If you are going to become a toy dog owner you will want to familiarize yourself to the symptoms of hypoglycemia.   Hypoglycemia is often seen in young toy puppies, and most of the time the symptoms can be controlled by eating, or by giving some glucose such as honey water to the puppy.  Glucose is what the body uses as fuel and is necessary for the brain tissue and muscles to function.

Hypoglycemia is when the blood sugar levels (glucose) fall well below normal.  It can cause your puppy to become confused, disoriented, drowsy, have the shivers, stagger about, collapse, fall into a coma, or have seizures. If not treated it can result in death.

Episodes of hypoglycemia often occur without warning.  A puppy may be stressed by shipping, or a missed meal, being chilled, or even exhaustion from too much play.  Recurring hypoglycemic attacks in toy puppies can cause brain damage.  If a puppy has frequent attacks he/she should be tested by your vet for possible underlying problems.

Because of their tiny size toy puppies cannot eat a lot at one time, and literally run out of fuel quickly.  Puppies should be fed several times a day a high quality diet.  Most puppies will outgrow the problem.  Some very tiny dogs will continue to have bouts of hypoglycemia through out their life.  

If your puppy experiences episodes of hypoglycemia it is important to restore the blood levels of glucose as quickly as possible.  

Typical symptoms:

  • weakness
  • listlessness
  • depression
  • staggering gait
  • tremors


      If your puppy is conscious, give him/her a little Karo Syrup, or Honey under its tongue, or rubbed on its gums.  Do NOT  pour into the mouth as the puppy could easily choke. 

         You can also mix honey, or corn syrup with pedialite , stir to dissolve, and dribble it into the puppy's mouth . 

        Nutrical also works extremely well in an emergency.    

     The puppy should begin to improve within about ten minutes, if not contact your vet as quickly as you can.


Even if your puppy recovers from an episode like this it is important to have your vet check him/her to make sure that there is not some underlying cause that is serious.  There are some serious problems that can cause hypoglycemic episodes and you would not want to take a chance with your friends life.  Only your vet can reassure you on the cause.


Information compiled from Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, The 5-minute veterinary consult, and vetinfo.com


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