In many species the lack of calcium It has consequences that in most cases are fatal. Let's focus on cats and dogs when they are puppies and we will see what happens when they lack calcium.
It is very common that when someone adopts a kitten or a puppy dog does not have adequate food for them and the first night try the ham coc>hormonal alteration which leads the body to get calcium from anywhere and that site is the bones. There is then a increased calcium in the blood in spite of having a diet low in calcium but that comes from the decalcification of the bones, they will therefore suffer a process of osteoporosis making them soft and brittle.
These kittens and puppies come to consultation with depression, anorexia, pain before manipulation, lameness, weakness and it is not difficult for bone fractures and deformations to appear. In the event that bone deformations occur in the vertebrae, neurological lesions may appear that leave sequels even after the disease is overcome.
These aftermath They can include neurological alterations, chronic constipation, alterations in urination and even in future female problems when giving birth if there have been deformations in the pelvis and birth canal.
If the picture is slight, the resolution of the problem is easy and consists of administering a varied and well balanced diet such as high-end feed for puppies.
Author: Domingo García - JG Clinical Veterinarian
Does my dog need calcium? How can I know?
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It is not always easy to identify these problems, since They can't tell us your discomfort or needs. How, then, can we know what dogs need? Let's see how to know if your dog needs calcium and how you can fix it.
Why is calcium so important?
The calcium It is a substance present naturally in bones and is essential for proper development and growth. In addition, it favors the strength of the bones and helps to achieve the proper functioning of the organism.
Dog puppies have a high concentration of calcium in their body, since without it, they could not grow. Nature is wise! However, this does not mean that, once the dog's growth is over, calcium intake should be eliminated through regular feeding. Simply, the dose is usually reduced, but still necessary. Without him, his bones would weaken, his teeth would be damaged… They cannot (nor can we) live without calcium!
How can I know if my dog lacks calcium?
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Although it seems obvious, The first step to know if your calcium intake is sufficient or not, we must observe your body and the pace of its growth. If we notice that your bones are too thin or soft, if you get tired easily or do not grow at a normal rate, that can be a very reliable sign of a lack of calcium in your puppy.
It is very important to detect and solve this problem soon, because if we do not, it can lead to irreparable consequences, such as rickets, minimal bone development, insufficient for the welfare and good health of the dog.
Another way to detect that your friend's calcium is not enough is the presence of muscle spasms or seizures. But beware! This symptom may also be a sign of other diseases, in case it occurs, Ideally, take your dog to the veterinarian so he can evaluate and diagnose the problem.
Other signs of calcium shortage in your dog may be cardiac arrhythmias, tachycardias, fatigue and disorientation.
What do I do if it is confirmed that my dog needs more calcium?
The recommended dose of calcium for each animal depends on its size, age and other factors., so it must be established by a veterinarian.
To avoid falling short on your calcium doses, you need to know how much your dog is good for and make sure that the food you buy has an amount that suits your particular need.
But what if I already know that my dog needs more calcium? What I do? The first thing you should do is change your diet for a better, that suits your need and that of course is of good quality. Very important! Never give medicines or supplements to your dog on your own., much less if they are products designed for human consumption, Only a veterinarian should determine if your dog needs any specific treatment.
Do not think that it is good to give more calcium than necessary "to make up for a while that has been lacking." The right thing to do is offer you the right dose and slowly recover your body. The veterinarian will guide you on the appropriate dose and on the intake period.
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Calcium in dogs: what to know
First of all it is necessary to bear in mind that Calcium is one of the most important nutrients in a dog's life since he is a puppy because it helps in the formation and strengthening of bones. If we want our pet to grow healthy and strong, it is vital that it ingests a good dose of this component through food.
Whether the canine consumes a "homemade" diet or one based on commercial feed, if or if it has to have calcium daily. If this does not happen, you are likely to suffer from various problems such as leg fractures. The lack of this nutrient can trigger pathologies such as rickets, a condition in which growth is insufficient and bone structure is less than that of other dogs at their age.
