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Excess Magnesium in the Blood in Dogs

Hypermagnesemia in Dogs

Excess magnesium in canine physiology, known as hypermagnesemia, can lead to significant health complications. Magnesium, primarily stored in bones and muscles, plays a vital role in numerous metabolic processes. However, elevated levels of magnesium in the bloodstream can disrupt nerve function and cause cardiac issues, posing a serious threat to a dog’s well-being.

Symptoms and Types

Hypermagnesemia results in the gradual decline of respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, and muscular functions, all of which can prove fatal in dogs. Additional symptoms linked to this condition encompass:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Paralysis
  • Mental lethargy
  • Impaired reflexes
  • Respiratory suppression
  • Cardiac failure
  • Coma


  • Kidney failure
  • Impaired intestinal motility
  • Constipation
  • Administration of excessive magnesium levels
  • Endocrine disorders such as hypoadrenocorticism, hypothyroidism, and hyperparathyroidism


Diagnosis of hypermagnesemia in dogs begins with the veterinarian gathering a detailed medical history from the pet owner, followed by a comprehensive physical examination. Routine laboratory assessments include a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. These examinations help assess magnesium levels in the blood, which tend to be elevated in affected dogs. Furthermore, elevated levels of calcium are often observed in affected dogs. Given that hypermagnesemia frequently coexists with kidney disorders, urinalysis and additional laboratory tests may unveil abnormalities associated with an underlying condition. Moreover, the veterinarian will conduct an electrocardiography (ECG) to identify characteristic ECG alterations observed in dogs with hypermagnesemia.


Treatment aims primarily to facilitate the elimination of excess magnesium from the dog’s body. Consequently, all medications containing magnesium will be halted to prevent exacerbation of symptoms. Fluid therapy will be initiated to promote the excretion of magnesium from the dog’s system. Additionally, calcium supplementation will be incorporated into the dog’s treatment regimen to further enhance magnesium excretion. Throughout and following treatment, the veterinarian will conduct laboratory tests to monitor magnesium levels and perform an ECG to assess cardiac function in the dog.

Living and Management

The prognosis for dogs with hypermagnesemia lacking kidney involvement is excellent following initial therapy. However, in instances of kidney disease, addressing the underlying condition is crucial for long-term resolution of the issue. Magnesium levels will be closely monitored during and after treatment. After discharge, if any adverse signs are observed, promptly contact your dog’s veterinarian.

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