Hypoglycemia in Dogs

Hypoglycemia is something often thought of for humans, but it can occur in dogs as well! It's a reaction of the central nervous system due to the lack of sugar in your dog's blood stream. While it's true that any pet can become hypoglycemic, it's mostly seen in smaller breeds of dogs, like Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers. This is a condition that is thankfully temporary, and is brought on by an action that your dog makes.

Hypoglycemia have very specific symptoms, such as pale gums, drooling, apathy, weakness, and sometimes seizures. Hypoglycemia, if left untreated, can lead to a coma, or death.

Stress will cause your dog to become hypoglycemic, and common stressors are falling (off of your lap, a couch, chair, or stairs), overstimulation, becoming exhausted after overextending themselves in playtime, or a walk, etc., moving to a new house, or skipping a meal.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent your puppy from becoming hypoglycemic.

Make sure that smaller breeds of dogs eat more often. They typically can graze on their food throughout the day, or if you feed them 4-5 meals a day instead of the typical 3 often advised.

Puppies don't have a good idea of when to stop playing with others, and sometimes play is too much play. Try not to over-stimulate your new puppy with people or places, and don't bring people over or bring your dog to new places for the first week you have him. That will allow him to get better acclimated to your home. Always watch your puppy for possible over-stimulation, and make sure that they can nap and rest afterward.

Don't switch around your puppy's meals, as that can cause dehydration, upset bowels, and more that may contribute to your puppy's stress level. High-grade canned wet food offered at meal times mixed with his normal food will help your dog eat a healthy amount. Always make sure that your dog's water is clean, and always available and accessible to him. Make sure that your smaller breed has a good small bowl from it to drink from.

Smaller puppies and smaller breeds require a lot more sleep than larger breeds and larger puppies, due to their high metabolism. Dogs are den animals, so make sure that your puppy has a good enclosed quiet area, like a kennel, so that he can rest and feel secure multiple times a day.

If your puppy is sluggish, low blood-sugar is likely the cause. Force a small amount of high-calorie supplement into your puppy's mouth as soon as you can, while cuddling him and keeping an eye on him, then offer your dog small amounts of food every half hour for the next few hours. If his behavior does not return to normal, or does not seem normal at all after this, contact your veterinarian.

If you notice that your dog is displaying hypoglycemic symptoms, give him a high-calorie supplement immediately. If you do not have one, corn syrup can be used as a substitute (sparingly).

Remember! The greatest way to make sure your puppy doesn't become hypoglycemic is by ensuring that he is eating and drinking enough for his breed and body size!

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