HYPOGLYCAEMIA

 

This product is frequently provided by both veterinarians and breeders for use in toy breed 

puppies. It consists basically of a malt-flavored paste with sugar and vitamins. Some puppies will 

readily lap it off fingers and others will only take it if it is smeared on the roof of the mouth. If a 

puppy seems listless, the first thing to do is attempt feeding. If the puppy will not eat, a finger tip 

of NUTRICAL, TROY NUTRIPET or NUTRI GEL may make all the difference.

 

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOUR PUPPY IS HYPOGLYCAEMIC

 

Potentially, hypoglycaemia is an emergency. The puppy will be listless maybe even uncoordinated. In an extreme case, 

the puppy will become cold, will lose consciousness and begin to have seizures. For first aid, a small amount of KARO 

SYRUP OR HONEY can be rubbed on the gums. (It will absorb through the gums; actual swallowing is not necessary). 

Beyond this and especially if the puppy does not fully regain its normal playful attitude, the puppy should be rushed to an 

animal hospital for treatment.

 

In the hospital, the puppy will be warmed and a blood sugar level checked. If intravenous access is possible, dextrose 

will be infused directly into the blood stream. Response is generally rapid once sugar is supplied in this way and a sugar 

drip or regular sugar injections will be continued. But the puppy has to reliably eat before he can go home. Anticipate the 

need for 24 hour care and expect a few days of care.

 

COMPLICATING FACTORS

 

Sometimes there is more to hypoglycemia than just low blood sugar. While being extra small and extra young is enough to 

drop one’s blood sugar, sometimes there is more to the story.

 

Bacterial infection

Bacteria can be tremendous consumers of glucose (blood sugar). For this reason, hypoglycemic puppies frequently are 

given antibiotics.

 

Portosystemic (Liver) Shunt     

This is a problem for the Toy Breeds in particular. In this congenital malformation of the liver circulation, blood travels 

from the Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract to the general circulation by-passing the liver. The liver does not develop properly 

and has abnormal function. One of the liver’s functions is to maintain the body’s blood sugar level. An abnormal liver 

leads to low blood sugar. This condition can frequently be cured with surgery. A liver function blood test is an easy way to 

rule this condition out as a complicating factor.

 

Parasitism/Diarrhea/Stress

Stress from any cause increases the body’s demand for sugar. This is why it is especially important to insure the general 

health of the toy breed puppy. When stressors are present, maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is all the more 

difficult.

When your puppy comes home again after a hypoglycemic episode, it is important to watch food intake and be aware of 

any changes in energy level. As the puppy gets bigger, risk factors diminish. Teeth get stronger, body fat stores develop, 

and the immune system matures. Eventually, hypoglycemia risks become minimal and the puppy can continue life as any 

other puppy, playing, chewing things up, and learning the behaviour control necessary to be a good house pet.

 

 

NUTRITION FOR PUPPIES

 

Your puppy’s nutritional needs are greater now than at any other time in his life, apart from reproduction. Understanding 

what your puppy needs will help you make the right dietary choices.

Get it right from the beginning

 

THE DEVELOPING PUPPY

The puppy stage sets the foundation for a dog's whole life. The length of this period can vary. For large breed dogs, it can 

take about two years. For all other dogs, one year is generally the rule of thumb.

During this time, puppies undergo rapid physical development including:

Bones and joints growing to full size.

Muscles developing and growing.

Internal organs growing (this continues even after your dog appears to be full size).

Immune system developing and learning to protect the body.

To put it in perspective, a human usually takes about 14 years to achieve similar development – so that’s a lot of growing 

for your puppy in a short amount of time!

Nutritional needs

 

Nutrition is crucial to support this level of development and a healthy diet should include:

Protein: As a key building block of muscle, skin, coat, organs and other tissues, a puppy will need abundant protein during 

this period of growth.

Calcium and Phosphorus: These are necessary ingredients for healthy bones and teeth and must be present in the correct 

ratios to grow bones and teeth correctly.

Omega Fatty Acids including Linoleic acid: This provides complete and balanced nutrition, promotes a healthy immune 

system and helps keep your puppy's skin and coat healthy.

PURINA has specifically designed food with all the nutrition your puppy needs for a long and exceptional life.

Do’s and Don’ts

 

Do follow the feeding guidelines. One of the worst things you can do is allow your puppy to become overweight, which has 

serious health implications.

Do mix new food in with the old over two weeks when you change food. If you gradually increase the amount of new food 

and decrease the amount of old, you’ll make the transition easier on your puppy.

Do feed your puppy at the same times every day. Feed young puppies 3 times a day, older puppies twice a day and once 

per day for adults.

Don’t feed your puppy from the table. This adds calories and unneeded fat to a dog’s diet and can make your puppy a 

finicky eater.

 

A WELL BALANCED DIET

 

A balanced diet is essential for your dog’s long-term health. To ensure he gets one, you need to be aware of the 

following…

 

Six of the best

To help him lead an active, healthy life, your dog’s diet needs to have the right balance of the six major nutrient groups:

Proteins;

Fats and oils;

Minerals;

Vitamins;

Carbohydrates;

Water.

