If your pet has visited Companion Animal Medical Centre for an exam, I’ve likely personally told you that health begins with diet.
Unfortunately, finding the right diet for your pet can be a daunting task for pet owners and many pets often consume diets that lack essential minerals and nutrients that are crucial for your pet’s health.
Despite the abundance of options like raw, natural, grain-free, and specialty diets, there is a significant gap in the nutritional value of these diets that needs to be addressed: their levels of vitamin D.
I am happy to announce that vitamin D testing is now available at CAMC, courtesy of VDI Laboratories.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a crucial but often neglected nutrient in our pets’ diet.
Vitamin D plays a significant role in regulating various cellular functions, including calcium homeostasis, cellular differentiation, DNA synthesis, and the innate immune response. Optimal levels of vitamin D support these functions, while insufficient levels can leave them under-supported.
Research shows that low vitamin D levels in dogs and cats are associated with various diseases such as heart disease, infections, atopic dermatitis, feline tooth resorption, kidney disease, and cancer.
In simple terms, your pet’s body needs Vitamin D to perform vital cellular functions.
Five Reasons You Should Have CAMC Test Your Pet’s Vitamin D Levels
Insufficient and deficient levels of Vitamin D are connected to disease and poor health.
No pet owner wants their pet to become sick and low levels of vitamin D are associated with various health problems ranging from low bone density to heart failure.
Having your pet’s vitamin D levels is a form of preventative care that allows us to identify and address any deficiencies or insufficiencies before they have the chance to cause more serious health issues.
If you’d like to learn more about the impact of vitamin D on your pet’s health, please consider reading this pdf provided by VDI Laboratories.
70% of my patients are likely insufficient or worse.
Both dogs and cats rely heavily on diet to receive enough vitamin D because unlike humans, dogs and cats cannot adequately convert sunlight exposure into vitamin D production.
This means a high number of pets are deficient in vitamin D even though they appear otherwise healthy.
According to a 2015 study out of Tufts University, over 70% of my patients will be insufficient. This number is staggering when you consider the study was done on a population of healthy animals. Insufficiency is even more likely in the acutely ill patients I see.
Sufficient levels are connected to important cellular functions.
Sufficient levels of vitamin D provides body wide support for your pet’s health.
By ensuring that your pet has sufficient levels of vitamin D, you can help support their immune system, bone health, and many other vital bodily functions.
It is easy to identify and correct with the right reference laboratory.
Having your pet’s vitamin D levels tested is a simple and straightforward process that can be included during your pet’s regular exam at Companion Animal Medical Centre.
During your pet’s exam, some blood will be drawn and sent to VDI Laboratory for testing. If your pet is found to be deficient in vitamin D, a supplementation routine will correct their levels.
Health starts with nutrition!
If your pet is found to be deficient in vitamin D, they may also need changes made to their diet.
Having you pet’s vitamin D levels tested allows me to determine gaps in their diets so I can help pet owners find the right diet for their pets.
Should I Have My Pet’s Vitamin D Levels Tested?
Considering Vitamin D’s crucial role in cellular processes, the correlation between deficiency and disease, and the high likelihood of deficiency, I would recommend vitamin D testing for almost all of my patients at CAMC.
If I can only encourage my clients to test one essential vitamin, then I strongly recommend testing Vitamin D3 levels, though testings the levels of all essential vitamins would be optimal.
Vitamin D testing at CAMC is priced at $73.40 and testing the levels of all essential vitamins is priced at $190.82.