|Hypoglycemia Symptoms and Treatment
Hypoglycemia is a sudden fall in the concentration of glucose in the blood below normal levels. The body uses
glucose as its primary energy source. The brain, for example, is completely dependent upon glucose to function.
The liver is responsible for manufacturing glucose and for storing it in a usable form, for release into the blood
stream as needed. Muscle tissues store some of the important materials used in this process.
Hypoglycemia Must Be Treated
Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia, which is brought on by fasting, is common in Toy dog breeds, such as Yorkshire
Terrier, Toy Poodle, Pomeranian and other Toy dog breeds, and usually seen in puppies 5 to 16 weeks of age.
Stress, low body temperature, poor nutrition, sudden change in feed, water and schedule patterns, infections, and
premature birth may precipitate the onset of hypoglycemia. Some puppies, bred exclusively for tiny size (Maltese
Yorkies and Chihuahua, are even more predisposed to Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia since insufficient muscle
mass may make it difficult for the body to store the glucose and keep its blood sugar properly regulated.
Most common clinical signs of hypoglycemia are drowsiness, shivering, collapsing, disorientation, seizures,
listlessness, depression, muscle weakness and tremors. Lee Weston, author of the article about hypoglycemia
(Pomeranian Club of Canada) says that "the entire sequence of clinical signs is not always seen, so close
observation of your pet and knowing when your dog is going into a distressed state can mean the difference
between life and death of your dog. Immediate treatment by a veterinarian is imperative, as recurrence of, or
prolonged attacks, can cause permanent damage to the brain."
It has been proven experimentally that eight hours fasting in a Yorkshire terrier puppy can result in marked variation
of blood glucose, showing both hypo- and hyperglycemia. Frequent feeding of a high-energy, protein-rich diet to
both mother and puppies may prevent toy-breed puppies from developing hypoglycemia and may help them to
overcome periods with a decreased intake of energy.
Puppies and dogs can develop severe hypoglycemia after consuming sugar-free gum sweetened with the
sugar-alcohol xylitol. In humans, xylitol has little to no effect on plasma insulin or glucose levels, but in dogs xylitol is
a strong promoter of insulin release and can cause severe hypoglycemia with collapse and seizures. With the
increased appearance of xylitol-sweetened products in the US, xylitol toxicosis in dogs may become more common.
Sometimes, a dog will outgrow this condition.