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Disorders of Magnesium Metabolism in Dogs

By George M. Barrington, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University ; Ivan W. Caple, BVSc, PhD, MACVSc, MRCVS, Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Veterinary Clinical Centre, University of Melbourne ; David L. Evans, BVSc, PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney ; Jean A. Hall, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University ; Katharine F. Lunn, BVMS, MS, PhD, MRCVS, DACVIM, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University ; Donald C. Sawyer, DVM, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University ; Sharon J. Spier, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Professor, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California

Also see professional content regarding disorders of magnesium metabolism.

Most disorders of magnesium metabolism are due to problems associated with absorption of the mineral from the digestive tract. The anatomical differences between species are associated with the importance of disorders of magnesium occurring in a particular species. Disorders of magnesium metabolism are less common in dogs than in cattle and sheep. Too much magnesium in the blood (hypermagnesemia) is rare but has been reported in dogs after ingestion of ice melts and in animals with kidney failure that were receiving intravenous fluids. Cardiac arrest can occur with very high blood magnesium levels.