Calcium Deficiency in Dogs – Know the Symptoms so You Can Act
Calcium is an essential mineral needed for the formation of their bones and teeth, and when they don’t get enough they may become deficient. Calcium deficiency in dogs is otherwise known as rickets, or milk fever in pregnant or lactating pooches.
Calcium deficiency in dogs is characterized by the following symptoms:
► Soft and brittle bones ► Low blood pressure and heart rate
► Bone deformities ► Tooth deformities, teeth loss, loose teeth
► Hip dysplasia ► Weakened muscles
► Stunted growth in puppies
The main cause of calcium deficiency in dogs is a ratio imbalance of phosphorus and calcium. If there is an overabundance or shortage of either mineral, calcium-associated problems may develop.
Dogs that have diets high in meat are more susceptible to calcium deficiency because of their high phosphorus intake. It’s important not to provide them with too much calcium because they will not be getting enough phosphorus.
Dogs are especially susceptible to developing calcium deficiencies if they are pregnant, arthritic or aging. If any of these conditions apply to your pet, you may want to visit a veterinarian to check their calcium and phosphorus levels.
Calcium deficiency during pregnancy is most commonly seen in small to medium-sized dogs. Pregnant dogs may have symptoms such as incoordination, restlessness, seizures and fevers. It's of utmost importance that you keep an eye out for these types of symptoms, and visit your veterinarian if you see them.
The need for calcium to support bone health increases as they age, and/or if arthritis becomes a problem. Old dog health can be compromised if they have arthritis because it affects their ability to move around and enjoy themselves. Arthritic pain, common in dogs, can result in appetite loss. Arthritis can sometimes be treated with a calcium supplement, depending on how much calcium your dog ingests from its food.
Talk to your veterinarian to determine if your dog is getting enough calcium. Ask about Osteoform, a chewable calcium, phosphorus and vitamin supplement for prevention of dietary deficiency and healing of fractures. It contains vitamins A, D and C—all nutrients helpful with bone formation and maintenance. Along with a healthy, balance diet, this supplement can be given to dogs and cats that do not get an adequate amount of phosphorus and calcium from their diet.