Marli's Chi's - AKC Longcoat Chihuahuas
of San Jose, California
Hypoglycemia: Low Blood Sugar
What are the symptoms?
A puppy with hypoglycemia will lack energy. Glucose (sugar) is the fuel the body burns for energy; without it the puppy is listless. In severe instances the puppy may even seizure since glucose is necessary for the brain tissue and muscles to function. These hypoglycemic episodes will cause the puppy to fall over and appear weak or comatose.
What are the risks?
The risks depend on the severity or extent of the lack of blood sugar. If it is due to lack of food or excessive exercise it can be easily corrected. If however, the underlying cause is more serious, such as liver disease preventing the storage of glucose as glycogen, or intestinal disease preventing the proper digestion and/or absorption of food, then hypoglycemia may be chronic and life threatening.
What is the management?
If a puppy is listless due to low blood sugar it is imperative to immediately provide sugar. Karo syrup and honey are excellent sugar sources and should be fed to the puppy. If the puppy fails to respond to sugar, or the hypoglycemic episodes are frequent, then a thorough exam by a veterinarian is in order. It must be determined if the low blood sugar is simply the result of inadequate nutrition or a more severe underlying disease.
Article courtesy of Drs. Foster & Smith's PetEducation.com