Canine hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar in dogs, is a life-threatening but often preventable condition. It can also be a symptom of other diseases. You should know the canine hypoglycemia symptoms as well as prevention tips for hypoglycemia in dogs to keep your dog safe.
Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar as opposed to hyperglycemia which is high blood sugar. There is a healthy range of fluctuating blood levels for dogs that impacts many of their crucial bodily functions.
A healthy dog’s blood glucose level should be within 80 to 120 mg/dl. Less is hypoglycemia, more is hyperglycemia, and the farther the numbers are from normal, the more serious the condition. Slightly low blood glucose impairs bodily functions, and a blood glucose level of 40 or less is fatal.
It is normal for their blood glucose to fluctuate to the extremes of the normal range, from 80 to 120 in a day. Their bodies are supposed to deplete and build glucose depending on their activities. Blood glucose should be lowest when the dog has been sleeping for a long time and highest while eating and playing.
Poor health due to circumstances or a disease can lead to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia where the dog’s body can’t create enough blood glucose to maintain bodily functions or creates too much and impacts how other bodily systems operate.
Causes of hypoglycemia in dogs
Primary hypoglycemia in dogs can be caused by external factors, such as:
- being too cold
- excessive exertion, because the dog’s body depleted itself so low it can’t rebuild fast enough
- drastic diets, usually to manage obesity
- malnutrition, from lack of care, an improper diet, dental problems, or digestive problems
- too much insulin