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Animal Nutrition

Minerals-Found The soil in Australia is notoriously low in minerals and trace elements, as an end result the meat provided in the greyhound's diet is generally low in minerals and trace elements. Therefore it tends to be necessary to provide added minerals and trace elements to the diet.

Minerals are essential for bone formation, muscle metabolism, fluid balance, and nervous system function. Minerals are divided into major and trace concentrations.

Calcium and Phosphorus are necessary in ratio for bone formation and strength. An imbalance in the ratio will cause bone problems.

Potassium is found within tissue cells and is important in cellular activity; a deficiency causes muscle weakness and heart and kidney lesions.

Sodium is found in fluids outside the tissue cells and performs a function similar to potassium. It is usually found in the diet as sodium chloride -- salt -- and is rarely deficient. Excess sodium has been linked to hypertension in dogs.

Magnesium is found in soft tissue and bone; it interacts with calcium to provide proper heart, muscle, and nervous tissue function and aids in metabolism of potassium and sodium. Deficiency leads to muscle weakness and sometimes convulsions.

Trace elements are iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium, and cobalt. Although dietary requirements are minimal, they are essential to general good health.

Iron is critical for healthy red blood cells and an essential component of some enzymes. Iron from animal sources appears to be more readily absorbed than that from vegetable sources. There is some evidence that feeds high in soy products could interfere with iron absorption, leading to a recommendation that soy-based foods be supplemented with a higher than normally required iron supplement.

Zinc is heavily involved in skin and coat health, enzyme function, and protein synthesis. Deficiencies lead to poor growth, anorexia, testicular atrophy, and skin lesions.

Copper is necessary in production of melanin, the pigment that colors coat and skin, and is linked with iron metabolism. Deficiencies can cause a bone disorder and anemia even if iron intake is normal.

ANTI VITAMINS

These basically stop the body using the specific vitamin and may therefore cause deficiencies.

For example, avidin, found in the egg white of raw eggs may cause a biotin deficiency, and sulphur dioxide widely used as a preservative in knackery meat, destroys the thiamine in the meat and any thiamine supplementation. Sulphur dioxide has also been implicated in reducing the ability of Hemoglobin to carry oxygen throughout the body.

Vitamins are the triggering substances that influence a large range of biological functions and as such are an essential part of the racing greyhound's diet.

While the body produces some vitamins such as vitamin C and K, unless the diet included a range of vegetables and fruits, the addition of a good quality broad-spectrum vitamin and mineral mixture to the food is recommended.

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Essential for, eyes, skin, hair, reproduction, adrenal glands, and increases resistance to respiratory infections.

Vitamin B The vitamins in the B group act together and complement each other's function.

Stress and antibiotic treatment reduce the levels of the B group vitamins in general, while large doses of vitamin C reduce the function of B12.

Unfortunately brewers yeast has been found to cause skin allergies and gut problems in susceptible greyhounds. Some Veterinarians have also found that wheat has a similar effect on some greyhounds and recommend a wheat free diet to many of their clients that have dogs with digestive problems.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Essential for effective protein and carbohydrate metabolism, tissue growth, nervous system, red blood cells, assists circulation.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Promotes growth of skin, hair and nails, essential for healthy eyes, red blood cells, and immune system.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Essential for effective protein and carbohydrate metabolism, nervous system, assists circulation.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

Essential for the immune system and adrenal glands, stimulates production of cortisone and adrenal hormones, nervous system, reduces muscle cramping.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Essential for the production of DNA, activates enzyme function, aids metabolism of fatty acids, nervous system, red blood cell production, and immune function.

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)

Essential for the production of red blood cells, DNA, and aids protein metabolism

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) also in (Cyanocobalamin injectable form)

Essential for the production and regeneration of red blood cells, activates enzyme function.

Choline (Part of the B complex)

Essential for fat metabolism, aids liver function and in transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Biotin (Part of the B complex)

Assists with the metabolism of protein and fats, required for health of hair and nails.

