Puppy Hypoglycemia

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Puppies, especially toy breed, (tiny breed puppies) less than 5 months of age, are predisposed to developing Hypoglycemia because they are less able to store and mobilize Glucose. Also, toy breed puppies have more brain mass per body weight compared to other breeds and therefore need more Glucose for brain function.

In puppies, certain situations can bring on a hypoglycemic attack. For example, when the puppy is not eating enough at regular intervals, becomes chilled, or is suffering from too much exercise/exhaustion), not enough undisturbed sleep or anxiety in their new home. (STRESS)

Usually when a puppy gets older, they will outgrow this condition since canine Hypoglycemia mostly affects puppies 5 to 16 weeks of age. However, if the adult dog is very, very high strung, or has a lot of nervous energy, they should to be kept in a calm state as much as possible.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia in Dogs

Dogs with extremely low blood glucose usually show at least 3 of the following signs:

  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Whimpering while acting lethargic or overly tired
  • Unable to stand or walk
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Muscle incoordination
  • Nervousness
  • Trembling
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

In severe cases, the dog will become unconscious and can die.

The severity of the symptoms depends on the level of the blood glucose and how fast the blood glucose level drops. If left untreated, a puppy/dog showing mild symptoms of Hypoglycemia can deteriorate rapidly. Immediate veterinary treatment is essential - dogs suffering from prolonged Hypoglycemia or repeated occurrences of the condition can have permanent damage to their brains.

First Aid for Hypoglycemia in Dogs

If your puppy/dog is prone to Hypoglycemia, you should always be prepared to deal with the onset of the condition.

As mentioned above, Hypoglycemia is very dangerous and can kill if left without treatment. Immediate veterinary treatment is essential. However, before getting to the vet, there are several things that you can do to prevent the condition from deteriorating.

The first thing to do is to get the blood glucose back to a safe level.

This can be done by giving your dog a source of sugar such as Syrup, or Honey. We Prefer WHITE CORN SYRUP better than Honey.    In an emergency use any source of syrup/sugar you have on hand that is a liquid form.

Always have white corn syrup or else liquid honey available. Give 1/2 of a teaspoon (MEASURE IT) of syrup/honey to a small breed puppy (weight from -2 to 4 pounds) to a SMALL BREED puppy NOTE: IMPORTANT: Do not give a huge amount more than that before speaking to a Vet which of course you are going to do ASAP. Too much could possibly harm your puppy/dog.  

If a lot ends up outside their mouth, give more according to how much you think the puppy did not get inside their mouth.  By more means a few drops more to match the few drops not into its mouth?

If your puppy is in an above mode mentioned or even already unconscious, rub the syrup on the gums, tongue and under the tongue. NOTE: IF YOU ARE NOT TRAINED IN GIVING PUPPY LIQUIDS BY MOUTH, WHERE YOU MAY GET THE LIQUID INTO THE ANIMALS LUNGS BY MISTAKE, THEN RUB IT ONTO THE GUMS AND TONGUE WITH YOUR FINGER.  Measure it before starting so you know how much you’re giving!!!  A measuring spoon………………. Most people have measuring spoons? Not too little but not an overly excessive amount more either!!!  ½ teaspoon per -1 kg to 2 kg.

Note: Very Important: Keep your puppy/dog warm because low blood sugar will cause Hypothermia.   This is very important.

It takes time for Low Blood Sugar to be brought up to normal.  It does not happen instantly.  But improvement in the puppy should be seen after 15 to maximum 40 minutes. You will have time to get him to a Vet by giving him the recommended dose of white corn syrup or liquid honey.

 Preventing Hypoglycemia

In small breed puppies


Caused by not eating enough continually day and night.

Playing extensively without eating enough.

Not enough sleep time. A puppy must have a restful sleep for up to 16+ hours a day depending on the age (16+ hours at 8 weeks old).  Sleep time diminishes gradually as the puppy gets older.  A very quiet place in order to sleep undisturbed.

Being chilled from drafts, etc. Puppies must be kept warm but never hot.

Stress. To much noise, to much handling where the puppy never gets put down to eat and sleep.


Measure the puppy’s food into the bowl.  Every 24 hours measure the food left in the bowl to see how much it has eaten. The same with the water.

Find out from your puppies Breeder how much it should be eating and drinking.  Food and water amount will increase as the puppy grows.


The puppy needs a quiet place to sleep.  Make sure it is a warm place.  In most homes, a puppy should be fine for warmth. But sometimes in basements, directly under uninsulated windows or drafty outside doors, the puppy can become chilled.  Have a heater blowing on only ½ the pen if the area is not warm enough.  So the puppy can move to the part of the pen with no direct heat if it is to warm. This may include early spring and late fall, not just winter.


This Document is intended for educational purposes only.  At all times attempt to reach me, the Breeder first or else a Veterinarian first before giving the white corn syrup which is preferred or what you have on hand such as honey, etc.  If unable to reach me or a Veterinarian, please follow the advice given in this article.  Give to puppy then take to a Veterinarian ASAP.

Gayle Bunney



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