Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Growth Problems In Puppies - Bella's Story

Bella at 12 weeks (left) and 8 days later (right) after changing to Eagle Natural Pack

These are photographs of Jezabelle my 13 week old puppy, before and after the nutritional osteodystrophy. In just one week, on the Eagle Natural Pack, her leg was almost back to normal. The first picture was taken on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2003; and the 2nd pic was taken 8 days later, on the Jan. 16th!! I would love for you to share her story and these pictures on your web site.

Mimi Kim
Saravilla Danes

Bella won Best of Breed and Group 3 at her first puppy match one month later.

Jezabelle's Story

I got Jezabelle at 9 weeks from a good friend and conscientious breeder, who had Jezzie on Eagle Natural Pack (23% protein and 12% fat). Since I had a very hard time getting Eagle in my area, I switched her to a good food, 23% protein, that I routinely use.

Within 1 week, she started to knuckle over, and after much advice from breeders and 2 vets, I dropped her down to a lite dog food with 16 % protein. Within another week, Jezzie started to bow out on the front leg. It looked terrible and I was aghast at what to do! In my 11 years in Danes, I had never seen this kind of bone deformity before. She didn't have much swelling, pain or fever, as I thought was typical with HOD, so I was stumped.

Her breeder, and I were frantic and tried to investigate what was going on with her. Other than the leg, Jezzie was happy, healthy and playful. A Dane friend linked me up to Linda's site and I was so relieved to find pictures of other pups, just like Jezzie, who had made such dramatic improvements on Eagle Natural Pack I emailed Linda, and she immediately emailed me back with more pictures and instructions on what to do to correct this growing problem.

Still, I was having so much trouble finding Eagle in my area. My prayers were answered when two good friends found the food in their area and drove it to me, that night, from 2 hours away!! From that point, Jezabelle started on the Eagle Natural Pack and in ONE WEEK the leg almost completely corrected itself. I can't say enough about how much Linda's knowledge, Eagle Natural Pack, a helpful breeder, and good friends helped to save my puppy! I have learned a great deal through this experience about some puppies' intolerance to switching foods and manipulating protein levels. Jezabelle will continue to stay on Eagle Pack and benefit from it, as will my other Danes.

Mimi Kim
Saravilla Danes

Editorial comment:

I know that many people think to correct this type of growing problem you need to lower the protein content of a food. But that idea is very WRONG - Protein does not effect growth, but a combination of things does effect it drastically with the most important being calories and minerals.

Protein + fat + amount fed + exercise + quality of the food being fed + lastly and MOST important, the quality and amount of minerals being used in a food. Nothing effects the development of an animal during these delicate growth stages, like the mineral composition of a diet.

  • Calories - which are made up primarily of proteins + fats - therefore a 23% protein 12% fat food = moderate calories and moderate calorie foods are best for growth. They are easier for the owners to control in terms of amounts.
  • Amount Being Fed - it is important to monitor the amount the dog eats, in relation to the exercise they get daily. Input VS Output - that is a big part of the equation. See my Amount to Feed Chart for Danes and moderate calorie foods.
  • Minerals - Quality, usable sequestered/chelated minerals are the key to proper bone growth.

It is my experience, not all Adult or Large and Giant Breed Puppy Foods have adequate or usable minerals for slow, even growth, with no deformities or nutritional osteodystrophy, like we see in Jezzie and the other examples at this website.

One Last Word - This is VERY IMPORTANT, DO NOT use a lite or reduced fat diet, or a poor quality grocery store brand of food when trying to correct a developmental disease. These foods will not correct it and not only make it worse, and poor quality foods drastically effects their already underdeveloped immune system.

AND not all dog foods will correct the growth problem, even if in the right calorie/protein/fat range for good growth. Just because a food has 23% protein 12% fat does not mean this will corrected the problem. In all the years I have been helping people, the only food that I know will help is one of the Eagle Pack formula's and specifically Eagle Natural Formula.

To Avoid Growth Problems in Large and Giant Breeds see Blackwatch Puppy Feed Program and Guidelines

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