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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 aids 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 oncoming 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 of 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 develops diabetes 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 writing about many different topics.  One topic she covers is insulin-dependent diabetes and type 1 diabetes treatment.