Rhonda’s Calcium Revelation

“After giving birth, she was not eating or acting right. I took her to the vet five times. I was giving her calcium shots six times a day and antibiotics, but she was still not getting better. She handled it like a trooper, but I hated having to poke her all the time. It was so hard to see her like that,” says Rhonda, a breeder.

Since she was a young child, Rhonda has been helping dogs deliver pups. “I helped deliver my first litter when I was just six years old,” she recalls. But after her two-year-old German Shepherd, Anasthasia, had a C-section, Rhonda experienced something she had never seen before. “She wouldn’t eat, I tried literally everything! She wouldn’t eat chicken broth, bacon, beef or anything. The only thing she would eat was a canned prescription diet. She wouldn’t even touch puppy food. This went on for almost three weeks,” Rhonda recalls.

Knowing Anasthasia needed help, Rhonda made multiple trips to her vet. “My vet is an hour and a half away, so it’s not easy to get there, but I knew I had to. My vet told me that Anasthasia had milk fever – eclampsia – which can be fatal. Anasthasia had seven puppies depending on her. The vet suggested I take her pups from her, but I wanted them to nurse for at least three weeks. The ups and downs with her calcium plummeting was insane!” Rhonda says.     

Rhonda knew there had to be something more she could do to help Anasthasia. That’s when she reached out to Revival Animal Health and talked with Michelle, a Revival Pet Care Pro. “I could hear the frustration in her voice. She didn’t want to have to take the puppies away from the mom, but I told her she needs to until the mom settled down. I explained that she was low in calcium and that was why she was acting the way she was. I recommended that Rhonda give Anasthasia a big dose of Breeders’ Edge Oral Cal Plus and then dose her again in 30 minutes to see if that helped. Our goal was to get Anasthasia feeling better and ultimately keep the puppies with their mom,” says Michelle. 

Rhonda had a small amount of Oral Cal Plus on hand, so she took Michelle’s advice. “I can’t even begin to explain the difference I noticed. I gave her just one dose and suddenly she would eat puppy food again and started acting more like herself! Unfortunately, I didn’t have very much Oral Cal Plus left and ran out almost right away. I went back to giving the calcium shots and she started not eating again,” Rhonda says.

When she noticed Anasthasia not acting like herself once again, Rhonda immediately called Michelle back at Revival to order more Oral Cal Plus. “I realized it was definitely the Oral Cal Plus that had her doing so much better. I am completely amazed, it makes an unbelievable difference! I thought it was only for whelping and birthing, but that’s not the case. It’s the difference between milk fever and taking pups away from their mother, to a mother being able to nurse her pups!” Rhonda says.

As soon as her order of Oral Cal Plus arrived, Rhonda gave Anasthasia another dose and noticed a difference again right away. “She started eating again and she now wants to take care of her pups again, which is the best thing we could ask for!” says Rhonda.

After about six weeks Rhonda switched from Oral Cal Plus and began supplementing with Doc Roy’s Healthy Bones daily calcium tablets. “I still give the Oral Cal Plus every now and then when she needs a little help. It has been a challenge but the Oral Cal Plus and Revival really helped me through it. It’s truly a blessing,” Rhonda says.


12 thoughts on “Rhonda’s Calcium Revelation”

  1. I have never had the issue you did post partum. I hope I never do. However, I do use Ora-Cal Plus when dogs are in heat as it helps them whelp their pups safely and cuts birthing time just about in 1/2. It’s an amazing product and I’m never without any in stock. I breed Labradors and whelping used to be a long process and now it is less exhausting on the dog which is a blessing.

    I will keep what you wrote in mind as one never knows what will happen after whelping.


  2. Thanks that was a good read
    I always have it on hand to help with the births
    I didn’t know it was good for after as well

    Love the white shepherd
    I have some great shepherds where can I send pictures in hope that u might use them

    1. Hello Carol, You can send us your photos via the Revival Animal Facebook page.? -Maria at Revival

  3. I’m a longcoat chihuahua breeder for 20 yrs. and have use this when they go into labor. I have had 2 of my girls get milk fever. The first One would vomit and stumbling and couldn’t walk the other wouldn’t eat and if she did she would vomit. My vet also said take away the pups. and gave her a shot too. but I didn’t want to take away the pups. What I did do, was only allow her to nurse them like I would be if I was feeding them. and gave her Oral Cal Plus 1 hr before and right afterwards. ( a good amount) She lived and so did the the pups. she never had that happen again. The vet said it would… but never did. I DID Give her Oral Cal Plus !! I also give them Oral Cal Plus during labor. It helps with the pushing. The size of litter doesn’t matter the 2nd girl only had 1 pup. But a “LITTER” is much harder on them. I’ve been told that to much calium BEFORE they go into labor can cause milk fever… I don’t know about that. Not sure if that is true or not.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story I had my first litter delivered in March it was my females first litter as well I truly believe oral cal helped the babies coming along and helped mama I continued after whelping because I started to notice some Behavioural changes some I knew were new mama protecting her babies others I just knew something wasn’t right a week of oral cal and she was back to her happy silly self

  5. Yes, I have Oral C too. But I’m wondering, did you give calcium to her before she had pups? that can cause eclampsia! so keep it in mind.a you can give puppy food last half of pregnancy. some say to the delivery. Some articles say no calcium in the last two weeks. but no supplements prior to birth. It creates dependency and the body does not produce on its own. I milked goats 20 yrs. same with them.. but as soon as birthing?> give a dose of Oral C!!

  6. Hi There,
    I also thought the breeders edge calcium was just during birthing. Just this morning I had a queen, first time mom, deliver 8 kittens. I used the calcium throughout her birthing and it really helps to keep the birthing process move along quickly and smoothly.
    Is it also beneficial to give this mom breeders edge calcium once in awhile while nursing. I’ve always heard it’s hard to know when they need it except when it’s almost too late,
    Love to hear your thoughts about giving it to nursing queens. Does it help in milk production or the prevention of mastitis?

    Thank you,

    1. Hello Debbie, we actually have a really helpful article on using calcium during Queening! Just click the wording “queening” to read it. Let me know if you have any more questions. ? – Maria at Revival

  7. This happened with one of my girls. She had a litter of 7 very large puppies. Her back started to bow up and she threw up. I texted my vet and he said she probably had milk fever. Well I always keep Oral Cal on hand for whelping so I dosed her and within 15 minutes she was back to herself!!! Never be without Oral Cal when you breed!!!!

  8. I’m not a breeder but my dog had puppies and in a matter of 6 hours stopped nursing, eating, then stopped drinking. Laying listlessly, unable to stand, muscle rigidity. I looked it up and it said she was low in calcium and the stage of eclampsia she was in was near death The closest animal hospital is 2&1/2 hours from here. I thought about what I could give her that had calcium in it. I gave her 2 1000mg tums. Worked like a charm.

    1. Hi Tanya,
      I’m glad to hear your dog is doing much better after her eclampsia episode. We recommend the Breeder’s Edge Oral Cal Plus Gel to help with labor and contractions and to prevent eclampsia. This is more effective and faster acting than using Tums. Of course desperate times mean desperate measures sometime. This article in our Learning Center called Calcium for Pregnant Dogs may also help you. -Sheryl, Pet Care Pro at Revival.

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