Hypoglycemia In Yorkies

Hypoglycemia is the medical term for blood sugar concentration below normal levels.  You may have heard of people suffering from hypoglycemia, but did you know that dogs can also suffer from it?   Hypoglycemia in Yorkies or underweight puppies can happen. 

It is not a disease but a potentially dangerous medical condition that you can prevent.  Yorkies and other toy breeds are particularly prone to canine hypoglycemia.

Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia

The primary fear of every Yorkie owner is that the puppy will have Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia.  This condition is often due to lack of glucose (sugar) and inadequate nutrition.  It usually happens when a puppy is not eating as much as they should.  Yorkie puppies under 4 months of age are often affected by this type of hypoglycemia.

Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia is common in toy dog breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian and Toy Poodle.  It can also occur in puppies 5 to 16 weeks of age.  Puppies bred for their tiny size are more predisposed to transient juvenile hypoglycemia in dogs because insufficient muscle mass makes it difficult for the body to store glucose and regulate blood sugar properly.  For this reason, Yorkies and other small dogs should be fed a high quality diet several times a day.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia in Dogs

If your Yorkie suffers from hypoglycemia you will be able to tell at once.  Early signs of hypoglycemia in dogs include weakness, confusion, frothing or drooling, and wobbly gait.  The puppy may be shivering and trembling, and the body temperature will drop. The gums and tongue will appear pale and grayish white rather than a healthy pink.

As the condition progresses the Yorkie may appear limp and lifeless.  His eyes may become unfocused and unresponsive.  If not cared for properly and promptly, Yorkie puppies can go into a coma or convulsions.

Causes of Hypoglycemia in Yorkies

Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia in Yorkies is often caused by not eating.  Generally, hypoglycemia can occur after just eight hours of not eating.  For small puppies and toy breeds, it can occur in less time. If your Yorkie puppy does not eat for a long period of time, a hypoglycemic attack is likely to happen.  Make sure your pet is eating in regular intervals.

Puppies might not eat, but it is never intentional. There can be many reasons why your Yorkie may not be eating, including:

• Stress – Visiting a veterinarian, traveling too much, change of home environment, a thunderstorm, etc. are all things that add stress to your puppy and in turn he may not want to eat.

• Activity and Play  –  If a puppy is more captivated with playing than eating then he may not be getting the rest and nourishment he needs.  Every couple of hours, take away his toys and be sure he gets some food and rest.  Avoid over-handling young puppies so they can get enough rest and sleep.

• Exposure to lower temperatures for longer periods of time can cause hypoglycemia in dogs.  A Yorkie’s body will adjust its body temperature to compensate and this can lead to a change in metabolism. All of which leads to hypoglycemia.  Keep your Yorkie in areas where it stays around 72 to 74 degrees.

• Illness – A sick puppy may not want to eat.  Your Yorkie may have a fever due to a communicable illness, reaction to a vaccination, congenital defect, etc. Bacterial infections or intestinal parasites can also lead to loss of appetite.

Treatment

When it comes to hypoglycemia in Yorkies, it is best to avoid an attack in the first place.  Make sure your puppy gets enough rest and let him feed freely.  You may also feed him 4 or 5 times a day with a diet that is high in protein. 

Always keep the right room temperature. It’s important to know your Yorkie and his or her personality as well as the routine they have. If your Yorkie shows symptoms of hypoglycemia, treat it immediately before the condition gets worse.

To treat hypoglycemia in dogs, the initial thing you have to do is elevate the blood sugar. Buying a supplement such as NutriCal or NutriStat is the easiest way to do this.  If you do not have any supplement on hand, use any food that has sugar. 

Put sugar in water or use maple syrup, honey or Karo syrup to treat your Yorkie’s hypoglycemia.  Place the supplement or sugar on the tongue and gums.  Make sure your puppy stays warm.  If necessary, wrap your puppy in a blanket.

Lack of fluids and hypoglycemia in Yorkies often go together.  If your puppy refuses to drink liquids then do your best to get fluids inside him yourself.  You can make use of an eye dropper to get the necessary fluids into your Yorkie’s body.

A hypoglycemic puppy will usually get better fast when given sugar.  If for some reason your Yorkie does not get well within a couple of minutes, take the puppy to see the veterinarian right away. 

If your Yorkie gets better fast, give your vet a call and let them know what just happened to your puppy.  It’s important to try to find out why your Yorkie had an attack. This way you can try to avoid an attack in the future.

Hypoglycemia in Yorkies rarely persist beyond age 4 or 5 months.  If your adult Yorkie continues to suffer from hypoglycemic attacks, he may be suffering from an underlying illness and should be seen by your vet.

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