary staff as a safety net (lets face it, not everyone has access to the internet or is confident to use it for research, there is so much information out there) but I just couldn't get over the fact that not only was it terrible advice, it was dangerous - Excess Calcium in a growing large breed can cause some pretty major issues with skeletal abnormalities.

    I understand that not every diet works for every dog. Some foods don't agree with all dogs - like people, some of us have intolerances and it's not the foods fault, it's that it doesn't suit us.

    I chose TOTW from the reviews I've seen on dog forums around the world (understanding the good and the bad of it) and at $20 a week (plus her fresh content food) it's certainly not cheap, but I have fed a dog on a cereal dry diet with tinned food extras in my younger years (before I knew better) and this food is just out of site in comparison. People look at me like I'm crazy when I talk about her food and what my aims are (to understand as much as I can as quick as I can) but when you see 8 year old large breeds that are overweight and can't get around - I see that indeed I'm doing the right thing by not pumping the "rapid puppy growth" food into her - It just does more harm than good.

    We already get comments on how lovely she looks, we want to keep it that way!

    As she is a fussy eater I've had trouble introducing veggies into her bowl (I'd like to be able to give her a nice varied interesting diet) but I need to do a bit more reading into that part before I try too hard.
    Asha - 22/05/15 Wolfhound cross a Dogue De Bordeaux X American Bulldog.

  6. #6
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    A lot of vets and vet nurses have very minimal nutritional background; only a tiny bit of their University studies is nutrition based. It has taken me forever to find a vet that finally agreed that my dog's yeast infections (ears, toes, mouth and anus) were caused by a diet with grains/cereals. Even when I was telling vets "I have stopped feeding her anything with grains/cereals, just 100% raw food and all her yeasty issues have gone and haven't returned" they would tell me it was just coincidence.. Absolutely not! Its a wonderful feeling when you finally have a vet who agrees with you and supports you

    Bad advice seems common.. I used to have a boss (in the horse industry) who was CONVINCED that a vet once told her if horses drink too much water, they will become dehydrated.. IMPOSSIBLE! So if we had horses who drank more than the average horse, we were told to take their water off them, or only fill their water bucket halfway etc. One of the people I worked with noticed her dog was drinking a lot of water on a 40 degree summer day (no $hit), so she took the water away from the dog (a rotti) because she didn't want her to get dehydrated (WTF!).. She woke up the next morning to her dog deceased, they're not sure what caused her to die but it wouldn't surprise me if it was from dehydration or a heat related illness. I still get so mad and frustrated when I think about it.. In what universe can drinking too much water cause you to become dehydrated?! It was the most stupid thing I ever heard!

  7. #7
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    I would have thought a puppy that is going to grow big would need more calcium for the bigger bones than a smaller dog with small bones. But as a percentage - I don't know what a dog needs.

    I have been told that if a human has too much calcium - they pee out the excess - ie vitamin supplements mostly go down the toilet.

    I don't know if dogs are the same. But it is good to get your information from multiple sources ideally high quality ones - which actually reflect some scientifically gathered and analysed evidence with large sample sizes. Not from unqualified witch doctors who only have a sample size of their own dog and don't gather or analyse the evidence available to them.

    PS Dr Google Vet says
    too little calcium is just as bad as too much and the bigger the puppy breed - the narrower your optimum range - eek.
    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2010/01/nut...breed-puppies/

    this one - isn't university or govt either but does lists the studies that support their slightly technical article on the subject.
    http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dev...-breed-puppies
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 09-09-2015 at 11:38 AM.

  8. #8

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    Indeed, too little and too much for large breeds is a bad thing. The line for "perfection" is narrow.

    The reality is that many dogs don't get the "perfect" nutritional content and they live long happy lives without issues. I suppose what I'm trying to do is get it as close to perfect as possible (understanding that there are some variables that get a bit silly trying to maintain as perfect) as a big dog with structure issues is something I will avoid in any way that I can.

    I originally thought that it was a crazy suggestion that too much calcium can be detrimental to a large breed puppy, until I spent 4 hours straight, researching it all (and did all the formulas based off her current diet (again, the raw portion makes certain things hard to calculate) and what it comes down to is that puppies systems are unable to regulate their calcium intake (wheras adult dogs can handle too much of it without a problem, they excrete it like humans can)

    I have gone on the upper side of the safe level as that's my preferred food choice (she is doing so well on the TOTW that I'd like to stick with the brand and their puppy formulas are unfortunately supplied in too small of a bag (she eats just shy of 4 cups of dry plus her raw portion of food, plus a (replaced daily with fresh) cow rib bone to chew while we are at work) I haven't factored in treats into the food values as she isn't food driven and gets rewarded with pats and quiet attention, as she spits treats out ("what is this?!" she asks! "plergh!" as a result of a treat haha)

    Will be interesting to see what the vet says about the feeding schedule, quantities and calcium for her, this afternoon.
    Asha - 22/05/15 Wolfhound cross a Dogue De Bordeaux X American Bulldog.

  9. #9
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    I think the dry ought to cover any gaps in your plan but it looks good to me. Actual meat - usually has good quantities of calcium.

    You might supplement occasionally with some tinned sardines in olive oil or spring water. Lots of good stuff in those. Tho I've heard raw fish aren't good for dogs. I'm not sure anyone told the Canadian Inuit.

  10. #10
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    Your dog does not require additional calcium that is DANGEROUS. Yes your pup needs calcium but you do not supplement. Vet nurses are not vets and frankly it is not their place to give advice such as this unless they are willing to take responsibility for possible disease or problems they cause.
    http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c11/Mali_nut/K9LOGO.jpg

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