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The small toy breed puppies do not have a large fat reserve, so it is essential that these puppies eat small meals frequently. Missing a meal can cause these Shih-tzu or Shichon puppies to have dangerously low glucose levels (hypoglycemia). Once a puppy’s glucose levels are low he/she might become too confused to eat and could refuse food even though it is the only thing that will help him. Such a brief period of fasting in a toy breed puppy can trigger a hypoglycemic “attack”. These symptoms are weakness, confusion, excessive drinking with vomiting, listless, or wobbly gait. If the Shichon or Shih-tzu puppy doesn’t immediately receive some form of sugar, (Karo syrup, maple syrup, or honey all work quickly and then solid food), the puppy will progress to having seizures and will eventually be comatose. Permanent brain damage or death can occur if a puppy’s glucose levels are allowed to drop too low. This is why it is so critical that your new Shih-tzu or Shichon puppy eat within – at the most – 12 hours of leaving the seller. Although hypoglycemia does not occur frequently, it could happen and early detection is the key to preventing any serious problems.
If your Shih-tzu or Shichon puppy does not seem to be interested in eating then he must be coaxed to eat. If he/she doesn’t show interest in the dry food then there are several different foods we recommend to stimulate their appetite: puppy milk replacer, chicken baby food, 1 raw egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of Karo syrup, cottage cheese, cooked diced chicken breast, or a food that is high in protein and high in fat. If your Shih-tzu or Shichon puppy is not interested in eating this from the bowl, try putting the food on your finger for the puppy to lick off, or place the food in the puppy’s mouth with a syringe or medicine dropper.
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