Boron deficiency in dogs and supplementation

Bone is a matrix of living cells, fibrous material, and calcified minerals (mainly calcium). Boron is one of the micronutrients required for optimal health and is involved in maintaining good bone mineralisation. Boron is essential for proper assimilation of calcium into the bone matrix, or in simpler terms makes sure that calcium stays bound to the structure of the bone.

Calcium is what gives bone is strength; therefore if your pet becomes deficient in boron, over time calcium will begin to leach out of the bone, and be lost through urination. The result is weakening of the bones, commonly known as osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis also causes arthritis, as a result of the weakened bones (which also weakens the joints of the bones), and causes abnormal calcium deposits and bone spurs to grow outside the bone and on the joints. This is the classical “old age” arthritis we see in dogs, and is why Joint Support powder (with added boron) is so effective.

Boron is found in the topsoil in most countries, however in Australia, the top soil has been washed away over the millions of years of sea level changes and now, as a continent, we are quite boron deficient. This translates into the food we grow (both grasses, crops and the animals that graze on them) and has resulted in a much higher level of loss of bone density (osteoporosis) in older people and animals in Australia. The supplementation of boron is essential to reverse this trend.

Boron is found in good levels in bone itself, and in fruits and vegetables grown in good soil (ie organic farming etc).

Dogs that eat a balanced fresh meat diet with plenty of raw bones will get adequate boron, but those that eat a predominantly processed diet are more likely to be deficient, and develop signs of arthritis at a much younger age.

This critical micronutrient is only required in minute amounts, and like selenium, is actually quite toxic in high doses, so it is only required as a trace mineral supplement.

Dr Bruce Syme BVSc (Hons), Founder of Vets All Natural.

Dr Bruce Syme is a practicing vet and expert in natural pet nutrition, has spoken at the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, and provides regular comment on TV and Radio.

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this article are based upon the opinions of Dr. Bruce Syme, unless otherwise noted. The information is not intended as medical advice, it simply shares the knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Bruce and his community. Pet health care decisions should be based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified pet health care professional.
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