Please leave your puppy and their food with them at all times until they are at least 12 weeks old, even AT NIGHT! This is so important to keep them from hypoglycemia.
*You may need to feed this animal 4-6 times daily. Soft puppy foods are often needed, as these puppies may not be able to eat hard food. They need extra warmth too.
***Simple cases of hypoglycemia can occur when a puppy is overly active with too much time between meals or fasts before vigourous exercise.
I think a significant part of the risk from hypoglycemia is that so many of the triggers can occur in the first hours and days in a new home, just when the new owner has least experience and does not know the pup's normal behavior. A puppy leaves everything it knows (stress), travels to a new place (potential for chills and a missed meal), finds itself in a whole new environment, which may make it stressed and fearful or too excited to eat, is possibly offered a change of diet, and may not be fed as frequently as necessary, especially if the new owner is working. Perfect storm conditions for hypoglycemia, and for a new owner it may just seem that the pup is rather quiet or sleepy.
Toy-breed dogs are not only at risk for hypoglycemia, they can die from the low blood sugar disorder if they do not receive prompt treatment.
When a dog’s blood sugar, or glucose, level drops, it can affect neurological function. Disorientation, tremors and coma may occur. Normally, hormones stimulate the breakdown of stored glycogen to supply the brain and other tissues with fuel. In toy breeds, this process may not happen fast enough, and hypoglycemia results.
Juvenile hypoglycemia occurs in puppies less than 3 months of age. Because puppies have not fully developed the ability to regulate blood glucose concentration and have a high requirement for glucose, they are vulnerable. Stress, cold, malnutrition and intestinal parasites also may trigger juvenile hypoglycemia.
Signs of Hypoglycemia
Loss of appetite
Lack of coordination
Stupor or coma
Discoloration of skin and gums
First Aid for Hypoglycemia
When you catch the symptoms early and seek treatment immediately, most puppies are fine. But without prompt help puppies can fall into a coma, and their breathing and/or heartbeat may stop. There are articles out on the web on rescue breathing and puppy CPR to save your pet’s life.
For All Symptoms. When the blood sugar drops, puppies can’t regulate their body temperature. It’s important to keep him warm until the glucose level raises enough to burn for energy. Wrap your puppy in a blanket, and snuggle him with a hot water bottle or heating pad. This can also slow down the effects of shock.
For Sleepy/Woozy Behavior. Getting sugar into the puppy will counteract all these symptoms. Often, you’ll notice the wooziness when it’s been a while since the puppy’s last meal.
So as soon as you notice puppy woozy behavior, offer him something to eat. Make it something smelly and yummy that you know he’ll eagerly snarf up, like a tablespoon or two of canned food.
For Drunk/Shivery Behavior.A highly concentrated sugar source like Karo syrup, pancake syrup or honey can work even more quickly. Just be sure your puppy is still able to swallow before giving him about a teaspoonful of the sugar source. If he’s very groggy, offer a bit of water first and if he won’t lap it up, give some with a syringe. Check to be sure he swallows, and then offer the syrup. He should be able to lap it up from the spoon.
For Seizures/Unconscious. Once the seizure has finished, or when the puppy has fallen unconscious, you can still administer a sugar source.
He doesn’t need to swallow. It will be absorbed directly through the mucous membranes in the puppy’s mouth and transferred into the bloodstream. Honey works best for this. Rub the honey on the inside of his lips and gums, and watch for recovery in five to 15 minutes. You can drive your puppy to the vet clinic during this period.
Preventing Low Blood Sugar
When your puppy has suffered from a bout of hypoglycemia, you’ll know to be alert for the signs of low blood sugar in the future. You can also take steps to prevent the problem, especially if your puppy is a high-risk pet.
Add two tablespoons Karo syrup to your puppy’s water for all day sipping. Be sure to dump out and add fresh each day or the sugar water could grow bacteria.
Schedule several meals every day. Toy breed adults and any young puppy have trouble eating enough food at one setting. So a small meal several times a day helps keep the blood sugar levels normal.
Provide dry food out all the time, in a puzzle toy ball, for intermittent snacking. You can measure this amount, too, and regulate how much the pup gets to help keep him slim, prevent puppy obesity, but provide healthy blood sugar levels.
Most adult dogs won’t have problems with hypoglycemia. However, playing and running too hard without rest can cause low blood sugar even in adults that are not Toy breed dogs. It’s up to pet parents to stay watchful and make sure the puppy and maturing dog eat right and maintain healthy food habits.