A pregnancy is a good time to show your dog extra love. It causes your pet to go through changes in weight, hormones, behavior and appetite. You should not force your dog into strenuous activities. If you think your dog is pregnant, then you should schedule an appointment with a veterinarian.
Your veterinarian is your best source for information about medications and food for pregnant dogs. Some pet owners shop for dog supplements online to give their pet extra nutrients. Read on to find out how to manage your pregnant dog’s hypocalcaemia with calcium supplements.
What is Hypocalcemia in Dogs?
Hypocalcemia occurs when a dog has less than normal levels of calcium in its blood. Calcium plays an important role in a variety of bodily functions. It helps with blood clotting, muscle contraction, milk production, vision, bone and teeth formation and in the metabolism of enzymes and hormones. If your pregnant dog has a calcium deficiency, then this condition requires immediate attention.
Look for the Signs
You want your dog to have a healthy pregnancy and to deliver a healthy litter. It is important to watch for changes in your pet’s behavior. If you see something out of the ordinary, then you should visit your veterinarian. Hypocalcemia is a condition that can occur at any stage of the pregnancy.
It is the most common after birth, when the dog is nursing puppies and while a dog is lactating. However, dogs have problems with hypocalcemia during the last stages of pregnancy. Common signs to look for include convulsions, muscle stiffness, restlessness, excess whining, salivation, sensitivity to stimuli, panting and pacing.
Hypocalcemia is also called milk fever. When the puppies nurse, it is hard for the mother’s body to replace the lost calcium. A dog with a calcium deficiency does not have enough stored calcium to place what is leaving through breastfeeding. This results in your pet not being able to keep healthy levels of calcium in her blood. You dog could suffer from convulsive muscle contractions as well.
Get Your Dog Treated Immediately
If your dog is exhibiting these signs, then you should take her to the vet. It is not something to ignore. Hypocalcemia should be taken seriously because of being a potentially fatal disease. Your veterinarian will give your dog a blood test to measure calcium levels. A blood test can determine if your dog has this condition. You need a diagnosis of hypocalcemia to allow for treatment to be administered as soon as possible.
Your vet also gives your dog calcium slowly through IV. This treatment causes your dog’s muscle to relax and to come to a normal state within 15 minutes.
Ask Your Vet About Calcium Tablets
After your pet is in a healthy state, your vet will likely suggest that you give her calcium supplements. You should never give a pregnant dog calcium unless instructed by your vet. When a dog needs calcium, the supplements can help you manage the hypocalcaemia.
Calcium is a mineral that is not made inside of the body. Your dog has to obtain the mineral through her diet. The calcium requirements usually depend on the breed, condition, age and genetics. It is a mineral that helps with your dog’s development and builds strong bones.
Calcium also supports contractions in the heart muscle, which helps with heart functioning. Other benefits include supporting nerve transmission, muscle building and helping with hormone secretion.
If you shop for dog supplements online, then you can find them in pill, powder or liquid form. This mineral gives dogs an extra dose of calcium when they require it for health reasons.
As your dog’s body changes from pregnancy, you will have to change the way you care for her. For example, your dog’s diet is important. The standard adult formula dog food does not provide enough nutrients for a pregnancy. You will need to make changes to your pet’s diet.