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Postpartum Low Blood Calcium in Dogs



This is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, but it can be treated quickly and the dog's health stabilized if she is treated as soon as symptoms become apparent. If your dog has a high fever, your veterinarian will try to cool her down with a cool water soak and fan to bring the body temperature down to a normal range. Your veterinarian will treat your dog with intravenous calcium until her levels have increased to a safe level, and until her body alone is able to maintain calcium levels.


Your veterinarian will advise you to take the puppies away to prevent them from nursing, to be hand fed with a commercial milk for 24 hours, or until the mother’s serum calcium is stabilized. If, after the mother stabilizes, you opt to let the puppies continue nursing, you will need to return to your veterinarian to monitor calcium levels in your dog's blood. Depending on whether her body is able to begin producing sufficient amounts of calcium on its own, she may need to remain on calcium supplements for some time. Your doctor will determine this.


Living and Management


If the puppies are not hand-raised and continue to nurse, it is very likely that your dog will need to be given calcium supplements for the duration of the nursing period, until the puppies have been weaned. Her serum calcium levels will need to be monitored frequently through the nursing period. Ensuring that she eats a diet containing a 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 calcium to phosphorus ratio, before pregnancy and during pregnancy, will help to prevent eclampsia with future litters.


Calcium supplementation must also be avoided while your dog is pregnant, unless specifically prescribed by your veterinarian. Also advised is avoiding high phytate foods, such as soybean mean, barley, rice, wheat bran and wheat germ, as high phytate foods can interfere with the body's absorption of calcium.



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