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Excess Phosphorous in the Blood in Dogs

Hyperphosphatemia in Dogs

Hyperphosphatemia is an electrolyte disturbance in which abnormally elevated levels of phosphate are present in the dog's blood. It can occur at any age but is more common in puppies or old dogs with kidney problems. Additionally, dogs with bone diseases and calcium deficiency are susceptible to hyperphosphatemia.

Hyperphosphatemia can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how the condition affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptoms and Types

Although there are no specific signs directly attributable to the condition, symptoms will depend on the underlying cause of hyperphosphatemia. In acute cases, painful muscular spasms and tremors may be seen due to low levels of calcium.

Causes

Vast quantities of phosphorous are located in the bones and teeth, bonded with calcium. Therefore, bone diseases or problems such as bone resorption can cause excessive phosphates to be released in the dog's bloodstream. Other underlying factors for hyperphosphatemia include:

  • Bone cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Excessive dietary supplementation (e.g., vitamin D overdose)

Diagnosis

As no particular symptom is related to this condition, most cases are diagnosed with routine laboratory testing such as complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis (which should show abnormally elevated levels of phosphate). Additionally, bone X-rays are performed to rule out any potential bone diseases or maladies.

X-rays are also used to evaluate the size and symmetry of kidneys, which will help the veterinarian identify abnormalities related to the disease. Calcium levels, meanwhile, are frequently found to be abnormally elevated (hypercalcemia), although in some cases the levels are abnormally low, as in vitamin D intoxication.

In case of diseases related to thyroid gland, your veterinarian may also conduct tests to evaluate thyroid gland functions and hormone levels for diagnosis.

 
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