Eclampsia in dogs: 31 cases (1995–1998)

Kenneth J. Drobatz Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104- 6010.

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 DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC
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Kim K. Casey Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104- 6010.
Present address is 2011 Park Blvd, Palo Alto, CA 94306-1143.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare clinical characteristics and laboratory findings of dogs with eclampsia with those of dogs without eclampsia.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—31 dogs with eclampsia (affected) and 31 with dystocia (controls).

Procedure—Information on signalment, type of diet, reproductive history, litter size, time from whelping to eclampsia, body weight, clinical signs, results of physical examination and hematologic and biochemical analyses, response to calcium supplementation, and reccurrence was obtained from the medical records of all dogs with eclampsia evaluated between 1995 and 1998 and compared with information from medical records of 31 of 102 dogs with dystocia evaluated during the same period.

Results—Dogs with eclampsia weighed less, had a smaller body weight-to-litter size ratio, higher rectal temperature and heart and respiratory rates, and lower plasma total solids concentration than control dogs. Ionized calcium concentration was ≤ 0.8 mmol/L for all but 1 of the affected dogs; median concentration for the affected dogs was significantly less than that for control dogs. Six (19%) dogs did not manifest typical clinical signs associated with eclampsia. Twelve (39%) dogs with eclampsia had previous litters; none had a history of eclampsia. Affected dogs were discharged from the hospital within hours after admission, but 3 dogs returned 1 to 3 weeks later because of recurrence of eclampsia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Eclampsia develops primarily in small-breed dogs with large litters. Plasma ionized calcium concentrations > 0.8 mmol/L in dogs with clinical signs typical of hypocalcemia may indicate that other causes of clinical signs should be considered. In addition, some dogs with eclampsia may have low ionized calcium concentrations and not manifest typical clinical signs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:216–219)

Abstract

Objective—To compare clinical characteristics and laboratory findings of dogs with eclampsia with those of dogs without eclampsia.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—31 dogs with eclampsia (affected) and 31 with dystocia (controls).

Procedure—Information on signalment, type of diet, reproductive history, litter size, time from whelping to eclampsia, body weight, clinical signs, results of physical examination and hematologic and biochemical analyses, response to calcium supplementation, and reccurrence was obtained from the medical records of all dogs with eclampsia evaluated between 1995 and 1998 and compared with information from medical records of 31 of 102 dogs with dystocia evaluated during the same period.

Results—Dogs with eclampsia weighed less, had a smaller body weight-to-litter size ratio, higher rectal temperature and heart and respiratory rates, and lower plasma total solids concentration than control dogs. Ionized calcium concentration was ≤ 0.8 mmol/L for all but 1 of the affected dogs; median concentration for the affected dogs was significantly less than that for control dogs. Six (19%) dogs did not manifest typical clinical signs associated with eclampsia. Twelve (39%) dogs with eclampsia had previous litters; none had a history of eclampsia. Affected dogs were discharged from the hospital within hours after admission, but 3 dogs returned 1 to 3 weeks later because of recurrence of eclampsia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Eclampsia develops primarily in small-breed dogs with large litters. Plasma ionized calcium concentrations > 0.8 mmol/L in dogs with clinical signs typical of hypocalcemia may indicate that other causes of clinical signs should be considered. In addition, some dogs with eclampsia may have low ionized calcium concentrations and not manifest typical clinical signs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:216–219)

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