Whelping with Calcium: Pet Care Pro Show

Whelping with Calcium: Pet Care Pro Show


SHELLEY: Did you know that adding calcium
at the right time during labor can make whelping or queening go faster? And that can decrease your chances of puppy
or kitten loss and keep your moms from getting too tired. On this episode of the Pet Care Pro Show,
we are talking about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to using calcium during whelping
or queening. We will also talk about signs of a calcium
deficiency in mom. This is Deedee and she is a Revival Pet Care
Pro. She works closely with our on-staff vet and
she answers customers’ pet health questions every day. And you’ve helped answer several questions
when it comes to using calcium at whelping! DONDI: Sure have! SHELLEY: Now before we pick Deedee’s brain
about the best way to use calcium at whelping we ask you to consider subscribing to the
Revival Animal Health YouTube channel. It’s free and easy to do. If you’re watching us on YouTube, simply
click the red subscribe button below. That way when we add new videos on pet care
and pet health you won’t miss those. Now it’s time to go through our do’s and
don’ts of using calcium at whelping. Deedee, let’s start with a brief explanation
of how calcium works during whelping and queening. DONDI: Sure! In all mammals, calcium allows the uterine
muscle to have more effective contractions. The goal is to help mom do her job so all
puppies or kittens are born efficiently and alive. If a mom is low on calcium, it can lead to
ineffective contractions, long labor, and nervousness, and that can, unfortunately,
lead to puppy and kitten loss. SHELLEY: Right, because once labor starts,
the puppy at risk is the one that is not yet born. DONDI: Exactly. Slow delivery stresses puppies and sometimes
results in uterine inertia from exhausted moms, resulting in a C-section on the last
few puppies. This is hard on mom and definitely hard on
puppies as they are often shorted oxygen. Oxygen-deprived puppies can die or be born
alive but be ineffective nursers, and this can result in puppy loss. SHLLEY: Let’s talk calcium in queens. I know cats are similar but not exactly the
same. What are the concerns with cat moms? DONDI: We know that 50 percent of kitten loss
happens at or just before birth. So effective contractions in the queen and
kittens born efficiently help eliminate that loss. Remember queen comfort when giving birth is
vital but having met that requirement, effective contractions gets our kittens on the ground
and nursing. Calcium gel does that for us by helping our
queen make every contraction effective. SHELLEY: Now, if you use a calcium supplement,
in order for it to be effective, it’s all about timing, correct? DONDI: Absolutely! If you give calcium too soon before labor
you shut down the mom’s ability to gear up for the demands her body will need for whelping
and milk production. In late pregnancy, mom’s body demand for
calcium begins to increase as the embryo’s bones form, so you need to let her body regulate
the calcium it will need. NOT supplementing with calcium pre-whelping
helps decrease the chance of calcium issues such as eclampsia or milk fever. SHELLEY: So you don’t want to give her calcium
prior to whelping. When DO you want to supplement? DONDI: The short answer is once labor begins. In early labor, when you notice the female
starting to nest or her temperature drops by one degree, give her that first dose of
calcium. Remember, 24 hours before active labor begins,
mom’s temperature will drop by one degree. If you’ve been taking her temperature daily
when you notice this drop that’s your cue that early labor has begun, and you should
start calcium gel. SHELLEY: Great. So it’s now the start of labor. What form of calcium do you suggest? Chances are mom won’t be eating at this
point, so what is the best way to get calcium in her? DONDI: I suggest Breeders’ Edge Oral Cal
Plus. It is a fast-absorbing gel and it doesn’t
upset mom’s tummy like other sources of calcium can. Calcium gel is ideal because it’s easily
absorbed through the membranes of the mouth. It’s much easier and more effective than
Tums or ice cream which need to be digested. In dogs, your goal is to get three to four
doses of calcium in mom before the first puppy is born. For queens, you want to get two to three doses
of calcium in before the first kitten is born. SHELLEY: Now, you mentioned tums and ice cream,
how is oral cal plus different from those sources of calcium? DONDI: Tums are made to stay in the GI tract
and buffer the acid. That’s their purpose. Even though there’s calcium in them, they
have to go through the digestive system to break down, so mom doesn’t get what she
needs soon enough. Ice cream or dairy products also contain calcium
but can cause stomach upset because of the lactose. Oral Cal Plus is designed for dogs and cats
so it’s gentle on the stomach and also has the right balance of other minerals, like
phosphorous, to ensure the calcium is absorbed efficiently. SHELLEY: So once the first puppy or kitten
is on the ground, should you continue giving a calcium supplement gel? DONDI: Yes, you can repeat the dose as needed
if labor slows. Remember, by using calcium you are not speeding
anything up, just making mom more efficient at her job so she doesn’t get as tired. Then she can do a better job at mothering
during that first 24 hours. SHELLEY: Exactly. For post whelping, what do you recommend when
it comes to calcium supplementation? DONDI: We know milk production increases gradually
10 to 14 days post whelping so milk fever or Eclampsia can happen at that time. Number one gets moms eating, so she gets calories
and calcium. Post-whelping, all high-risk moms, those are
moms with big litters, or heavy milkers should get calcium supplements until weaning. You’ll want to make sure you give a calcium
supplement that has two parts calcium to one part phosphorus, which is balanced for effective
absorption. Here is an important thing. Giving only calcium at this point actually
decreases absorption. SHELLEY: One of the biggest clues that your
new mom is suffering some sort of calcium deficiency is she’s just acting strange,
correct? DONDI: Yes, moms typically lay quiet and nurse
their babies after birth. If mom is shaking, jittery, up and down and
not nursing, those are all signs of a calcium deficiency. Any time mom is not allowing nursing, that’s
another clue. And even in some extreme cases, the mom may
become very overprotective or rejective to the point of hurting her babies. SHELLEY: So if you notice this behavior in
a mom, what can they do to help? DONDI: The first step is to pull the puppies
and put them on some heat. Give mom a double dose of Oral Cal Plus initially
and repeat that in 30 minutes. Then give mom her babies back and she will
usually nurse them. It’s a good idea to give another dose again
in six hours so this doesn’t happen again. Then give a balanced calcium supplement daily
while nursing continues. These issues can be confusing so don’t hesitate
to call us if you need guidance. We will help you manage mom so she can raise
her litter. SHELLEY: These were some great do’s and
don’ts for how to use calcium at whelping. If you found this video helpful be sure to
like and share it with your friends because if you found it helpful, chances are they
will too! We are always working on new videos with pet
health tips and strategies so if you’re watching this on YouTube, consider subscribing
to the Revival Animal Health Youtube channel! I’m Shelley with the Revival education team. This is Deedee, a Revival pet care pro. Thank you so much for joining us on this calcium
at whelping episode of the Pet Care Pro Show.

7 Replies to “Whelping with Calcium: Pet Care Pro Show

  1. I have subscribed and thank you for your very helpful videos. I breed German shepherds and continue to learn and grow with each litter. Revival is my new "go to" informational site.

  2. I used the oral cal plus for the first time just two days ago and WOW what a difference it made! I'll never be without it again!

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