On the basis of observations on pantothenic acid-deficient animals and studies in human volunteers, deficiency of the vitamin is shown in the following signs and symptoms:
- Reduced growth and feed conversion efficiency.
- Lesions of skin and its appendages.
- Disorder of the nervous system.
- Gastrointestinal disturbances.
- Inhibition of antibody formation and thus, decreased resistance to infection.
- Impairment of adrenal function.
Clinical signs of pantothenic acid deficiency take many forms and differ from one animal species to another. For humans, additional emotional and neurological symptoms include hyperventilation, irritability, insomnia, depression, headache, and dizziness. Pantothenic acid deficiency does occur under certain feeding regimens with animals.
Studies of pantothenic acid deficiency in various animal species indicate lowered tissue levels and decreased urinary excretion of the vitamin and decreased tissue coenzyme A (Nelson, 1978). Deficient dogs have reduced concentrations of pantothenic acid in blood, liver, muscle, and brain (Silber, 1944). Scudi and Hamlin (1942) found lowered blood levels of cholesterol, lipids, and lipid phosphorus in panthothenic acid-deficient puppies. However, present data are insufficient to establish pantothenic acid status for dogs and cats based on critical concentrations.