[We hope you enjoy this v-dog blog guest post, courtesy of Dr. Lorelei Wakefield, DVM]
Some people may wonder if vegan dogs still have normal blood test results. Do the results reflect sufficient protein? How are their electrolytes? Do the organ function enzymes show abnormalities? What follow is a deep dive into the test results from 2 long-term (over 1 year) vegan dogs and 1 who has been vegan for 3 months.
Portland is a 7-year- old male Golden Retriever. Portland is actually a cancer survivor! (He became vegan later in life, and was vegan at the time of cancer treatment.) The proteins tested in his blood, albumin (ALB) and globulin (GLOB), are well within the normal range (ALB 3.2, normal range 2.7-3.9, and GLOB 3.1, normal range 2.4-4). Electrolytes were all within the normal range. Liver and kidney enzymes were essentially normal, just the SDMA was creeping up over normal. SDMA can be an early indicator of kidney insufficiency. This is common in dogs as they get older (SDMA 16, normal range 0-14). The other kidney and liver enzymes were perfect (CREA 1.0, normal range 0.5-1.5, ALT 38, normal range 18-131).
Riley is an 11-year- old male Whippet. His blood proteins were perfectly normal (ALB 3.2, normal range 2.7-4.4, and GLOB 2.7, normal range 1.6-3.6). Electrolytes were all within the normal range. His liver and kidney enzymes were perfectly within normal range (CREA 0.6, normal range 0.5-1.6, ALT 76, normal range 12-118). Riley is not anemic and has a normal CBC (Portland did not have a recent CBC). Riley’s urine was in the alkaline range, which is common in dogs on plant-based diets. For that reason, we recommend regular testing of urine pH, at least at the start of the diet. We will simply add a urinary supplement to bring his urine pH back into the normal range.
Nolia is a 10-year-old Rottweiler. She had a history of low protein that only resolved with a special diet, but the food caused a 20-pound weight gain. She also had low energy. Following knee surgery, she needed to lose weight so her people tried V-Dog for her. After 3 months, she lost weight, has more energy and a healthier coat. After 3 months, her complete blood cell count was perfectly normal. Her liver and kidney enzymes and electrolytes were within normal limits (CREA 0.9, normal range 0.5-1.5, ALT 35, normal range 18-121). Her proteins are well within the normal range (ALB 3.0, normal range 2.7-3.9, GLOB 3.4, normal range 2.4-4).
There were no significant abnormalities in these vegan dogs’ blood tests. All 3 dogs are currently clinically healthy. There is no reason why vegan dogs should have different blood test values than dogs on meat diets. Vegan dogs tend to be healthy dogs.
(1) An experimental meat-free diet maintained haematological characteristics in sprint-racing sled dogs. Brown WY, Vanselow BA, Redman AJ, Pluske JR. Br J Nutr, 2009 Nov, 102(9): 1318-23.
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