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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This post relates in some respects to a recent thread on SM about the use of Nutrical. Several years ago I was contacted by a woman desperately seeking advice for her very sick Maltese puppy. The puppy was young (maybe about 12 wks. old), newly with the owner, not adjusting well to its new environment, not eating, and subsequently getting sicker and sicker with bouts of diarrhea and then constipation. The breeder was contacted and advised the new owner to continue giving the puppy Nutrical a few times a day until the puppy got better. Unfortunately, the puppy got sicker and weaker and the owner's vet, after several days of treatment, could not break the cycle and recommended euthanasia. Thankfully, the owner turned to the internet first hoping for help and advice. I contacted a long-time breeder friend, gave her all the info I had and asked for her thoughts. Following is what she wrote to me. The end result was that the owner printed out this information and brought it and her new puppy to a well-respected university vet school. The vets there were able to save the puppy and gave high fives to the breeder who shared this critical information. My friend would never take credit and asked that her name not be made public but agreed to allow me to share her email in the hope that others would find it beneficial.

My personal belief -- Because some medicine is good doesn't automatically mean that a larger dose is better; and we need to save the medicine to use for the cure rather than use the medicine in an effort to prevent.

MaryH

Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 1:56 PM
To: Mary Harrigan
Subject: Hypoglycemia


Hi Mary: Sorry this took so long!

The use of nutrical and corn syrup is a great tool (and a life saving one) to correct a hypoglycemia in a just weaned puppy or one that has crashed due to stress. This syndrome is seen more frequently in toy breeds with a higher metabolic rate.

The problem with repeating this treatment over and over is that you cause a "bouncing ball" effect - where the blood sugar is elevated higher than normal.....causing a counter effect of increased insulin and the resulting drop (again) in the bood sugar. This pattern will also cause a "drying out" of body fluids from the G.I. tract and tissue cells. The fluid goes into the blood vessels and is washed out through the urinary system. Thus glucose AND fluid is lost. The pup will get constipated and dehydrated. This is what happens in a diabetic person whose blood sugar is out of control. They will have increased thirst and have increased urinary output as the body attempts to normalize the blood sugar.

To stop this cycle, try to give the puppy protein (baby meat, cheese, cottage cheese) mixed with a puppy weaning formula. If this is retained (not vomited) , it will normalize the blood sugar as protein is digested more slowly, and will put solids in the G.I. tract to prevent constipation. If the puppy must be force-fed at first, dry puppy food can be ground into a powder then mixed with a small amount of formula and shaped into "bullets" --about the size and shape of a "pinkie finger". Refrigerate and gradually increase the number at one feeding and the hours between feedings.

This doesn't address whether there is an abnormal liver in this pup but may get you out of the current crisis. Good signs are weight gain, reversal of the ups & downs, increased energy, etc. Don't let this pup race around as it begins to feel better! This is a life threatening situation and the correction of the dehydration and electrolyte imbalance are the last to become normal . Good luck!... from a long time Maltese breeder..
 

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Wow! Thanks for sharing Mary!!

This is great information, which I will forward to my breeder.

HUGz! Jules
 

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Great info - I think this should be pinned.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, Mary. It is true that protein will help hypoglycemia. I used to have it and sugar made it worse overall.

I've had blood sugar issues, too (especially on those frigid days while out skiing) and found that eating an orange followed up with cheese and crackers made me feel alot better alot quicker than a candy bar ever did.

MaryH
 

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I remember this Mary. I always wanted to say something here when people recommended nutrical but couldn't remember and explain why it was not always a good thing. I am glad you posted this. I got Alex at 10 weeks, he was and still is a small eater. I never gave him nutrical even if he went 2 days with barely eating. Even small, those dogs are stronger than you think.
 

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Great info - I think this should be pinned.
I agree, this is amazing info... could help a lot of hypoglycemic puppy owners. :aktion033:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I remember this Mary. I always wanted to say something here when people recommended nutrical but couldn't remember and explain why it was not always a good thing. I am glad you posted this. I got Alex at 10 weeks, he was and still is a small eater. I never gave him nutrical even if he went 2 days with barely eating. Even small, those dogs are stronger than you think.
Janine, it was a scary couple of days for sure when we were all hoping and praying that that little puppy would pull through. I don't even want to think about the tubes of Nutrical that I've bought and thrown away unopened when they've reached the expiration date. I always want it on hand just in case but I've never once had to use it.

MaryH
 

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Thank you for posting this Mary. I honestly believe if I had this information when I had gotten Dixie, she might have made it. I think this was what happened to her, not to mention being infested with tapeworms didn't help her either. She literally didn't eat for the week I had her, drank fine, but barely ate and I was giving her anything I thought she would eat. Only if I had known about this sooner, just maybe I'd have her today.
 

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Laura don't beat yourself up with this. It's easy to say afterward "if I had done this, if I had done that". It's not your fault. You did what you thought was best. It was her time.
 

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If you are really concerned about hypoglycemia and want to give your dog a tiny amount of sugar to raise blood sugar fast, then use a tiny drop of honey followed by a protein, like Mary did, using an orange and cheese. Works like a charm. When I had hypoglycemia, it was because I was eating too much sugar and carbs. When I ditched the carbs/sugar from my diet, I never had a hypoglycemia reaction again.
 

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If you are really concerned about hypoglycemia and want to give your dog a tiny amount of sugar to raise blood sugar fast, then use a tiny drop of honey followed by a protein, like Mary did, using an orange and cheese. Works like a charm. When I had hypoglycemia, it was because I was eating too much sugar and carbs. When I ditched the carbs/sugar from my diet, I never had a hypoglycemia reaction again.
Suzan, same thing here. I went low-carb on December 1st, am now at my ideal weight, and haven't had any shakes or other hypoglycemic issues.

OT: unfortunately for me (like a lot of body builders) going low-carb also means eating a lot of protein .... and now I am dealing with elevated liver enzymes, because my body could not handle all the protein. But, this does not happen with everyone. Protein I can monitor and decrease my intake .... the amount of carbs/sugars I was taking in before was insane.

HUGz! Jules
 

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Yes, protein is key to keeping the blood sugar level. Nutrical, in my opinion, should only be used if you have a sinking pup or is required by a vet due to a sick dog.
Sugar spikes and drops so quickly and then you're right back where you started.
 
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