Hypoglycemia In Chihuahuas: Why It Happens, How To Treat It, And More

Hypoglycemia is another name for low blood sugar in chihuahuas. It can be a serious health problem. If the blood sugar drops too low and nothing is done about it, it can be fatal. Hypoglycemia is a big problem for small breeds of dogs like the Chihuahua. This is because Chihuahuas have been bred to be small, so their body mass is naturally low. Because they have a small body mass, they can’t store sugar well because they don’t have enough body fat. This is why, as a chihuahua owner, you have to know how to recognize the symptoms and the start of an episode.

Here are some basic facts about hypoglycemia, including what it is, why it happens, and how to prevent and treat it.

What is hypoglycemia in Chihuahuas?


Hypoglycemia is a condition that can happen to chihuahuas when their blood sugar levels drop too low. The body gets its energy from glucose, and when levels drop too low, cells may not have enough energy to work right. The normal range for dogs’ blood sugar is between 3.5-7mmol/L. Hypoglycemic means that the blood glucose level is below 3 mmol/L (60 mg/dL).

Normal physiological glucose regulation is kept in check by a balance between hormones that lower and raise blood sugar. These include insulin, which lowers blood sugar, glucagon, epinephrine (also called adrenaline), cortisol, which is the stress hormone, which raises blood sugar, and growth hormone, which keeps the body from making too much sugar. When it needs energy, the body gets it by breaking down carbs, breaking down glycogen it has stored or making new glucose through glycolysis or gluconeogenesis.

What Are The Causes Of Hypoglycemia In Chihuahuas?


Hypoglycemia can be caused by too much insulin, too much glucose being used by the body, or less glucose being made by the body.

1. Too much insulin

Insulin overdose in diabetics, insulin made by a tumor in the pancreas (insulinoma), and xylitol toxicity can all cause too much insulin.

2. Too much glucose is being used by the body

Hypoglycemia can happen when the body uses up too much glucose, which can happen with severe blood infections (sepsis) or with paraneoplastic syndrome. Paraneoplastic syndrome is an unusual condition that is caused by a cancerous tumor, like lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, or liver cancer.

After a lot of exercises, lean, active hunting dogs can get hypoglycemia if they eat more glucose or use up all the glycogen they have stored.

3. Glucose production went down

Hypoglycemia can happen when the body doesn’t make enough glucose. This can happen in small breeds, newborns, and people with conditions like hepatic dysfunction or Addison’s disease.

Hypoglycemia can happen quickly in newborns because they don’t have much glycogen stored in their muscles, they don’t have much body fat that can be used to raise their blood sugar, and their liver enzyme systems aren’t fully developed yet.

Hypoglycemia can happen when the liver stops working because it can’t store enough glycogen or make enough glucose. When about 70% of the liver is damaged, hypoglycemia can happen.

Hypoglycemia can happen in a chihuahua with Addison’s disease because both peripheral glucose uptake and glucose mobilization in the liver slows down. Hypoglycemia is present in about 25% of dogs with Addison’s disease.

4. Toxicity

When it comes to toxicity, xylitol products are the most common ones that are blamed for low blood sugar. Xylitol is in many things that people use, like gum, toothpaste, and even peanut butter.

5. Cancer

Insulinoma or cancer of the pancreas can cause the pancreas to make too much insulin, which can cause the blood sugar to drop. Other cancers, like hepatocellular carcinomas and mammary gland adenocarcinomas, can also cause dangerously low blood sugar levels.

6. Infections

Blood sugar levels can drop quickly when the body has a severe infection that affects the whole body.

7. Hormonal disease

When the pituitary or adrenal glands are sick, the body may not be able to control blood sugar well.

Hypoglycemia can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which can be avoided. Modern dog food, like a lot of modern people’s food, is usually high in grains. The body breaks down grains into sugar. So, if you eat a lot of grains, your body has to work harder to store sugar. This makes the body crash afterward because it has a lot of sugar in it. It also makes the person feel more hungry. This makes a cycle that makes it hard for the body to keep a steady level of glucose. This leads to obesity in the long run.

Even missing one or two meals can cause low blood sugar in a small breed like the Chihuahua. Again, this is because their bodies are already so small. They need a steady diet to keep their sugar levels at a healthy level.

The Clinical Signs Of Hypoglycemia In Chihuahuas?


It is not unusual for chihuahuas with hypoglycemia to have no signs or symptoms. Hypoglycemia can result in a variety of illnesses, depending on how long it lasts, how bad it is, and how quickly it starts. Some of the possible clinical symptoms are:

How Is Hypoglycemia In Chihuahuas Treated?

In a serious situation, your vet will tell you to give your pet an intravenous dextrose solution. Dextrose is basically concentrated glucose, which raises blood sugar quickly. When their dog is having a hypoglycemic crisis, owners can treat the animal at home with corn syrup or honey before taking him or her to the vet. In a low blood sugar emergency, dextrose given through a vein works better than glucose given by mouth.

Oral prednisone is often used to control blood sugar in long-term care. As a corticosteroid, Prednisone will counteract the effects of insulin, causing blood sugar to rise.

Small puppies, like Chihuahua puppies, who are at risk for hypoglycemia should be fed small meals several times a day (e.g. 4 meals per day).

What is the prognosis for hypoglycemia in Chihuahuas?

The prognosis depends on how bad the illness is and what caused it. Chihuahuas who respond well to emergency care and have an underlying condition that can be found and treated tend to do well in the long run. Hypoglycemia can cause permanent nerve damage if it is severe and lasts for a long time.

Can A Chihuahua Recover From Hypoglycemia?

Yes, a chihuahua¬†dog can get better from hypoglycemia, but it’s important to see a vet to find out what’s wrong and how to treat it. Hypoglycemia can cause seizures or even death if it is not taken care of. Treatment usually involves giving a dextrose solution through an IV and/or giving prednisone by mouth. Hypoglycemia has different outcomes depending on how bad it is and what caused it, but most dogs do get better.

Last Word

This blog post talked about hypoglycemia in chihuahuas, a condition that can happen when a chihuahua’s blood sugar level is too low. The body uses glucose, a type of sugar, for energy. When there isn’t enough glucose in the body, the cells may not have enough energy to work right. Hypoglycemia is most common in young dogs, small breeds like chihuahuas, and older dogs. Hypoglycemia can cause seizures or even death if it is not treated quickly and right away. If you think your chihuahua might have low blood sugar, you should talk to your vet.


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