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Dogs in vitamin D health experiment


Tuesday May 3rd 2016

Scientists are researching whether vitamin D helps dogs to recover after surgery.

The University of Edinburgh's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is looking at pooches that have had knee ligament operations following injuries sustained during walks. Earlier research has found that vitamin D deficiencies are a frequent indicator of increased inflammation in dogs.

The researchers will also explore whether such inflammation can reduce dogs' chances of recovering well from operations. They will take blood samples from dogs both after and before the pooches go under the knife to assess their inflammation levels or symptoms.

The dogs will then be monitored to see if their pre-surgery vitamin D levels benefit their recovery. The scientists will trial supplements to find out if they can reduce inflammation and better the odds of improved recovery if such a link is made.

They also hope to establish if a sun-exposed dog's skin can generate vitamin D in the same way that humans do.

Copyright Press Association 2016