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Toy Dog Breed Hypoglycemia

Updated on April 15, 2011

Chihuahuas may also be prone to shivering


What owners or prospective owners of toy breed dogs should know

Toy dog breeds are becoming more and more remarkably popular these days as people move into small apartments and condos and need small dogs that adapt well to city life. A toy dog breed may easily fit into a purse and can be easily carried around while shopping. However, owners of toy breeds must be aware of the fact that some of them may suffer from bouts of hypoglycemia that may require prompt veterinary attention. While bouts of hypoglycemia mostly affect toy breed dogs as puppies, some of them may still suffer from this condition as adults.

Common Dog Toy Breeds Prone to Hypoglycemia

  • Chihuahua
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Pomeranian
  • Maltese

Causes of Toy Breed Hypoglycemia

The problem with toy breed dogs is that being so small they tend to have difficulties in maintaining their blood glucose levels normal. This is due to the fact that they have a low body mass and therefore they have a tougher time in storing glucose properly. They also are prone to chilling quickly due to the fact that they have little body fat.

While toy breed dogs may develop hypoglycemia simply because of their constitution, in some cases there may be other underlying causes that may need addressed. For instance, stress, diarrhea, parasites, liver shunt, and bacterial infections may be triggering causes of a hypoglycemic attack.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia in Toy Dog Breeds

The following symptoms often are a red flag of low blood glucose in toy breed dogs:





Slow heart beat

Cold temperature

Loss of consciousness


Other warning signs of hypoglycemia are cold, pale gums. Normal gums are warm and of nice healthy bubble gum pink.

How to Treat Toy Breed Hypoglycemia

Toy breeds exhibiting hypoglycemia must be treated promptly. If not treated the dog may get cold, listless and suffer from loss of consciousness and seizures.

A toy breed dog should be fed a minimum of three times a day, some requiring even up to six feedings a day (espescially when small puppies) to maintain normal levels of blood sugar.

Owners should always have along some honey, karo syrup (works the best!) or pancake syrup to rub on these dog's gums in order to prevent them from going into a low blood sugar crisis. Chilled dogs should be warmed up using a warm water bottle covered in a blanket to avoid the dog from getting burned.

Nutrical works well in providing sugar and nutrients to toy breed dogs. This product may be found in vet offices or large pet retail stores.

If the dog is not getting better after rubbing the sources of sugar on the gums or giving a treat (usually they should improve within 10-20 minutes), it will need prompt veterinary attention. At the veterinary hospital, the dog will likely be given injections of dextrose, will be warmed up and monitored until levels of blood glucose are normal and the dog is willing to eat.

Toy dog breeds may be mistakenly thought to be low maintenance, however the opposite is true. They are pretty vulnerable creatures that get cold quickly and may suffer easily from dehydration if they have vomiting or diarrhea. People considering a toy breed should be educated about these health aspects first before making a final decision.


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    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      ou812, please let me know what you need and I will try my best to be helpful!

    • profile image

      ou812 5 years ago

      This was useless!!

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      Tiffanie Loden 7 years ago

      I have found that giving our Yorkie Puppies a small amount of Nutri-Cal just prior to the new owners pickig them up or us delivering them to the owner is very helpful. I also recommend to the new owners that they keep Nutri-Cal handy as the first few days in their new home can be stressful to the new puppy.