Beth Ash Shih Tzu

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Young puppies and Hypoglycemia

Young Puppies and small breed puppies can stress when shipping or adjusting to new homes. Stress can also be caused by too much handling. Do not overtire your new puppy. You should not allow your puppy to run and play for periods longer than a few minutes at a time. The puppy needs quiet time to rest and eat. A playpen works well for this purpose.
Water should be available AT ALL TIMES. Puppies eat a small amount at a time and need to replace this frequently to prevent hypoglycemia.
Do not just assume your puppy is eating. The best way to make sure is to put a small handful of  food on or close to pups bed several times a day and if this disappears you know the puppy is eating something. You can also soften some dry food with warm water to entice your puppy to eat until it is adjusted. PUPPY MUST EAT. If you feel puppy is not eating enough, you can get some prescription diet canned AD from your vet to use until  is adjusted and eating well. No other brand canned is recommended.

*ALWAYS keep Karo syrup on hand for emergency situations with blood sugar. Give puppy 1 inch of   morning and night for the first couple of months to help maintain sugar levels through the night. It can also be given mid day if you feel  is acting tired or sluggish. You can also mix 1 cap of white  in  of water for the first week or two to provide extra sugar while pup is adjusting.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can occur without warning when a puppy goes to a new home, misses a meal, becomes chilled overtired or exhausted from too much handling or playing.  Small breed puppies are more likely to develop hypoglycemia because they have less ability to store and mobilize glucose. Puppies need frequent meals to prevent hypoglycemic crises.

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is a possible problem with all toy breed puppies. Veterinarians unfamiliar with toys often  the condition as viral hepatitis or encephalitis. As a toy breeder or , it is important to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and know how to treat it. Hypoglycemia is easily treatable in the early stages, but fatal if allowed to progress. Many puppies are lost needlessly to hypoglycemia because of ignorance on the part of their owner or veterinarian.  The first sign of hypoglycemia is the puppy slowing down and then acting listless. The puppy will then begin to tremble or shiver. This is a reaction caused as the brain is starved for glucose. The trembling is followed by a blank stare and the puppy lying on his side. He may also experience convulsions. After a time, the puppy will become comatose. His body will be limp, lifeless, and the tongue and gums will be a grayish/blue color. The body temperature will be subnormal. The puppy may even appear to be dead.

Small dogs often do not have the fat reserves to supply adequate glucose in times of stress or when they do not eat regularly. Hypoglycemia most often occurs when the puppy has not eaten for several hours. This is not always the case, however. A puppy can have eaten recently and still show  of hypoglycemia if his system is stressed and the food has not been digested and assimilated. It is important to feed toy puppies a high quality food. Toy puppies simply have too high of an energy level to be restricted to scheduled feedings. Most do fine if switched to scheduled feedings when they reach adulthood, but they must have access to food and water at all times when they are puppies. If you like to give your puppy canned food, you can schedule the feeding of the canned.

A summary of important reminders is as follows:
1) Always keep Karo (Corn Syrup) on hand. This is the quickest way to revive a hypoglycemic puppy.
2) If you ever see your puppy becoming listless, or on his side and acting unresponsive IMMEDIATELY rub Nutri-Cal or Karo on his gums, under his tongue, and on the roof of the mouth. Slowly warm him to normal body temperature with a heating pad. Feed him as soon as he responds. Call your veterinarian if the puppy does not quickly respond.
3) Do not over-handle your puppy. Be sure to allow him rest time and alone time. Like all babies, puppies need to have a regular schedule of rest, meals, play and potty.