Updated: Feb 8, 2019
Your puppy is playing and having a wonderful time, then he just falls asleep suddenly and you can't wake him....What's Happening?????????
Your first thought should be "Nutri-cal" NOW!
Your puppy is likely suffering from a drop in blood sugar, known as Hypoglycemia. Toy breeds are notorious for this. Adult dogs and non-toy breed puppies can have an episode of hypoglycemia if they are running and playing very hard without taking time to rest, but puppies...well, they will almost certainly experience it at some point.
Prevention is not always possible, as the tiny liver of a toy breed puppy can't keep up with the demand of sugar production the puppy needs. Think of it this way: if you drive, you are using gas. Your gas tank only holds so much, so if you don't stop for fuel, you will run out. If your car has no fuel, it can't run. The smaller the tank, the less fuel you can reserve. This is what happens to your puppy. Toy breeds are tiny! They amount of fat they can store, or reserve, is small and gets used up quickly. This fat gives your puppy energy. When the fat storage runs out and the liver falls behind in production of sugar, your puppy can die if you do not assist him immediately.
HYPOGLYCEMIA IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY
IN TEACUP AND TOY DOG BREEDS
1) How will I know if my puppy's sugar drops?
Here are some symptoms and tale-tell signs. You should assume hypoglycemia if:
*he is playing and suddenly falls asleep
*he cannot be awakened
*his head flops to one side and he can't seem to be able to hold his head up.
*he can't seem to walk suddenly or wobbles when he is walking
*he begins to shiver when he should not be cold (his body cannot regulate his body temperature without enough sugar) and he needs to be kept warm.
*he appears to be confused or have a dazed look in his eyes
*he appears to suddenly show any other signs that he has become weak
2) What should I do if my dog's sugar drops?
Give your dog sugar immediately! Nutri-cal is a great option. If you do not have Nutri-cal, give your dog corn syrup, molasses, or pancake syrup. I have found myself in a situation (a car ride that lasted longer than expected-stuck in traffic...ever had that happen?) where I had nothing handy except a soft drink. Yes, I gave my dog some of my soft dring. You will find breeders that would call me every name in the book for giving a puppy a little bit of a soft drink, but hey, my dog is alive!!! Anything high in sugar is better than nothing! Your dog may die if you do not get his sugar elevated quickly. YOU decide what is right in your own emergency situation.
3) After giving your dog a little sugar, it is important to keep your dog warm until his sugar level rises. (This can take as little as 10 seconds, but may take minutes.) Remember, your dog can't keep himself warm without enough sugar (energy) to do so.
4) What if my dog doesn't perk up after giving him sugar?
If your dog doesn't return to his normal active self after 30 seconds of giving him sugar, give him more. Continue this every 30 seconds. If your dog is awake but weak, he should return his normal self within just a few minutes. If after 5 minutes you feel he is still not quite back to normal, I recommend you call your veterinarian. (Note: If your puppy could not be awakened and is still unresponsive after giving your puppy sugar 3 times, call your veterinarian immediately.)
3) How do I prevent hypoglycemia in my puppy?
Although prevention is not always possible, here are a few things you can do to help reduce your puppy's chances of suffering from a drop in blood sugar:
a) Deworm your puppy regularly. Parasite infestations my contribute to low blood sugar levels.
b) Make sure your puppy has food and water available at all times. Puppies will often know when it's time to "refuel" their sugar levels.
c) Don't allow your puppy to overly exhaust himself. While children or other animals keep your puppy happy and active, he will be burning fuel at a faster pace, thus running out faster. Require him to take rest breaks often and let him rest until he is refueled and ready to play again.
d) Discuss prevention with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian is the best source of advice for food and supplements to ensure your puppy has the most healthy life. Food choice is often the key. If your puppy's food is not up to par with his needs, he may need a change in food or a daily dietary supplement.
e) Pay close attention to your puppy's behavior at all times. Hypoglycemia can come on quickly and with little to no warning. The smaller the dog, the faster they can run out of fuel.
I hope this information has been helpful. It is an unhappy but realistic reality of these little fur babies. I welcome any feedback! My goal is to inform you to the best of my knowledge. I don't know everything, but I intend to keep learning. What I learn, I will share with you!
Take care and keep loving those fur babies!
(Disclaimer: This information is in no way intended to be a substitute for advice and care from a licensed veterinarian. I encourage you to verify any and all information provided here with your veterinarian. As always, if you are concerned about your pet, call your veterinarian or take your puppy/dog to the nearest veterinarian hospital. In addition, this is my opinion based on our family's decades of owning, caring for, and breeding toy poodles. Although this information is accurate to the best of my knowledge and I encourage you to confirm this information with your veterinarian. Remember, veterinarians are the first to hear of new research, knowledge, and solutions to care and medical treatments for your pets.)
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