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Old 09-16-2014, 03:00 PM
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Default Calcium supplements for tiny dogs?

Ru has a couple of loose incisors, his vet doesn't think they need to come out but recommended I add calcium to his diet. Apparently toy breeds tend to be calcium deficient because even a tiny amount of table food can overload them on phosphorus when they weight less than the average housecat.

The vet said that bone meal was the best source of calcium, but failing that almost anything would work. Eggshells, Rep-Cal, Tums. With birds and reptiles in the house I am highly experienced at cramming calcium into animals.

I can sometimes get nasty horrible grinder cleanings from the meat packing plant, which would be my preferred option, but it's not an item that's available frequently and it would be at least a few weeks and as long as a few months before I could get it. Raw bones would also be a great option if His Tinyness would eat them, but he won't touch poultry and everything else is too big. I am not at all optimistic about getting him to actually chew up and swallow any bone which he is physically capable of consuming.

What do you like to use for calcium in your dog's diet? Any supplements? Brands? Recipes?
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:12 PM
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I read your post and have to smile at the burly intensity of your calcium sources. Bones and grinder leavings! RAWR!!!

Paps are commonly given dairy products as puppies to help keep their ears to stand up straight. The issue is supposed to be from a calcium deficiency when they start growing their teeth so we supplement them with calcium rich food items. My baby girl had droopy ears at one point soon after we got her. The breeder was giving her Cottage cheese for it before we picked her up. We also gave it to her and the ears were back to normal within a short time.

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Old 09-18-2014, 03:01 AM
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It's the years of raw feeding that lead me straight to animal parts. I just can't figure out how to apply it to a wee dog who refuses to chew any bone small enough for him to actually consume. I have a bag of pidgeon heads in my freezer, but he won't touch them even thawed nicely. I've tried explaining to him that he is basically a rodent and only large enough to eat birds, but he's not having any of it. Beef ribs he'll gnaw. Chicken bones? Might as well starve.

I've been giving him yogurt and cottage cheese when he'll eat them, but I think the calcium/phosphorus ratio is only 1.3/1, so he's not getting that much more calcium overall. I have some liquid calcium pills that I've used for my turtles, but I'm a bit worried about stressing his tiny organs with too much or the wrong type of calcium. I'd like to go with the most bioavailable source that he'll actually eat.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:16 AM
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Why don't you just have a blood panel done? If his calcium and phosphorus are normal then you just don't have to worry about it.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:47 AM
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Blood work is a good idea.

If you still need to supplement, You might investigate brewing your own with vinegar and dandelion greens. Very bio available. Never used it on dogs myself but my "Professional Witch Doctor" consultant (Mom) recommends it for those people who need to take calcium. There just has to be a way to work it into their diet. Just a thought.

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Old 09-18-2014, 12:12 PM
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Blood panel is probably a good idea. Has anyone else heard of a blanket recommendation for calcium for tiny dogs?

I'm not sure where to find dandelion greens, my yard is usually full of them but everything is dead and crispy right now since we can't water. I also cannot imagine convincing His Tinyness to consume such a concoction. My husband, on the other hand, might be interested.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:48 PM
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I'm not an expert in dogs, but i imagine since they have systems and muscles similar to humans they are similar as well, but not certain.

But in humans, blood ca++ levels are very tightly regulated. They have a narrow range and your body will scrape and do everything it can to maintain those "normal" levels because your body can't operate much outside those ranges without death being pretty likely Most everything else is sacrificed to maintain those levels

If any abnormalities are found it's usually because of hormonal reasons, other deficiencies, organ failures, certain cancers etc.

Take home point is, I think it would take a much larger problem than a dietary deficiency to cause those levels to be "abnormal". In humans at least. I assume dogs are similar or their hearts and muscles wouldn't work very well.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:51 PM
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get a grinder, and grind easy stuff like necks and wings. I save all my eggshells and blend them with veggies and give them once a week or so too
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:51 PM
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The point pinkspore's vet is apparently trying to make is that the dog may have a phosphorus excess that is high enough to cause a calcium deficiency. Phosphorus and calcium regulation are very tightly tied to one another, and it would take a pretty deranged dietary phosphorus to start to affect the calcium.

So if you do a panel and the phosphorus and calcium are both normal, then it's very unlikely there's actually a problem. Supplementing calcium when it's not needed is nothing to screw around with and can be dangerous. You can actually end up with high calcium levels just from too much dietary calcium which opens another whole can of worms.
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:10 PM
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so then it's different in dogs? I only ask because in humans it's not really going to tell you anything. They're both most likely always going to test normal unless something else is already wrong. Call it a false negative. It shows normal, but the diet is still jacked. It just means nothing has broken down in the system yet because of it.

It will definitely mean something if it shows abnormal findings, but it doesn't mean everything is OK if everything is shows "normal" either.
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