Hypoglycemia is one of the most dangerous pet health concerns that affects mainly toy breed puppies. However, the condition can occur in other pets as well, especially those that have diabetes. In simple terms, hypoglycemia means low blood sugar. Glucose is naturally formed during digestion and stored in the liver as glycogen. When an animal's supply of glycogen gets too low, they may experience hypoglycemia.
How it Affects your pet
At the onset of hypoglycemia, your pet will become sluggish and weak. This is typically due to a depletion of liver glycogen or an overdose of insulin. If your dog or cat's blood sugar level is not brought back to its proper levels immediately, the condition can worsen resulting in seizures, coma, brain damage and even death.
The exact symptoms your pet will display if it has low blood sugar will vary depending on several factors including its age, whether or not the animal has diabetes and how long it has suffered from the condition. However, the following symptoms are some of the most common signs. Symptoms of Hypoglycemia in Dogs and Cats: Moderate to Severe Weakness, Sluggishness , Depression, Vomiting and/or Diarrhea, Seizures, Coma and Staggering.
The treatment for an attack of hypoglycemia is aimed at bringing your pet's blood sugar back to its proper level. If your pet is awake and able to swallow on its own, rub a bit of corn syrup, sugar water or honey on its gums. If you do not see any improvement in 15 minutes, see your veterinarian immediately. If your pet is unconscious and/or you cannot revive it, take it to your veterinarian right away. In this case, intravenous fluids containing dextrose will be necessary to revive your pet. After your dog or cat has recovered, the vet will educate you on precautions you can take to maintain blood sugar levels and recommend a special diet and supplements for pets.
Breeds and animals most susceptible to Hypoglycemia are diabetic dogs and cats that take insulin, puppies and kittens of any breed that are under 12 weeks of age, puppies and kittens that are chilled or under stress, undernourished and/or overly-exercised animals, Pomeranian puppies, Chihuahua puppies, Toy Poodle pups, Yorkshire Terrier pups and any other toy breed puppies.
- At the onset of hypoglycemia, your pet will become sluggish and weak. This is typically due to a depletion of liver glycogen or an overdose of insulin. If your dog or cat's blood sugar level is not brought back to its proper levels immediately, the condition can worsen resulting in seizures, coma, brain damage and even death.