Treating Hypoglycemia in Small Breed Dogs (Yorkies, Maltese, Chihuahuas, and more)

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is a common problem in small breed puppies. Smaller puppies in general do not have the energy stores yet developed that adults have, allowing them to maintain an adequate blood glucose (BG) in times of fasting or stress. Small breed puppies are at an even greater disadvantage because they have a relatively higher metabolic rate and energy requirement per unit body mass than larger breed puppies. Small breed puppies may also be more likely to suffer from hypothermia (decreased body temperature) for a similar reason, which can then lead to decreased food intake, decreased gastro-intestinal utilization of food and hypoglycemia.

Signs of hypoglycemia include weakness, lethargy, poor appetite, altered mentation, twitching, tremoring, seizures and coma. If left untreated, hypoglycemia will be fatal. If an owner suspects hypoglycemia, they can help to increase blood sugar by rubbing a small amount of Karo syrup on the gums or administer about 1/4 to 1/2 cc orally. A small amount can also be effective in bringing the blood sugar back up. But, you can give too much and cause the blood sugar to be too high. So, give one small dose as described and if the puppy is still lethargic in 10 minutes administer another 1/4 cc orally. If this does not arouse the puppy within another 10 minutes or so you probably need to take your puppy into a veterinarian for assistance. Care must be taken not to administer too much or to get it in the back of the throat, causing aspiration or obstruction of the air way. You may call us at Love-A-Lot Kennels day or night for phone advice or assistance. 620-213-1490.

Keep your puppy warm by wrapping a warm towel around him/her. Keep a light on at night for your puppy so he/she can see to eat during the night hours. Keep your puppie’s activity limited until he/she weighs around 2 1/2 pounds. A play pen or crate is recommended with limited short intervals of playtime on the floor, then holding the puppy or crating the puppy to limit activity will help prevent your puppy from burning more calories than he/she consumes in their diet.

Nutri-Stat or Nutri-Vyte may be administered 2 or 3 times a day for the first week when you bring your puppy home. Use about 1/4 inch administered into the puppies mouth. When you puppy is well adjusted decrease usage of the product so your puppy will eat well without looking for the Nutri-Stat as a treat. Start by taking away the morning or mid day dose and if puppy does well and is gaining weight you may take away another dose until completely weaned from it.