Hypoglycemia is a blood sugar disorder, prevalent among toy breed dogs like Chihuahuas. Mostly young pups suffer from this disease of extremely low sugar levels in their blood. As a result of which the pup’s brain becomes devoid of essential nutrients. The effects of the above syndrome can be fatal. In some cases low blood sugar can also cause coma in puppies.
Even healthy Chihuahua pups can develop this problem. Absence of fat stores in their body, which they could have used for energy, might cause hypoglycemia. Inadequate sugar produced by the liver, that could have been used as energy, is also one of the factors for hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia may also occur if the pancreas produces excessive sugar and the dogs do not do away with this additional energy through ample exercise. Moreover, puppies that take insulin supplements on a regular basis may become hypoglycemic due to excessive insulin intake.
There are several external factors that contribute to such disorders. Some Chihuahuas suffer from stress arising due to change of home or out of traveling. Most Chihuahua puppies are so very playful that they exhaust all their energies using up all their fat reserve. Missing meals at frequent intervals might cause hypoglycemia in Chihuahuas as well.
Several symptoms may indicate that the puppies actually suffer from hypoglycemia. These include excessive sleeping, depression, weakness, staggering, seizures, restlessness, disoriented looks and glassy eyes. Chihuahuas might even have brain damage if hypoglycemia is not treated as a medical emergency.
Chihuahua puppies six to ten weeks of age are prone to this disease. This is the most stressful phase of their life. Changes such as de-worming and vaccinations are introduced at regular intervals. Moreover, it is a stage when they are bathed and their nails are clipped for the first time. They have to be weaned away from their mother’s milk, which is the source of nutrients and thus become vulnerable to diseases. They are then sold to their owners where they face a completely different ambience. Socialization problems in a new environment can cause such disorders in Chihuahua puppies.
There are lots that can be done to prevent dogs from succumbing to this fatal disease. Owners should be careful till the puppy attains 16 weeks of age. If the pup is falling asleep frequently, he should be awakened and made to stand on his feet. If he staggers, glucose water or else a vet, are immediate calls. Feeding puppies at proper intervals with high quality food and giving him glucose and karo syrup will help if such a deficiency occurs.
If the puppy gets unconscious due to hypoglycemia, rubbing the syrup on their gums and their tongues might help regain his consciousness. If the pup is conscious, the syrup can be injected. Other than karo syrup, pancake syrups, nutri-cal vitamin paste, nutristat could also be fed. Injecting insulin may also prevent mishaps. In spite of all possible measures, if the puppy continues to have attacks of hypoglycemia, then a vet should be consulted without any delay.
Nancy Richards is a dog owner and trainer for more than 10 years. She is also the President of the Dog Training Institute. Learn more about Chihuahuas.
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