Unless your dog is pregnant or nursing, or suffering from a particular condition, there is no reason to upset this balance 

from the early days of adulthood until the end of the sixth year when your dog reaches ‘senior’ status.

 

Dogs have different nutritional needs from humans. Whereas we are advised to eat fresh fruit and vegetables to provide 

vitamin C, bacteria in a dog's stomach produce enough vitamin C, so they don't need any more in their diet. Dogs can also 

live without carbohydrates, but importantly they are not true carnivores and can't exist on meat alone.

Dog nutrition in a nutshell

 

Ideally, dogs need a combination of meat, cereals and vegetables to get the nutritional balance right.

 

A good-quality manufactured dog food will have been carefully formulated to provide the proper balance of all the 

nutrients a dog requires, as well as tasting good.

 

Despite the temptation, adding human food and scraps to a nutritionally balanced food doesn’t do your dog any favours, 

and will often upset this fine nutritional balance.

 

What a dog needs:

 

Protein

Proteins, made from amino acids, are the building blocks of the body. The proteins you feed your dog (like chicken or 

beef, for example) are responsible for releasing energy and forming muscle, skin, hair, antibodies, enzymes, blood clots, 

haemoglobin and hormones.

Fats

Fats and oils provide the ‘fuel’ your dog needs to stay active – supplying more than twice as much energy as protein and 

carbohydrates. Fats, and fatty acids, are a source of vitamins and are essential for good skin and coat condition and a 

healthy immune system. Fats are also important in improving the taste and digestibility of food.

Carbohydrates

Common carbohydrates like cereals, rice and pasta are an excellent energy source. Fibre also supports the digestive 

process.

Minerals

Minerals, such as calcium and phosphorous, are essential for strong bones and teeth, cell and tissue development, fluid 

balance and metabolic processes. Minerals must be carefully balanced; an excess of one can lead to a deficiency in 

another.

Vitamins

Vitamins are required in small amounts to help maintain growth, a healthy skin and coat, and to support the immune 

system. Too much of certain types can be harmful, while a deficiency in others can be equally damaging.

 

Fat-soluble vitamins, (A, D, E and K) are stored in your dog's fatty tissues, whereas water-soluble vitamins (B-complex and 

C) are excreted in the urine. Unlike humans, dogs do not require vitamin C.

Water

Water is essential for all living things and dogs are no exception. The amount of water dogs need depends on several 

factors, including air temperature, exercise levels and whether or not they are eating canned or dried food. Water 

regulates the body's temperature, transporting nutrients around the body and removing waste. You should make sure 

your dog has access to clean, fresh drinking water at all times.

 

What not to feed your dog

If you prepare your dog’s meals from scraps or specially purchased meat, take care. These diets are often too high in meat 

and not rich enough in other important nutrients and minerals, like calcium.

 

On top of that, some common human foods such as rhubarb, soya, onions, spinach, beetroot and undercooked maize or 

kidney beans are poisonous to dogs.

 

Chocolate can be extremely harmful, and should never be fed to your dog. As little as 60g of cooking chocolate can kill a 

medium-sized dog!

 

Food supplements

Supplements are not necessary when a normal, healthy dog is being fed a complete and balanced food. However, factors 

like feeding table scraps, inconsistent exercise or stressful changes in routine can leave dogs with special nutritional 

needs.

 

Some pet owners believe extra calcium should be added to the diets of pregnant and nursing bitches and growing 

puppies. While it is true that more minerals are needed at these times, they should be obtained through a high-quality, 

nutritionally balanced diet. Adding them out of proportion to other nutrients can contribute to skeletal deformities and 

other problems. A good-quality manufactured puppy formula diet will provide your pregnant or lactating bitch with 

everything she needs.

 

DENTAL CARE

 

Making sure your dog’s teeth are properly looked after will go a long way towards keeping him healthy for life.

Canine’s canine care

 

Healthy teeth are extremely important to a dog's wellbeing. They help him chew, of course, but they are also the way your 

puppy picks up and carries items. Which means oral hygiene should be a key part of caring for your dog's health.

Puppy dental care

 

Puppies have 28 temporary teeth (called puppy teeth or milk teeth) that start coming in at about four weeks of age. They 

generally fall out between 14 and 30 weeks, when they are replaced by 42 adult teeth.

 

If you have a puppy in this age range, keep the following in mind:

Puppies who are teething may eat slightly less and chew more. Hard rubber or rawhide toys made especially for dogs are a 

good investment to help prevent household damage.

Even though the puppy teeth don't normally last long enough to have any serious problems, it’s important to get your 

young puppy used to a dental care regime. Gently reach into his mouth and rub his gums and teeth. This will get him used 

to having someone's fingers in his mouth and will make future dental care much easier.

Gently rub your puppy's teeth with a soft cloth or a toothbrush approved for use with dogs and puppies.

