What is Hypoglycemia? Please Know, Read and Save.
One of the most serious side effects of too much insulin is hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose [low blood sugar]. Hypoglycemia can be - but doesn't need to be - a life-threatening, even fatal condition and often happens in the smaller toy breeds.
How does Hypoglycemia happen? Hypoglycemia is caused from not eating enough! . Teacup and Toy Breed Puppies should eat 5 to 6 times per day!!! An average of every 3 hrs. You need to monitor your new puppys' eating habits. Use a notebook to keep track of times and how much your puppy is eating.
Puppy Stress: Moving to a new home, being alone for long periods of time [vs. with litter mates], rough play with children and older pets; excessive exercise; food changes and especially not enough food to eat; etc. Hypoglycemia need not be life threatening, however when your puppy does NOT receive enough TLC and
monitoring from you, it well can!
Signs of Hypoglycemia: The occurrence of signs depends on how far the blood sugar level
drops and how far into the episode the puppy has progressed.
lethargy (lack of energy)
head tilting ~~~~~ unbalanced wobbling when walking
excessive hunger or refusal to eat
whimpering and high pitched whining or moaning
shivering and uncontrollable trembling
convulsions or seizures
What can I do during an episode? During a hypoglycemic attack, your goal is to stay calm, bring the blood glucose back to a safe level, continue to observe your pet, and contact the vet. If your pet is acting strangely, displaying one or several of the above symptoms, you should assume it is due to hypoglycemia and treat it accordingly. This is a situation where it is better to be safe than sorry. If your pet is not hypoglycemic, your treatment may have raised the blood glucose for a few hours. If your pet was hypoglycemic, you may have just saved its life.
If you own a Teacup or Toy puppy, always have Karo Corn Syrup available.
Karo Corn Syrup works well because it is a very pure sugar, and it is liquid. In the U.S. "Karo" is a brand name of corn syrup and you'll often see this word used. If Karo is not available, pancake syrup, honey, or table sugar dissolved in some water will also work. Wherever your pet is, there should be an emergency supply of
Yorkiebabies.com recommends Nutri-cal, a nutritional vitamin supplement as a daily treat until the pup is app. 8 to 16 weeks old, and then as needed during major changes or stressful situations [moving, vet visits, grooming, playing with the grand children...]. A little Nutrical once or twice a day, will go a
long way in prevention! This must be given only AFTER EATING! only a little on the tip of your finger, about an inch.
What to do during and after a hypoglycemic episode:
Mild hypoglycemia: If your pet's bg is only slightly low or if it is showing only mild signs of hypoglycemia, you can often treat it by immediately feeding the pet some of its regular food. The blood glucose raising effects of the food may be enough to counteract the hypoglycemia. If your pet refuses its regular food, try offering a
food it really enjoys or some treats. Any food is probably ok in this situation. But we highly recommend Hill's AD which can be purchased at your vets office. Having this on hand is a smart move. Your main concern is to get the blood glucose up and to eliminate the signs of hypoglycemia. You need to observe your pet for several hours to make sure the hypoglycemia does not happen again. Also give plenty of fluids to drink, Water or Pedialyte is good for hypoglycemic dogs because they are usually dehydrated. Let the pup rest. Most likely it will want to snuggle close to you!
Moderate hypoglycemia: Nutri-Cal, Nutri-Stat, Karo Corn Syrup should be given, either alone, or combined with food. Syrup can be mixed in with wet food or drizzled over dry food. The syrup will help bring the bg up quickly, and the food will help keep the bg elevated for a longer period of time. Small dogs should be given about a half teaspoon, Not tablespoons.
Give plenty of fluids to drink, hypoglycemic dogs are usually dehydrated. Again - the pup will require undisturbed rest! You need to observe your pet for several hours to make sure the hypoglycemia does not happen again.
The blood glucose raising effects of the syrup will last only for a short time. If the insulin is long lasting or if the hypoglycemia is Severe, the effects of the syrup will Wear Off and your pup May become Hypoglycemic Again. Continue observing your pet, and give syrup or Nutrical and food as needed.
Severe hypoglycemia: If your pet is severely hypoglycemic, especially if it is having seizures or unconscious, you must give Karo Corn Syrup immediately. Carefully rub small amounts of syrup on the cheeks and gums. Do not put a lot of liquid in the pet's mouth, and be sure the pet does not choke. Do not stick your fingers inside the
teeth of a seizureing pet - you may get bitten. Then, call the vet. If you can not contact your vet, call any vet - and get additional instructions. Your pet will probably have to go to the vet Immediately!!!!!Follow up: Whenever a pet has a moderate to severe hypoglycemic attack, you should contact your veterinarian. Especially after a severe attack the possibility of a repeat episode is strong! Repeated episodes can cause brain damage.
How do I prevent Hypoglycemia? You must monitor the food intake of your puppy. Toy Breeds have high metabolisms & small stomachs they need to have food + water available Free Feeding which means all the time!!! You can start feeding individual meals once your pup is past the 3lb or the 3 month level, whichever comes last. But we suggest leaving food out all the time. Change food and water twice a day. Reduce and monitor rowdy playtime with children and other pets. This includes excessive exercise that overtaxes your puppy. Don't expect too much from your puppy - it is still a baby! Undisturbed sleeping time and sufficient rest, with short interactions of TLC from you are a must. Within a few short weeks the attention span and waking periods of your little one are getting longer. If in doubt about your pup having a hypoglycemic episode - Call your Vet!!!! Get some sugar going and keep a close eye on the little one. Hypoglycemia does not have to be lethal - if you are careful.
Love and care for your new little puppy and they will reward you with years of unconditional love in return!