Can too much calcium hurt a dog? What to Know

Treatment of Calcium Supplements Poisoning in Dogs

The treatment steps will be contingent on the severity of the toxicosis. What type of supplements were eaten, how much extra vitamin D3 and K are contained in the tablets, chews, or powder, and the severity of the signs will all be determining factors in the steps the veterinary team will take to treat your canine companion. If the signs of toxicity are relatively mild, blood tests are within normal ranges, and your dog appears stable, he may be sent home with instructions for you to monitor him for changes in behavior or health condition.

In more severe cases of poisoning, such as in the case of hypercalcemia or kidney trouble, the veterinarian may need to commence more intensive treatment. The veterinary team may induce vomiting (which could bring up chew wrappers) or perform gastric lavage to flush out the stomach. Fluid therapy via intravenous could be needed; this may also include medications to promote a bowel movement, increase urine production, ease nausea, and stabilize blood calcium levels. Blood markers, electrolyte levels, and kidney and liver function will be monitored because all must be normal before your pet can be released from the hospital.

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Symptoms of Calcium Supplements Poisoning in Dogs

Calcium supplements poisoning can result in effects as serious as kidney failure. Other dogs will experience a mild stomach upset. The level of toxicity will depend on the age and size of the dog (in comparison to the amount ingested), as well as the state of the kidneys at time of exposure.

Ingestion of chews


  • Blood in the urine
  • Blood in the stool
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Tremors
  • Rapid breathing
  • Collapse
  • Vitamin D Toxicity

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Types

    Calcium supplements can lead to toxicity if too much of the chews are eaten. The brand most pet owners may be aware of is Caltrate; other brands are Viactiv and Nature Made. Some products with added calcium and Vitamin D which could also be palatable to your dog are Tums tablets and Citracal gummies.


    The main cause of hypercalcemic poisoning is from the ingestion of rodent poison. If you suspect that your dog has come into contact with rat or mouse poison, and you are seeing some of the symptoms listed above, you will need to bring your dog to a veterinarian before your pets health becomes critical.

    Keep in mind that outdoor dogs (or dogs that go outside frequently) are at risk of rodent poisoning. It might be in a neighbors yard, in a trash bag, or in an alleyway. Dogs that engage in chasing and killing rodents may also be susceptible to this type of poisoning. Even if you do not live in an area where rats or mice are a concern, rodent poison may be used for other common suburban pests like raccoons, opossums, or squirrels.

    Hypercalcemia – Too Much Calcium, Animation

    Hypercalcemia is defined as abnormally elevated calcium levels in the blood. Of the various types of substances that are poisonous to dogs, there are those that include hypercalcemic agents. Hypercalcemic agents contain vitamin D, medically known as cholecalciferol, which works by raising the calcium content in blood serum to high toxic levels, resulting in cardiac arrhythmias, and then death. Hypercalcemic agents are popular for use in rodent poisons, since rodents do not have resistance to cholecalciferol. In most cases, poisons containing cholecalciferol must be directly consumed by an animal for it to fall ill, however the exception to this is when a dog eats a poisoned rodent.

    Dogs that have consumed hypercalcemic poisons typically will not show immediate symptoms. Signs of poisoning may show 18 to 36 hours after the cholecalciferol containing poison was consumed. Left untreated, a dog can die from cholecalciferol poisoning and the resulting hypercalcemia. If the dog does survive, it will have elevated calcium levels for weeks after the poisoning, and this excess of calcium can lead to secondary health problems, like renal failure.