Low Blood Sugar
Every Chihuahua owner should educate themselves about low blood sugar in the toy breed. It can be profoundly serious. If not addressed in the early stages, this condition can be fatal. The good news, however, is this condition is 100% preventable.
Hypoglycemia is a condition where the blood sugar level of your Chihuahua puppy (or any toy breed puppy) drops to extremely low levels. Causes of hypoglycemia are as follows:
Overhandling your puppy and not giving it enough rest time. Respect your puppy’s need for sleep and rest. Remember they are just babies and need lots of sleep.
Not eating enough. It is not uncommon that puppies get busy playing and racing here and there and completely forget to eat. Dried food can become “boring” to little puppies. We must have them eat, so we offer canned moist food and supplement with NutriCal. However, dried puppy food should be available 24/7 for puppy to munch on when desired. (Edit from 12/2022) We are now using ROYAL CANIN, STARTER, canned moist puppy food for the babies. We are also now using “UNDER THE WEATHER” high calorie gel. We purchase ours from Amazon. We use this product instead of the tube of NutriCal. We can dosage it more accurately and it is affordable.
Relocation stress or any new move can trigger low blood sugar. Your home is brand new to them, with new sounds and smells and sights. They must process loads of new information and this requires much energy on their part.
Extended periods of activity, play, running, chasing can burn lots of calories. They do not have a big reserve in their tiny bodies, so when those reserves are depleted, puppy can crash. Please, regulate play time and/or keep them in a smaller space rather than offering them a large floor area to race through.
When puppy arrives in their new home we highly recommend that puppy be offered moist food and given a dose of NutriCal. Keeping dried puppy food available for puppy and clean water 24/7 is a necessity. Moist food can be given alone, on a separate saucer, while the unused portion is refrigerated for future use. Please, warm the refrigerated food prior to offering it to puppy.
Some puppies, if on the smaller side, should be given NutriCal 4-5 times daily at regular intervals, along with moist food, 4 times daily at regular intervals. A heaping tablespoon of moist food should be adequate. Please, offer moist food and NutriCal first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Dried food and fresh water should be available to puppy during the night. If your new puppy is very small, then we advise you to wake during the night and give NutriCal to your puppy. Chihuahua puppies do not scarf down their kibble like big dogs. They typically take one piece of kibble into another room, then play with it much like a cat plays with a mouse. Then they crunch it up and swallow it and go back for another piece of tiny kibble and the routine begins all over. They are grazers. Therefore, dried food should be available for puppy 24/7.
Your puppy will go home with a folder, full of helpful print outs for you to refer back to if needed. The below Low Blood Sugar Prevention sheet should be kept high profile on your fridge or cabinets for the family to view.
Low Blood Sugar Prevention
Give NutriCal 4 times daily at regular intervals
Give NutriCal 3 times daily at regular intervals
Give NutriCal twice daily, AM and PM
Give NutriCal once daily before bedtime
5th week to adult age
Give NutriCal as needed
We ultimately want the majority of nutrition and calories to come from the dried puppy formula kibble food. But during relocation stress, the puppies may not be interested in dried food. So, please offer moist food given four times daily at regular intervals. 1 heaping tablespoon (depending on the size of puppy) is adequate. Our puppies eat Royal Canin, STARTER moist food. After two weeks you can change to a puppy formula moist food, if you so choose, however, please do so gradually so as not to upset puppy’s tummy. As puppy grows, you should increase the size of moist food you offer.
Always refrigerate the portion that is not being used. We heat up the refrigerated food for 5 seconds in the microwave. It is better to offer room temperature moist food to puppy becasue when a puppy eats cold food, puppy gets cold and shakes. Shaking burns calories.
This should be done for 3 months to prevent low blood sugar and assure the puppy is getting the calories he/she needs. Sometimes puppies stop eating/drinking during the relocation stress. Moist food is rarely turned down by a puppy. The moist food has plenty of water content so it helps the puppy stay hydrated if he/she stops drinking.
