Treating Milk Fever in Dogs at Home

Have you ever had a dog with milk fever? Caring for a sick pet is a stressful situation, but with the right knowledge and care, treating milk fever at home is possible. Learn how to identify, prevent, and treat milk fever in dogs.

Quick facts: Treating Milk Fever In Dogs At Home

  • ✅ Early treatment is key to preventing more severe symptoms of milk fever in dogs – American Kennel Club
  • ✅ About 25% of nursing bitches are affected by milk fever – Journal of Veterinary Science
  • ✅ Calcium supplements can be used as a first-line treatment for milk fever in dogs – Pet MD
  • ✅ Severe cases may require intravenous calcium supplementation – Pet Care Rx
  • ✅ Milk fever usually resolves in 2-3 days with the right treatment – Merck Veterinary Manual
  • Introduction

    Milk fever, also known as Hypocalcemia, is a condition that affects some nursing dogs. It is caused by a decrease in the calcium level in the blood, which leads to a wide variety of symptoms including depression, seizures, and even coma.

    In this article, we’ll be looking at how to treat milk fever in dogs at home.

    What is Milk Fever?

    Milk Fever, also known as hypocalcemia, is a metabolic disorder that can affect lactating female dogs. It is caused by an imbalance in calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood which can occur when milk production begins shortly after giving birth.

    Symptoms of Milk Fever may include lethargy and weakness, restlessness or panting, trembling or twitching, an increased heart rate and other signs of distress. In severe cases, coma or even death can occur if left untreated.

    Treatment usually involves administering intravenous (IV) fluids along with a calcium and phosphorus supplement to help balance the levels in the blood stream quickly. Supportive care may also be needed such as avoiding exercise or rest periods for the affected dog.

    Home treatment of Milk Fever is possible but it should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian as administering too much calcium or not enough can cause serious complications for your pet.

    Causes of Milk Fever

    Milk Fever, also known as Pregnancy Toxemia, is a metabolic disorder seen in lactating dogs. It is caused by a deficiency of circulating calcium, resulting from an increased demand for calcium during the maternal period. Milk fever can occur during late gestation and peaks all the way up to 8 weeks postpartum.

    Common causes of milk fever include:

    • Inadequate calcium intake due to a poor diet.
    • Imbalanced hormones.
    • Low blood levels of magnesium and phosphorus which can lead to a decrease in calcium absorption.

    The lactating dog’s body will try to address the calcium deficiency by breaking down bones or muscles if an adequate dietary source of calcium is not available. If left untreated, milk fever can lead to hypocalcemic coma, death or permanent damage of vital organs such as the heart and liver. Early detection and treatment are essential for reducing life-threatening complications related to milk fever.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Milk fever is a condition that can occur in dogs during the post-partum period. Signs and symptoms of milk fever can be subtle but include:

    • Depression
    • Weak hind limbs
    • Rapid breathing
    • Poor appetite
    • Poor body condition

    If left untreated, milk fever can prove to be fatal. Knowing what symptoms to look out for can help you to spot it early and take preventive action.

    Clinical Signs

    Clinical Signs are the physical manifestations of a disease or disorder. These can vary from mild to extreme in severity, and may be visible or detectable by other tests that can be conducted.

    In the case of Milk Fever, some common clinical signs for a dog are lethargy or fatigue, rapid and/or shallow breathing, muscle tremors or twitching, a decrease in body temperature, excessive panting and drooling. Other signs may include abnormal posture with inability to stand up straight, depression (withdrawal from normal activities), reduced coordination (including difficulty standing), and decreased appetite.

    These physical signs should be monitored closely as they progress in severity and frequency. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog please seek immediate veterinary attention!

    Diagnostic Tests

    In order to properly diagnose and treat milk fever in dogs at home, it is necessary to perform a series of diagnostic tests. These tests will allow you to determine the extent of the condition and if any other issues are causing the symptoms.

    The most common test used for diagnosing milk fever is a blood test that measures calcium and phosphorus levels. A urine sample can also be taken to check for possible urinary tract problems or other underlying medical conditions. Other tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or a chest x-ray, may be performed to rule out any heart or lung problems. Additionally, stool samples can be collected to test for parasites that could lead to milk fever in dogs.

    Treating Milk Fever at Home

    Milk fever is a common condition in nursing dogs. Fortunately, there are various home treatments that can help reduce the severity of the symptoms and provide relief for your canine companion.

    In this article, we’ll discuss some of the treatments that you can perform at home to help manage the symptoms of milk fever in your dog:

    Dietary Adjustments

    When dealing with Milk Fever in dogs, dietary adjustments can often be the first step in treating the condition. Dietary adjustments include making sure to decrease the amount of carbohydrates present in a dog’s diet, as well as increasing its calcium intake. This can be done using various sources such as low-starch foods, calcium-fortified pet food, or even dairy products. Some of these more common sources include yogurt and cottage cheese, both of which contain beneficial calcium for a dog’s body.

