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Dietary for Sick Pets - What do you feed?


                                            Special Diets for Pets with Diseases

Aside from diabetes and food allergies, there are other diseases that may require a pet to have a special diet.  For example, dilated cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia can be helped through diet and nutrition.

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy is, literally, swollen heart muscle disease.  A pet suffering from this condition has an enlarged heart with thin and flabby walls.  This causes the heart to contract in an inefficient manner as a result, the heart is forced to work too hard and ultimately causes the pet to die from heart failure.  Poor nutrition is one of the reasons a pet may develop dilated cardiomyopathy if the pet does not have any amino acid taurine.  Cats in particular are susceptible to developing dilated and weakened hearts from insufficient amounts of taurine in their diet.

Most modern pet foods have been designed to contain taurine in order to prevent dilated cardiomyopathy from developing.  If a pet does develop the disease, it is generally best to supplement the pet’s diet with taurine in order to prevent it from worsening and developing into congestive heart failure.  Antioxidant supplements are also helpful in stopping this disease from developing further.

  • Hip Dysplasia

Dogs and cats can both develop hip dysplasia, though it is more common in dogs.  This arthritic disease affects the hip making it difficult for the pet to walk, jump or even get up from a sitting position.  A tendency to develop hip dysplasia is linked to genetics but it can be prevented from developing by feeding the pet a balanced diet and by not overfeeding the pet when it is still growing.  In fact, it is better to keep the pet on the lighter side in order to prevent the joints from becoming stressed.

Certain supplements can also help with hip displasia, for example, Omega 3 fatty acids and chondromprotectives.  The veterinarian can also prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help reduce inflammation of the joints.  This will help ease the pain and symptoms associated with hip dysplasia.