What are some chronic conditions that may surface in a dog suffering from a protein deficiency?
We all hear about the dangers of a diet that is too high in protein, but too little protein can also cause health problems. Proteins play a main role in the dog’s immune system, and when consumed, they are burned as calories and can be stored as fat. A deficiency in any of the amino acids can cause health problems.
We need to understand the relationship between amino acids and protein. Proteins are created from chains of amino acids, so the amino acid is the foundation or building block—and that’s why the amino acids are so critical to the dog’s diet. Proteins are manufactured in the dog’s cells, and, if just one amino acid is missing, it becomes a domino effect. The entire process shuts down.
Since protein is so critical for the dog’s immune system, the dog won’t be able to fight against disease. There will be an inability of the dog to defend against disease pathogens, leaving it susceptible to everything from colds to allergies. Moreover, many succumb to secondary infections including distemper and parvovirus. You’ll see respiratory problems, digestive disorders, muscle weakness and an overall failure to thrive. Affected dogs may become ill after routine vaccinations are given, because their bodies cannot neutralize the small amount of infectious agent used in the vaccine.
Very often, allergies escalate, because they are result of a poor immune system. While some dogs do experience seasonal shedding, if that’s not the case, the next step is to look at your dog’s diet. Dog food allergies and other nutritional issues can cause dog hair loss. If you suspect a dog food allergy, ask your veterinarian to suggest an alternative dog food. If your dog does not have a balanced diet, a change in diet can stop the dog hair loss. If the diet is changed, a reduction of dog hair loss should be seen in seven to 10 days.