Low Calcium levels

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by sueham, Jan 14, 2013.


  1. sueham

    sueham PetForums Newbie

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    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.
     
  2. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    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.
     
  3. sueham

    sueham PetForums Newbie

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    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
     
  4. MaisyMoomin

    MaisyMoomin PetForums Senior

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    Have you had a go at adding just a little goats milk to her regular water?
     
  5. kodakkuki

    kodakkuki PetForums VIP

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    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!
     
  6. sueham

    sueham PetForums Newbie

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    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.
     
  7. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    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)
     
  8. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    B****r :eek::eek::eek: 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.
     
  9. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    The links actually right not me:D 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.:eek:
     
  10. SharonM

    SharonM PetForums Member

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    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.
     
  11. muse08

    muse08 PetForums Member

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  12. comfortcreature

    comfortcreature PetForums VIP

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    I don't know if you have an equivalent in the UK, but in North America we have a product called Calsorb. I've seen it save a girls life.

    It is not a supplement, but for people who live a distance to the vet (many here are an hours drive from a vet or more) it is a temporary quick fix if a female shows signs of eclampsia . . . so you can have time to get her to the vets with less risk of death. It is an orally administered quickly absorbed high dose calcium gel. Use too much too often and you can hurt the heart, so again, it is just for emergencies.

    Anyway. I know most breeders like to have a tube on hand just in case.

    CC
     
  13. muse08

    muse08 PetForums Member

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    I have searched for calsorb in the past, and if remeber correctly i couldnt find anywhere in the uk that sells it.You can order it and get it delivered to the Uk from usa etc but the delivery charge is much higher than the cost of the item itself.
     
  14. swarthy

    swarthy PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried Lactol with maybe some Glucose in it?

    Calcium deficiency left untreated can be dangerous to the bitch - if you don't get any joy with some of the foods and drinks suggested (Goats milk is another good one) - or (not cheap) but worth trying Ambrosia creamed rice - I get though tons of the stuff when I have a litter here

    If you are not getting any joy, then I would most definitely be seeking veterinary advice and don't allow yourself to be fobbed off
     
  15. sueham

    sueham PetForums Newbie

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    What interesting adivse and i want to thank everyone. I have started her on scamble egg made with goats milk, which she has in the mornings she loves it. I have also started her on a raw feed diet which comes in packs frozen she loves that as well (and so does my other dog). I have given her (once) some calcium (which was recomended) but as i say only once. She also has been eating inbetween meals some treats and some poltery necks (cooked) she seems fine just a little thin but i think this is due to the fact she was such a bad eater before wheleping. Her fur is coming out a lot but other than that she seems to be well. Now just waiting for the pups to be older enough and she will be spade as will the father of the litter, so no more accidents.
     
  16. Scarlettsmum

    Scarlettsmum PetForums Junior

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    I thought I'd replied but it seems to have been lost. Apologies if this comes up twice!

    just a note on your last post - please don't feed cooked poultry necks or cooked bones of any kind. These can be dangerous. The safest bone is a raw one. Hopefully your raw mix will contain bone too. If you need more info on raw feeding, do a google and look up rawmeatybones, rawfeddogs, rawfeeding, and there are lots of sites and forums (fora?) with information to help.

    I believe that when a dog is pregnant all the coat/hair comes to the same point in the growth cycle. This means that when normally some hair would be growing and some moulting, in pregnancy all the hair is moulting at the same time so resulting in lots of hair loss. Fortunately, it will all grow back at the same time too. Not to worry! :)

    Best wishes to you and your dogs
    Jj
     
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