The Importance of Iodine for Animals

It’s often the small things that make a big difference in the health of an animal like the importance of iodine.

Iodine is a simple mineral found readily in seaweed as well as many fish and other plants that come from the ocean. People who live close to the sea tend to consume a lot of seafood and seaweed and don’t commonly suffer from an iodine deficiency, but there is a bigger problem for people who live further inland because they aren’t dependent on the ocean for most of their food.

For those living away from the ocean, milk and products made with milk are often a primary source of iodine, but studies are now showing that many cows are now deficient in iodine as well. This means there is less iodine in the milk supply, which is potentially leading to greater deficiency in humans. Is there any wonder why deficiencies in this critical mineral may be spreading in some areas of the world?

Domesticated animals are at even greater risk of iodine deficiency because they don’t always get to eat homemade food that may include fish and seaweed. They are often fed bagged or canned food, which may not contain the iodine that they need to maintain shiny, healthy coats and high energy levels. Most pets could benefit from a supplement like this one from the Global Healing Center.

The Dangers of Iodine Deficiency

If you don’t eat a lot of seaweed, fish, or other foods from the ocean and you don’t often use salt with added iodine, you have a good chance of developing an iodine deficiency. Depending on the food that you feed your pets, they may also carry that risk. Let’s take a look at what happens when an animal, human or otherwise, doesn’t receive enough of this important mineral.

  • Thyroid functioning is severely decreased and some people may develop an oversized goiter. This can lead to a variety of problems throughout the body, including dry skin, hair loss and chronic fatigue. Dogs and other animals may become less active, gain weight rapidly, and lose the shine in their coat when their thyroid doesn’t perform optimally.
  • The brain also depends on iodine to function properly. Research has shown a connection between babies with mental retardation and iodine deficiency in pregnant women. It’s possible that this deficiency is also connected to a variety of mental disorders from ADHD to Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Young animals deficient in iodine may fail to thrive as their bones and other bodily systems are slow to develop. Slow growth in any small animal is a common sign that they may need more iodine than they are receiving. They may also have heavy nasal discharge, heavy breathing, coughing, and excess salivation.
  • Horses deficient in iodine are more prone to still births and hair loss.

Fast Treatment is Essential

If you suspect that an animal in your life may be suffering from iodine deficiency, it’s important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. A veterinarian can determine whether the problem is truly a lack of iodine or if there are other reasons for dysfunction in the thyroid, brain, or other critical systems.

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