Toy breed puppies have a tendency to get hypoglycemia –low blood sugar. Because of their small size they are not able to keep enough calories or sugar in them during times of stress or long bouts of playing and must be monitored. Hypoglycemia is dangerous and can be fatal.
Causes of hypoglycemia
Leaving litter mates or weaning from momma.
· Too much playing – with people or other animals
· Not being allowed lots of naps – like a baby they need lots of sleep
o Sleeping is good, but the puppy should wake up ready to play – if not assume hypoglycemia
(This does NOT mean you must disturb the puppy every time he sleeps – just when the puppy hasn’t eaten or has played excessively.)
· Long car rides – unfamiliar areas
· Extra activity and/or people in the home
· Not eating or drinking - puppies can play so much that it gets too tired to eat
Preventing hypoglycemia is easier than treating it.
Toy breed puppies have very small tummies, so they must eat often and drink (every 3-4 hours). When putting a small puppy in a crate, they must be checked on often. You do not want your puppy going potty in the crate, so feed him 30 min prior to bedtime, and then allow him to potty. When in the crate, it is a good idea to give him a couple fruit loops (breakfast cereal) or a high calorie puppy cookie. Set your alarm to get up with him every few hours to allow him to potty and drink, then give another fruit loop or two when you put him back into the crate.
Signs of Hypoglycemia
· Lethargy (lack of energy)
· Weakness or disorientation
· Head tilting or lip smacking/licking
· ‘Drunkenness’’ – wobbling when walking
· Ataxia (lack of muscular coordination)
· Sweating –check the nose ad paw pads,
· Convulsions or seizures
Nutri-Cal (from any pet supply)
Honey (individual servings from KFC is easy to tuck in your pocket or purse) Corn or Pancake syrup
Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks or Honey Nut Cheerios in a snack baggie
If your puppy is acting strangely or you suspect hypoglycemia…
1. Stay calm – panicking won’t help your puppy at all.
2. If your puppy is showing mild signs or you’re unsure – offer him his regular food first.
3. If he is uninterested then offer Nutri-Cal or a couple of fruit loops.
a. Any food is okay in this situation…chicken, table scraps, etc.
b. If he doesn’t have low blood sugar, this won’t hurt him – better safe than sorry.
4. Peanut butter mixed with Nutri-Cal is a good way to make the effects last longer (like at bedtime).
5. If your puppy refuses to eat, is seizing or unconscious – immediately rub honey or corn syrup on their gums and get them to the vet immediately.
a. Don’t squirt it in the puppy’s mouth as they may choke.
b. Don’t stick your fingers in a seizing puppy’s mouth – you may get bitten.
c. Even if the puppy looks like it won’t make it do not hesitate – I’ve seen MANY come back from this.
Will My Puppy Always Have This?
NO. Hypoglycemic puppies tend to grow out of low blood sugar issues by 16 weeks. MOST puppies don’t even get hypoglycemia, but toy breeds are especially susceptible to it and should be monitored closely. They should never be left alone for longer than a couple of hours without someone checking on him until they get to be about 16 weeks old.