Give Me Some Sugar! Canine Low Blood Sugar–Symptoms And Treatments

Canine Diabetes

Is your dog diabetic?

There is a dog blood-glucose disorder that goes by three names:  Canine Hypoglycemia , Exertional Hypoglycemia and Sugar Fits.   These names refer to one single condition:  cells in your canine’s body aren’t receiving the needed amount of glucose.  Your dog’s energy is derived from glucose that is supplied by the blood, but with Canine Hypoglycemia, blood glucose levels lower than 70 mg/dL  should be cause for concern and are considered increasingly dangerous, of course, as the numbers go down.   The normal level is 70-150 mg/dL.

Different factors enter into the cause, but if you suspect your beloved family member might be diabetic, it’s important to have your canine-cutie diagnosed properly, and quickly, since untreated hypoglycemia can, ultimately, result in seizure/coma and death.

Symptoms Of Canine Hypoglycemia:

  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Trembling lip
  • Seizures (dogs 4 or over are more prone)
  • Weakness-shakiness-dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Lack-luster personality/lethargy/depression


Obviously, the goal is to raise your pet’s blood-sugar level or maintain normal sugar levels; and this can be achieved in several ways:

  • Feed your pet smaller, more frequent meals.  There is a food supplement known as PetAlive GlucoBalance which aides in pancreatic and liver functions.   Smaller meals, plus the PetAlive, can potentially correct the problem, but a blood test from your pet’s vet is required to properly determine if this regime-change will have made a difference.  Treats should be avoided, at this time, unless permitted by your dog’s doctor.
  • If you suspect your canine’s blood sugar is low,  visiting the vet is crucial.  The vet will, automatically, check blood-sugar levels.  If necessary, a form of glucose will be fed intravenously -directly into the bloodstream.  Your pooch won’t be able to take a drive home until the vet is convinced your dog is acting normally and eating normally for a full 24-hour period.
  • According to the College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn, Alabama,  if you suspect low blood-sugar and/or the possibility of an on-coming seizure and cannot see your dog’s vet within a very short period of time, there are ‘quick fix’, emergency solutions you can attempt at home.   They include administering Karo syrup, cake icing,  honey, fruit juices, colas, vanilla ice cream or Gatorade.  About 1 teaspoon of these ‘quick-sugars’ can be given to small dogs; 2-3 teaspoons for medium dogs; and 2 Tablespoons for larger breeds.  These specific foods are ‘fast-acting’  types of sugars and are absorbed quickly, unlike some other sugar foods that would perform too slowly.  This begs the question:  “What if my dog refuses to eat or drink anything?”  So glad you asked— If your canine refuses to drink or eat, simply rub Karo syrup, for example,  on his gum and it will absorb.  Your pooch should respond within only a couple minutes.  No liquid solutions should, ever, be poured directly into your dog’s mouth due to the possibility of inhalation into the lungs.
  • Your dog’s vet will, likely, prescribe insulin injections for your dog which would include a 1 or 2 injection per day dosage   It’s very important to keep any insulin refrigerated.  You will,  also, need to consistently monitor your dog’s glucose level by using blood-test strips or a handheld glucometer.

As an owner of a precious pet who is dealing with hypoglycemia, you are not alone!  An estimated 1 in 500 canines develop diabetese each year.   If diagnosed and treated early,  your dog can lead a happy, healthy life with you and your family when given a lifestyle of consistent, necessary, caring intervention!

Miss Carlson enjoys to write about many different topics.  One topic she covers is insulin dependent diabetes and type 1 diabetes treatment.

How to Help New Mexico’s Rescue Groups & Shelters

Albuquerque VetCo is proud to work with so many different rescue groups and shelters to provide veterinary services to rescue animals. Our community has many homeless and in-need animals. This is due to abandonment, run-aways, not spaying or neutering your pet and rescues from abusive and neglectful situations. We help by providing vet services like spay’s, neuters and vaccinations to rescue animals.  We also connect people with rescue groups so they can give back to the community.  Maybe it is time for you to give back as well!

How can you help?

  • Spay and neuter your pets!-This will help cut down on the number of unwanted pets and potential strays.
  • Adopt a rescue animal
  • Report abandoned, neglected or stray animals – don’t let these animals go abandoned. By reporting them, you are helping them get the veterinary help they need, as well as helping them find a home.
  • Volunteer! – Many animal rescue groups need people to help them. This might mean helping with adoptions, taking care of animals, volunteering at their facility. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and help out our furry friends.

Call today to make an appointment to get your pet spayed, neutered and get their vaccinations updated.

Click here to see a full list of New Mexico shelters and rescue organizations.


Rescue Groups

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Dogs

Pet prescriptionsNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used in dogs to manage pain and inflammation in dogs. They are used to treat arthritis and inflammation, and they are also used after surgery or injury. You may be familiar with the names of the commonly used drugs Rimadyl, Metacam, Previcox, and Etogesic. If your dog has an acute or chronic condition that results in him being in pain, NSAIDs may be prescribed by your vet to help him feel more comfortable.

Key Things to Ask Before Giving Your Dog NSAIDs

Before using any drug on your dog (including NSAIDs), make sure you understand:

  1. What the drug is being used for.
  2. The dose rate for your dog – how much to give and how often.
  3. How to give the drug – for example, with or without food.
  4. How long to keep treating your dog – determine if the drug is for short term treatment or if it can be safely be used for the long term.
  5. How often your dog needs to be checked by your vet.
  6. Whether there are any interactions between the drug and your dog’s other treatments.
  7. What the side effects might be from taking the drugs.

You can obtain all this information from your vet, who is the only one who can prescribe these drugs for your dog.

Potential Side Effects – What to Look Out For

While NSAIDs are helpful drugs that will ease your dog’s suffering, they can also cause several unpleasant side effects if you are not careful. A major side effect of NSAIDs is irritation to the upper gastrointestinal tract leading to ulceration and bleeding. Signs of this are:

  • Lack of appetite.
  • Depression and lethargy.
  • Vomiting, especially if the vomit looks like coffee grounds. Coffee ground vomit is produced when there is blood that has been digested by stomach acid.
  • Black sticky feces – again the result of blood in the stomach being digested as it moves down the gastrointestinal tract.

NSAIDs may also affect your dog’s liver and kidneys. You’ll notice increased thirst, vomiting, depression, and sometimes yellowing of the gums or whites of the eyes. If you see any of these signs, then stop giving him the drugs and take him to see your vet immediately.

You can minimize the risk of side effects by:

  • Not using NSAIDs unless prescribed for your dog by your vet. This includes giving a NSAID prescribed for one dog to your other dog, or even giving your dog a NSAID that you take yourself.
  • Following directions closely – use the exact dose at the exact frequency.
  • Not using any other medications at same time without checking with your vet first.

Don’t let these side effects scare you from using NSAIDs when your vet prescribes them. These are very useful drugs that are helpful in treating illness and injury in dogs. If used properly, they are safe and effective, and you and your dog have nothing to worry about.

Susan Wright DMV is a vet, a dog expert and freelance writer. Susan shares articles on health conditions that pertain to both people and pets.