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Toy-breed dogs are not only at risk for hypoglycemia, they can die from the low blood sugar disorder if they do not receive prompt treatment.

When a dog’s blood sugar, or glucose, level drops, it can affect neurological function. Disorientation, tremors and coma may occur. Normally, hormones stimulate the breakdown of stored glycogen to supply the brain and other tissues with fuel. In toy breeds, this process may not happen fast enough, and hypoglycemia results.

Juvenile hypoglycemia occurs in puppies less than 3 months of age. Because puppies have not fully developed the ability to regulate blood glucose concentration and have a high requirement for glucose, they are vulnerable. Stress, cold, malnutrition and intestinal parasites also may trigger juvenile hypoglycemia.

Signs of hypoglycemia are loss of appetite, extreme lethargy, lack of coordination, trembling, muscle twitching, weakness, seizures, and discolora*tion of skin and gums. Most dogs will not eat or drink when they are in low sugar shock.

Simple cases of hypoglycemia can occur when a dog is overly active with too much time between meals or fasts before vigourous exercise. Hypogly*cemia also may occur secondary to another con*dition. Other causes include Addison’s disease, insulin-producing tumors of the pancreas, severe liver disease, and glycogen storage diseases. If an underlying illness causes hypoglycemia, veterinarians first treat this condition.

Veterinarians are likely to conduct a complete medical history and physical examination to determine the cause in dogs that develop chronic hypogly*cemia. Other tests include a complete blood count, blood glucose concentration, urinalysis, routine biochemistry, and blood insulin concentration.

An ultrasound may be taken of the abdomen to try and identify a pancreatic or other type of tumor that could cause hypoglycemia.

Puppies and adult dogs that appear to be in a stupor or coma during a hypoglycemic attack should immediately be given sugar water or an oral concentrated solution of glucose, such as corn syrup or Nutri-Cal. Owners of toy breeds should have a glucose source readily available. In an emergency situation, owners should dab sugar water on or under the tongue. The sugar is absorbed directly through the tissue into the bloodstream.

Breeders and owners should pro*actively look for signs of hypoglycemia in their puppies and should frequently feed toy-breed puppies as a preventive measure. Breeders also are encouraged to include information about hypoglycemia in packets they send with puppies going to new homes. Sharing information may help save a dog’s life.

Signs of Hypoglycemia

Loss of appetite
Extreme lethargy
Lack of coordination
Trembling
Muscular twitching
Weakness
Seizures
Unusual behavior
Dilated pupils
Stupor or coma


Admin Can we please make a sticky about this?
 

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Yes please to making this a sticky!

I think a significant part of the risk from hypoglycaemia is that so many of the triggers can occur in the first hours and days in a new home, just when the new owner has least experience and does not know the pup's normal behaviour. A puppy leaves everything it knows (stress), travels to a new place (potential for chills and a missed meal), finds itself in a whole new environment, which may make it stressed and fearful or too excited to eat, is possibly offered a change of diet, and may not be fed as frequently as necessary, especially if the new owner is working. Perfect storm conditions for hypoglycaemia, and for a new owner it may just seem that the pup is rather quiet, or sleepy, or being faddy...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Working is a huge reason I wanted an adult toy poodle or the very least a toy poodle puppy over 4 pounds or older than 16 weeks.
 

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Sticky, yes Please!

Because of the information given by members of this forum, I knew how critical this could be for my new little boys when they weren't eating or drinking after we brought them home. Without this information, I might have just marked it up to the stress of the changes and not acted before things went badly.

(Their father is an oversize toy, their mom is a small mini. They were both under 3lbs when we brought them home at 9wks. I wasn't going to take chances.)
 

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Yes, please sticky. They can die in 1 to 3 hours when they have a hypoglycemic episode, depending what stage you found your puppy in this condition. Remember, they can die fast without quick intervention. I had my then 11 week puppy only ten days after I got her have an episode but fortunately, on a hunch, rushed to her to the vet. If had taken a 'wait and see if she's better in the morning" approach, I would have awakened to a very dead and cold puppy.

The remedy is extremely simple in most cases.



Owners of young toy puppies should buy and keep on hand two tubes of Nutri-Cal. It's $7.99 on chewy.com. The vet will sell it to you for around $20. Keep one at home and one in your purse if you take him/her out on trips, to visit others, or if applicable, give one to your doggy daycare sitter b/c she may clueless about the problem. If you don't have this on hand, Karo syrup, pancake syrup, google for other emergency substitutes.

