Small Puppy Hypoglycemia: Angel’s Story

Hypoglycemia is a medical term for low blood sugar. Small breed puppies are extremely vulnerable to this life-threatening situation.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include

  • weakness
  • lethargy
  • sleepiness
  • neurological signs
  • twitching
  • tremors
  • seizures
  • coma

Puppies can develop hypoglycemia from parasitic infestation or simply because of insufficient caloric intake and reserves. Glucose reserves are in the liver but tiny puppies’ liver is so small it cannot store enough. A long gap between meals is enough to cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels.

Source: Hypoglycemia in Small Breed Puppies and Young Kittens

Small Puppy Hypoglycemia: Angel's Story

Angel’s story

Angel was a healthy, active Chihuahua puppy. She was born in a litter of three and had two healthy brothers. Her brothers were more assertive about food than Angel was and her human mom had to be careful to make sure Angel got the nutrition she needed.

Angel was also a fussy eater. The puppies were fed three times a day but Angel wouldn’t eat unless heavily encouraged.

Angel’s hypoglycemia

Every morning, when their human mom walked into the room, all three puppies would bounce to greet her. This time, however, the two boys rushed to visit but Angel remained curled up in the corner.

Was she just unusually sleepy?

Upon closer inspection, Angel’s mom observed that Angel was twitching and didn’t respond to nudging. It looks as if Angel was having some sort of seizure.

Immediately, Angel’s mom called their vet clinic and was on the way.

At the veterinarian

Ten minutes later, her mom carried Angel’s limp body to the clinic.

The veterinarian quickly examined Angel, drew some blood and started emergency treatment while waiting for results of the blood work.

The blood work confirmed his suspicion–Angel was suffering from hypoglycemia. Without prompt treatment, Angel would have died.

Angel received an IV glucose. Within minutes, she perked up and became interested in her surroundings. An hour later, Angel was ready to return home.

The puppies’ feeding regime was changed from three to six meals a day, including just before bed and early in the morning. Some puppies might even need to be fed every two hours.

As Angel grows up and her liver fully develops, she will have better glucose reserves to smooth out her blood sugar levels.

Related articles:
Is an Unresponsive Dog an Emergency?

Source story:
Angel, an eight week old Chihuahua puppy was rushed to the vet when she seemed to go into a coma

Further reading:
Low Blood Sugar in Dogs

Categories: ComaConditionsDog health advocacyHypoglycemia

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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