Celia's concerns with her 8 month old puppy........

Dear Mijoy

We owned a yorkie a number of years ago, and he died at a ripe old age.  Last year we purchased a small yorkie, not very small, but small.  She has had regular bouts of hypoglycaemia.  She is now 8 months old, and continues with this problem.  Is this normal?  A friend of mine also has a small yorkie and she has never had this problem with hers. I get really stressed when I have to leave home for any length of time, as I have heard that if this happens and the dog is not treated, the dog could die.  How do I get her over this, any advice for me.

Thanks for all your efforts with your website. It is really appreciated by us YORKIE owners.

Best wishes to you.



Hi Celia.

Thank you for the compliments. I will answer your mail, and I will also include info that is beneficial to anyone of our readers, who may sit with this problem, or who may purchase a pup in the future and should know about this.  It is thought that if a pup does not eat sufficient food , there is a likelihood of it becoming hypoglycaemic.  For those who are not familiar with the term, it means the pup/dogs sugar levels drop in the blood, and it becomes, weak, often not being able to get onto its feet. If left for any length of time, the dog may start to fit, convulse and in cases that have gone undetected, the dog may become unconscious and death may and often does result if not treated in time.

It was thought that the smaller the yorkie or pup, and it affects all breeds of small dogs, not only Yorkies, the more likelihood it will affect the pup. However this is not so.  It is not a disease, or something any dog is born with, but something that can develop. However, once treated will be overcome, and hopefully if the cause of the problem is sorted, will never happen again.  One will usually find a pup could present with this problem, if they have had a bout of diarrhea or vomiting and the dog has become weakened and possibly dehydrated. This should not be taken lightly at all, and professional help should be sort as soon as possible.  IF you find you are in a situation where you cannot get to a vet immediately, rub some honey on the pup’s gums, but you still need to see a vet.   IF the pup is unconscious and limp, rub onto the gums, if the pup is fitting or convulsing be careful.  A pup in this condition could easily bite as it is totally unaware of what it is doing.  Some breeders recommend the use of glucose added to water, but in these circumstances you must not attempt to administer any form of liquid to the pup, as this could choke it and ultimately, the fluid could end up on the lungs, and the pup could die should this happen.

If a pup continues to present with Hypoglycaemia, it is in your interests to ask your vet to investigate further.  There is a strong possibility that the pup has a health problem.  NO pup irrespective of how small it is should repeatedly have this problem.  Please understand I am not saying your dog HAS a problem with its health, but there is a possibility.  If I look back at some of the tiniest Yorkies I own, and have owned over the years and some are a good few years of age, the majority of them have never had an attack of hypoglycaemia - not even once.

How do you prevent the possibility of it happening?  Make sure your pup is fed regularly, and the smaller the pup the more frequently it needs to be fed. Do not skip your pups meals.  If at any stage the pup, is off colour or refuses to eat, offer food again an hour later. This means during the night as well. You cannot leave a small pup that has not eaten overnight, thinking in the morning, it will be much better. Chances are in the morning it will be dead or very close to being dead. If your pup refuses to eat its regular food, offer some finely chopped up boiled chicken.  If it still will not eat, rub honey on the gums and wait about 15 minutes and offer the food again. If it eats, well and good, if not, time to see your VET.

IF you are sold a pup and advised to use GLUCOSE in the water to keep the pup stable. You have to ask yourself WHY???  If a pup is healthy, is free from any parasites, ticks, fleas, worms etc, and the pup eats regular meals, there is no reason for the pup to be unstable.

Deworming.   Deworm regularly and change the brand continually. Pups and dogs can become immune to a specific dewormer, and you deworm religiously, thinking your dog or pup has no worms, when in fact it does.

Celia, if I were you, I would take my pup to the vet, advise him she has constant attacks of hypoglycaemia and ask him what he would suggest.  I have realised over the years, that people who have pups with this problem presenting frequently, have a pup that has a health problem, and it is often a liver shunt.  The yorkie sadly is one of the breeds known for this problem, but again, in 30- odd years, I have seen it twice, so do not become major concerned, until your vet has carried out some tests and investigated further. 

Best of luck with your baby. Keep us posted.