How to recognize it: If your toy pup begins to act wobbly or weak, and/or suddenly starts to intermittently shiver, feed it a dab of this, wait 10 minutes and give another dab. If puppy bounces back to normal quickly, you know it's had a hypoglycemic episode. This is common in toy babies b/c their system isn't mature and prone to not regulating their blood sure. It's doesn't mean your puppy is defective; they will outgrow it.

This vet gives an easy to understand explanation of it and you see a puppy with it recover.


This video pissed me off for reasons that will become obvious to you. Personally I'd be surprised is this gorgeous pup bounced back, even though she wrote it did "within an hour". It shouldn't take even half that long. But, the video shows what it looks like when it's about to hit the coma stage.

 

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Also invest invent in a couple of small syringes without the neede. In case you only have sugar water on hand to work with, a syringe will come in handy. One is also essential if your pup needs an enema for constipation. They're very cheap and can be found at Amazon, chewy.com, and maybe your local pet supply store.



This pic is from this video, and one thing I notice is the vet opted to take a glucose blood first, probably for educational purposes, then used only sugar water to get puppy back up to speed, maybe b/c nearly everyone has sugar on hand and the viewers could use it if they don't have Nutri-Cal or syrup.


Generally a vet will not run a bunch of expensive tests to determine if it's hypoglycemia unless the pup is in a coma, and by then it's usually too late. These only pad up the bill and even a vet student will recognize it's a low blood sugar episode. They'll likely have Nutri-Cal on hand rather than use cheap sugar mixed with water, and try this first. If that doesn't work within a few minutes, then comes the lab tests. At least this was my vet's approach; she saved my puppy and my money, and gained a loyal customer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First Aid for Hypoglycemia
When you catch the symptoms early and seek treatment immediately, most puppies are fine. But without prompt help puppies can fall into a coma, and their breathing and/or heartbeat may stop. There are articles out on the web on rescue breathing and puppy CPR to save your pet’s life.

For All Symptoms. When the blood sugar drops, puppies can’t regulate their body temperature. It’s important to keep him warm until the glucose level rises enough to burn for energy. Wrap your puppy in a blanket, and snuggle him with a hot water bottle or heating pad. This can also slow down the effects of shock.

For Sleepy/Woozy Behavior. Getting sugar into the puppy will counteract all these symptoms. Often, you’ll notice the wooziness when it’s been a while since the puppy’s last meal.

So as soon as you notice puppy woozy behavior, offer him something to eat. Make it something smelly and yummy that you know he’ll eagerly snarf up, like a tablespoon or two of canned food.

For Drunk/Shivery Behavior. A highly concentrated sugar source like Karo syrup, pancake syrup or honey can work even more quickly. Just be sure your puppy is still able to swallow before giving him about a teaspoonful of the sugar source. If he’s very groggy, offer a bit of water first and if he won’t lap it up, give some with a syringe. Check to be sure he swallows, and then offer the syrup. He should be able to lap it up from the spoon.

For Seizures/Unconscious. Once the seizure has finished, or when the puppy has fallen unconscious, you can still administer a sugar source.

He doesn’t need to swallow. It will be absorbed directly through the mucous membranes in the puppy’s mouth and transferred into the bloodstream. Honey works best for this. Rub the honey on the inside of his lips and gums, and watch for recovery in five to 15 minutes. You can drive your puppy to the vet clinic during this period.

Preventing Low Blood Sugar

When your puppy has suffered from a bout of hypoglycemia, you’ll know to be alert for the signs of low blood sugar in the future. You can also take steps to prevent the problem, especially if your puppy is a high-risk pet.

Add two tablespoons Karo syrup to your puppy’s water for all day sipping. Be sure to dump out and add fresh each day or the sugar water could grow bacteria.
Schedule several meals every day. Toy breed adults and any young puppy have trouble eating enough food at one setting. So a small meal several times a day helps keep the blood sugar levels normal.
Provide dry food out all the time, in a puzzle toy ball, for intermittent snacking. You can measure this amount, too, and regulate how much the pup gets to help keep him slim, prevent puppy obesity, but provide healthy blood sugar levels.
Most adult dogs won’t have problems with hypoglycemia. However, playing and running too hard without rest can cause low blood sugar even in adults that are not Toy breed dogs. It’s up to pet parents to stay watchful and make sure the puppy and maturing dog eat right and maintain healthy food habits.
 
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