Some of you may have heard of the recent voluntary recall of 14 Hill's Prescription Diet foods and 11 Hill's Science Diet foods due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind about dogs, commercial pet food, and Vitamin D.
If you are concerned that your dog may be eating one of the recalled diets, please contact us at Kingsfoil Acupuncture and Integrative Veterinary Care or your regular veterinarian as soon as possible.
(follows is an excerpt from Veterinary Diagnostic Institutes Laboratory's recent email addressing this issue)
Vitamin D in food
Manufacturers of commercial food use AAFCO standards when adding supplemental Vitamin D to their formulation, however, it is not a reflection of the actual Vitamin D content in the food.
The primary source of dietary vitamin D (what the pet actually gets), comes from the protein source of the food (eg fish, chicken, etc).
Secondary sources include the AAFCO standard supplementation, and additional ingredients which may provide minimal amounts.
Since the protein is the primary source of Vitamin D, the quality of that protein plays a crucial role in the total available Vitamin D in the food. Wild caught salmon will have a higher Vitamin D concentration than low grade caged chickens.
What Recalls Mean
When manufacturers recall food for excessive Vitamin D, it's typically because they have exceeded the AAFCO standard for the supplemental Vitamin D. Depending on the amount of supplementation, this may or may not reflect a high Vitamin D level in your patients - only testing can confirm.
Why Testing Matters
Since commercial foods vary on protein source & protein quality, the only way to know the dietary value of the food is to test for Vitamin D.
Pets eating a recalled food may not have elevated Vitamin D, but should be evaluated.
Sufficiency is important to pet health. (click for studies)
Kingsfoil Acupuncture and Integrative Veterinary Care offers Vitamin D testing thru VDI Laboratory. If you are interested in having your dog tested please contact us to schedule an appointment.