Manganese Deficiency Contributes to CCL Disease in Dogs

Manganese Deficiency Contributes to CCL Disease in Dogs

Contrary to fashionable perception, most cranial cruciate ligament issues in canines don’t come up from acute accidents. A scarcity of manganese within the weight-reduction plan is a serious contributor.

Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) illness arises all too continuously in our canines. It’s a quite common motive for hind leg lameness, ache, and arthritis of the knee, and might be fairly critical and debilitating. Although it’s pure to suppose all CCL issues in canines are brought on by sudden or acute damage, that isn’t the case. Nutrition additionally performs a job — particularly, manganese deficiency could be a key contributor.


Dogs are supposed to dash upstairs, sometimes slide throughout flooring, and repeatedly leap on and off issues, and not tear a ligament. Yet most veterinarians recurrently see sufferers who had been simply residing their regular lives with no trauma, however developed CCL illness. This isn’t how wholesome our bodies are designed to answer an energetic way of life.

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I seen a few years in the past that CCL issues had been the most typical smooth tissue accidents I used to be seeing in my follow. Since only a few of those accidents had been brought on by trauma substantial sufficient to warrant a rupture, I went digging for clues and located that my CCL sufferers fell into 4 totally different classes:

  1. Dogs that skilled a traumatic damage (what I name the “Mack Truck” situation).
  2. Large or big breed canines, or those who had been chubby. Alternatively, the situation had a genetic element, or the canines had been over-vaccinated, or spayed/neutered versus sterilized (through ovary-sparing spays, which keep well being hormones however forestall being pregnant).
  3. Those consuming poor high quality processed meals to which equally poor high quality artificial nutritional vitamins and minerals had been added to fulfill AAFCO minimal nutrient necessities.
  4. Dogs consuming selfmade “prey mannequin” diets that had been nutritionally imbalanced.

Interestingly, the overwhelming majority of canines I used to be seeing with CCL injury had been energetic, wholesome animals that had been sterilized however not de-sexed. They weren’t over-vaccinated, and so they weren’t chubby. But many purchasers had been feeding prey mannequin selfmade diets (80% meat, 10% bone, 10% organs) that weren’t nutritionally balanced. This made me suspect insufficient diet as a possible trigger for many CCL accidents in my sufferers.


I got here up with one recurring issue associated to connective tissue resiliency: the dietary consumption of manganese (Mn). Manganese is required for wholesome, robust ligament growth and upkeep. A canine’s manganese necessities are excessive, and meals sources range as to the quantity of manganese they include.

Poor high quality processed canine meals don’t include sufficient manganese. Among those that home-prepare their canines’ meals, many don’t observe recipes. Most prey mannequin feeders mistakenly assume that the number of free vary, natural meat, bone and organ blends they feed their canines include all of the minerals they want. However, the sheer quantity of non-traumatic CCL tears that veterinarians are seeing in prey model-fed canines tells a unique story.


Where does manganese come from within the ancestral canine weight-reduction plan? Minute quantities come from meat, liver and bone, however these sources don’t present practically sufficient manganese to fulfill a canine’s each day necessities, which is why so many canines develop into poor. The richest sources of manganese really come from the animal elements none of us use — primarily hair, feathers and wool.

The wild canine’s ancestral weight-reduction plan and way of life offered an abundance of alternatives for consuming manganese, however that is merely not the case for domesticated canines. The ancestral weight-reduction plan offered, on common, 3.1 mg of manganese per 1,000 kcal (energy) — a really ligament-supportive weight-reduction plan. In distinction, AAFCO minimal manganese necessities are 1.8 mg per 1,000 kcal of meals. This is roughly 50% of the manganese the ancestral weight-reduction plan offered.


Instead of feeding extra nutritionally compete ancestral diets, many individuals give their canines selfmade prey mannequin diets as an alternative. A prey mannequin weight-reduction plan of 80/10/10 lean beef provides 0.22 mg Mn per 1,000 kcal (and that determine is even decrease if the meat is lower than 90% lean). An 80/10/10 prey mannequin weight-reduction plan utilizing rooster provides 0.12 mg Mn per 1,000 kcal. This is much more poor in manganese than AAFCO’s too-low really helpful minimums present in processed meals.

These figures spotlight two necessary issues:

  1. The distinction between supplying simply sufficient vitamins to outlive (AAFCO requirements) versus supplying the vitamins wanted to thrive (ancestral weight-reduction plan diet parameters) means a variety of canines are ending up on the veterinary orthopedic surgeon’s workplace.
  2. Prey mannequin feeders — those that are spending some huge cash feeding unbalanced, recent meals diets to canines with torn cruciate ligaments — must reassess how properly their “stability over time” strategy is de facto working. Honestly, what number of prey mannequin feeders constantly add lambs’ wool to their canines’ bowls?


My advice to assist your canine keep away from CCL accidents is easy — don’t guess at his weight-reduction plan.

  • If you’re feeding selfmade, be sure his meals meet the ancestral weight-reduction plan necessities for optimum nutrient consumption (not only for manganese, however for all vitamins). Follow a recipe that provides you the quantity of manganese per serving or 1,000 kcal.
  • There are additionally premium meals accessible which might be formulated with the extra demanding ancestral weight-reduction plan requirements versus AAFCO’s poor minimums. Call the corporate and ask what formulation tips they observe (AAFCO or ancestral), or how a lot manganese (per 1,000 kcal) is of their meals.
  • Supplement as essential with complete meals or a complement to fulfill manganese necessities. Examples of complete meals that include manganese embrace uncooked spinach, uncooked blue mussel, and uncooked blackberries. Although you couldn’t feed these meals in excessive sufficient concentrations to fulfill your canine’s manganese necessities, including them in small quantities might be helpful.
  • It’s additionally necessary to maintain your canine in good bodily form, and keep away from over-vaccination by asking your vet about titer testing.
  • Keep your canine intact by choosing an ovary-sparing spay or vasectomy when attainable.

If your canine is consuming a ligament-supportive weight-reduction plan, he shouldn’t develop degenerative cruciate injury except he will get right into a critical accident. If your canine has sustained a CCL damage, associate with a canine rehabilitation facility in addition to a holistic veterinarian who can supply him the perfect likelihood of restoration.

Veterinarian Dr. Karen Shaw Becker acquired her diploma from the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine. She owns/operates Natural Pet Animal Hospital, Feathers Bird Clinic, TheraPaw Rehabilitation and Pain Management Clinic and Covenant Wildlife Rehabilitation in Illinois. She co-authored Real Food for Healthy Pets and hosts a holistic animal wellness web site (

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