Click here to listen: What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is a disorder that occurs mainly in small breed puppies between six and sixteen weeks of age. It often occurs without warning and can appear after the puppy misses a meal, gets cold, becomes exhausted from playing, not enough rest, etc.
Imagine your puppy’s blood sugar level like a battery.
Your puppy’s battery is charging when the puppy eats, rests, and takes plenty of naps. If your puppy is awake, plays, or if your puppy is cold, the battery gets drained, and the blood sugar will eventually drop if not re-charged.
When the blood sugar level gets too low, your puppy will become sleepy, the gums will get pale, the puppy won’t be interested in food, or toys because it feels weak. If you do not catch that problem in time, it will get worse. The puppy will get very lethargic, it is unable to get up, and can get cramps or seizures. If your puppy goes to bed with low blood sugar, and you don’t do anything about it, it might not be alive the next morning. Here at RMBT, we actually get up at night to feed very small 8 weeks old weaning puppies at 3 AM to prevent hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is a dangerous threat to young Biewer Terrier puppies!
Watch for your puppy to become tired or droopy. The puppy may appear sad, weak, wobbly, or jerky. In an advanced case of low blood sugar, the puppy could be unresponsive, in a coma, cramp, or seizure. If your puppy has any symptoms of hypoglycemia you must act fast! If the puppy is awake, give it 2 cc of Dextrose and 1 cc of Nutri-Cal by mouth.
(2 cc is the same as 2 ml)
If your puppy is too weak to get up, you need to be very careful when administering dextrose to make sure it can still swallow the liquid. The puppy needs to be kept warm and you should see signs of improvement in 10-15 minutes. Once your puppy is up on its feet again you need to hand feed it.
If no improvement, then call your veterinarian. If your puppy is unconscious you need to take it to the ER right away.
Prevent Hypoglycemia from happening!
Help your puppy to get enough rest and allow only 30 minutes of play at a time, followed by rest or sleep. In addition, supervise your puppy closely with children to make sure it is getting enough rest. Make sure your puppy is not cold and if needed adjust the temperature in a certain room of your house for the puppy. Our puppies are used to 72-80 degrees.
Above all, you can prevent low blood sugar by feeding the cooked meals with shredded, unseasoned chicken breast. The puppies also love baked chicken thighs, small amounts of scrambled egg, low-fat cottage cheese, lean ground beef, or turkey, or a cooked lean steak, sliced very thin.
Low blood sugar can come with the excitement and stress of going to a new home. Give Nutri-Cal for the first 10 days, 3 times a day, 1 cc.
Make sure that your puppy eats at least every six hours and more often it is very small. In addition to the cooked meals, keep dry food and water available at all times.
Testing the blood sugar level of your puppy at home
There is nothing wrong with testing your puppy’s blood sugar level at home. Children and adults with diabetes do it all the time to prevent emergencies. If you have never used a blood sugar tester, you can just try it on yourself first. For just $20, you can order a Blood Sugar Test Kit here. It comes with everything you need to do up to 50 tests at home. It takes 5 seconds and is very simple and painless. The best spots to get a tiny blood sample from your puppy would be on the inside of the ear or from one of the little toes.
Massage either spot or warm the spot up before you use the little poker (lancing device) to make sure it works right away and you don’t have to try again.
The normal glucose level for a Biewer Terrier puppy ranges between 60 mg/dL and 111 mg/dL.
Anything less than 60 mg/dL, indicates low blood sugar/Hypoglycemia.
Low Blood Sugar Emergency Kit
If you reserved a puppy that is unusually small, we recommend having Dextrose, some jars of Gerber Baby Food “Chicken & Gravy” and 1 pack of “Baby Gerber Rice Cereal”, and 1 pack of 6 cc oral syringes available. However, you might never need those items but they can be a lifesaver in the event of Hypoglycemia and therefore we recommend having them on hand. An ER overnight vet bill for a puppy with low blood sugar will cost you at least $2000.
Click on the links below to order the recommended products directly on Amazon.
Dextrose 50% Solution
10-pack 6 cc oral syringes
10-pack Gerber Baby Food “Chicken & Gravy”
Baby Gerber Rice Cereal
If you are not sure if your puppy might be hypoglycemic, you can also contact us for detailed instructions on how to help your puppy with low blood sugar. Please text us at (970) 882-3299.
Please read this FAQ about what to do if your puppy doesn’t want to eat.