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Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, technically called hypoglycemia, can develop if your pet's pancreas malfunctions. The pancreas makes insulin, which moves sugar (glucose) into the body's cells for energy, and when there's too much insulin, the pet develops hypoglycemia. Diabetic pets who receive too much insulin will suffer from hypoglycemia, and too little insulin can cause a diabetic coma that looks very similar.

Low Blood Sugar or even a heavy load of intestinal parasites that interfere with digestion can also cause hypoglycemia. Young toy-breed dogs, like Affenpinschers or Chihuahuas, often develop hypoglycemia even thought they're perfectly healthy. They don't have a lot of fat stores to begin with, which the body needs for energy, and their immature livers can't manufacture the sugar they need.

As their heatbeats and breathing slow down, pets with low blood sugar become weak, sleepy, disoriented, wobbly, and glassy-eyed. They will act as if they are drunk. They may start to twitch or shake, tilt their heads, develop seizures, and in the worst case, lose consciousness and fall into a coma. Pets can die without quick first aid and will need medical attention if they have diabetes.

Generally, as long as you recognize the signs in time, low blood sugar is easy to treat, but if your pet does not respond within the first 5 to 10 minutes of administering first aid, get the dog to the vets office right away. Even if your pet does respond, any episode of hypoglycemia means that he will need to be examined by your vet that day.

For owners of tiny breeds such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers, etc., please be very aware of the signs of low blood sugar since small breeds are extremely prone to this problem.