Health Info

  

HYPOGLYCEMIA:

 (LOW BLOOD SUGAR) 

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a disorder of the central nervous system and is a direct response to the lack of adequate food. “Dehydration” comes from the lack of water. Hypoglycemia can occur without warning when a puppy goes to a new home, misses a meal, or doesn’t eat full meals, becomes chilled, over tired, or exhausted from too much handling or playing. It occurs mostly in toy breeds, but it can also occur in the larger breeds as well.

Signs to look for are depression, weakness, being wobbly or jerky, the head appears to be tilted to either the left or right side, the neck appears stiff and in a locked position, the body may soon appear the same way, and the teeth may be clamped tightly together; convulsions, seizures, or coma which can result in death!


Treatment: Once a puppy’s sugar drops, you must act fast!! The blood levels of glucose must be restored IMMEDIATELY! DO NOT HESITATE! YOUR PUPPY’S LIFE IS AT RISK! Treatment by oral administration of certain glucose containing electrolyte fluids is very important. I use Nutri-Cal. It gives quick results and gets into the bloodstream within seconds with a 99% utilization rate. When given, the usual dose is about ¼cc per ounce of body weight. If you don’t have that on hand, you may mix white Karo syrup with water and place on the puppy’s tongue with a dropper; or just place some on your finger and rub on the puppy’s gums. DO NOT put excessive amounts in the puppy’s mouth, as the puppy can choke.


If the puppy does not improve within (10) ten minutes, contact your Veterinarian IMMEDIATELY!! This is NOT something that can wait until the Vet opens the following morning! I always recommend if you ever have any concerns, questions or worries don’t hesitate to call your Veterinarian even if the puppy is doing better. Once a puppy’s sugar level drops, it is much more likely for him to have another episode. It can take weeks to build back up afterwards. Make sure your puppy is eating and drinking OFTEN. First stages baby food beef, turkey or chicken can be fed—they think It’s “Tasty”, or boil chicken and tear into bits if he won’t eat anything else!

Prevention: I add 1-2 teaspoons of honey or white Karo syrup to cool fresh drinking water every day. Leave dry food out 24/7. Never feed you puppy “people food”, especially chocolate, fried foods, milk, onions, grapes or raisins! Do not allow your puppy to become over-chilled or tired. Let you puppy rest and become accustomed to his new home. Remember this is only a puppy. Compare it to an infant child, which requires extra care. You would not wake your baby up to show your friends or neighbors. So do not wake your puppy up, as it needs rest too. This is important to your puppy’s health.


HEREDITARY PROBLEMS OF THE YORKSHIRE TERRIER:

Every breed of dog has some sort of breed or type-specific disorder. Yorkies in general are a trouble free breed; however, here are a few of the health concerns to take into consideration:


Legg-Perthes Disease is the necrotic degeneration of the femoral head. What that means is the head of the femur (the part of the upper hind-leg bone that fits into the pelvis) crumbles from the cutoff in blood supply. This can be genetically transmitted, or could be a result of trauma. The disease can come from either cause and an affected dog will begin to limp and develop progressively less use of the affected leg. Treatment is surgical removal of the damaged head and exercise regimen put in place by your veterinarian. This disease does not manifest itself until the puppy is 6 or 7 months old.


Luxating Patella

The patella is the kneecap and ordinarily the kneecap slides up and down in front of the knee joint. In a number of small breeds it will slide from it’s normal position toward the inner leg. The most obvious symptom is limping. Luxating Patella could eventually lead to arthritis. The only permanent cure is surgical correction of the knee.


Collapsing Trachea

The walls of the trachea, or windpipe, become more flaccid as they age. The first sign of this condition is an occasional honking cough, especially with exertion and could become constant later in life. Breathing against the obstruction can result in chronic lung disease. The defect can sometimes be repaired with surgery and the cough controlled with medications.


Portosystemic Shunt

This is a congenital malformation of the portal vein which brings blood to the liver for cleansing. The presence of the shunt means the blood either partially or completely by-passes the liver and the “dirty” blood goes on to poison the heart, brain, lungs and other organs. Symptoms very widely and can include poor appetite, occasional vomiting and diarrhea, poor coordination, decreased ability to learn, seizures especially after eating, blindness, coma and death. Diagnosing Portosystemic Shunt is VERY difficult and the only cure is surgery. Not all shunts can be repaired, but early treatment offers the best chances.

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