How to Prevent Calcium Buildup in Your Dog's Lungs

Posted on: 20 September 2017

Calcium buildup in the lungs (also known as pulmonary mineralisation) is not an uncommon problem for older dogs, but it's one that can be dangerous. The condition occurs when mineral calcium deposits build up in your dog's lungs and cartilage is ossified into bone-like tissue. The condition is hard to spot early because it's often asymptomatic, but as it progresses, dog owners may notice their pooch becoming short of breath, coughing, and resisting usual walks. If the calcium deposits spread throughout the lungs, they can be very difficult to treat and may shorten your dog's life expectancy. That's why it's important to prevent calcium buildups where possible. Here are 3 ways to do that.

Keep Your Dog Safe From Injury

One common way calcification can occur is as a result of the immune system's response to injury, so try to ensure your dog doesn't injure himself. One common way dogs get injured is by climbing stairs or jumping on and off of furniture. Where possible, try to lift your dog instead of letting them attempt the task themselves. On walks, watch out for obstacles that could break your dog's leg if he's running at high speed. In addition, when you cross roads on your walk, make sure you shorten your dog's leash so he doesn't run ahead and get hit by a car. You should also keep your dog away from small fragments of wood and debris, as inhaling foreign objects into the lung can also cause calcium buildup.

Keep Your Dog's Metabolism Up

If your dog's metabolism isn't working as it should be, high levels of calcium could build up in their body. A poor metabolism can also cause bone tissue to be reabsorbed into the body, which increases calcium levels and leads to lung buildup. To keep your dog's metabolism in good working issue, make sure you feed them a healthy, calorie-controlled diet to prevent obesity, and ensure you meet the exercise requirements for their breed. You should also avoid treats and weigh your dog regularly. Good weight and healthy exercise levels keep the metabolic rate up so your dog's body processes calcium properly.

See a Vet Regularly

As calcium buildup is often asymptomatic, it's crucial that your dogs sees a vet regularly for routine examinations. During these check-ups, a vet can look for early signs of pulmonary mineralisation and conduct a lab examination or x-ray if necessary. Vets can also spot other conditions which can lead to calcium buildup. Metabolic disease, adrenal gland dysfunction, and lung disease, for example, are all potential causes of calcium deposits. If treated early, these conditions can be managed to ensure your dog lives a healthy life with low risk of calcium buildup.