Most people have not heard of puppies getting hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It is not very common, but does occasionally happen. It is more common in the toy and teacup breeds. That is why it is a good idea to keep a close eye on your new puppy until he/she matures and watch for signs of hypoglycemia.
What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is a potentially life-threatening situation for a Maltipoo. It occurs when your Maltipoo’s blood sugar (glucose), its main source of energy, drop below normal levels. His ability to function will decline and will result in loss of energy. In severe cases, your Maltipoo can lose consciousness or even die.
How does this happen?
Small puppies younger than 16 weeks old have a smaller liver and muscle mass (decreased glycogen stores) and a larger brain (increased glucose utilization) in proportion to their body size. The brain uses a lot of energy, depleting the stored glucose faster than it can refill. It is very important to keep a close watch on your puppy and make sure he/she is getting enough to eat and drink.
Sometimes if a puppy leaves its mother too early, it can cause separation anxiety, which in turn can cause the puppy to become distressed and stop eating. Always make sure your puppy has had enough time to be properly weaned from its mother before you take it home to a new environment.
Signs of Hypoglycemia
Sign to watch for are:
lack of appetite
Common causes of hypoglycemia include poor nutrition, infections, intestinal disturbances, prolonged fasting and vaccination.
If you think your Maltipoo may have hypoglycemia, you can help to increase his blood sugar by rubbing a small amount of Karo syrup on his gums. You must be careful not to give him too much or get it in the back of the throat, as this can cause aspiration or obstruction of the air way. If he/she does not start acting a little bit more normal after about 5 minutes, it is very important to get your puppy to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.
The key in preventing hypoglycemia is by ensuring that your Maltipoo is consuming frequent meals and staying warm.