Lactating dogs should be given a calcium supplement daily while nursing all the way to a week after weaning their puppies. This should be formulated for dogs to have the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio. Calcium and Phosphorus should be balanced 1 to 1 ratio. Lactation and nursing deplete the body of calcium. Milk fever or Eclampsia can set in if calcium is lacking. A dog will get a fever, anything 103 degrees and over is a temperature. Normal dog temperature can vary from 100.5 to 102.5.
Milk fever will bring on tremors or seizure like actions, your dog can go comatose and die if not given the correct amount of calcium intravenously immediately by a Veterinarian. Too much calcium or given too rapidly can cause cardiac arrhythmia. Calcium is given with intravenous fluids alternately to slowly introduce calcium back into the blood stream. When eclampsia has set in, an oral calcium supplement Will NOT Work. Milk fever can NOT be treated at home. Your dog will die if not treated immediately. Cooling them off with an ice packs helps to reduce fever, but do not immerse your dog in water. You do not want to shock an already over stressed system. Spraying the pads of their paws with rubbing alcohol will help reduce their body temperature. Administering Nutri-Stat or Nutri-Cal, a nutritional supplement will help with hypoglycemia. Make sure your dog is able to swallow if giving anything orally. These 3 steps can help your dog and keep them alive on the way to the Veterinarian. After treating for milk fever most Veterinarians will strongly advise not allowing puppies to nurse again since this condition can reoccur. If puppies are not thoroughly weaned, then this means you will have to supplement feed them with a milk replacement formula until completely eating on their own.