What was it that Ralph Waldo Emerson said? “Moderation in all things, especially moderation.” Witty as always, Mr. Emerson, but in there lies a truth: moderation is key—even when you need to moderate your moderation.
Healthy habits can become unhealthy habits when taken to the extreme. Running is great for your body. Running nonstop from the moment you wake up to the moment you crash and burn is great… for injuries. Cake is good for the soul. Marie-Antoinette even said, “Let them eat cake!” Alas, even cake, in excess is not good.
What are the clinical signs of vitamin A toxicity?
It takes a long time for the clinical signs associated with vitamin A toxicity to develop; symptoms do not usually appear until the dog is at least middle-aged. The most common problem is a form of arthritis in which new bone develops around joints. This leads to stiffness and immobility of the joints; in some cases, the joint may become totally fused. A common site of new bone formation is between the vertebrae of the neck, which interferes with movement of the neck and results in pain and discomfort.
In extreme cases, the dog is unable to move its neck and has difficulty eating. The elbow, wrist, shoulders, and hip joints are also often involved. This can lead to lameness and pain. Owners may notice that the dog cries out when picked up. Many dogs begin to withdraw from contact and spend much of their time hiding. Other clinical signs can include GI disturbances, paralysis, long bone fractures, coagulopathies, and increased liver enzymes/decreased liver function.
Treatment of Vitamin Poisoning in Dogs
Treatment will depend on the severity of the poisoning but chances are your dog will need to be admitted to the hospital to receive intravenous therapy. The intravenous will provide for the following needs.
The veterinarian may need to induce vomiting and use active charcoal (with some cases of vitamin D poisoning), perform gastric lavage, or administer chelation therapy (to assist in the removal of iron if iron toxicity is present). Your dog’s organ function will be carefully monitored the entire time to ensure that all systems are returning to normal.
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What to Do If Your Pet Accidentally Consumes a Human Vitamin
For many pets, sneaking behind your back and consuming one of your vitamins that you left sitting on the table is not cause for an emergency. However, you should still take the situation seriously, says Dr. Lisa Murphy, associate professor of toxicology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System.
“Animals will react differently depending on their age, medical history, and weight, among many other factors,” Murphy says. But, she adds, “no matter the factors, the likelihood of a positive outcome is so much greater with a prompt phone call to the vet.”
How much vitamin A is toxic to dog?
Is vitamin A OK for dogs?