Hypocalcemia of critical illness in dogs and cats

Marie K Holowaychuk
Veterinary Clinics of North America. Small Animal Practice 2013, 43 (6): 1299-317, vi-vii
Hypocalcemia occurs in critically ill dogs and cats and is associated with medications, treatments, and underlying diseases such as acute kidney disease, pancreatitis, parathyroid disease, sepsis, and trauma. Possible underlying mechanisms include hypovitaminosis D, acquired or relative hypoparathyroidism, hypomagnesemia, and alterations in the ionized fraction of calcium caused by changes in chelated or protein-bound calcium. If severe or acute, hypocalcemia can cause obvious clinical signs related to muscle or neurologic hyperexcitability or more subtle signs of cardiovascular dysfunction. Emergency treatment with calcium gluconate administration is recommended when clinical signs are present or if there is moderate to severe ionized hypocalcemia.

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