Vitamin B15 (Pangamic acid) (Di-Isopropylamine Dichloroacetate injection)

Involved in tissue and cell oxygenation, fat metabolism, and glandular system. In the injectable form it dilates the blood vessels, assists in cell oxygenation and waste product removal from muscle tissue.

Vitamin C  Ascorbic Acid

Canines produce vitamin C in the gut and generally do not require additional sources in the diet.

Of some benefit as a urinary acidifier (oral) to reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections, and in the treatment of spinal disc damage (by injection)

Vitamin D Essential for bone development and the absorption of calcium from the diet

Vitamin E  Assists circulation, of cell oxygenation and fertility.

 Vitamin K  Again produced by healthy canines in the gut. Essential for the production of the prothrombin required for normal blood clotting.

 

Aspartic acid   It is needed for stamina, brain and neural health and assists the liver by removing excess ammonia and other toxins from the bloodstream. It is also very important in the functioning of RNA, DNA, as well as the production of immunoglobulin and antibody synthesis.

Cysteine    Cysteine is a nonessential amino acid (protein building block), meaning that cysteine can be made in the human body. Cysteine is one of the few amino acids that contain sulphur. This allows cysteine to bond in a special way and maintain the structure of proteins in the body. Cysteine is a component of the antioxidant glutathione. The body also uses cysteine to produce taurine, another amino acid.

Glutamine   Glutamine is a supplement that is used in sports, by those who suffer from muscular cramps or pain. The main use of glutamine within the diet of either group is as a means of replenishing the body's stores of amino acids that have been used during exercise or everyday activities

Glutamic acid   Glutamate is a key molecule in cellular metabolism. In humans, dietary proteins are broken down by digestion into amino acids, which serves as metabolic fuel or other functional roles in the body. A key process in amino acid degradation is transamination, in which the amino group of an amino acid is transferred to a α-ketoacid, typically catalysed by a transaminase. The reaction can be generalised as such: 

Glycine     Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS, especially in the spinal cord. When glycine receptors are activated, Cl- enters the neuron via ionotropic receptors, causing an Inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP). Strychnine is an antagonist at these ionotropic receptors. Its LD50 is 7930 mg/kg in rats and it usually causes death by hyper excitability. Glycine is a required co-agonist along with Glu in CNS. In contrast to the inhibitory role of glycine in the spinal cord, this behavior is facilitated at the (NMDA) glutaminergic receptors which are excitatory. Glycine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that cells of the body can synthesize sufficient amounts to meet physiological requirements

Histidine     Histidine is also a precursor of histamine, a compound released by immune system cells during an allergic reaction. It is needed for growth and for the repair of tissue, as well as the maintenance of the myelin sheaths that act as protector for nerve cells. It is further required for the manufacture of both red and white blood cells, and helps to protect the body from damage caused by radiation and in removing heavy metals from the body. In the stomach, histidine is also helpful in producing gastric juices and people with a shortage of gastric juices or suffering from indigestion, may also benefit from this nutrient.

Isoleucine    Isoleucine is an amino acid that is best known for its ability to increase endurance and help heal and repair muscle tissue and encourage clotting at the site of injury. This amino acid is especially important to serious athletes and body builders because its primary function in the body is to boost energy and help the body recover from strenuous physical activity.

Leucine    Leucine is an essential amino acid, which cannot be manufactured in the body and is part of the three branched-chain-amino-acids. Supplements and protein powders that contain leucine are used extensively by bodybuilders and other athletes to promote muscle recovery, although it has not produced significant changes in body composition.  Leucine helps with the regulation of blood-sugar levels, the growth and repair of muscle tissue (such as bones, skin and muscles), growth hormone production, and wound healing as well as energy regulation. It can assist to prevent the breakdown of muscle proteins that sometimes occur after trauma or severe stress. It may also be beneficial for individuals with phenylketonuria - a condition in which the body cannot metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine

Lysine     Lysine is an essential amino acid, which means that it is essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, lysine must be obtained from food. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Lysine is important for proper growth and it plays an essential role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol. Lysine appears to help the body absorb and conserve calcium and it plays an important role in the formation of collagen, a substance important for bones and connective tissues including skin, tendon, and cartilage.

