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What is Hypoglycemia in Dogs?

(December 19, 2011)

Hypoglycemia in dogs occurs when the blood sugar is lower than the normal levels. When blood sugar gets low, the brain functioning gets completely disrupted. In dogs, this could lead to several brain related problems. One of the first symptoms of hypoglycemia in dogs is seizures. This is especially common in puppies.

Puppies and small dogs have very small livers, so the capacity to store glucose is ever lower. Due to their size, the glycogen capacity of their livers is also lower. This puts them at a higher susceptibility of developing hypoglycemia. In such dogs, hypoglycemia can be extremely dangerous and even life threatening. Besides being one of the leading known causes of seizures in dogs, hypoglycemia in dogs is also a leading cause of fatalities in dogs.

The signs of hypoglycemia in dogs are different for various dogs. These symptoms and signs usually depend on how fast the sugar levels have dropped and what is the level to which the sugar is dropping. The dog may experience a seizure and may even faint. A diagnosis can be made by a veterinarian. You may contact your vet and seek treatment. However, home care is also required along with treatment prescribed by the doctor. It is important to keep calm and feed your dog in an attempt to restore the dog’s blood glucose levels to normal.

Hypoglycemia may occur in any kind of dogs, at any age, but they are most common in smaller dogs such as Yorkshire terrier and Chihuahua or puppies. Older dogs that have a condition known as insulinoma may also have hypoglycemia. This is a condition where the pancreas produces excessive insulin due to which the glucose levels in the blood become excessively low.

Hypoglycemia in dogs’ treatment may be required if your dog shows signs of lethargy, weakness, confusion, disorientation, dizziness, trembling and nervousness, muscle incoordination, and seizures. Before you take the dog to the clinic, make sure you give the dog some cornstarch, jam, honey, or syrup. This will help raise the dog’s sugar levels to normal. Further treatment will help maintain the dog’s glucose levels to optimum.

Submitted by N on December 19, 2011 at 11:47


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