|Barked: Thu Jun 3, '10 11:07am PST |
|All the raw-feeding breeders I've talked to tend to have slower, more evenly growing pups and they attribute this to raw. Because of my own personal experience of having raised Reyna on it, I am naturally a bit more skeptical and less likely to believe that the issue is raw.
Also, the stuff you're reading about high protein is outdated. We now know that there is no such thing as protein in excess for a dog.
Were you feeding lots of variety? Giving the proper amount of organs? How long has he been on raw?
Did your vet do an x-ray to confirm pano?
Just a couple of quotes for you taken from Relationship of Nutrition and Skeletal Disease in Young dogs:
The energy needed for any individual depends on breed, age, neuter status, and activity levels. In general, growing puppies require twice as much dietary energy as adults for body maintenance, activity, and growth. The need is greatest right after birth and decreases as the dog grows and matures. Rapid growth in large and giant-breed dogs increases the risk of skeletal disease.4,5 Excessive dietary energy may support a growth rate that is too fast for proper skeletal development and results in a higher frequency of skeletal abnormalities in large and giant-breed dogs.7 Because fat has twice the caloric density of protein or carbohydrate, dietary fat is the primary contributor to excess energy intake.
Excess energy leads to rapid growth. Dietary energy in excess of a puppy's needs will be stored as body fat. Body condition scoring evaluates body fat stores and therefore correctness of energy intake. Maintaining appropriate body condition during growth not only avoids excess body fat storage, but also helps control excess growth rate. Limiting intake to maintain a lean body condition will not impede a dog's ultimate genetic potential. It will only reduce food intake, fecal production, obesity, and lessen the risk of skeletal disease.8 Energy or food-dose calculations can only be used as general guidelines or starting points that must be modified based on frequent clinical evaluation of each puppy because individual needs can vary widely. (Fig. 1). Physical evaluation or body condition scoring should be done at least every two weeks (See Evaluation of Feeding Methods and Scoring to follow). Protein
Unlike other species, protein excess has not been demonstrated to negatively affect calcium metabolism or skeletal development in dogs. Protein deficiency, however, has more impact on the developing skeleton. In Great Dane puppies, a protein level of 14.6% (dry matter basis) with 13% of the dietary energy derived from protein can result in significant decreases in bodyweight and plasma albumin and urea concentrations.9,10 The minimum adequate level of dietary protein depends on digestibility, amino acids, and their availability from protein sources. A growth food should contain > 22% protein (dry matter basis) of high biologic value (Table 1).11 The dietary protein requirements of normal dogs decrease with age.
The absolute level of calcium in the diet, rather than an imbalance in the calcium/phosphorus ratio, influences skeletal development.2 Young, giant-breed dogs fed a food containing excess calcium (3.3% dry matter basis) with either normal phosphorus(0.9% dry matter basis) or high phosphorus(3% dry matter basis, to maintain a normal calcium/phosphorus ratio) had significantly increased incidence of developmental bone disease.2 These puppies apparently were unable to protect themselves against the negative effects of chronic calcium excess.3 Further, chronic high calcium intake increased the frequency and severity of osteochondrosis.7
Often puppies are switched from growth to maintenance-type foods to avoid calcium excess and skeletal disease. However, because some maintenance foods have much lower energy density than growth foods, the puppy must consume more dry matter volume to meet its energy requirement. If the calcium levels are similar (dry matter basis) between the two foods, the puppy will actually consume more calcium when fed the maintenance food. This point is exemplified in the case of switching a 15-week-old, 15-kg male Rottweiler puppy from a growth food containing, on an as fed basis, 4.0 kcal/g metabolizable energy and 1.35% calcium (1.5% on a dry matter basis) to a maintenance food containing the same amount of calcium but at a lower, 3.2 kcal/g energy density. The puppy would require approximately 1,600 kcal/day. In order to meet this energy need the puppy would consume approximately 400g of the growth food (containing 5.4g of calcium) vs. 500g of the maintenance food (containing approximately 6.7g of calcium).
Feeding treats containing calcium and/or providing calcium supplements further increases daily calcium intake. Two level teaspoons of a typical calcium supplement (calcium carbonate) added to the growth food of the 15-week-old, 15-kg Rottweiler puppy would more than double its daily calcium intake. This calcium intake is well beyond the levels shown to increase the risk for developmental bone disease. A recent review article best sums up the need for calcium supplements: "Because virtually all dog foods contain more calcium than is needed to meet the requirement, the use of a calcium supplement certainly is unnecessary. Now that the deleterious effects of excess dietary calcium have been delineated, we can say that the feeding of calcium supplements not only is unnecessary, but, in fact, contraindicated!"8
Because these studies demonstrate the safety and adequacy of 1.1% calcium (dry matter basis) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimum recommendation is 1% (dry matter basis, Table 1), we recommend that calcium levels for a growth food be within this range for at risk puppies, with no supplementation.
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