Calcium For Pregnant Dogs – Dangerous for Mom and Pups

By: Danielle Harris

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calcium for pregnant dogs

Why NOT to give Calcium for Pregnant Dogs

Calcium for pregnant dogs or feeding dairy to pregnant dogs is generally not recommended.

Excessive calcium intake during pregnancy or nursing can suppress parathyroid hormone production and increase the risk of developing eclampsia.

What you should do:

Instead of calcium supplementation, pregnant bitches should be fed a well-balanced puppy food during the latter half of pregnancy.

If you supplement calcium before whelping, you shut down the pregnant dog’s ability to fine tune the minute-by-minute demand needed for whelping and milk production.

By staying away from calcium supplements pre-whelping, you can let her regulate and gear up for the needs of whelping and milking. This helps prevent calcium issues in the pregnant dog, such as Eclampsia or Milk Fever.

In early labor when the female starts nesting or her temperature drops one degree, give mom the first dose of calcium.

If you’re whelping naturally, before the first puppy hits the ground, the goal is to get three to four doses of calcium in mom.

She most likely won’t be eating at this time, so a small amount of gel orally is the only choice. She will accept it readily.

Calcium helps to dilate the cervix and get the first puppy on the ground faster. This will help the female not get so tired with a long delivery and she can mother better because she won’t be so exhausted.

Calcium supplementation during lactation will not cause milk fever, so supplementation can begin at whelping and nursing.

What is Eclampsia?

Eclampsia, also referred to as hypocalcemia, puerperal tetany, or Milk Fever is an emergency medical condition associated with a life-threatening drop in blood calcium levels that occurs in nursing mothers.

Eclampsia most commonly occurs when the puppies are one to four weeks of age and the mother is producing the most milk.

If eclampsia develops, oral supplements will not help. They take too long to absorb. The dog will need to see the vet for an intravenous dose.


Calcium and Puppies

Calcium is a mineral that helps with your dog’s growth, maintaining healthy bones and teeth, proper muscle building and function, heart health, and maintaining a healthy nervous system.

Calcium is an essential mineral critical to many functions in puppies, and the intake of the correct amount is important.

Too little calcium could lead to rickets or stress fractures, but too much calcium could result in skeletal malformations and secondary nutrient deficiencies.

Supplements for Nursing Bitches

Our vet has suggested we give lactating moms Doc Roy’s Healthy Bones.

This is a once daily tablet.

Because Oralcal is fast acting, Oralcal goes in and comes out just as fast as it goes in. It doesn’t help to maintain or support healthy levels.

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