Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) in Dogs

Font Size
A
A
A

Hypoglycemia is a syndrome that occurs primarily in toy breeds between 6 and 12 weeks of age. A hypoglycemic attack is often precipitated by stress. The typical signs are listlessness, depression, staggering gait, muscular weakness, and tremors-especially of the face. Puppies with a severe drop in blood sugar develop seizures or become stuporous and go into a coma. Death can follow. This particular sequence of symptoms is not always seen. though. For example, some puppies exhibit only weakness or a wobbly gait. Occasionally a puppy who seemed just fine is found in coma.

Episodes of hypoglycemia often occur without warning-for example, when a puppy is stressed by shipping. Other common causes of acute hypoglycemia are missing a meal, chilling, becoming exhausted from too much play, or having an upset stomach. These events place an added strain on the energy reserves of the liver.

Recommended Related to Dogs

Destructive Chewing in Dogs

It’s normal for puppies and dogs to chew on objects as they explore the world. Chewing accomplishes a number of things for a dog. For young dogs, it’s a way to relieve pain that might be caused by incoming teeth. For older dogs, it’s nature’s way of keeping jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing also combats boredom and can relieve mild anxiety or frustration.

Read the Destructive Chewing in Dogs article > >

Hypoglycemia can occur in adult hunting dogs as a consequence of sustained exercise and depletion of liver glycogen. It is important to feed these dogs before hunting and to increase the protein content of their diets. Hypoglycemia in diabetic dogs is caused by insulin overdose. Unexplained hypoglycemia that occurs in older dogs is likely to be caused by an insulin-secreting tumor of the pancreas.

Prolonged or repeated hypoglycemic attacks in toy breed puppies can cause brain damage. Puppies with frequent attacks should undergo veterinary testing to rule out an underlying problem, such as liver shunt, infection, or an enzyme or hormone deficiency.

Treatment: The treatment of an acute attack is aimed at restoring the blood sugar. Begin immediately. If the puppy is awake and able to swallow, give corn syrup or sugar water by syringe, or rub corn syrup, honey, or glucose paste on the gums. You should see improvement in 30 minutes. If not, call your veterinarian.

If the pup is unconscious, do not give an oral solution because it will be inhaled. Rub corn syrup, honey, or glucose paste on the gums and proceed at once to your veterinarian. This puppy will require an intravenous dextrose solution and may need to be treated for brain swelling.

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
 
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
Lady owner feeding dog
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow