New pet owners are worried about their puppy experiencing low blood sugar at some point, and thus, they have many questions to ask about the topic. If you're a new puppy owner, you might be wondering: "How common is hypoglycemia? Does a puppy's size affect their chances of getting it? How do I treat low blood sugar in my dog?"
All of those are important questions, and I'll be answering them in detail during this article, so if you're curious, keep reading!
I've been working with Chihuahua puppies for over 2 decade, and during my work, I've accumulated a vast amount of experience with different dog related problems, so I feel qualified to give my advice in the area of low blood sugar. It's not a common problem I deal with by any means, but there are rare occasions where hypoglycemia pops up in a puppy and I'll have to treat it. What I do and how I do it, that knowledge I will now share with you.
What Causes Hypoglycemia in Puppies and Dogs?
There are a few factors that can cause hypoglycemia, and I'll go over each of them. Most of them contribute to hindering a puppy's appetite, which is the main cause.
Stress - Stress is a major problem because a stressful puppy may choose not to eat. This is usually brought on when a puppy enters a new home or new environment of some kind for the first time. The unfamiliarity can make them anxious, or nervous, and so they get the urge not to eat, leading to low blood sugar.
Illness - My Chihuahua puppies for sale, and even the adults, are healthy and strong. While that's mostly due to the high standards I have for the care of my dogs, not all dog breeders share these same quality standards. As a result poor living conditions and maintained mother dogs, such irresponsible breeders often produce sickly puppies that are more prone to receiving hypoglycemia.
Sickness can also sometimes result even in healthy dogs, and may effect them intestinally. This will cause the puppy or dog to lose their appetite, preventing them from eating, which of course, leads to hypoglycemia.
Hypothermia - A puppy can become hypothermic if their body temperature is lowered from shock or chilling. This has potential to happen during winter time, where the temperature inside your home can become dangerously low for a puppy without a heating pad. A cold puppy will start to shiver in an attempt to get warm, rapidly burning through calories. In time, the body temperature will lower, sugar levels drop, and hypoglycemia sets in. So keep your puppy warm!
Hypoglycemia - Does the Size of a Dog Matter?
The size of a dog DOES play a role on the risk of getting low blood sugar more often. Let's look at a few reasons to better understand why that is.Big or small, all puppies need to eat to stay healthy. Eating actually prevents hypoglycemia, so if a puppy stops eating, they run the risk of having low blood sugar. The only difference between a bigger dog and a smaller dog is that the bigger dog has a fattier liver, which means larger puppies are able to endure longer being off food than a smaller dog.
How Do I Treat Hypoglycemia in Dogs and Puppies?
The following instructions assume you already have the necessary food supplies available. You can learn about these supplies on our Feeding a Chihuahua Puppy page, which describes them in detail.
Typically, if a puppy is not eating, immediate steps must be taken to try and alleviate the problem as quickly as possible before hypoglycemia settles in. If sufficient time passes and you are still unable to get them eating, a trip the veterinarian is required.
Here's what you can do during the early signs of a puppy not eating:
1. Tempt the puppy with Gerber Baby Meatsticks or similar foods and get to get them to eat one. Try this multiple times throughout the day.
2. Force Nutrical into them 3 times a day; morning, midday, and night.
3. Using a dropper, squeeze Esbilac Puppy Milk or Goat's Milk into their mouths slowly a few times a day.
4. If the above steps don't work and the puppy is showing no signs of eating, then they need to be taken to a veterinarian.
During an Emergency Hypoglycemia Situation:
1. Give a few drops Karo Syrup (clear color), honey, maple syrup or cane sugar melted with a few drops of water, for small breeds, while you race off to the Veterinarian, asap.