Hypocalcaemia Tetany is the spontaneous tonic muscle contractions due to increased neuronal excitability that occurs as a result of low ECF calcium concentration that reduces the threshold for excitation of the neural tissue. Extracellular calcium and magnesium are thought to affect the local electric field of the membrane near ion channels such that hypocalcemia or hypomagnesemia reduce the amount of depolarization necessary to induce an increase in sodium conductance and depolarize nerve cells.
Causes of Hypocalcaemia
Failure of secretion or actions of PTH Disorders of vitamin D, CaSR disorders, Dietary Calcium deficiency (CMPI), Malabsorption of Calcium like coeliac diseases, short gut, tufting enteropathy.
Symptoms of Hypocalcaemia
- Chvostek’s and Trousseau’s signs – latent Hypocalcemia
- Paraesthesia around mouth, toes, and fingers.
- Neuromuscular excitability
- Laryngospasm, stridor, and apneas (neonates).
Treatment for Hypocalcaemia
The main causes of hypocalcemia should be investigated and corrected. The decreased level of magnesium in blood should be altered by increasing the intake of food rich in magnesium. Without replenishing magnesium, any increase in calcium will be transient. Parathyroid hormone and vitamin D levels should ideally be checked before initiating treatment for hypocalcemia.
Emergency treatment usually is only needed for certain pets (such as those with primary hypoparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism secondary to hyperthyroid or hyper parathyroid corrective procedures and subsequent parathyroid damage, complications of pregnancy or nursing [eclampsia], recent phosphate-containing enema administration, citrate toxicity, and ethylene glycol toxicity).
Short-term or long-term treatment usually is needed only to treat primary hyperparathyroidism and complications of pregnancy or nursing (eclampsia). If the pet has eclampsia, remove puppies from the mother dog (bitch) and hand-nurse, until things are weaned.
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