Monday, July 17, 2006

Siberian Husky Health

I want to post some information so that you may spare yourself the grief that my family went through with one of our beloved Siberian Huskies. When we first got Pandi Beari, although she was timid, she was robust and healthy. She always had a good appetite up to the very end so we really didn't realize how sick she was until it was too late.

One day Pandi got a rash around her mouth and it did not heal. I took her to the vet who prescribed topical ointment and antibiotics and it seemed to clear up the rash for a bit but it came right back. The Vet was in awe. I started researching the web and found a lot of good and useful information available. The best site that I found was: http://www.huskyhealthfoundation.org/

After reading I concluded that she most likely had a zinc deficiency. Huskies are not able to store zinc in their systems like other dogs do. They need zinc either supplemmented in their food or with a vitamin/mineral supplement. The zinc deficiency, if left untreated, will lead to a multitude of other ailments and illnesses. Pandi got diabetes and as a result started to go blind. Mind you, this did not all happen over a course of months. This happened in just a matter of weeks. I watched a once healthy dog go down, losing 20 lbs. in a matter of two weeks. The blood tests did not show the zinc deficiency. A special blood test is needed for that and if you don't know what to look for the test is not normally done.

In Pandi's instance it was irreversible and too severe to save her. We had to make a very hard decision and have her put down, but it was the only humane thing to do. She could barely stand up any more and she had all but lost the sight in both eyes.

We had two other dogs that started to have seizures and both were pups (under a year.) At first we thought it was epileptic seizures, but then Krystal started getting the same rashes around her mouth (and ears) as Pandi did. As we read more on the zinc deficiencies one of the secondary ailments/condtions listed was seizures. We changed our dogs food to a Lamb & Rice formula (high in vitamins, minerals and zinc.) We started to give them daily supplements of Pet Tabs Plus (with minerals.) The rash cleared up (although it took almost a month,) and the seizures stopped.

I printed off the information sheet (from the huskyhealthfoundation.org website) and took it into my vet so if he was ever faced with another husky or dog with these symptoms he would include a blood test for zinc deficiencies. I am sorry that I did not learn this in time to save Pandi, but we learned in time to save our other two girls. If you own a husky it is very smart to educate yourself on the Husky Breed specific ailments. Also educate yourself on Husky temperaments and characteristics. Huskies can prove to be a challenge, but I am a firm believer that once you own a husky you will never own anything else. I know I won't.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

B

3 comments:

norma said...

Our husky has just developed this rash. I researched it and decided it was zinc deficiency. The vet said to give her 3 zinpro tablets a day. They are 15 mg. of zinc per tablet. Does this seem like the right dosage. Thank you, Norma

Windtalkers-Siberians said...

Norma, I have never fed my huskies zinpro tablets. I have fed them Pet Tabs plus with zinc. I feed them 2 tabs a day. The two tablets do not contain anything close to 45 mg. of zinc per day.

I think the best way to give a husky the needed zinc they require is to add salmon oil to their dry or wet food. If you are feeding your husky a food that alreay contains salmon oil, like Taste of the Wild (which is excellent) you do not need to add additional salmon oil. Purina's Beneful Healthy Radiance also has salmon.

It is imperitive that the husky has a diet that provides the zinc that they need. Both lamb and salmon are rich in zinc. Keep in mind in their natural habitat they existed mainly on raw salmon.

I hope this information helps. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Greg said...

Hello,

I have been doing alot of research on this subject because my beloved husky has just started getting the same rashes. I just started about a week ago adding solid gold's seameal to his food. He has been eating Solid gold's Wolfking food for about a year now which has salmon oil in it. Have you tried or had any luck with seameal? I know that it can take about a month to build up in the system to see the rash start going away. but it is not getting any worse. Thanks for the information.