If there is too little lysine in the diet, kidney stones and other health related problems may develop including fatigue, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, agitation, bloodshot eyes, slow growth, anemia, and reproductive disorders. It is extremely rare, however, to obtain insufficient amounts of lysine through the diet. Generally, only vegetarians who follow a macrobiotic diet and certain athletes involved in frequent vigorous exercise are at risk for lysine deficiency.

Methionine   Methionine is one of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein), meaning that it cannot be produced by the body, and must be provided by the diet. It supplies sulphur and other compounds required by the body for normal metabolism and growth. Methionine also belongs to a group of compounds called lipotropics, or chemicals that help the liver process fats (lipids).

Phenylalanine    Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, which means that it is essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, phenylalanine must be obtained from food. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. It is available in three chemical forms: L-phenylalanine, the natural form of phenylalanine found in proteins throughout the body; (2) D-phenylalanine, a mirror image of L-phenylalanine that is synthesized in a laboratory; and (3) DL-phenylalanine, a combination of the previous two forms. The body converts phenylalanine into tyrosine, another amino acid essential for making proteins, certain brain chemicals, and thyroid hormones. Symptoms of phenylalanine deficiency include confusion, lack of energy, decreased alertness, decreased memory, and diminished appetite.

Proline    Proline is biosynthetically derived from the amino acid L-glutamate and its direct precursor is the real amino acid (S)-Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C). Proline and its derivatives are often used as asymmetric catalysts in organic reactions. The CBS reduction or proline catalysed aldol condensation are prominent examples. Proline has a sweet flavor with a distinct aftertaste. Proline also causes slight irritation to the tongue not unlike Sichuan Pepper.

Serine   Serine is required for the metabolism of fat, tissue growth and the immune system as it assists in the production of immunoglobulins and antibodies. Some derivatives (e.g. ethanolamine) are also important components of the phospholipids found in biological membranes.  It is a constituent of brain proteins and nerve coverings and is also important in the formation of cell membranes, involved in the metabolism of purines and pyrimidines, and muscle synthesis. It is also used in cosmetics as a skin moisturizer.

Threonine     Threonine is an essential amino acid that promotes normal growth by helping to maintain the proper protein balance in the body. Threonine also supports cardiovascular, liver, central nervous, and immune system function.  Threonine is needed to create glycine and serine, two amino acids that are necessary for the production of collagen, elastin, and muscle tissue. Threonine helps keep connective tissues and muscles throughout the body strong and elastic, including the heart, where it is found in significant amounts. It also helps build strong bones and tooth enamel, and may speed wound healing or recovery from injury.

Tryptophan     For humans and many other organisms Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. This means that it cannot be synthesized by the organism and therefore must be part of its diet. Amino acids function as building blocks in protein biosynthesis. Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin (a neurotransmitter), melatonin (a neurohormone), and niacin. The functional group of tryptophan is indol. Tryptophan has also been indicated as an aid for schizophrenic. patients

Tyrosine    Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid that is synthesized in the body from phenylalanine. As a building block for several important brain chemicals, tyrosine is needed to make epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which work to regulate mood. Deficiencies in tyrosine, therefore, have been associated with depression. Tyrosine also aids in the production of melanin (pigment responsible for hair and skin color) and in the function of organs in the body responsible for making and regulating hormones, including the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands. Tyrosine is also involved in the synthesis of enkephalins, substances that have pain-relieving effects in the body.  Low levels of tyrosine have been associated with low blood pressure, low body temperature, and an under active thyroid. This does not mean, however, t taking tyrosine supplements will avoid these particular circumstances.

Valine    Valine is an amino acid obtained by hydrolysis of proteins and was first isolated by the German chemist Emil Fischer in 1901 from casein and is not only an essential amino acid but is also a branched-chain amino acid (the others are isoleucine and leucine) found in high concentration in the muscles.  It has a stimulating effect and is needed for muscle metabolism, repair and growth of tissue and maintaining the nitrogen balance in the body.  Since it is a branched-chain amino acid, it can be used as an energy source in the muscles and in doing so preserves the use of glucose.