The skeletal development of three groups of great dane dogs, fed a diet composed according to the published nutritional requirements for dogs (controls) or with increased calcium or calcium and phosphorus content, was examined radiographically, histologically and biochemically. The diets were fed from the time the dogs first began eating food in addition to their dam's milk, until they were 17 weeks old. Thereafter, the calcium and phosphorus intakes of the dogs in the high calcium groups were normalised for a further 10 weeks. The dogs fed the high calcium diet without a proportionally high phosphorus intake became hypercalcaemic and hypophosphataemic, and had severe disturbances in skeletal development, growth, and mineralisation which were typical for rickets. After their calcium intake was normalised the lesions of rickets resolved but osteochondrotic lesions became apparent. The dogs fed the high calcium and phosphorus diet became slightly hypophosphataemic, their growth was retarded, and they had disturbances in skeletal development resembling osteochondrosis, which had only partly resolved after 10 weeks on the normal calcium and phosphorus diet.
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