Tag Archive | Medicine

Brilliant!

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This really stuck with me today. It can’t express how I feel any better.  It also reminds me of what I need to do in my life. What I think about constantly, but don’t follow through with. That I need to just speak and not walk on eggshells. That I need to do more for myself and what makes me feel good.  

I want to thank, Rachael, a friend on Facebook. One of the very few friends that I have on Facebook, that I have never actually met in person. I adore your drive for life. For peace. For health. For education.  ♥

xo

I almost lost her yesterday…

Yesterday afternoon my dog Queenie had a very severe seizure. She has always been a super healthy dog since her bout with parvo as a 10 week old pup. I thought I was going to loose her then and I thought I was going to loose her again yesterday. She is having a calcium deficiency with feeding the puppies. It is called Hypocalcemia. The doctor gave her two bouts of calcium through IV. I have to make sure her calcium is regular for the next week and also wean the puppies. I final got them all to eat just a while ago. Thank goodness they are almost 4 weeks old and will get more interested in eating on their own each day. Queenie has been going in there and checking on them, cleaning on them, but when they try to latch on she comes right back out. I am actually so happy that her body is telling her not to do it. I don’t think I could handle another day like yesterday. I thought she was going to literally die in my arms. I am happy that all seems to be okay so far today though. I have given her a calcium supplement today (stuck it down her throat with my finger, the boys were laughing) and gave her organic whole yogurt all though the night. Yes, I’m a little tired, but not complaining. So, things seem to be looking up, but we shall see.

Low Blood Calcium in Dogs

Hypocalcemia in Dogs

If your dog has lower than normal levels of calcium in its blood, it is suffering from the medical condition known as hypocalcemia. Calcium plays an important role in vital bodily functions such as bone and teeth formation, blood clotting, milk production, muscle contraction, heart pumping, vision, and in the metabolism of hormones and enzymes. Therefore, calcium deficiency is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment.

Symptoms and Types

Symptoms vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of the problem. However, some of the more common symptoms include:

In mild cases, no symptoms may be observed until total calcium level fall well below normal (6.7 mg/dL).

Causes

Albumin is a protein found in the blood and significant fraction of calcium remains bound to albumin along with free calcium in the blood. If the level of albumin falls (hypoalbuminemia) due to some other problem or disease, it also affects the total calcium level. Although it accounts for more than 50 percent of hypocalcemia cases, low levels of calcium associated with hypoalbuminemia are not generally associated with any symptom.

Hypocalcemia may also be due to:

  • Kidney failure (acute or chronic)
  • Poor calcium absorption in the gut
  • Alkalosis (condition in which the body fluids have excess base alkali)
  • Hypoparathyroidism (Inadequate secretion of parathyroid hormone resulting in abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood)
  • Hypoparathyroidism secondary to surgical removal of the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy)
  • Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • Oxalate toxicity (e.g., lily, philodendron, etc.)
  • Hypomagnesaemia (low levels of magnesium in the blood)
  • Acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Rickets (early age disease caused by deficiency of vitamin D and sunlight associated with impaired metabolism of calcium and phosphorus)
  • Puerperal tetany (Clinical neurological syndrome characterized by muscular twitching and cramps and seizures; associated with calcium deficiency [hypoparathyroidism] or vitamin D deficiency or alkalosis)
  • Phosphate-containing enemas used in patients with severe constipation
  • Citrate toxicity in patients with multiple blood transfusions were conducted for some other health problem

Diagnosis

There are occasions where a laboratory error reflects hypocalcemia when in fact your dog is just fine. To verify, it is important you give a detailed history of your dog’s health, onset and nature of symptoms, and possible incidence that might have precipitated the condition. Your veterinarian will also perform a thorough physical exam to evaluate all body systems to evaluate overall health of your dog. Routine tests including complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis will provide valuable information about the blood calcium levels and information about the possible inciting cause(s) of hypocalcemia in your dog.

If kidney failure is the precipitating cause of hypocalcemia, complete blood count may show anemia in dogs with chronic kidney failure. Anemia may also be present in patients with nutrition related secondary hyperparathyroidism or poor intestinal absorption of calcium in the gut.

