Village Animal Clinic

9044 Alternate A1A
North Palm Beach, FL 33403

(561)848-4349

villageac.com

HYPOGLYCEMIA IN SMALL BREEDS

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 may also trigger juvenile hypoglycemia. 

Puppies and adult dogs that appear to be in a stupor or coma during a hypoglycemic attack should immediately be given sugar water or an oral concentrated solution of glucose, such as corn syrup or Nutri-Cal and brought in to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Owners of toy breeds should have a glucose source readily available. In an emergency situation, owners should dab sugar water on or under the tongue. The sugar is absorbed directly through the tissue into the bloodstream they then should be brought into the veterinary office.

Signs of Hypoglycemia

  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Lack of coordination
  • Trembling
  • Muscular twitching
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Unusual behavior
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stupor or coma