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Evaluation of total and ionized calcium status in dogs with blastomycosis: 38 cases (1997-2006)

Laura J Crews, Leslie C Sharkey, Daniel A Feeney, Carl R Jessen, Tammy Ruska
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2007 November 15, 231 (10): 1545-9
18020999

OBJECTIVE: To determine blood ionized calcium (iCa) and serum total calcium (tCa) concentrations in dogs with blastomycosis and to evaluate whether serum tCa concentration, albumin-adjusted serum calcium concentration (AdjCa-Alb), and total protein-adjusted serum calcium concentration (AdjCa-TP) accurately predict iCa status.

DESIGN: Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS: 38 client-owned dogs with a cytologic diagnosis of blastomycosis.

PROCEDURES: Dogs were classified as hypocalcemic, normocalcemic, or hypercalcemic on the basis of blood iCa concentration, serum tCa concentration, AdjCa-Alb, and AdjCa-TP; classification on the basis of serum tCa concentration, AdjCa-Alb, and AdjCa-TP was compared with blood iCa concentration.

RESULTS: Except for 2 hypercalcemic dogs, all dogs had blood iCa concentrations within the reference interval. Use of serum tCa concentration overestimated hypocalcemia in 57.9% (22/38) of dogs and underestimated hypercalcemia in 1 dog. Use of AdjCa-Alb correctly reclassified all dogs as normocalcemic that were classified as hypocalcemic on the basis of serum tCa concentration, but failed to predict hypercalcemia in 1 dog. Use of AdjCa-TP correctly reclassified all but 2 dogs as normocalcemic that were classified as hypocalcemic on the basis of serum tCa concentration, and failed to predict hypercalcemia in 1 dog. No correlation was found between blood iCa concentration and serum concentrations of tCa, total protein, and albumin; AdjCa-Alb; or AdjCa-TP.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: High blood iCa concentration was uncommon in dogs with blastomycosis. Hypoalbuminemia contributed to a low serum tCa concentration despite a blood iCa concentration within reference limits. The use of serum tCa concentration, AdjCa-Alb, and AdjCa-TP may fail to identify a small number of dogs with high blood iCa concentrations.

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