Eclampsia is an acute, life-threatening disease caused by low calcium levels (hypocalcemia) in dogs and more rarely in cats. A lactating animal is especially susceptible to blood calcium depletion because of lactating. Signs of Eclampsia are most often seen 1-3 weeks after giving birth, but it can occur anytime, even while pregnant.
Smaller breed dogs are at a high risk. Initial signs include restlessness and nervousness, followed by a stiff gait or wobble when walking and she may also appear disoriented. Eventually, the dog may be unable to walk and will exhibit extreme rigidity in the legs. Her body temperature may increase to over 105°F and respiration rate will increase. At this point, treatment is absolutely necessary. Seek veterinary attention immediately and prevent the puppies from nursing for a minimum of 24 hours (use a milk replacer supplement for the pups).
Eclampsia can be rapidly corrected through the use of intravenous calcium supplementation.
Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.