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Primary hair growth in dogs depends on dietary selenium concentrations

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Selenium (Se) plays an important role in hair growth. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary selenium concentration on hair growth in dogs. Thirty-six beagles were stratified into six groups based on age, gender and body condition score. The dogs were fed a torula yeast-based canned food for 3 weeks. Then the dogs were fed varying amounts of selenium supplied as selenomethionine for an additional 24 weeks. Analysed selenium concentrations in the experimental foods for the six groups were 0.04, 0.09, 0.12, 0.54, 1.03 and 5.04 mg/kg dry matter respectively. Body weight and food intake were not affected by the selenium treatments. Serum selenium concentration was similar initially but was significantly different at the end of the study among groups. Dietary selenium concentration below 0.12 mg/kg diet may be marginal for an adult dog. Dietary treatment had no effect on serum total thyroxine (TT4), free thyroxine (FT4), and free 3,3′,5-triiodothyronine (FT3). There was a significant diet and time interaction (p = 0.038) for total 3,3′,5 triiodothyronine (TT3). Hair growth was similar among groups initially but significantly reduced in dogs fed diets containing 0.04, 0.09 or 5.04 mg Se/kg when compared with 0.12, 0.54 and 1.03 mg Se/kg at week 11 (p < 0.05) and week 22 (p = 0.061). These results demonstrated that both low and high selenium diets reduce hair growth in adult dogs.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc., Topeka, KS, USA, and 2: Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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