Can Dogs Be Hypoglycemic?

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Have you ever wondered if the ailments that affect you, your friends, and your family can also affect your dog? We're sure you have! You care about your little buddy more than you can imagine, so we're sure you want to ensure you're doing everything to keep his health in tip-top shape. 
If you're curious about what diseases, conditions, and illnesses can plague your pup, fear not! We've got you covered. This time around,  we're talking hypoglycemia. Can your pooch get it?

The short answer is that yes, your pooch could be at risk for hypoglycemia! We want to ensure that you can tell all the signs your pooch may be showing you to identify a problem or an ailment. 

So, what exactly is hypoglycemia? This refers to a condition where your pooch (or a person) has abnormally low levels of sugar (glucose) in their blood! So, how can you tell if your pooch is hypoglycemic? We're here to give you the details you need to stay in the know! 

Introduction of Can Dogs Be Hypoglycemic?

Signs that May Indicate Your Pooch is Struggling With Low Blood Sugar

If you're wondering if your dog is exhibiting signs of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, you've come to the right blog. We're here to outline exactly what you should look for as signs that your four-legged friend might be experiencing low blood sugar symptoms. 

If you notice that your canine companion has a significant change in their diet, then you should definitely start to be wary. We're not talking about a skipped meal every once in a while, we mean if your pooch has an entire loss of appetite, or alternatively, becomes a ravenous eater who can't get enough supper, it might be a good idea to bring him to the vet. 

You also might notice some disorientation, some visual instability - like blurred vision -, and tremors and shivering. Keep another eye out for weakness, tiredness, loss of energy, and loss of consciousness. In rare cases, your pup might even exhibit seizures and heart palpitations, so make sure you're watching for that!  

Body Language

We suggest keeping a lookout on your pooch if you're suspicious about his blood sugar. If you start to notice any of these signs listed below, we suggest you take your pup in for a check-pup!
  • Shaking
  • Weakness

Other Signs

If you're thinking your pup might have hypoglycemia, check out this list of symptoms:
  • tremors & shaking
  • visual impairment
  • ravenous diet
  • disorientation
  • anxiety
  • loss of appetite

Have Pups Always Been Hypoglycemic?

History of Can Dogs Be Hypoglycemic?
If you're still wondering if pups are really hypoglycemic, we'd love to point out a few specific cases and points to show you what we mean. Historically, hypoglycemia has been tough to diagnose in pooches because a lot of their symptoms are shared with other illnesses. However, that's not to say that it hasn't been happening throughout history.

For example, in a case from a study at the Iowa University, doctors found hypoglycemia in a female German Shepherd dated back to 1969. Some of the symptoms? Weakness, fatigue, immature cataracts, and a high temperature. But you don't just find hypoglycemia in large dogs. Small pups can also fall victim to it. In another case, a small, male Shih Tzu cross dog was brought to a vet for a severe loss of appetite, one of the most common symptoms.

What is Hypoglycemia, Anyway?

Science of Can Dogs Be Hypoglycemic?
If you're still a bit fuzzy on what hypoglycemia is and how it affects your pup, let's get into the science of it to better explain. Hypoglycemia is an ailment where your pup will have a significant decrease or low-level of glucose, or sugar, in his blood. Blood sugar is a main energy source in an animal's body, so if his levels are low, his energy will decrease significantly. 

Because the brain needs a steady supply of glucose and can't store or create glucose itself, if your pup doesn't have an ordinary amount or if it drops a significant amount, your pup's brain activity won't be normal! Technically, if your canine's blood glucose concentration is below. 3.3mmol/L, he is hypoglycemic. 

There could be many causes for hypoglycemia, but most often, you will find that your pup can develop this issue as a side effect from giving him other drugs to treat other illnesses. This is especially common with diabetic pups and in young puppies who aren't eating enough food or have a poor diet. 

How to Train Your Pup To Cope with Hypoglycemia

Training of Can Dogs Be Hypoglycemic?
There's a lot of things you can do and implement into your pup's daily schedule to help prevent hypoglycemia. First, get your pup on a regular eating schedule and only leave the food out for about 10-20 minutes, teaching them not to be picky. Secondly, get your pup used to be weighed each day. Keeping an eye on their weight will be helpful in determining if their diet is affected. 

We also suggest you teach your pup to get used to treatment processes like rubbing glucose or corn syrup on their gums to help balance their glucose, or taking pills that help balance their levels. 

How to React If You Think Your Dog Is Hypoglyemic

  • If your pup needs immediate care before you can take him to the vet, provide the care by selecting a sugar source and feeding it to him
  • Take them to the vet if you notice symptoms
  • Keep an eye on your pup's diet