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Hypoglycemia in Yorkies & Maltese

Hypoglycemia, simply known as low blood sugar level, is very common with all small breed puppies including Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese; and is caused by a sudden drop of blood sugar. The most common case of hypoglycemia in puppies occur at the age of  birth to 4 months and  is called "transient juvenile" because it can be cured by feeding and it occurs at such a young age.  Many veterinarians or breeders unfamiliar with toy breeds mistake this to be viral hepatitis or encephalitis.  So, all the toy breed owners should be able to recognize the symptoms and know how to treat it.  Hypoglycemia can be easily treated at the earlier stages, but can also become fatal.  Many owners should be warned that numerous puppies are lost, needlessly, to hypoglycemia, because of lack of knowledge by the owner, breeder or veterinarian.

Owners should understand that the true meaning of hypoglycemia is a chronic and on going condition cause by the overproduction of insulin by the pancreas.  One isolated case of hypoglycemia can be caused by the puppies reaction to stress or starvation.  It is also proven that puppies, of any breeds, are more likely to develop hypoglycemia at a younger age and this fact is even greater for small breeds. Most hypoglycemia is preceded by stress such as cold weather, change in environment, over-handling, teething and many more.

The common signs of hypoglycemia can be that the puppy becomes slower and non-active.  Next, it will start to tremble or shiver.  It may go on to confusion, wobbly gait or drooling from the mouth and even worse, seizure.  The puppy will become lifeless and at this stage, their gums may become grayish, white in color, instead of the healthy bright pink.  If this goes on, the puppy can become lifeless and motionless and can go into shock and even die.

At the earlier stages of hypoglycemia, rubbing of Nutri-Cal on the puppy's gums, under the tongue and on the roof of the mouth can cure the puppy.  Also, get a heading blanket and slowly warm up the puppy to proper temperature (100-102 F).  Another suggestion is to feed it high-quality canned foods containing large amounts of carbohydrates and protein.  Finally, relieve all stress that may have caused this illness.

At a more advanced stage, rub Nutri-Cal around the mouth as well as inserting a small amount of it into the rectum.  Slowly warm up the puppy to normal temperature, approximately 100-102 F and keep them warm continuously.  If not cured, carefully drop a dose of 1 – 3 cc/ml of dextrose solution, Caro syrup or regular maple syrup into the mouth. If you puppy still does is not revived after this within 5 – 10 minutes call your veterinarian immediately to report that you have a hypoglycemic puppy.


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