Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs

Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Magnesium Deficiency?

Dogs require essential vitamins and minerals just like humans do. One of these key nutrients is magnesium, involved with energy production at the cellular level. Every time your pet moves a muscle, experiences a heartbeat, or has a thought, magnesium is needed to facilitate that transfer of energy. Also involved are three other minerals: sodium, potassium, and calcium, all dependent to some degree on the action of magnesium. These minerals are necessary for proper heart function, muscle movement and nervous system signaling. Sometimes, whether due to malnutrition, diabetes, or kidney damage, an insufficient amount of magnesium is present for use in the body, leading the other three minerals to drop. This can cause weakness, muscle tremors, and heart arrhythmias that can be fatal. Schedule an appointment with the veterinarian immediately if your dog is behaving strangely and is experiencing pain or difficulty walking.

Magnesium deficiency or Hypomagnesemia, is a lack of a critical mineral necessary for all cellular processes requiring ATP. As levels of magnesium are linked to the processes using potassium, sodium, and calcium as well, low magnesium can quickly result in lowered amounts of these minerals as well. Sodium and potassium especially are involved in muscle movement and cardiac rhythm, so hypomagnesemia can be a dangerous condition left untreated.
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Magnesium Deficiency Average Cost

From 25 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,000

Average Cost

$650

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs

  • Muscle weakness or trembling
  • Hyperactive or improperly triggered reflexes
  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle pain
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Lethargy or abnormal behavior
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Causes of Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs

  • Malnutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney damage
  • Treatment with diuretics
  • Disease inhibiting absorption of nutrients
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Diagnosis of Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs

See the veterinarian immediately if your dog appears weak, has trouble walking or is seeming uncoordinated as these may be signs of magnesium deficiency. This deficiency should be corrected swiftly to avoid fatal heart problems. Tell the veterinarian about any changes to your dog’s diet, any other treatment your dog has received, and whether your dog’s habits have changed with regard to urination and defecation. Sometimes, if your dog has been treated with diuretics (drugs that help to evacuate excess fluid), it may lose too much magnesium in the process of urinating out all this fluid.

The veterinarian will listen to your dog’s heart, and if any abnormality is detected, will likely order an ECG. An ECG is a medical device which displays the patterns of your dog’s heartbeat on a screen using terminals taped to your dog’s chest. This is a simple machine and most veterinarians will have one. The classic signs of low magnesium are prolonged PR intervals, widened QRS complexes, depressed ST segments and peaked T-waves.

For the next step, even if your dog does not exhibit these cardiac symptoms, the vet will likely order a blood electrolyte test, which will measure the amounts of minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium in your pet’s blood, in addition to some other common electrolytes. This gives a definitive picture of what is and is not making its way into your pet’s bloodstream. This test will need to be sent to the lab and may take a short while to perform. If these come back with low magnesium your vet will discuss treatment options.

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Treatment of Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs

A number of conditions can lead to low magnesium, such as diabetes, kidney damage or treatment with drugs that stress the kidneys, and diseases that hinder nutrient absorption like IBD. If these are well-controlled, it is unlikely a magnesium deficit will appear. If it does, this could indicate the pre-existing condition needs further treatment.

Treatment for magnesium deficiency alone is simple- giving the animal chewable or (in more severe cases) IV magnesium supplements is usually all that is needed to correct the condition. In cases such as malnutrition where the deficiency has persisted for some time, correction of the associated electrolytes may be needed as well, particularly potassium and calcium.

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Worried about the cost of Magnesium Deficiency treatment?

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Recovery of Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs

Dogs without underlying conditions that are treated swiftly usually make a full recovery. However, their recovery must be supervised carefully especially if magnesium supplements are prescribed. Too much magnesium in the body is also an undesirable condition, and so careful adherence to your veterinarian’s instructions will be essential. Especially in the first few days of treatment, your vet may request daily electrolyte testing and potentially an ECG during administration of the treatment, if given by IV. Do not hesitate to call your vet if any of the symptoms return, or your dog develops any new ones.

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Magnesium Deficiency Average Cost

From 25 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,000

Average Cost

$650

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Magnesium Deficiency Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Copper

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Australian Shepherd

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9 Months

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8 found helpful

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8 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Diari
Sleepiness
Diarrhea

My dog is an Australian Shepard lab mix and he has been lethargy more so in the past couple of months. He’s always been lazy but now he acts like he is too lazy to walk. like if you’re across the room he would rather scoot to you than get up and walk. He acts like his back legs or hips bother him. He is skinny but i keep a bowl of food at him but he will eat maybe half the bowl once a day. I have also noticed that his nails are peeling like. The only medication he has recieved is over the counter de worming and a de worming pill twice. (besides his shots as a puppy). I don’t really know what it is and i don’t want to take him to a vet and them say it’s nothing or them spend thousands of dollars for them to find nothing wrong with him. And the past couple of nights he has terrible watery diarrhea at 3 in the morning. He also likes to eat clothes no matter how much we keep away from him.

July 16, 2018

Copper's Owner

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8 Recommendations

The hind limb weakness is concerning and you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination and some causes may worsen in severity and be more difficult to treat if not treated promptly; this lazy behaviour isn’t what should be expected from a nine month old pup. Please visit your Veterinarian regardless of your feelings. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 16, 2018

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Rocco

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pit bull terrier

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2 Years

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2 found helpful

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2 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Alle

Hello, my dogs heavy metal test came back with high levels of aluminum and some mercury. He is also extremely low in calcium and magnesium. His vet said get calcium 700 mg and magnesium 300 mg...at the health store. I have searched high and low , but have been unsuccessful. Is there any brands you could recommend?

March 14, 2018

Rocco's Owner

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2 Recommendations

It is strange because I can find plenty of reference to to products containing calcium carbonate 700mg and magnesium hydroxide 300mg but I cannot find any products for sale online with that combination (I checked PetCo, PetSmart, CVS, Walmart, Amazon); plenty with 1200mg, 600mg etc… I would ask your Veterinarian about local stockists for this since he is making the recommendation, plus I don’t know which country you are in. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 14, 2018

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Magnesium Deficiency Average Cost

From 25 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,000

Average Cost

$650

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