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In both animals and humans, hypoglycemia is a sudden drop in blood glucose concentration, falling below normal levels. Glucose is used by the body, human or animal, as a source of vital energy to perform many functions. The liver is in charge of its manufacture and storage for when it is necessary to pass into the blood and, thus, go to the place that needs it most urgently.
In this AnimalWised article we want to tell you about the hypoglycemia in dogs, its causes and main symptoms to help you identify it in time, since it is an emergency that can be fatal if it is not attended to in a timely manner.You may also be interested in: Hypoglycemia in Cats - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Causes of hypoglycemia in dogs
There are different types of causes, from those caused by us, or veterinarians, to hereditary or genetic, for breeds that are more likely to suffer from this problem due to their size.
The call transient juvenile hypoglycemia It is found more frequently in miniature breeds such as Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahua and toy poodles, among other reasons due to prolonged fasting. In general, it occurs between 5 and 15 weeks of life. It does not happen in all cases, but it is quite common and requires immediate veterinary attention. In these cases it is important that they always have food available, at least until the year of life. This type of hypoglycemia is triggered from stress or over-exercise for, on many occasions, living in homes with children who want to play at any time, since it is difficult to control. Adding to this that many are so small that they do not have enough muscle mass to store glucose and take it in case of excessive exercise, we will have a better chance of having a case..
In animals that are treated with insulin, Due to liver damage or other organic causes, it sometimes happens that the dose is not calculated correctly and an excess is applied, the animal has not eaten enough compared to the dose received or had previously vomited. It is frequent insulin overdose, either because of a miscalculation or because the injection is doubled. Another common cause of hypoglycemia in dogs is that the animal has been more active during the day and, therefore, the dose that is normally applied is not enough..
Types and symptoms of hypoglycemia in dogs
Hypoglycemia can be classified into 3 types of gravity, and if the first stage is not properly attended to, we will move on to the next ones quickly and with a higher risk of fatality. The types of canine hypoglycemia are as follows:
- The mild hypoglycemia We can identify it by unusual weakness or tiredness, a great appetite and sometimes the presence of chills or tremors.
- In the moderate hypoglycemia We will see little coordination of our animal, it can walk in circles or appear "like a drunk", with some disorientation. We will also observe vision problems and restlessness, with excessive and irritating barking.
- Already in the worst stage or severe hypoglycemia We will have seizures and loss of consciousness, stupor and coma. It is common to reach death in this stage.
Treatments for canine hypoglycemia
In any of the stages of hypoglycemia, the first thing we should do is offer food to our animal to try to reverse the picture as soon as possible. Once we are sure that the blood glucose level is correct, we will take him to the vet.
There is treatment with honey or glucose syrup we can turn to if our dog does not want to eat. We will give small or miniature dogs a teaspoon and large a tablespoon of this natural remedy to regulate glucose levels. Then we will make him eat as normal. It is a very fast treatment, like an energy shock and thus continue with the rest of the maneuvers. In cases where you do not want to swallow the honey, we can rub your gums with it, since that way it will be absorbed, in less quantity, but it will act. The important thing as owners is that we must remain calm and, first, do these little things at home and then go to the specialist.
In the case of not having honey in the home, we can prepare a glucose solution with tap water. It is not more than sugar dissolved in water but we must calculate 1 tablespoon for every 5 kg of weight of our animal. It is advisable to have it prepared at home in a bottle to use in an emergency.
After having stabilized the animal, we must go to the veterinarian to regulate the next dose of insulin and not to cause hypoglycemia in the dog again..
This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.