Canine Hypoglycemia: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

What could it mean if a dog shows signs of weakness and increased hunger? What exactly is canine hypoglycemia, and what are it's causes and treatments? If you are curious about these questions, look no further. We've got the answers.

Hypoglycemia in Dogs

Almost all of us have heard about high blood sugar and diabetes in human beings. Fewer of us have heard of low blood sugar, and even fewer of us may understand this phenomena in dogs. Whether you are a pet owner or a veterinary professional, being able to recognize and understand serious medical conditions in a dog is important. In this lesson, we will take a look at canine hypoglycemia. Canine hypoglycemia just means low blood sugar in dogs.

Causes of Canine Hypoglycemia

One of the first important things you should know about low blood sugar in dogs is what causes it. One of the primary causes is the medicine used to treat high blood sugar. If a dog has high blood sugar, they are often treated with insulin. This drug helps regulate blood sugar and is a life saver for dogs with diabetes. Despite it's life saving capabilities, too much insulin or even insulin delivered at the wrong time can cause blood sugar to tank.

Another common cause of hypoglycemia in dogs is tumors of the pancreas. Since the pancreas is responsible for insulin productions, tumors in this organ can cause too much insulin to be produced which can drop the blood sugar levels to dangerously low levels.

Some dogs are simply predisposed to low blood sugar. Working breed dogs, pregnant dogs, or very small dogs are all at higher risk for low blood sugar. These canines have a higher demand and strain on their bodies.

Toy breeds are at higher risk for hypoglycemia

Symptoms of Canine Hypoglycemia

Recognizing the symptoms of canine hypoglycemia can save the animal's life. Let's take a look.

Weakness is one of the most common signs of hypoglycemia in dogs. Since this is a also a symptom of many other diseases, it is important to recognize the other symptoms that may accompany it. An increased level of urine output is a strong indicator of canine hypoglycemia. If it seems as though Fido is asking to go outside far more than usual, it may be a good idea to check for hypoglycemia. Along with lack of energy, the dog may be unable to walk or even have seizures and convulsions. Increased appetite is also a symptom of canine hypoglycemia.

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