Hypoglycemia -- Must Read Medical Info

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Hypoglycemia  — What is it?

Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar and is a condition in which there is a drastic, sudden drop in the level of blood sugar in the puppy. It is a puppy disease most often seen in teacup / toy breed puppies most likely caused by the uneven spurts in growth of the internal organs of the puppy, especially the pancreas and can be brought on during stressful times. Low environmental temperatures, infections, vaccinations, strenuous exercises and inadequate nutrition increase the risk even further.

What to Watch for:

The puppy will be listless maybe even uncoordinated. In an extreme case the puppy will become cold, will lose consciousness and begin to have seizures.

Sometimes there is more to hypoglycemia than just low blood sugar. While being extra small and extra young is enough to drop one's blood sugar, sometimes there is more to the story.

Bacterial Infections — Bacteria can be tremendous consumers of glucose (blood sugar). For this reason, hypoglycemic puppies frequently are given antibiotics.

Portosystemic (Liver) shunt — This is a problem of the Yorkshire Terrier in particular. In this congential malformation of the liver circulation, blood travels from the GI tract to the general circulation by passing the liver. The liver does not develop properly and has abnormal  function. One of the liver's functions is to maintain the body's blood sugar level. An abnormal liver leads to low blood sugar. This condition can frequently be cured with surgery. A liver function blood test is an easy way to rule this condition out as a complicating factor.

Parasitism / Diarrhea / Stress — Stress from any source increases the body's demand for sugar. This is why it is especially important to insure the general health of the teacup / toy breed puppy. When stressors are present, maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is all the more difficult.


What should I do if I think my puppy is Hypoglycemic?

Watch closely for sumptoms ... the puppy will be listless maybe even uncoordinated. In an extreme case, the puppy will become cold (start shrivering), will lose consciousness and begin to have seizures. This is a "Medical Emergency" and prompt action is called for. We highly recommend taking your puppy to the ER as soon as possible.

Nutrical — a handy supplement:

              This product is frequently provided by both veterinarians and breeders for use in teacup/toy breed puppies. It consists basically of a malt flavored paste with sugar and vitamins. Some puppies will readily lap it off fingers and others will only take it if it is smeared on the roof of their mouth. If your puppy seems listless or displays any of the above symptoms, the first thing to do is attempt feeding (preferably wet food). If the puppy will not eat, a finger tip of Nutrical may make the difference. If you do not have Nutrical or a commercial product intended for this purpose, you can use Karo Syrup and rub a small amount into the puppy's gums as a "First Aid" measure.

Rush your puppy to an Animal Hospital

              In the hospital, the puppy will be warmed and his blood sugar level checked. If intervenous access is possible, dextrose will be infused directly into the blood stream. Response is generally rapid once sugar is supplied in this way and a sugar drip or regular sugar injections will be continued. Your puppy will have to realiably eat before going home. Anticipate the need for 24 hour ER care and expect a few days of home care.

What should I do to prevent future episodes?

Be sure your puppy is eating and is well. If possible, look in your puppy's mouth and see if there are teeth present. In particular look for the molars and premolars along the sides of the mouth. These are teeth needed for chewing and they may come in late. This will not stop your puppy from lapping up soft food. Be sure the food you are using is soft enough and that your puppy will reliably eat it. Keep stressful situations, extreme exercise and play routines to a minimum. Keep in mind colder environmental temperatures and use clothing indoors if needed and always sweaters and coats out of doors as body temperature can drop rather fast. Lastly always have handy your tube of Nutrical — just to be sure.

At HollingberryYorkies™ we care about our puppies and the transitional effects of stresses associated with travel and new environments.

Before traveling, each puppy will be given a tube of Nutrical or a similar product. Each will receive a finger tip of this product to help reduce the chance of stress associated with low blood sugar in your puppy. Once at home, should your puppy display any of the listed symptoms, follow instructions above and seek medical treatment if needed.

We wish you and your new puppy all the best. HollingberryYorkies™ will always be readily available to help should you need further support.