Carnitine has been observed to be beneficial in the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy in certain families of dogs (Keene et al., 1986; 1988), but ineffective in others (Costa and Labuc, 1994). A carnitine level of 50 mg per kg (22.7 mg per lb) of body weight has been used as a preventive therapy. Working dogs have been shown to have a need for supplemental carnitine (Grandjean et al., 1993).
In the dog, maintenance requirements of endogenous L-carnitine appear sufficient, while in other physiological states (e.g., exercise, exposure to cold and reproduction) or deficiencies (e.g., myopathies and muscle damage), where mobilization of fatty acids is desirable, L-carnitine supplementation has been suggested at a level of 50 mg per kg (22.7 mg per lb) of body weight (Pelletier, 1992). On the basis of physiology tests (e.g., cardiac frequency, free fatty acids and lactic acid) after exercising Alaskan husky dogs, Grandjean et al. (1993) concluded that supplemental carnitine was beneficial.