28 May - I've found a report that is positive for Vit A as retinyl palmitate here which answers a lot of questions and cleared up my doubts ... thank you, SuperNutrition for putting it together!
In reality too, I've found (over the last two days only:) that adding Vit A as a tablet to the food seems to help the animals cope with the weather change. Kenchu especially who I gave the 50,000 IU tablet before I read the scare-pages seemed to handle the rains last night better than ever before!
The four symptoms mentioned -- vision, breathing & skin problems, bone loss and immunity weakness -- are all related and I have dogs that progress from one to the other rapidly.
Icy developed a swollen joint, following skin problems which followed immune weakness and has finally developed cataract. Kenchu's progress was different - he developed bone weakness (jaw), followed by weakened immunity, followed by a total loss of hair and oedema. Cats develop them in a different order starting with respiratory and breathing and progressing rapidly to oedema.
Maybe this is the one thing I'd been missing in their diets - fingers crossed that it continues to prove the solution to the weather problems dogs have and helps with the whole complex of disease symptoms! What are the chances that vitamin A was all they needed?:) So excited about the possibility!
I finally found a good and cheap source of Vitamin A to supplement with - and I immediately find out all the horrible effects of using it as a supplement and isolate!:) Here you can read about all the good things vitamin A can do for the body and all that's wrong about getting it from pharma instead of natural food sources. Read it and weep!
[Still, I'm just going to include it with some fruit and vegetables and hope for the best, the same as every other fortification I'm attempting. If I see terrible effects, of course, I will stop. Small amounts are supposed to be less toxic, so I should be able to do it without harming any animal.]