Hypoglycemia In Puppies: Is Your Pooch At Risk?

21 January 2022
 Categories: , Blog

There's nothing as sweet as a puppy. But sometimes a puppy isn't as sweet as they should be—in a manner of speaking. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can easily affect a puppy, with some breeds being more vulnerable than others. Although the condition is relatively easy to avoid, quick action is needed if your puppy should be affected. Any delay means that a puppy's hypoglycemia can become dangerous and even fatal.

A Suitable Feeding Schedule

Hypoglycemia in puppies is more of an issue in small (toy) breeds, due to their relatively small stomachs. The condition can generally be avoided with a suitable feeding schedule. Adult dogs should ideally have two meals per day, but the schedule is different for puppies. Puppy parents should consult their veterinarian to determine the best feeding schedule for a new puppy, which will reflect the dog's breed. Puppies, and toy breeds in particular, will require multiple smaller meals throughout the day.

An Innocent Mistake

It's not as though anyone would deliberately curtail their new puppy's nutritional needs, and when a puppy is affected by hypoglycemia, it's more likely to be an innocent mistake on the part of their owner. But you wouldn't want an innocent mistake to wreak havoc with your dog's health, so it's important to know the warning signs of hypoglycemia in a puppy.

Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar

A puppy experiencing the onset of hypoglycemia will appear lethargic and may be wobbly in their gait. They may also experience tremors (uncontrollable shaking). As their energy levels drop, the puppy's eyes will become dull and glassy. Without urgent treatment, your puppy may lapse into unconsciousness. These symptoms are more likely to appear if it has been some hours since your puppy was last fed. Then surely the solution is to feed your puppy?

What to Do

Contact your veterinarian. They may advise you to raise your puppy's blood sugar by feeding them an appropriate form of glucose (honey, or even sugar). However, if the symptoms of hypoglycemia are severe enough to prevent ingestion, you will need to take your puppy to the veterinary clinic for prompt treatment. Your puppy will need glucose, and this may need to be given intravenously (via an injection). 

As mentioned, a suitable feeding schedule for your dog's age and breed is the best way to avoid the risk of hypoglycemia. But if your puppy should display the symptoms of this potentially serious condition, you must contact your vet immediately.