Hypoglycemia is defined as abnormally low blood glucose (sugar) levels. The brain requires sugar for normal function and has very limited ability to store glucose. Blood glucose levels are regulated by a complex interaction of bodily processes. Puppies especially toy breed puppies are predisposed to developing hypoglycemia because they have less ability to store and mobilize glucose compared to older dogs. Puppies need frequent meals to prevent hypoglycemia.
They signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia includes lethargy, weakness, incoordination, seizures, nervousness, tremors and hunger. In severe cases the puppy may become unconscious or go into a seizure.
Hypoglycemia is an EMERGENCY. A small amount of Karo syrup (clear) or Nutri Cal. Another small amount should be given in just a few minutes. You should call your vet and tell him that you suspect hypoglycemia and follow your vets instructions.
To prevent hypoglycemia it is necessary the puppy eat well at least 5 times daily. You can give your puppy a few licks of Nutri-Cal in the morning and at night. This, along with seeing that your puppy eats well can be the best preventative of hypoglycemia.
When you take your puppy into your vet for their first vet visit please talk with your vet about hypoglycemia. Ask your vet what phone number to call in case your puppy has hypoglycemia during times they are closed.