We have spoken often about treating a hypoglycemic event in your pup. It’s a topic that bears repeating as it is one of the few things that can take your diabetic dog’s life in fairly short order. Today we revisit this topic with a new product that can eliminate the crazy swings in BG (Blood Glucose) that can come with treating a hypoglycemic event in the “usual way”.
In the blog post about “How Do I Treat Low Numbers in My Diabetic Dog”, we talked about how to treat a “hypo” in the usual way. This method is still very effective and has been used for years. That method is that we use Karo syrup, honey or pancake syrup to bring a dangerously low BG (Blood Glucose) number up quickly by applying it directly to the gums of our pups, that is step one. Step two is to follow that treatment with a carbohydrate snack because the syrup or honey won’t maintain the BG (Blood Glucose) for any length of time so we need something to keep the numbers up after the jump from the syrup. We repeat those two steps until BG (Blood Glucose) is in a safe range.
The downside to the “usual way” is that if we need to use the syrup or honey repeatedly, we risk making our pups nauseous from the sugar and making an already tenuous situation worse. The other issue is over treating the hypo. How many biscuits are enough and how many are too many? I tested each carby snack that I would need in a hypo event on a normal day so that I knew how many points I got from a biscuit, how many from a Fig Newton, etc. So on the day that we had a hypo (BG of 32), I knew what it would take to get Max back in a safe range and keep him there.
Now we talk about the “better way”… There is a relatively new product that will address a hypoglycemic event in fewer steps with very good results. Thankfully, someone cared enough to think outside the box for both human diabetics and for our “sugar babies”. I’ve mentioned it a few times in prior posts, but now I can speak to it with some certainty as one of our Moderators in CDSI (the Facebook group that I am an Admin in) took the Glucose SOS syringe out in the field with him while taking hikes with his pups. Paul is our “exercise guru” as he takes his boys, one Diabetic and one not, on very long hikes complete with his meter, strips and everything else that he needs to take to keep his “sugar baby” safe. It is fairly routine for Paul to have to intervene during these hikes so he is always prepared.
After taking the Glucose SOS out with him several times, he had this to say:
“Nancy, as you know I’ve been experimenting with S.O.S. as a means to stabilize bg while out on hikes and have been comparing it to corn syrup which I normally use. My conclusion is the S.O.S. is smoother and keeps bg in a tighter range than the syrup which could result in more spikes and precipitous drops. A good example was this morning. When I tested Eli in the field he was 130. I only had 3 km (1.8 miles) to go which wasn’t enough time for a biscuit to digest. I used 1/4 of the syringe and tested when we got home and he remained at the same bg.
Treats need 45 minutes while the SOS can stabilize bg relatively quickly. I haven't needed to use SOS as a rescue, but only to stabilize bg so I can continue the exercise without having to wait. SOS starts to raise bg quickly without exercise. I'll often give a bit every 30 minutes or so in addition to the biscuit given 45 minutes before the exercise just to keep bg from dropping if Eli is at a good level.
The thing I also like about SOS is that if I overcompensate by giving too much, bg won't remain as high for as long as if I overcompensated with a biscuit.”
My suggestion would be that using the SOS during a hypo instead of the honey or syrup will give you an immediate boost to BG (Blood Glucose) and will sustain the numbers until the carb treat or some kibble can digest and take over. That will lower the risk of “over treating” with too much syrup, honey or biscuits.
As we know, every dog is different, but this seems like a safer, smoother alternative to too much intervention during a hypoglycemic event.
This would also be an excellent product for working dogs or competition dogs to keep energy levels up.
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Until next time…