Keep your dry puppy food and clean water out and available for the puppy 24/7 till one year of age. At that time you can switch his/her food to an adult dog food.
As of December 2022, we are now using the above product, Under the Weather Ready Cal, (bought from Amazon) instead of NutriCal tubes. The puppies do well on it and it is easily and accurately dosed.
My New Puppy Stopped Eating! Help!!!!
Some puppies stop eating during relocation stress. Eating and NutriCal are not optional for your new puppy. They have to have food and NutriCal. If your puppy turns his/her nose up at your food, here are some suggestions:
Offer Gerber baby food in a jar, a meat flavor.
Some puppies REALLY like Cesar Puppy Food, Chicken and Beef flavor.
Offer a product called DYNE drizzled over the dried food. DYNE can be ordered online or found at your local family owned feed store (call first to confirm availability). DYNE is like a liquid NutriCal. Dyne can also be put in a syringe and administered into the side of puppy’s mouth. Be sure and shake that bottle before giving.
The Urgent Care a/d canned moist food, Hills Prescription Diet, is also an excellent product for little ones that forget to eat, or refuse to eat or stop eating for whatever reason. This will keep their blood sugar regulated and add much needed calories to their diet. If your puppy will not eat on his/her own due to relocation stress, you can get a large syringe that my vet sends home with this product, and suck the moist food up into the syringe and then you can squirt it in the side of puppy’s mouth. Hopefully, your puppy will not be that finicky, but better safe than sorry, so I include these details.
If you have KARO syrup in your pantry, you can mix the moist food with KARO syrup. For the tiny size Chi puppies having a 3cc syringe is handy. Dissolve white sugar in a small amount of warm water and put that into the puppies mouth.
One customer had children’s Pedialyte and gave that to her very playful and active new, tiny size Chihuahua puppy. She did this throughout the day at regular intervals and puppy stayed alert and perky, without a low blood sugar incident.
Your water will taste a bit different from our water. Some puppies do not care, while some puppies hesitate to drink your water. Please, make sure puppy is hydrated and drinking. The moist food has a high water content and will help hydrate puppy every time he/she eats.
Another idea is to offer a little bit of warmed, low sodium chicken broth to your puppy’s food, whether it is dried kibble or canned moist food. (Please, avoid any broth that has onions, onion powder, chives or garlic).
Puppies seem to love boiled shredded, boneless, spice-less and skinless chicken breast. Add some boiled rice to this and most puppies will be very tempted to eat.
Offer plain cottage cheese, preferably room temperature.
Any of these new foods, when introduced into puppy’s diet, can cause loose stools in your puppy. The video below addresses this issue if it arises.
This video is for your general information. It was not made by myself or anyone I personally know. I share it not because I agree 100% with it’s contents, however, I agree with enough of it to feel it may be of assistance if the puppy develops hypoglycemia. I am a visual learner and so videos can be very helpful to me on the “How To’s” of the educational process. Although, she is talking about a different toy breed than the Chihuahua, the helpful hints pertain to all toy breeds.
If you notice puppy staggering when puppy walks, or their head bobbing unnaturally, or they are limp and lethargic, you should offer something sweet to puppy immediately. If puppy does not readily take it, we should open puppy’s mouth and put the dollop of NutriCal on their palette and rub it on their gums. Then we should set the timer for 5 min. and do it again and please, do this several times. Puppy should “wake up” and be bright eyed and cease staggering and act normal once more. Depending on how severe the episode, puppy may need to be quiet for a few hours after.
Until puppy is 3 months old, puppy should be supplemented with canned moist food. If puppy is chilled or shaking, wrapping them in a soft blanket will help warm them. Putting a hot water bottle in their bed, wrapped in a baby blanket is nice for them, too.
NutriCal is puppy’s friend! However, if you cannot find your tube of NutriCal and you suspect puppy is experiencing low blood sugar, you can use honey, pancake syrup (sugared, not sugar free), Karo syrup or plain sugar dissolved in a bit of warm water.
Being alert to your new puppy is paramount. Low blood sugar can be prevented.