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Hypoglycemia in Dogs


Dog being treated for low blood sugar


Overview


Also known as low blood sugar. Defined as a blood glucose or blood sugar concentration of less than 70 milligrams per deciliter of blood.


Symptoms


Symptoms depend on how quickly the blood glucose concentration decreases. Symptoms reflect the rate of decrease of the blood glucose concentration, the underlying cause of hypoglycemia and the chronicity of the problem. One common form of hypoglycemia is called juvenile hypoglycemia because it occurs in puppies less than three months of age.

Juvenile hypoglycemia is common in puppies because they have not fully developed the ability to regulate their blood glucose concentration and have a high requirement for glucose. Stress, cold, malnutrition, and intestinal parasites are problems that may precipitate a bout of juvenile hypoglycemia.

Toy breed dogs less than three months of age are most commonly affected. Symptoms include loss of appetite, extreme lethargy, incoordination, trembling, muscular twitching, weakness, seizures, unusual behavior, dilated pupils, apparent blindness and stupor or coma.


Treatment


Treatments for hypoglycemia may include administration of glucose orally or by intravenous injection to increase blood glucose concentration or treatment for the underlying cause of hypoglycemia.


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