What Is Hypophosphatemia In Dogs, And How Can It Be Treated?

Hypophosphatemia in dogs can be dangerous if not diagnosed quickly.

The condition happens when there is an electrolyte disturbance or imbalance in your dog’s body. Hypophosphatemia is found to often affect dogs with diabetes.

PHOTO: Pexels/Pranidchakan Boonrom

Dogs who don’t get enough vitamin D are also susceptible to getting hypophosphatemia. Vitamin D allows your dog’s body to balance minerals like calcium for bone growth, and the lack of vitamin D would deter your dog from developing properly and having both healthy bones and muscles.

Once you suspect your dog has hypophosphatemia, it is important to bring them to a veterinarian to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Hypophosphatemia has lots of symptoms. Listed in the next sections are some of the most common symptoms found in dogs, possible causes of the condition, and treatments for hypophosphatemia.

PHOTO: Pexels/Mikhail Nilov


Symptoms of this condition can vary, and hypophosphatemia may be difficult to identify. The symptoms are also signs of other common illnesses, so consulting a veterinarian as soon as you see any sign of sickness in your dog is imperative.

  • Stunted growth in puppies
  • Lethargy
  • Quick breathing
  • Dark or red urine
  • Weakened muscles
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Anorexia is also the most consistently reported symptom of the condition across different species, according to a report
  • .


The cause of hypophosphatemia, as mentioned above, is an electrolyte imbalance. The most common cause of the condition is an imbalanced diet.
The following are some other possible causes of hypophosphatemia in dogs.

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Kidney issues
  • Treatment of diabetes, resulting in large carbohydrate intake due to insulin administration
  • Low phosphorus diet
  • Undiagnosed diabetes
  • Prolonged malnutrition
PHOTO: Unsplash/Matthew Henry


Every treatment should be done under proper supervision. Dealing with a sick dog should never be dealt with using a DIY treatment.

Bring your dog to a vet clinic where they can do a full physical examination and assess everything that needs to be checked. Tell your vet any observations you’ve made about your dog’s condition, symptoms you’ve seen over the past month, year, or even more. Blood and urine samples are expected to be taken when your dog is taken for examination.

As hypophosphatemia is a serious condition, most dogs that have it need to be hospitalized. Admittance to the hospital depends on the severity of your dog’s phosphorus levels, blood transfusion could be needed as well in some cases. They need to be under constant surveillance until their phosphorus levels are back to normal.

Once your dog recovers well enough to go home, regular vet visits should still be made for continuous monitoring.

Watch the video to see how low phosphate levels can cause electrolyte imbalance in your dogs.

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