Use a toothpaste specially formulated for dogs. These come in a variety of dog-friendly flavours. NEVER use human 

toothpaste.

If puppy teeth linger much longer than 30 weeks, take your puppy to the vet as these teeth may need to be removed.

 

General dental care for your dog

 

Continue with the oral hygiene regime you established when your dog was a puppy and augment it by using dry, crunchy 

foods. This food scrapes against the teeth, reducing tartar build-up and generally keeping the teeth clean. To ensure your 

dog's health, he will need dental care on a regular basis. See your vet about a schedule.

Does your dog have a dental problem?

 

Problems that start with the teeth can have far-ranging consequences, from mere bad breath to problems eating or even 

infections that may reach the kidneys or heart.

 

That’s why it’s so important you monitor and maintain your dog’s dental health from the earliest days. In particular, look for:

 

•    Loss of appetite

•    Red, swollen and bleeding gums

•    Drooling

•    Blood in the saliva

•    Yellow-brown tartar at the gum line

•    Broken teeth

•    Foul breath

 

Easily the most common problem for dogs is the build-up of plaque, which can accumulate and harden to chalky calculus 

on the teeth. Left unchecked, this may eventually lead to inflammation of the gums, and the teeth may become infected 

and even fall out.

 

If your dog has any of the above signs, you should see your vet, both to treat any dental problems and to rule out other 

possible causes such as foreign bodies (such as small, sharp objects) and certain systemic illnesses.

 

Establishing a consistent dental care regime early on in your puppy’s life is one of the best things you can do for him. And 

since his health and your happiness will invariably go hand-in-hand, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour as well.

 

 

Spay & Neuter

 

Deciding whether or not to neuter your puppy can be a difficult decision.  Neutering your dog can help to prevent the 

increasing number of unwanted dogs put down every year in Australia.

Neutering has many advantages

 

Neutering your puppy can lead to better overall health and a longer life. Unless there is a specific reason otherwise, it’s 

always the responsible choice to neuter your pet.

 

Every year, thousands of unwanted dogs are put to sleep at shelters. Many of these are the result of accidental breeding 

by free-roaming, unneutered dogs. The more dogs neutered, the fewer will be destroyed.  

Health advantages

 

Spaying females reduces the chances of developing breast cancer, as well as helping to eliminate the threat of uterine 

and ovarian cancer and uterine infection, all of which are common in unneutered females.

 

Unplanned pregnancy can also place your bitch at risk, for example, breeding with a mate whose pups will be too big for 

her to safely give birth. It also reduces the risks associated with abortions. Discuss the timing with your vet, as some 

prefer to neuter bitches before they have their first season. Spaying a bitch will also eliminate the problem of pesky stray 

males camping out in your garden when your dog is in heat!

 

Neutering a male dog will prevent testicular tumours and may reduce the risk of prostate problems. It decreases the 

possibility of perianal tumours and hernias, which are commonly observed in older, unneutered dogs.

 

Neutering males  also reduces the aggressive impulses of your dog, removing the likelihood of injury due to fighting. 

Neutered males are also less likely to mark their territory or try to ‘mate’ with objects or people.

 

For male dogs, the operation involves removal of both testicles. For bitches, the removal of the womb and ovaries.

Excuses, excuses...

 

There is a long list of excuses for not neutering a puppy but in reality, the benefits far outweigh any disadvantages. Below 

are some common concerns:

My dog will get fat and lazy

Neutering may diminish your puppy’s natural tendency to wander, but will not affect overall activity levels. When dogs do 

gain weight after being spayed, it is usually attributed to a combination of overfeeding and inactivity when recovering from 

the operation.    

My dog's personality will change

This may be true but it is often for the better. Your pet will be less aggressive toward other animals, less likely to wander, 

and may have a better personality. Spraying (urine marking), which is often done to mark territory, diminishes or ceases.

We can sell the puppies and make money

It is difficult to make money from raising purebred litters – even well-known breeders are fortunate if they break even. This 

is also dependent on getting a purebred bitch to a stud dog before she becomes pregnant to an unknown wanderer. The 

cost of raising such a litter, which includes stud fees, vaccinations and other health care costs, usually offsets most of the 

profit. Finding good homes for these puppies can be difficult and shelters are already crowded with unwanted dogs.

I am concerned about my dog undergoing anaesthesia

The medical benefits of having your dog neutered far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anaesthesia. Many 

modern veterinary procedures employ equipment that monitors heart and respiratory rates during surgery, so you don’t 

have to worry. Neutering is a routine operation but consult your vet if you have any concerns.

Before and after the operation

 

Your vet will usually tell you to withhold food and water from your dog 12 hours before the operation. Most dogs go home 

the same day, though sometimes they might stay for slightly longer if they are still very sleepy.

 

After the operation, dogs should be confined to the house for a few days, kept quiet and prevented from jumping or biting 

at their sutures. Your vet will discuss post-operative care, including when the sutures will be removed.

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