Hypoglycemia in Puppies
If you are buying a small breed puppy you need to know about the risks of Hypoglycemia.It is always easier to PREVENT than to treat it.
Hypoglycemia is a condition where the blood sugar drops to an abnormally low level. This usually occurs when the puppy uses up all it’s stored energy by playing for extended periods of time without resting and having time for it to replinish. Small puppies and puppies less than 4 months are more prone to this. They have tiny digestive systems and can only store a little bit of food (which is energy) in their bodies at a single time. Always make sure your puppy is eating, even if only small amounts, around every 3-4 hours.
Too much playing for a long period of time isn’t good for smaller puppies. They tend lose their energy very fast, possibly causing low blood sugar. Small puppies must replenish their energy more frequently than larger puppies! Play with your puppy for short periods at a time, and then let them rest. They need it just like babies. Tiny puppies tire more easily.
Sometimes a puppy may play so much that it gets too tired to even eat!! Your puppy must be eating well. If your puppy is not eating his dry puppy food give him can food, cooked liver, baby food WITH meat, or infant rice cereal. Your puppy can not go hours without eating. It is your responsibility to see that your puppy is getting enough rest and eating several times a day.
It is not a good idea to show your new baby off too much and let him/her be handled alot or travel for long periods with them until they get older. These are babies and must be treated as such. Puppies can sometimes get stressed from leaving their litter mates and the only home they know so don’t be startled if they will not eat right away (see be-prepared section if this happens).
Symptoms of hypoglycemia: (will vary depending on how low and how fast the puppy’s blood sugar level drops)
- Head tilting
- Slow breathing
- Convulsions or seizures
Always have something on hand like Nutri-Cal (works great, you can buy it at most pet supply stores, and fits in your purse), Corn Syrup, Honey, or even Pancake syrup.
If your pet is acting strangely, you should assume it is due to hypoglycemia and treat it accordingly…NO DAMAGE CAN BE DONE BY TREATING POSSIBLE HYPOGLYCEMIA! If your puppy is not hypo, your treatment may raise the blood sugar for a few hours, but if your puppy is hypoglycemic, you just saved its life! If your puppy is only slightly hypo, you can often treat it by immediately feeding your puppy some of its regular food.
If your puppy refuses its regular food, try offering a food it really enjoys or some treats. Your main goal is to get the blood sugar up and eliminate the symptoms of hypoglycemia. You can give your puppy Nutri-Cal 3-5 times a day! Especially first thing in the morning and last thing before bed when you can not watch them as well! Your puppy needs to be watched at all times for symptoms, eating habits, and play/resting habits.
If your pet is severely hypoglycemic, especially if it is having seizures or unconscious, you must give Nutri-Cal or corn syrup immediately!!
Don’t be alarmed by this..BE EDUCATED!! Its all part of having a small puppy, just like a baby.