The Importance of Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) in Dogs and Cats and Evidence for Oral Supplementation

Cobalamin is a water-soluble, cobalt-containing B vitamin which plays an essential role in many physiological processes, including cellular metabolism, DNA synthesis, amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, nerve myelination and haematopoeisis. Cats and dogs, like humans, are unable to synthesise cobalamin, hence they rely on dietary intake to maintain adequate tissue levels. Some bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract can produce cobalamin; however, since they are present only in the large intestines of dogs and cats, the cobalamin production occurs too distal to
be of any benefit to the animal itself. Gemma Ellse at Protexin Veterinary discusses why cobalamin is so important.