Veterinary

How Vital Minerals are for Pets

Are you giving minerals to your pets? Generally the answer is NO, if we know ourselves including our pets and especially their diet then it must include carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, water, and minerals. These all nutrients  are needed for good health. The protein gives C, H, O and N, where fat and carbohydrates gives C, H, O. The minerals are inorganic compounds whereas vitamins are mostly complex organic structure. All mineral elements are found in our surrounding and it can't be synthesized. Some mineral elements for example, iodine, sulphur, fluorine, selenium are volatile. There are about 25 essential mineral elements play vital role for living cells. The requirement of more than 100 ppm are listed in major or macro minerals which are calcium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, chlorine, whereas the requirement of the element under 100 ppm are classified in trace or micro elements which are Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Fluorine, Iodine, Iron, Lead, Lethium, Mangnese, Nickel, Selenium, Silicon, Tin, Molybdnum, Vandium, Zinc etc. There are some toxic mineral elements which are Arsenic, Lead, Selenium, Mercury, Fluorine, Aluminium, Molybdenum etc, which shows toxicity when they are present in natural incidences or accidental access. It is more problematic to predict the deficiency or toxic disease from an element in the body.

The general function of minerals in the body which are present in soft and hard tissues are-

1. To catalyze the enzyme in metabolism of different nutrients.

2. By being component of hormones, it stimulates the activities with different function in tissues.

3. It acts as buffers in controlling pH of body by maintaining electrolyte balance in intracellular and extracellular fluids for acid base balance.

4. Maintain osmotic balance in different cellular components along with water retention.

5. To regulate membrane permeability and transmission of electrical impulses along with nerves.

6. Helps in coagulation of blood.

7. Helps in formation of blood.

8. Helps in appetite.

9. Helps in contraction of muscles including heart muscles.

10. Stimulates antibodies' response and build immunity.

11. It plays an important role in growth, reproduction, milk production, wool production, egg production and in good hide.

After observing the various functions of minerals, a person can think to give these minerals separately along with diet. But it is not true that the vegetables and animal products which are there in diet contains these minerals along with other ingredients. If an animal is taking it's regular rich diet, definitely these minerals are present, but due to it's deficiency the disease could build up, which are known as disease of mineral deficiency. By seeing the character we include the specific mineral or mineral rich diet in regular diet.

Calcium deficiency leads to rickets in dogs which is very prevalent. It is due to deficiency of calcium, phosphorous or vitamin D. The legs become bent due to this animals are unable to walk.

Osteomalacia is another problem in animals, in which Pica is seen, lameness reduces rate of growth, less milk production in bitches. Sometimes bone deformity and prone to fracture is seen. Milk fever in case of lactating bitches after parturition, decrease of blood calcium level shows milk fever, which means that the animal could go in state of coma and may die at a later stage, this will occur within 72 hours. The normal level of calcium is 9-12 mg percent. The high dose of calcium in the body shows hazardous action in the body which is hypercalcemia, it also shows calcification in tissue. 

Phosphorous is needed along with Calcium and VitaminD. The ratio of Calcium and Phosphorous should be 2:1 and it is present in the bones to the extent of 80 percent, while rest 20 percent is present in soft tissues. Deficiency of Phosphorous leads to Pica, in which animals starts to eat the earth particles like soil etc. Sometimes due to excess of iron and aluminium in the body, that forms phosphate complexes, by which the symptoms of deficiency can be seen. The animal gets deprived appetite.

Sodium is a traditional item in diet of pets which comes from common salt, water and other diets. The sodium and calcium supplemented together and forms buffer system in body. On deficiency of which animal shows craving behaviour. It helps in metabolism and transport system in body. The deficiency leads to dehydration in body, diarrhea, dysentery and vomiting.

Potassium is one of the major mineral element in the body, along with sodium and chloride it maintains cellular osmotic pressure and pH acid base equilibrium, water balance, electro neutrality both in extracellular and intracellular. Deficiency of Potassium shows poor growth, muscular stiffness and nervous disorders.

Chlorine acts with sodium and potassium and helps in metabolism. It's deficiency could be seen along with the deficiency of sodium and potassium as  depraved appetite anorexia and licking or eating certain material.

Magnesium(Mg) is found adequately in diet of grains, green vegetables and fruits etc, therefore shows rare deficiency symptoms. It helps in absorption and digestion of carbohydrates and lipids which helps in production of protein. It's deficiency shows poor growth rate, anorexia, tetany and hyper irritability, muscular in co-ordination, convulsion etc.

Sulphur(S) helps in protein synthesis. It is a component of Vitamin B complex and other hormones. It is utilized in sulphated muco polysaccharide in cell membrane connective tissues. It is required in cartilage, bones and teeth. The deficiency shows loss of appetite, poor growth, less hair production, emaciation and death.

The micro element Copper is required to activate several enzymes, plays important role in tissue metabolism, tissue melanin pigmentation, cell respiration, Keratin formation. It is also required in hemoglobin  formation along with iron as a catalyst. The deficiency causes unthriftiness, poor growth rate, anemia, disorder in Central Nervous System etc.

Cobalt(Co) is required to synthesize Vitamin B12, the deficiency causes anemia. Molybdnum(Mb) is rich in legumes, the function of Mb is in enzymes. The elements is known as toxicity, but the presence of Copper and Sulphur in the body can bare it. Iron(Fe) is present in haemoglobin which helps in oxygen transportation in body through blood flow. Zinc(Zn) is used in healing of wounds and skin formation. It activates Vitamin A. Manganese(Mn) helps in the usage of carbohydrates in body and synthesizes fatty acids. Iodine(I) is used in formation of Thyroid hormone.

These all minerals can be taken from Tofu, cereal grains, broccoli, cauliflower, fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, milk, meat etc. It has been seen that the diet is of organic type (Jaivik). However, the pets should be given daily minerals when needed. The salt should be mixed in their diets. The pet owners are well known for calcium product in form of dog chews, multivitamin supplements, pet tonics etc. Now, don't get confused on giving salt to your pets. RO water is not suitable for animals, animals should be given normal clean water as water also have some essential minerals in them.