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low blood calcium

April 29th, 2012, 08:02 AM
Hi everyone,

I have two dogs ages 11 and 13. Some of you may be familiar with the younger dog who had a misdiagnosed case of anaplasmosis last fall. She is doing very well. This year, for our annual check-up I had a full blood panel done and both dogs had low blood calcium. The also had high sodium and potassium levels. I don't have the exact numbers but my vet said it was a little higher and a little lower than normal. She didn't seem too concerned but asked what I feed.

I basically give them a kibble breakfast (go natural grain free) with some of their canned food mixed in. For dinner they get the honest kitchen which I usually fortify with cooked meats. I'm wondering if that is the problem because The honest kitchen says you can add additional foods but maybe I am adding too much meat and this is creating imbalance? Both dogs seem healthy but I have noticed a decline in energy levels the past year but just wondered if it was age related.

I try to get them to chew on bones but they don't seem to enjoy that. I've tried raw and smoked bones but they don't usually show a lot of interest. They do like the pizzle sticks but that won't increase Calcium.

Should I add crushed egg shells? Or what would be an easy way to increase the Calcium without giving them kidney stones?


April 30th, 2012, 12:25 AM
With both dogs, it does seem like it might be diet related?

One way to increase absorption of calcium is to increase D - wonder if you northern folks have a greater need for it?

But....if you are adding meat, and for some reason there is not enough calcium to balance that, that would definitely cause the low calcium. You could try to add a crushed egg shell. I used to use a combination of NOW calcium carbonate powder, and also the supplement Nutramin, for Max's calcium needs. Being poultry sensitive, he even reacted to the eggs!

Not sure about the electrolytes?

April 30th, 2012, 09:07 PM
Thanks Maxalisa,

Since both dogs had very similar blood results I also think diet is likely. I hope I haven't been a bad dog Mom and been overdoing it on the meat. I am not sure about the extra D for dogs or what the recommended dose would be. I could look into that. You are right that being further North we humans do need to supplement vit D and we take 1000 IU but I have no idea what dogs require.

I will continue with the crushed egg shell and see if I can get more info.

Thanks for your thoughts!

April 30th, 2012, 11:41 PM
In some circles, they upped the vit D for humans to 5,000 IU per day. I was taking about 800 IU a day, and I'm at half the optimal dose. Who knows!

When I was homecooking, I know that adding enough calcium was important, so hopefullly this is an easy fix!

So glad that timber is still doing well, it makes me smile :)

May 1st, 2012, 08:30 PM
Thanks MaxaLisa,

We are all doing well. Thankful that we are still enjoying life even though it is at a much slower pace :o