In case of infection or inflammation (like pancreatitis), the number of white blood cells may have found to be abnormally high. In some dogs with pancreatitis, amylase and lipase enzymes are also found to be elevated. In dogs with low levels of albumin (hypoalbuminemia), the biochemistry profile will show levels of albumin and disturbances in calcium levels. Meanwhile, if alkalosis is a cause of hypocalcemia, the blood gas analysis will reveal abnormally high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood of your dog.

Dogs with with kidney failure ethylene, glycol toxicity, or oxalate toxicity may present abnormally high levels of Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine. Phosphorous derangements are also common in conditions leading to low calcium levels and in patients with kidney problems, ethylene glycol toxicity, oxalate toxicity, and hypoparathyroidism, biochemistry profile may show abnormally high levels of phosphorous. High phosphorous levels and hypocalcemia may also be found in the blood if enemas containing phosphorous are used in patients requiring enema; in constipation, for example. Urinalysis may reveal abnormally low concentrated urine and presence of glucose in patients with kidney problems or ethylene or oxalate toxicity.

To determine if the low level of calcium is responsible for the symptoms present, your veterinarian may order further testing to find the concentration of ionized fractions of calcium, which is the active form of calcium in the blood. In case of ethylene glycol toxicity, the ethylene glycol test will be performed to confirm the toxicity. Your veterinarian will draw a blood sample from a vein of your dog and will send it to the laboratory to determine the levels of ethylene glycol in the blood. Normally, the level of ethylene glycol in the blood should be zero. If hypoparathyroidism is suspected, more detailed tests to evaluate the functions of the parathyroid gland will be conducted.

Radiography of the abdomen may reveal smaller than normal sized kidneys in dogs with chronic kidney failure and large-sized kidney in animals with ethylene glycol toxicity, oxalate toxicity, or acute kidney failure. Dogs with nutrition related secondary hypoparathyroidism, meanwhile, may display low bone density on bone X-rays.

Treatment

Generally, hypocalcemia is corrected through calcium supplementation therapy under close monitoring, so as to prevent side-effects related to calcium overload. Your veterinarian will also monitor the electrocardiogram data (EKG) because calcium has a direct effect on heart and significant calcium level changes leads to abnormal EKG findings.

After intravenous calcium therapy, your veterinarian may like to continue calcium supplementation for an extended period of time to prevent relapse. In addition, severe cases of hypocalcemia may require extended hospital stays.

Living and Management

In cases with transitory hypocalcemia, the initial calcium therapy will generally resolve the problem. However, if the hypocalcemia was due to a serious health problem, it will need to be treated further to prevent future episodes. Hypocalcemia due to nutrition and parturition (the act of giving birth) may also require further action.

If your dog’s hypocalcemia is related to nutrition, for example, your veterinarian will make new dietary recommendations. While bitches that have recently given birth may be separated from their puppies. In these cases, the puppies can be nursed by hand until the dog’s hypocalcemia has properly been addressed.

30 Days – Day 25

Day 25 — The Person You know That is Going Through The Worst of Times (3 Days Late)

The first person that came to mind is myself, but after today I really have to say that I have a lot of luck and good Karma on my side.

My Besties Son has regular seizures.  He is only 7.  Surgery is in his future.  He was doing great, then BAM, he is having another bad week.  They live in Alabama now and it kills me that I can’t hug her when she needs it the most and be there for her.

I was talking with a man today, my Attorney, and he was telling me about his Brother that is dying from brain cancer.  He is 30 years old and starting Hospice care this week.  He said that when they found out and though his treatment they prayed for him to get better.  New he says that they  pray for him to be out of pain.

I know 3 women who are going though very sad divorces and the men in their lives are putting the children in between them. The Husbands are saying horrible things about the Mothers putting the children against the Mothers.  Very out of line.  I am very sad mostly for the children.  They will need a lifetime of therapy after all of their lives are settled and all is calm again. The worst thing you can do to children, in my mind, is put them in the middle of your situation… the parents situation.  The children always seem to get hurt the worst.

I got a text today from my Niece telling me that her Father will probably pass today.  He has been in the hospital with Hepatitis C and Liver Cancer… he is only 55.  His Father died last month (her Grandfather) and he was in his late 80’s.

These are to just name of  few of the things that are going on with people who I know.  I feel fortunate that I do have such a wonderful life.  Even in the hardest of times.  🙂

xo