Cost of Treatment: $100 – $2,500
What Is Hypoglycemia in Dogs?
Hypoglycemia is defined as low blood sugar concentration. Since sugar (in the form of glucose) is the primary energy source in the body, low blood sugar levels will ultimately affect almost every organ in the body including the brain. A healthy, non-diabetic dog should have a blood glucose concentration of 3.3-6.1 mmol/L. Hypoglycemia can occur secondary to endocrine or hepatic disorders, higher energy requirement, fasting, or toxicity. A hypoglycemic dog will be weak and, if not treated timely, there could be unconsciousness followed by death will result.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia in Dogs
- Loss of appetite
- Low energy (Lethargy)
- Slow response time
- Abnormal behavior
- Increased urination (Polyuria)
- Increased thirst (Polydipsia)
- Partial paralysis
- Exercise intolerance
- Involuntary movements
Treatment for Hypoglycemia in Dogs
The first thing that your dog will need is a correction of the glucose levels (raising the blood sugar levels). This may be accomplished by rubbing glucose or corn syrup on the gums. If the case is severe, your dog will be placed on an intravenous fluid infusion containing concentrated dextrose (a type of sugar). Once your dog’s blood glucose levels are stable, the veterinarian will need to run various diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of hypoglycemia and will determine the appropriate treatment plan. If the hypoglycemia has occurred due to fasting, the condition will be resolved after a period of rest and glucose administration. If hypoglycemia occurred due to a cancer, tumor, or portosystemic shunt then surgery could be necessary. Endocrine disorders may be treated with medications. In cases of intoxication, hospitalization and supportive care are needed.