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Dog Hypercalcemia

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Dog Hypercalcemia

When there appears to be too much calcium in the blood, your dog may be diagnosed with hypercalcemia. After test results are returned with an increase in calcium, further diagnostic tests need to be performed to determine if it is a false positive or if there is some underlying condition causing it.

A couple of things that can cause this false positive are blood samples taken too soon after a fatty meal or separation of the hemoglobin during testing. Some glass detergents and anticoagulants can also give false results. A second collection is usually recommended before any further diagnostics are done. Dog Dehydration can cause hypercalcemia as well.

Lymphosarcoma, which is a type of Dog Cancer can be one of the causes for hypercalcemia, as well as chronic kidney failure or hyperparathyroidism. Dog Addisons Disease and Dog Apocrine Gland Tumors or adenocarcimoa of the anal sacs or cancer of the glands themselves can also induce an abnormally high level of calcium in your dog.

Dog Multiple Myeloma and other cancers such as Dog Squamous Cell Carcinoma, nasal Adenocarcinoma, Dog Mammory Cancer, thyroid adenocarcinoma as well as a host of other cancers can also cause hypercalcemia.

Dehydration that includes high albumin or over activity of the parathyroid glands can contribute as well.

It is sometimes a normal occurrence in puppies.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of hypercalcemia are similar to those of many other ailments.

Dog Increased Urination and subsequent Dog Increased Thirst

Dog Vomiting

• Lethargy

• Dehydration

Dog Loss of Appetite

Any changes in your dogs drinking should be noted.


Once other possible underlying conditions have been ruled out or corrected and the hypercalcemia persists, further studies need to be done. Since hypercalcemis has many non-specific symptoms, more diagnostic studies need to be done. Some of these tests are:


• Blood chemistry

• Ionized calcium concentration which will evaluate active forms of calcium

• Urinalysis

Treatment Options

Treatment will depend on the cause and severity of hypercalcemia. Kidney function will be studied and if the concentration in the blood is too high, your dog may be hospitalized for treatment. Fluid therapy will be given and medications will be administered. It is important to correct this condition due to the potential soft tissue mineralization that can occur as well as kidney damage.

When you get your dog home, it will be vitally important to administer the prescribed pharmaceuticals as the veterinarian has prescribed. There will most likely be additional visits to your vet to check for calcium levels. If there is no improvement, further studies must be done.

It is important to allow your dog free access to water. Do your best to avoid your dog’s exposure to substances containing vitamin D. This can be ointments, poisons or an assortment of plants. This condition needs to be treated and relieved as quickly as possible.

As with any illness in your dog, the severity of the diseases can depend on your own observation, by paying attention to your dog and noting any specific changes in appetite, water consumption, elimination or behavioral changes. Such changes should be noted and reported to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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