As you read this, I will be in Beijing, on my way to Mongolia for a second missions trip helping with the small animal clinic in Ulaanbaatar. Veterinary care in Mongolia is quite different than it is here, but in many ways it is the same. Pet owners there have very little education as to how to best care for their pets. They also have no access to commercial pet foods. Therefore, nutritional abnormalities are very common. The Mongolian people eat a lot of meat and fat, and so they feed the same to their dogs. Because they do not add bones to the meals, low calcium levels are very common. When puppies eat diets deficient in calcium, their bones do not grow properly. I met this little puppy at Christmas time and had never seen malformed ankles like his before. He and his housemate were also suffering from parvovirus. The virus was treated and their diets supplemented with calcium. He has grown up normally and is doing very well.
We often take for granted how easy it is to feed our pets and ourselves in America. Our most common nutritional problem is obesity! Please be sure you are feeding your pets properly. We are here to help you with that M-F 7:30-6, Sat 9-3 and Mondays until 8pm. Please keep me and the people/animals of Mongolia in your prayers for the next few weeks!
by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP