Hypercalcaemia in two dogs caused by excessive dietary supplementation of vitamin D

Authors

  • R. J. Mellanby,

    1. Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OES
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    • R. Mellanby's current address is Immunology Division, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge C2 1QP

  • A. P. Mee,

    1. Vitamin D Research Laboratory, University Department of Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL
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  • J. L. Berry,

    1. Vitamin D Research Laboratory, University Department of Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL
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  • M. E. Herrtage

    1. Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OES
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Abstract

A three-year-old Border collie was presented with a two-week history of lethargy, stiff gait, polydipsia and polyuria. Biochemical analysis revealed hypercalcaemia. Serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25[OH]2D) were markedly elevated and parathyroid hormone was undetectable. Subsequent analysis of the dog's diet revealed that the food contained excessive amounts of vitamin D. The hypercalcaemia resolved following treatment with bisphosphonates and dietary change. Hypervitaminosis D was diagnosed in a second unrelated dog, which had been fed the same brand of dog food as case 1. The dog was also hypercalcaemic and had markedly elevated serum concentrations of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D. Hypervitaminosis D in dogs has been reported to occur secondarily to ingestion of either rodenticides containing cholecalciferol or antipsoriatic ointments that contain vitamin D analogues. Hypervitaminosis D has also been reported following the treatment of hypoparathyroidism. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of hypervitaminosis D in dogs following the accidental over supplementation of a commercial diet with vitamin D. While the benefits of adequate dietary vitamin D are well established in dogs, the potential deleterious effects of over supplementation of vitamin D should also be acknowledged.

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