    It is also important to make sure that your dog’s diet is balanced and varied in order to provide them with all necessary vitamins and nutrients needed for their health. Finally, smaller meals over time throughout the day can help to prevent hypocalcemia from returning.

    Administering Calcium and Phosphorus

    Administering Calcium and Phosphorus is a key part of treating milk fever in dogs at home. If left untreated, the condition can become dire and the dog can experience severe symptoms.

    As part of treatment, oral calcium, such as powdered calcium carbonate or eggshell powder, should be administered. This helps to replenish the body’s low levels of calcium.

    In tandem with this, phosphorous supplements should also be given to increase phospherous levels in the body which works with calcium to rebuild a dog’s health after milk fever. Common Types of Phosphorous include:

    • Potassium phosphate
    • Sodium phosphate
    • Other phosphates that are easily absorbed by the dog’s body.

    Administering both types of supplements is important for compensating for what was lost due to milk fever and helping a dog return to health.

    Monitoring Progress

    Monitoring progress is a key part of the home treatment of Milk Fever. It involves regularly checking your dog’s vital signs and providing supportive care as needed. This may include giving fluids, monitoring body temperature, and administering medications or supplements as needed or prescribed by your veterinarian. Additionally, it is important to monitor your dog’s activity level and provide adequate rest to ensure they are able to recover from the condition.

    Regular weigh-ins are essential to make sure that the dog is making a full recovery. You should also keep an eye on how much food and water your dog consumes each day, as well as their energy level and appetite. If any of these changes for the worse or don’t seem to be improving over time, you should alert your vet immediately.


    Milk fever in dogs is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. However, there are some preventative measures you can take in order to reduce the chances of your dog developing this condition. This includes:

    • Providing ample nutrition.
    • Avoiding oversupplementation of calcium.
    • Restricting lactation.

    Let’s look into the details of what you can do to prevent milk fever in dogs.

    Feeding Schedules

    When treating milk fever in dogs at home, feeding schedules need to be considered carefully. Milk fever can occur when puppies are either overfed or underfed. Scheduling regular, small meals for nursing puppies is important to prevent the condition.

    • Feeding should occur every two-to-three hours and should not exceed 4-5 ounces per meal.
    • Extra nutrients such as vitamins and minerals may be needed for the puppies if their mother isn’t providing a well balanced diet for them.
    • It’s also important that pregnant and nursing dogs have access to plenty of water as dehydration is another possible cause of milk fever in dogs.
    • A veterinarian should be consulted if a puppy begins to show signs of dehydration or is not gaining adequate weight over time.

    Nutritional Supplements

    Nutritional supplements are an excellent way to prevent milk fever in dogs. Good nutrition is key to maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing milk fever. Supplements like vitamins and minerals can help keep the body in balance and replenish the nutrients lost during lactation. Additionally, healthier fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics may reduce inflammation throughout the body and support immune health.

    Herbal supplements, such as nettle leaves, dandelion root, alfalfa leaf, ginger root, burdock root, or raspberry leaf can also be given to help flush out toxins from the liver and boost overall immunity. Providing these supplements daily can help reduce the risk of developing milk fever in your dog.


    In conclusion, treating milk fever in dogs at home is possible. However, it is important to remember that these methods may not work for every dog and should only be used as a last resort if traditional medical treatment is unavailable.

    1. If you suspect your dog has milk fever, immediately contact your veterinarian for advice and care as soon as possible.
    2. Ensure your dog has plenty of fluids and calcium to help balance their electrolytes levels to treat the disease.
    3. If all else fails, provide supportive care at home by increasing the temperature in the room, providing comforting blankets or towels, and using a warm water bath or heating pad on low settings.

    By following these simple steps you can help treat mild cases of milk fever in your canine companion from the comfort of your own home.

    FAQs about: Treating Milk Fever In Dogs At Home

    Q: What is milk fever?

    A: Milk fever, also known as hypocalcemia, is a condition in which a dog’s calcium levels are too low. It is most commonly seen in nursing mothers, but can also occur in puppies or adult dogs whose calcium levels have dropped too low.

    Q: What are the symptoms of milk fever in dogs?

    A: Common symptoms of milk fever in dogs include lethargy, weakness, trembling, muscle twitching, and seizures. If left untreated, milk fever can cause serious health complications or even death.

    Q: How can milk fever be treated at home?

    A: Milk fever can be treated at home with oral or injectable calcium supplements. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian first to determine the best course of treatment for your dog. Additionally, it is important to make sure that your dog is receiving the proper nutrition and care to prevent milk fever from recurring.

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