From the Desk Of – Sue Karovski, DVM
Karovski Veterinary Associates – Grayslake, il
To Whom It May Concern
RE: Recent Spike in Vitamin D Poisonings in Dogs
Friday, February 15, 2019
I’m writing to you today at the request of Jacob and Laurie Wilson at Furry Friends Natural Pet Products, Inc.
I have been a customer of their business for nearly thirty years. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a big fan and advocate of their new Farm-to-Fido Philosophy. I even feature their products in the waiting room of my clinic.
The other day while visiting with Jacob and Laurie, we ended up on the topic of the recent upswing in FDA recalls on dog food and treats for elevated levels of Vitamin D. I mentioned the corresponding surge in cases that I and other veterinarians are seeing of Vitamin D poisoning.
Jacob asked if I would be willing to put together a note warning his customers of the signs, symptoms, treatments, and long-term effects of Vitamin D poisoning so that he and Laurie could educate their community.
To begin, you should all be aware that the FDA has issued recall notices for at least six major national brands of dog food and dog treats for elevated levels of Vitamin D in just the last two months.
If you have purchased any of these brands – you should monitor your pets for the signs and symptoms associated with Vitamin D poisoning. It is important to know these signs and symptoms because in addition to tainted food and treats, accidental ingestion of rodenticides can lead to this outcome in dogs. Regardless of the cause, when your pet exhibits these symptoms, seeking treatment is urgent and time is of the essence.
If your dog has been exposed to excessive levels of Vitamin D, they will exhibit some or all of the following symptoms: Depression, Weakness, Appetite Loss; leading to vomiting, increased thirst and elevated urination combined with constipation and dehydration. As the crisis escalates you may observe blood in the stool, difficulty breathing, and decelerating pulse.
It is important that you act quickly.
Often, when the cause of Vitamin D poisoning is accidental exposure, it is possible to begin treatment within the first 6 hours. In these cases, decontamination of the GI tract is often sufficient to address all issues.
However, when the cause of Vitamin D poisoning is elevated levels in treats or food, it is most often the case that the exposure and build up occur over extended periods of time. Because the onset of symptoms is gradual and the contamination has spread through the animal’s entire system, additional measures are called for.
I cannot stress the importance of protecting your dog from exposure to excessive levels of Vitamin D enough.
Eliminate the risk of exposure through tainted pet products by choosing the supplier of your dog’s food and treats carefully.
Sue Karovski, DVM
Karovski Veterinary Associates