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Cornell Vet. 1979 Oct;69(4):384-401.

Ascorbic acid deficiency and hypertrophic osteodystrophy in the dog: a rebuttal.


Plasma ascorbic acid (PAA) in normal Labrador Retriever dogs less than one year of age averaged 1.22 +/- 0.05 mg/dl (x +/- sem) and was significantly higher than the value of 0.89 +/- 0.03, for Labrador Retrievers two years of age and older. No significant diurnal variation in PAA was observed. Oral or intravenous administration of 0.5 or 1.0 g of ascorbic acid (AA) elevated PAA for less than 8 hours. Injection of ACTH caused a significant decline in PAA for the initial 2 days, with variable results thereafter. Labrador Retriever puppies fed a ration high in protein, energy and calcium developed the typical skeletal diseases of overnutrition, including hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD). The addition or oral AA (0.5 g twice daily) had no ameliorating effect on the skeletal lesions. Instead AA supplementation resulted in relatively higher serum calcium values which, presumably by enhanced hypercalcitoninism, decreased bone resorption. Thus, AA treatment of dogs with HOD is contraindicated, as it can only aggravate the osseous lesions of HOD. The decreased PAA reported in dogs with HOD is interpreted to be the result of stress from pain.

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