Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency in Dogs and Cats

Look for common symptoms of magnesium deficiency in dogs and cats before they suffer the consequences.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency in Dog and Cats

Signs, Stages and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency in Pets

A magnesium deficiency in dogs is also called hypomagnesemia. It means the vital nutrient is lacking in their body. A deficiency of magnesium quickly leads to deficiencies in calcium, potassium, and sodium. All of these nutrients are essential to the well-being of your pet, and low amounts may result in a host of health problems.

Potassium is the most abundant nutrient in the body’s cells with magnesium coming in at a close second. A deficient magnesium body can bring on so many issues with the dog’s health. Don’t ignore it when your otherwise active dog suddenly becomes lethargic or has trouble walking. A magnesium deficiency is easy to discover and easy to treat. However, ignoring it will not help. Make sure the dog food you choose has all the vital nutrients. Your dog’s vet can easily recognize the symptoms of magnesium deficiency and can take measures in helping your dog to perk back up and become healthy again. The key to preventing such a shortcoming is in feeding your pet a well-balanced dog food.

What Causes a Magnesium Deficiency?

The number one cause of this deficiency is malnutrition. Obviously, withholding a healthy diet from your pet puts them in danger of nutrient deficiencies. Other conditions that cause magnesium deficiencies are diabetes, kidney issues, issues with diuretics, and problems with any disease that inhibit the absorption of nutrients.

What are Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency to Look for

The first obvious symptom of a magnesium deficiency is a weakness. If your pet suddenly is unable to walk right, you may be seeing a nutrient deficiency. Taking your pet to the vet will help to determine if this is the reason for the weakness. Your vet needs to know what you feed your dog in particular if you have changed their diet recently. They need to know how your dog is doing with their elimination habits, for example, are they urinating as normal?

A magnesium deficiency may cause an abnormality in the pet’s heartbeat. The vet will listen and may order an ECG to see the patterns of the heartbeat on paper. It is important to determine if there are heart issues when dealing with a magnesium deficiency.

Other symptoms include muscle trembles and incoordination, overactive reflexes, muscle pain, behavior issues, and depression. If your pet is lethargic, acts depressed, acts as if they are in pain, you will want to find out if it is indeed a magnesium deficiency. The good news is that a magnesium deficiency is easy to treat and cure. However, the caveat is if your pet has a magnesium deficiency and you do not deal with it, your pet could die as a result.

Magnesium Deficiency Treatment

With domestic animals, it is very simple to treat for a magnesium deficiency. There are chewable supplements available where the animal just needs to ingest the supplement, and it will help the magnesium levels rise. In extreme deficiency cases, an IV of magnesium supplements is given. This is usually the choice of treatment when malnutrition is involved.


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