If your dog is tired, sluggish, and not interested in playing, they could be suffering from an inability to produce taurine. Here’s what you need to know about taurine deficiency and related medical conditions in dogs.
If you have a beautiful golden retriever, you’re probably used to them bounding around your yard energetically, or excitedly grabbing their leash when it’s time for a walk. However, if your dog is less excited about physical activity, they could be experiencing a condition related to a defect common to their breed – taurine deficiency. While taurine deficiency does not present physical symptoms in dogs, it can lead to medical concerns that may become serious if unaddressed. Here’s what you need to know about taurine in dogs.
Do all dogs need taurine?
Taurine is an amino acid essential to maintaining proper function of the heart, brain, eyes, and muscles. Most dogs synthesize taurine on their own, and do not need supplementation. However, several dog breeds suffer from a breed-specific nutritional defect, and are unable to produce taurine within their own bodies. These breeds are:
- Golden retriever
- Labrador retriever
- American cocker spaniel
- English setter
- Saint Bernard
These breeds are vulnerable to medical conditions related to taurine deficiency, including dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). However, some illnesses can lead to taurine deficiency dogs regardless of breed – cystinuria (a kidney disorder) affects more than 60 dog breeds.
Signs that your dog may have taurine deficiency-related DCM include:
- Weight gain
- Pale gums
- Heavy drooling
- Excessive panting after light exercise
Visit your vet immediately if your dog shows any of the above signs. If it is determined that the root of your dog’s symptoms is taurine deficiency, your vet may prescribe dietary taurine supplementation. Zignature taurine rich pet food offers all-natural, meat-first formulas designed to address dogs’ nutritional needs. Make sure you check with your vet prior to changing your dog’s diet.
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