Hypoglycemia in Canines

by Shellie Alyssa
    Immediate medical attention is needed for treatment of hypoglycemia in dogs.

    Immediate medical attention is needed for treatment of hypoglycemia in dogs.

    Janie Airey/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    If you dog has hypoglycemia, one of the first symptoms you may notice is extreme exhaustion. Hypoglycemia occurs due to low blood sugar. Being aware of symptoms and seeking immediate medical attention for your dog is key to treating the illness successfully. Veterinarians will conduct medical tests to find possible underlying causes of hypoglycemia in your dog.

    Noticeable Symptoms

    Symptoms of hypoglycemia that may appear in your dog includes loss of appetite, restlessness, shivering, muscle twitching, extreme low energy, trembling, confusion, anxiety, disorientation, weakness, unusual behavior, tremors, visual instability, blindness, increased hunger, heart palpitations and unconsciousness. At the first sings of symptoms, contact the veterinarian or animal hospital immediately.

    Common Causes

    The most common cause of hypoglycemia in dogs is a side effect experienced due to using medication used for treating diabetes. There are also a variety of other possible causes such as poor nutrition, fasting, liver disease, intestinal parasites, pancreatic tumors, Addison's disease, portosystemic shunts and rigorous exercise in combination with a lack of food.

    Veterinarian Diagnosis

    At the onset of symptoms, you'll want to call the veterinarian or local emergency animal hospital to seek immediate advice on how to apply medical care in your home, before bringing your dog into the veterinarian office or animal hospital. When speaking to the veterinarian, you'll want to be prepared to provide your dog's medical history, list of medications given to your dog and the conditions surrounding the onset of symptoms. At the office, the veterinarian will perform a variety of tests in addition to a general physical exam. These tests include a urinalysis test, thyroid test, complete blood profile, blood count and chemical blood profile. An ultrasound of the abdomen also will be performed. In addition, chemistry tests will be conducted, which will evaluate pancreatic, kidney and liver function in your dog.

    Possible Treatment

    Your veterinarian will choose the type of treatment depending on the results of the tests performed on your dog. Possible treatment may include medication to stabilize and balance blood sugar. Your veterinarian will advise you on how to provide continued management of the illness at home. Home management procedures may include establishing a feeding schedule, daily routine and monitoring your dog's blood glucose levels.

    Photo Credits

    • Janie Airey/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Shellie Alyssa is an experienced writer with expertise in pets, travel, food and fashion. In 2000, she was awarded an editors choice award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry from the International Library of Poetry. She has a fashion merchandising diploma from Penn Foster Career College.

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