dedicated to promoting and preserving the breed through responsible ownership, breeding and training


Contact PCOC
Email Address

Why Supplement Toy Breed Puppies With Calcium/Phosphorus?

Submitted by Diane Finch, Finch's Pomeranians

Sometime during the earlier years of raising Pomeranians, I learned about the sudden and rapid growth spurt some puppies go through.  Their bodies are growing so fast, their system robs calcium from their bones on which to grow.  It is during this time (3 to 9 months of age) that some pretty strange things can happen in these rapid growth spurts.  Some can’t hold their tails up flat on their backs, some can only hold their tails straight up to the sky, some ears droop, some break down in the pasterns and some splay their legs. They make the term “falling apart” true. 

Since I have been working with a bloodline for the past 12 years that are slow growers and smaller at birth, I had forgotten something I’d learned years before.  Now I have been working with other bloodlines that the pups are larger when born and rapid growers but top out at the average show pom size.  Just recently I had two reminders that I need to use OsteoForm on my puppies.  OsteoForm is a supplement that balances calcium/phosphorus – add this to their diet so their bodies don’t need to rob their bones (it typically shows up in extremities and teeth) to get the calcium they need for these growth spurts.  And please note that any supplement used for this purpose needs to have a balance of calcium and phosphorus. 

I recently had a show prospect puppy, but was growing him out a little before sending him to the handler.  Thank goodness he was still with me or I’m certain he would have been another “fallen apart” puppy!  I noticed his ears were drooping and he was down in his pasterns and splay footed!  This puppy was none of these previously and now suddenly he was pathetic.  I started supplementing him with OsteoForm and three weeks later, I was seeing the puppy he used to be.  I told my friends about this incident and recommended OsteoForm for all growing puppies (knowing they were working with these bloodlines).

Then, as if that wasn’t enough of a reminder, a puppy I’d previously placed as a show prospect with a correct tailset was returned to me with the owner saying this puppy had her tail pointing straight up to the sky.  I cared for the puppy for two months giving her my usual supplements including the OsteoForm.  Within a month the puppy’s tail was flat on its back.  Now I am convinced that some of these puppies that “fall apart” can be saved by giving them OsteoForm when they needed it.  The owners of the puppy didn’t recognize her when I said she was ready to return home. 

Incidentally, this same puppy was presented to me with a “parrot bite.”  And this gets into another area of information I don’t think everyone is aware of.  And I suspect, as does my vet, that this “parrot bite” appearance may also have had something to do with the calcium depletion.  If something really funky is going on at this straggly stage, it may very well be this calcium leeching.  And those were pretty strange looking teeth – the only place I’d ever seen this bite was on a horse once.  I had the puppy for 5 days (she was 5 months old and I believe the owners had noticed this for a month or more) when I was able to get my vet to pull all the baby teeth.  Now the bite is as good a scissor bite as I’ve seen on poms.  My vet has talked with one of six canine dental experts in this country (with board certified canine dentistry credentials) and I have posted information on my website about what she learned from him concerning when is the correct time to pull baby teeth and which ones to pull for certain types of incorrect bites.  The key is to pull these baby teeth at 10 to 12 weeks of age or whenever, after that age, the bite starts to go off.  Pulling baby teeth at 6 months of age may not be soon enough.  

This is the second (of two) success stories I’ve had since learning this about the teeth.  My writing explains what teeth to pull for whatever bite problem the dog has.  The canine dental expert also says we have created our bite problems because a scissor bite is a man-made bite, not a natural bite – an even bite is the way these dogs should be.  A friend of mine recently told me her vet knew all about these theories/practices of pulling certain teeth to correct a bite and that it was covered in her vet course and she knew exactly what my friend was asking her to do.  My personal experience has been that this is an exceptional vet because I’ve found most didn’t learn this in vet school even with some of the younger vets.  Most say just “wait and see.”  If you “wait and see,” you may be sorry if you have a messed up bite.  In this case doing something is better than doing nothing. 

Zinc is deficient in our poms diets and these coated northern breeds need more zinc than other breeds.  I’ve added this to my poms’ diets (but please if you add this to your poms’ diets, make sure each pom gets an exact measured dose and do not overdose!). My co-breeder and I feel this has been very beneficial.

From everything I have seen, raw meat fed to poms (at least a rounded tablespoon per day) seems to put the best coats on poms and, in some cases, have prevented them from losing their coats.  Raw poultry and raw hamburger and pork are the most likely to have E.coli and salmonella and other bad things in or on the meat so I don’t feed those raw (I cook those meats).   

Poms who have luxating patellas can benefit greatly from using any of the joint formulas, but I like MSM the best for most dogs.  MSM is good for overall body health, not just the joints.  It can be purchased in a powder form from a health food store and given daily in a meat or cheese ball.  It needs to be human grade.  Most will travel sound in 3 to 6 weeks after starting on it.  In most cases it will spare the dog from surgery which isn’t always successful or safe and will give the dog a 50% chance of not going arthritic in that area as it ages and certainly is less costly than surgery.  I have yet to see a pom affected with a gimp from a patella luxation not travel sound after this MSM treatment.  

~ Diane Finch

Finches Pomeranians


© Copyright 2000
Pomeranian Club of Canada
All Rights Reserved

[ Home Page ] [ Email Us ] [ About the Club ] [ Club Executive ] [ Code of Ethics ] [ Club Magazine ] [ Join the Club ] [ Renew Your Membership ] [ List of Club Members ] [ Club Events ] [ Top Poms

 [ About Pomeranians ] [ Club Rescue Program ] [ CKC Breed Standard ] [ Breed Education Articles/Information ] [ Pomeranian Archives ] [ Puppy Stuff ] [ Pom Links ] [ PCOC Specialty Reports ]

[ Breeder Referral Ads ] [ Stud Dog Referral Ads ] [ Web-Ad Rates/Fees ]