How to treat with puppies hypoglycemia
What is Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia, also referred to as low blood sugar is a condition resulting in a sudden drop in blood glucose in a puppy. It can be an issue most often seen in the toy breeds. It may also be found in the smaller puppies of a litter in comparison to other litter mates or underweight puppies.
It can be brought on by lack of food consumption, stress, infections or poor diet. Puppies are most vulnerable to hypoglycemia from 2 days to five months of age. 2 day old puppies having hypoglycemia can usually be attributed to a newborn puppy nursing on its mother but not being successful in getting enough milk.
What to do about hypoglycemia
Supplement feeding is required for a puppy in this case to avoid fading puppy syndrome which will lead to dehydration and death. Newborn puppies should be weighed at birth and then again everyday to observe weight gain. If no weight gain is noticed within 24 to 32 hours after birth, or any loss of weight, supplement feeding should be given to avoid fading puppy syndrome.
Other signs besides no weight gain or even weight loss is that the puppy will become colder as body temperature lowers and the skin will lose elasticity indicating dehydration. If gone untreated, the result is deadly.
Signs of hypoglycemia in an older puppy’s are generally the puppy will appear limp and lethargic. The gums and tongue will lack color, they can shiver or tremble. Other signs may be weakness, confusion, wobbly gait, frothing or drooling, wobbling of the head, and even seizures and convolutions.
Some causes of hypoglycemia
- Over-handling young puppies, not allowing them enough rest or sleep.
- Puppies not getting enough nutrition nursing on their mother, or eating an adequate amount of food during their meal.
- Stress due to any change in its environment.
- Switching diets to a different brand of food and or weaning .
- Stress due to any type of traveling. (Regular outings should be limited until five to six months of age).
- Bacterial infections or intestinal parasites.
- Poor diet or poor eating habits.
Newborn puppies require lots of rest. It is sensible to contain them to 1 room when young. Keep puppies confined with lots of water, puppy pads, a soft bed, toys and do not skip scheduled feedings. This will help avoid the potential of your new puppy over exerting himself when playing. It is important for them to get plenty of rest. Limit playtime to small intervals in the course of the day.
Hypoglycemia in older pups
Hypoglycemia in older puppies is usually triggered by stress or a missed meal or a combination of both. Always keep available a highly palatable high calorie paste. Some such brands are Nutri Stat or Nutri Cal. To help avoid hypoglycemia, puppy paste could be given to your puppy during and prior to any kinds of stressful situations such as travel, vaccinations, strenuous exercise, low temperatures, changing of homes, absences of a recent meal, or lack of rest.
Stress and improper nutrition may cause the blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels. Always feed a high quality dog food 3 to 5 times a day depending on age. The younger they are, the more frequent they need to be feed.
Blood sugar levels have to be restored as soon as possible. A way of doing this is to use something such as Nutri Cal or Nutri Drops ¼ cc per pound. Take note to follow directions on the Nutri Drop bottle. When using Nutri Cal place two inches on your forefinger and wipe it on the roof of your Yorkie puppy’s mouth. Repeat in 30 minute intervals if needed.
Honey, sugar or Karo syrup works in a pinch if rubbed on the roof of the mouth. Only use puppy paste or Nutri drops, or the honey or Karo syrup substitute. Never combine them. Follow the above with spoon feeding your puppy with baby food, stages 1, beef flavored.
Making sure the your puppy is warm is another essential part of treatment as body temperature goes down when a puppy has hypoglycemia. In progressive stages of hypoglycemia this occurs very rapidly. A temperature that falls below 96 degrees usually leads to a coma. Keeping the puppy warm with blankets or heating pad set at low during treatment will aid in the puppy’s recovery process.
Breeders give frequent feedings of 4 to five times a day is recommended for puppies at risk to prevent hypoglycemia. Feed moist or semi moist food to ensure it is more palatable and use only high quality dog food made specifically for puppies.
Puppies which are more vulnerable to hypoglycemia are tiny puppies, underweight puppies, puppies weaned to early or placed to soon to new homes (12 weeks should be minimum age).
Most outgrow this condition at 4 to 6 months of age. Puppies with estimated adult weight under 4 lbs are at higher risk of occurrence and may have several episodes throughout their lifetime. Always pay careful attention to eating habits and diet of any tiny toy puppy.