A puppy dog needs about 320 mg of calcium per kg of weight per day. In the case of adults, the amount decreases to 120 mg per kg. Keep these data in mind so that you are not exceeded in proportion (something that is also bad for your health).
How do I know how much calcium my dog needs?
If your dog is already an adult, The ideal measure of calcium is usually about 120 mg for every kilo of your weight. If is one puppy, the dose is higher, about 320 mg per kilo of weight. Always remember that it is the veterinarian who must confirm what dose your pet needs and for how long, take these doses as a guideline only.
Habitually, Good quality feed contains adequate doses of calcium and other minerals. The lack of these could cause problems for your dog, such as bone weakness, which would increase the risk of broken bones.
As we wish the best for pets, In Wakyma we recommend that you always observe your dog to know if he may have a problem. Thus, it will be solved as soon as possible and you can continue to be as playful and happy as always.
How to detect the lack of calcium in dogs?
There are different ways to realize that our pet is missing calcium or does not receive it in correct amounts depending on their age and weight. Observing the body is the best way to detect it..
For example, if you do not grow enough in relation to other dogs (siblings are an ideal indicator), if you are too thin even if you eat well and if the bones are marked through the skin and they are very thin.
Further, We can determine if you suffer from muscle spasms or seizures. Attention because in these cases the causes may be other (more serious), therefore we recommend you go to the veterinarian for a general check-up.
Dogs that lack calcium may experience other symptoms, including tachycardia, disorientation, fatigue or cardiac arrhythmias. Also here we advise you to take it to the professional consultation.
Sources of calcium for dogs
The doctor can tell you to offer him a different feed or even to add special supplements to the food. This is very good but not the only option. There are "homemade" sources of calcium at your fingertips and that your dog will do more than good.
Finely ground eggshell (for example in a mortar or coffee grinder) and mixed with everyday food can be an excellent idea If your pet suffers from calcium deficit.
The bones of other animals (which are bought at butcher shops such as chicken) can also be very useful. Some owners offer them to eat them whole and others prefer that they are chopped or powdered to mix them between the feed.
Dairy products are a great source of calcium (that we humans know) and some can help our hairy to improve their health. For example, yogurt, which allows you to soften dry food and is very rich for your palates. It is better that it is low in fat. Cheese is another option, we recommend the cottage type and do not give too much.
If you accept it, give your dog fish to increase its calcium levels. Tuna, sardines and trout are the best. But be careful, that it is cooked because otherwise it can irritate your stomach and cause bacterial diseases.
By last, If your dog is a lover of vegetables or is accustomed to eating them without problems, do not hesitate to offer spinach, broccoli and sweet potato.
Symptoms of your dog's calcium deficiency
Some of the most common symptoms that our dog can suffer are:
- Bone deformities
- Bones too soft and weak
- Abdominal weakness
- A drop in heart rate
- Looseness, malformation, or loss of teeth
- Hip dysplasia
- Growth problems in puppies
- Muscular weakness
- Abnormal color pulling greenish in the dog's urine
- Low blood pressure of our pet
- In female dogs that are within the period of pregnancy or lactation: lack of coordination, agitation, convulsions and fever.
It must be said that in mild cases, no symptoms can be observed in the dog until the total calcium level falls below normal levels.
You have to keep in mind that a adult dog needs, an average, of 120 milligrams of calcium for every kilo the animal weighs, and, in the case of puppies It needs more than double because it is in a period of growth and strengthening of bones: they need 320 milligrams per kilo of weight.
The way to introduce calcium into your dog's diet can be channeled in different ways, it can be with homemade food that you prepare yourself or with the feed that you buy at the store, but always taking into account that you have to consist of a balanced diet. It is not advisable to overfeed the dog with leftovers from food or with foods such as meat.
The above amounts of calcium are indicative, this means that it is best to talk with a veterinary specialist to recommend the amount and type of food that is appropriate to follow according to the needs of your dog and also see if it is convenient Administer calcium supplements.