Back to News

Published: Jun 27, 2012

Breeding dogs is generally not recommended because of the extremely high number of homeless puppies and dogs across America. According to the ASPCA, it is impossible to estimate how many homeless pets there are in the U.S., but experts believe there are about 40 million stray cats alone. There are also certain complications that can occur during dog pregnancy that might deter you from breeding your dog.

Eclampsia in dogs is one emergency medical condition that can happen in nursing mothers. It is characterized by a life-threatening drop in the canine's calcium levels. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, this condition typically occurs when the puppies are between one and five weeks of age. This is when the mother is producing the most milk. Eclampsia does not occur due to a lack of calcium, but instead is the effect of a nursing female being unable to use her body’s calcium stores effectively.   

This condition requires immediate veterinary attention, so it is important you know the clinical signs that may indicate your dog has had a drop in her calcium. If your dog is experiencing restlessness, pacing, tremors, weakness, stiff limbs or an inability to stand or walk, bring her to the veterinarian immediately for emergency care.

You can prevent this condition by feeding a high-quality diet specifically formulated for pregnant and nursing mothers. Supplementation with calcium or calcium-rich foods is actually not recommended as it can make eclampsia worse. If you have concerns, your veterinarian can also monitor your dog's calcium levels. Of course, spaying and neutering your pets will eliminate the likelihood that you'll be caring for a nursing mother any time soon.