"Yorkshire Terriers and Hypoglycemia
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"Yorkshire Terriers and Hypoglycemia

Dogs
Health & Safety

A healthy Yorkshire Terrier has loads of energy and there's nothing they enjoy more than chasing around the place because like all terriers, these little guys are super energetic at the best of times. This is why when a Yorkie is a little quieter than usual, you can bet there is something wrong and they need to be checked out sooner rather than later. One of the health disorders the breed is prone to suffer from sees their blood sugar levels drop too low and is called Hypoglycemia.

Dogs and people can suffer from Hypoglycemia for various reasons which includes the following:

  • Stress
  • An incorrect diet
  • Too much strenuous exercise
  • Missing a meal

The condition develops simply because a dog's system cannot produce enough sugar (glucose) which provides the energy they need to exist. A Yorkie puppy can experience a severe drop in their sugar levels if they don't eat anything over a period of 8 hours and if they don't get their glucose levels up to the right levels, their internal organs and systems start to shut down. In a worst case scenario, a young Yorkie puppy may even die.

Recognising the Symptoms

These little dogs can suffer from Hypoglycemua when they are as young as 5 weeks old and sadly, it's one of the condition most commonly seen in Yorkshire Terriers. Older Yorkies too can suffer from the disorder although it's usually caused by another condition which includes having developed a pancreatic tumour. Whether it's a puppy or an older Yorkie, if you think your dog is experiencing low blood sugar levels, you need to get them along to see a vet as a matter of urgency. The signs of there being something wrong include the following:

  • Your dog may appear disoriented even when they are in a very familiar place
  • Dogs often start to shiver when their blood sugar levels drop too low
  • Dogs appear to be sleepy and not very alert
  • Some dogs may experience seizures when their glucose levels drop which can be very worrying for their owners
  • If a dog's blood sugar levels drop very low, it can cause them to suddenly collapse for no apparent reason
  • Dogs are often quite depressed and quieter than usual
  • Dogs will also appear to be quite weak and unsteady on their legs
  • Dogs may lose their appetites or show signs of being extra hungry which can be a little confusing
  • All too often dogs suffering from hypoglycemia appear very nervous and anxious, they find it hard to settle
  • Another symptom of hypoglycemia is an elevated heart beat

Hypoglycemia is a Serious Condition that Needs Emergency Treatment

If you suspect your dog is experiencing a Hypoglycemic episode even if they have never shown any symptoms in the past, you need to get them along the vet as a matter of urgency. However, there are several things you can do to raise their blood glucose levels, one of which is to rub some honey on their gums before rushing them to the vet.

Diagnosing the Condition

As previously mentioned Hypoglycemia is a very serious condition that needs veterinary intervention sooner rather than later. A vet would need to carry out blood work and a urinalysis on your Yorkie, but they would also need to have the full history of your pet's health so they can understand how the condition might have been first triggered. The vet would also need to know if your dog is being any other drugs or medication before they would be able to recommend and prescribe the best sort of treatment. Because diet can play an important part in this condition, you would also need to let the vet know what you normally feed your Yorkie. Armed with all this information, the vet would then be able to make a correct diagnosis before treating your pet's low blood sugar levels.

Treatment for Hypoglycemia

Because hypoglycemia can be a symptom of some other underlying condition, the first thing a vet would want to do is get your pet's blood glucose levels up to what they should be before establishing just why they experienced a Hypoglycemic episode. This would also go a long way in helping a vet advise owners on how to prevent it from happening to their pets again. With this said, the initial treatment for the condition would largely depend on its severity and in some cases a dog might need to be given a treatment intravenously in order to raise their blood sugar levels.

Should the results of any tests come back showing that an older Yorkie has developed a tumour of the pancreas, they would then recommend a specific treatment to help make your dog more comfortable before carrying out more tests which would then be sent off to be analysed.

Living with a Yorkie with Hypoglycemia

It's very important that Yorkshire Terriers be fed a good quality diet to suit their ages. Puppies need feeding more often on a daily basis than older dogs and it's essential they don't miss out on any meals which could result in them suffering a Hypoglycemic episode. Older dogs too need to be fed the right sort of diet and if you have any worries or concerns, the best person to talk to is your vet who would be able to offer all the advice you need about your dog’s diet and they would carefully monitor their health and in particular their blood glucose levels on a regular basis.

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