Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pets and Vitamin B1, Thiamine-Is There Really a Need?

Pets and Vitamin B1, Thiamine - Is There Really a Need?
by Frank Will

The answer is a very definitive YES, especially for dogs and cats. While the use of Thiamine in humans has been firmly established, especially in the disease Beriberi, the positive benefits it can have with your pets, either dogs or cats, is just starting to fully surface.

Vitamin B1 is also referred to as thiamine or thiamin, is in the family of B vitamins, and is a water soluble vitamin, which means that your pet's body will need a constant supply of this critical nutrient, either through their diet or by the form of supplements as their body cannot store it.

This vitamin will help your pet metabolize fats and proteins, and help them also to convert food, or carbohydrates, into fuel, which in turn is then turned into the energy that runs their body. This critical vitamin is also essential for healthy skin, hair eyes, and the liver.

Vitamin B1 is also extremely helpful to both dogs and cats in that it assists the nervous system to function properly as well as helping your pet cope with stressful situations as it improves the immune system.

Thiamine, which is found naturally in both plants and animals, also plays very critical role in particular metabolic reactions as it required by your pet to form ATP, also known as adenosine triphosphate, which every cell of your pet's body uses to produce energy.

Thiamine deficiency has been reported in both dogs and cats that have been fed uncooked meat that contains sulphur dioxide, which is used as a preservative in most pet foods.

In commercial pet foods, especially cat food, thiamine is broken down by what is referred to as thiaminase, which is an enzyme that is present in certain types of raw fish that include tuna, salmon, shellfish, as well as rice brain. All of these ingredients can be found in most types of commercial cat food.

To make matters worse with this potential condition in cats, repeated feeding will eventually cause thiamine deficiency in your feline friend. A thiamine deficiency in your cat can lead to brain damage, seizures, and an eventual loss of movement control of muscle tissue, which could potentially cause the death of your cat. However, treatment by injection with Vitamin B-1 is so effective that once thiamin deficiency has been diagnosed, full recovery is extremely common within 24 hours.

It would only seem to make perfectly good common sense that supplementing your feline companion with the valuable nutrient on a daily basis would be a preemptive measure all cat owners would take. In fact, many breeders supplement thiamine regularly as it also helps in hyperactivity as well as internal muscle weakness.

What is not well known, however, is that Thiamin is also natural retardant for fleas as well as mosquitoes in both cats and dogs, as both hate the taste of thiamine in your pet's bloodstream. Either your cat or your dog that eats supermarket pet food, if not supplemented with thiamine, has a very good chance of developing thiamine deficiency.

Although thiamin deficiency in dogs is not nearly as common, it still exists.

When your dog lacks the enzymes found in thiamin, they may develop a very unnatural condition known as Coprophagy, which by definition, is feeding on dung or feces.

This condition is an intentional ingestion of either your dogs own feces, or that of another animal, usually a cat or a horse. Once your dog has acquired a taste for this very unpleasant as well as unhealthy practice, it is very hard to correct until you can build back their thiamine levels.

Adding certain enzymes such as papain which is derived from the fruit papaya will help to correct this, but so will making sure that your dog is supplemented with Vitamin B-1.

Thiamine deficiency in dogs can also result in a lack of appetite, vomiting, unsteady muscular behaviors, as well as spasticity in their hind legs, especially in middle aged or older dogs and can very easily be ignored as arthritis.

Just like us, your pets are what they eat, and what you, as their owners, supplement them with.

I am not a veterinarian nor claim to be, just a lover of pets that loves to research and pass on some knowledge that might be helpful, or at least stimulating to the thought process.

Several of the articles that I have written can be found on my website; Liquid Vitamins & Minerals for Humans & Pets

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