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  #1  
Old 14-01-2013, 08:52 PM
sueham sueham is offline
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Low Calcium levels

My little Shih Tzu gave birth 7 days ago to 5 pups. All pups are very plump and seem to be doing well. What I am worried about is Gizzy's (mum) a bit low on her calcium levels. I asked the vet to do a blood test as i have read that they can get really ill if their levels go low. Gizzy will not eat any puppy food what so ever (dry or moist) she loves chicken, liver, lambs hearts and turkey and i have started to feed her a complete raw food diet from a company called Natural Instinct that is for working dogs as i also read that this sort of diet is also high and good for whelping mums. She will eat some of this food, some days she will eat a load another just picks at it. I am really worried as i did ask the vet if there was anything else i could perhaps buy to keep her levels of calcium up or could they give me some calcium tablets he said no unless she gets really low they cannot treat her for low levels. I have read on here about the collo-cal-D and have now ordered that, but is there anything else i could perhaps feed her to keep these levels ok. I want to say thank you now for any info. anyone can give me to put my mind at rest.
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Old 14-01-2013, 10:11 PM
rocco33 rocco33 is offline
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Re: Low Calcium levels

Pre-eclampsia typcially occurs when the milk demand is at it's highest so a little early yet, although it could obviously happen at any time. A healthy bitch uses her own calcium when producing milk and the problems come when her body will not utilise it. I wouldn't supplement with just calcium either as the calcium/potassium levels are important otherwise the body cannot utilise it, so would be looking for more natural ways of supplementing calcium. My bitch was raw fed on my last litter and did use Natural Instinct but I also give chicken carcasses and raw meaty bones too - will your bitch eat chicken wings? After whelping I also gave my bitch goats milk, cottage cheese and natural yoghurt.
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Old 14-01-2013, 10:42 PM
sueham sueham is offline
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Re: Low Calcium levels

i brought goats milk cottage cheese and natural yoghut but she did not like any of them so got a bit stuck. I thought i was prepared for everything but it looks like i was not. I will try her on chicken wings and i know she like bones so will get them for her as well. thanks for your advise
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Old 15-01-2013, 07:57 AM
MaisyMoomin MaisyMoomin is offline
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Re: Low Calcium levels

Have you had a go at adding just a little goats milk to her regular water?
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Old 15-01-2013, 08:06 AM
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Re: Low Calcium levels

woth my girls i give them a scrambled egg a day while nursing; it has the right balance of potassium and calcium for good absorption, and by adding a little goats milk instead of cows milk then our getting that little bit extra in as well.
my girls Love their scrambled goaty-eggs!
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Old 15-01-2013, 01:51 PM
sueham sueham is offline
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Re: Low Calcium levels

Thanks all for your brill. advise. I am going to make her scramble egg to see if she like it. Never thought of that one. Also i have brought some pigs trotters, raw rabbit, chicken wings, so hopefully she will take to them.
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Old 15-01-2013, 02:07 PM
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Re: Low Calcium levels

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Originally Posted by sueham View Post
My little Shih Tzu gave birth 7 days ago to 5 pups. All pups are very plump and seem to be doing well. What I am worried about is Gizzy's (mum) a bit low on her calcium levels. I asked the vet to do a blood test as i have read that they can get really ill if their levels go low. Gizzy will not eat any puppy food what so ever (dry or moist) she loves chicken, liver, lambs hearts and turkey and i have started to feed her a complete raw food diet from a company called Natural Instinct that is for working dogs as i also read that this sort of diet is also high and good for whelping mums. She will eat some of this food, some days she will eat a load another just picks at it. I am really worried as i did ask the vet if there was anything else i could perhaps buy to keep her levels of calcium up or could they give me some calcium tablets he said no unless she gets really low they cannot treat her for low levels. I have read on here about the collo-cal-D and have now ordered that, but is there anything else i could perhaps feed her to keep these levels ok. I want to say thank you now for any info. anyone can give me to put my mind at rest.
Low Blood calcium levels can cause Eclampsia but so can the wrong calcium supplements which is probably why the vet is loath to give them. Too much supplement can mess with the parathyroid hormones too which regulate blood calcium.

Signs of Ecclampsia and other information on this on the link. Its quite a good link anyway as it includes the 6 most common problems in whelping and post whelping.

The most common post whelping problems are listed below:

· Eclampsia (milk fever)

Causes



Eclampsia is caused by low blood calcium levels (hypocalcemia) in dogs. The lactating (milk producing) bitch is especially susceptible to blood calcium depletion because the body cannot keep up with the increased demand for calcium. This is because dogs lack the ability to quickly move calcium into their milk without depleting their own blood levels of this mineral.

Litters do not need to be large to cause eclampsia. Small breed dogs are at higher risk than larger breed dogs. The puppies themselves are not affected as the mother’s milk appears to be normal during this period.

Signs



Eclampsia is a very serious disorder but fortunately the signs are fairly easy to recognize. Affected dogs may:
•Appear restless and nervous.
•Walk with a stiff gait and may even wobble or appear disoriented.
•Become unable to walk and her legs may become stiff or rigid.
•Fever, with body temperature even over 105º F.
•Affected bitches often develop muscle tremors
•The respiration rate (number of breaths per minute) will increase,
•Seizures may also occur, at this point; death can occur if no treatment is given.

Treatment



Seek veterinary attention at once and prevent the puppies from nursing for at least 24 hours. Feed them with a commercial milk replacer. A veterinarian can confirm eclampsia with a blood test to determine blood calcium levels. Eclampsia can be rapidly corrected by your veterinarian through the use of intravenous calcium supplementation.

Prevention



Inappropriate calcium supplementation can predispose a bitch to develop Eclampsia.

Adequate amounts of calcium need to be consumed by the pregnant bitch, but not so much that the production of parathyroid hormone is reduced. Parathyroid hormone is essential for maintaining adequate blood calcium levels. This means calcium supplements are generally not recommended. Also, it is important for the calcium and phosphorus in the diet to be at the correct ratio of 1 part calcium to 1 part phosphorus and vitamin D must also be present.
The 6 most common problems during and post whelping (canine pregnancy)
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Old 15-01-2013, 02:28 PM
rocco33 rocco33 is offline
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Re: Low Calcium levels

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Also, it is important for the calcium and phosphorus in the diet to be at the correct ratio
B****r I don't know why I put potassium it should be phosphorus. It's probably the sleep deprivation and having a winter litter!

Sorry, but SDH is right - it's the calcium/phosphorus balance that should be right. A dont' think Callo-cal-D contains phosphorus so wouldn't use it personally.
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Old 15-01-2013, 02:37 PM
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Re: Low Calcium levels

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Originally Posted by rocco33 View Post
B****r I don't know why I put potassium it should be phosphorus. It's probably the sleep deprivation and having a winter litter!

Sorry, but SDH is right - it's the calcium/phosphorus balance that should be right. A dont' think Callo-cal-D contains phosphorus so wouldn't use it personally.
The links actually right not me I remembered its not just a matter of calcium and other things are needed and remembered the vit D as I have a deffiency and knew that worked hand in hand with calcium but I forgot about the phosphorus too.
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Old 15-01-2013, 03:08 PM
SharonM SharonM is offline
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Re: Low Calcium levels

I use Collo-Cal-D with every litter and only once, with our very first litter where I didn't use it did we end up with a bitch with eclampsia, the Vit D helps to absorb the calcium quicker, you can buy tablets in any chemist, just make sure it is Calcium with Vit D.
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