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Postpartum - Eclampsia in Dogs

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A Deficiency of the calcium (hypocalcaemia) of blood is called Postpartum - Eclampsia and it is developed in weeks after having the birth, it may develop during lactation or before the birth. It is also called puerperal tetany, or ‘’ milk fever’’, the Eclampsia generally happened due to a parathyroid gland that is underactive, regulate the parathyroid hormone is the responsibility of that gland. That regulating hormones are stored in the bones and can be used in the blood on necessity. The said glands not meet to the requirement of the bitch when milk comes in and the bitch has much need of calcium. Insufficiency of the calcium always resulted in skeletal muscles’ tnoclonic contractions and the body’s muscles convulsively contracted which limit the movement. A dog of toy dogs such as Chihuahuas, miniature, pinschers, shih-Tzu, miniature poodles, Mexican hairless dogs may caught by Eclampsia mostly in first litter. The puppies are mostly not affected by Eclampisa due to the full nutrition having calcium and best taken care by their mother. The signs and the symptoms in general appear during forty days after the giving birth sometimes can occur in the period of pregnancy. Some symptoms of Eclampsia are listed below:

Symptoms - Postpartum Eclampsia in Dogs:

Poor maternal behavior




Dog lies down with paws rigidly extended (usually seen 8–12 hours after the first onset of symptoms)

Panting, whining

Muscle tremors, tetany (entire body goes stiff), convulsions

Facial itchiness

Dilated pupils which are slow to contract when exposed to light

High body temperature, fever

Rapid, heavy breathing

Clumsy walking, stiff gait

Restlessness, nervousness

Causes - Postpartum Eclampsia in Dogs:

First litter

Calcium supplementation during pregnancy

Inappropriate calcium to phosphorous ratio in the diet while pregnant

Poor nutrition during pregnancy

Low body weight to litter size ratio

Diagnosis - Postpartum Eclampsia in Dogs:

It is the responsibility of the breeder/owner of the dog to provide the full disease history of the dog. The dog should be under the observation and the history should be made by an owner when the first symptoms of that disease are appeared. The history of disease with the type of the pregnancy and the giving supplement to your dog throughout that period is necessary to provide the veterinarian. The detail of the feeding diet during this period should also be provided to the vet for better cure of the dog. The vet will test and medically examine the dog. The standard test normally includes the complete blood count and an electrolyte panel and a chemical blood profile. The total calcium serum in blood is verified by the blood test. The dog is diagnosed with eclampsia if the concentration is less than 7mg/dL. The vet will recommend to start immediate the giving of calcium supplement to the affected dog. There may be present the low blood magnesium/Low blood sugar levels. Serum potassium is high in 56 % of cases and it should be supplemented. The electrical rhythm of heart may be observed abnormal by ECG.

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