Charlie the Labradoodle in hypoglycaemia scare

A much-loved Labradoodle came within minutes of death when he suffered a terrifying seizure caused by diabetes.

Ten-year-old Charlie was having an early-evening snooze when owner Natalie Evans suddenly spotted him shaking uncontrollably.

Irrepressible Charlie was diagnosed with diabetes last December following a bout of pancreatitis but had been dealing well with the condition.

However, on the night he fell ill, Natalie, a former A&E ward sister who now works as a nurse practitioner, could see something was clearly wrong.

  1. Charlie's ordeal

    The ten-year-old labradoodle was diagnosed with diabetes last December but had been coping well.

    Image of Charlie the labradoodle for Vets Now article on dog low blood sugar
  2. Charlie's ordeal

    Until his owner noticed him having a seizure due to dangerously low blood sugar and recognised that he needed urgent treatment.

    Image of Charlie the labradoodle for Vets Now article on dog low blood sugar

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Mother-of-two Natalie said: “It was awful to see. Charlie was laying on the bed having a seizure in front of my eyes.

“Charlie is such an important part of our family. We’ve had him since he was eight weeks old and I couldn’t imagine life without him.

“To make it even worse it was the anniversary of my husband Dave’s death. So you can imagine … all sorts of things were going through my mind.”

Fortunately, after about 20 seconds, Charlie came round but he still couldn’t stand.

So Natalie, from Fleet, Hampshire, got her neighbour to help lift him into the car to get urgent treatment. By the time Charlie arrived at Ashworth Veterinary Group in Fleet he was slipping into hypoglycaemic unconsciousness.

After several infusions of glucose, his almost fatally-low blood sugar levels started to climb.

He was then transferred to the Vets Now pet emergency clinic in Farnham — where staff worked through the night to try to stabilise him. In the end, it took two days of intensive treatment to bring Charlie back to health.

Natalie said: “The staff at Vets Now were lovely. They really took to Charlie and since he’s been home it’s like he’s a new dog.

“But it’s really scary how close we came to him not being here anymore. You don’t like to dwell on these things too much – but the truth is that another half an hour and we would have lost him.

“To look at him now you wouldn’t realise what a narrow escape he’s had.

“He’s back to raking around the bin, leaving crumbs on the sofa and trying to annoy our horse, who is called Tigger.

“The one bit of advice I’d give to any other owner with a diabetic dog is always make sure their blood sugars are higher rather than on the low side.

“We check his sugars before he goes for his walks and often — to Charlie’s delight — he’ll get either a gravy bone or half a teaspoon of honey.

“I’d also strongly recommend all pet owners check their insurance — as, sadly, ours didn’t cover diabetes in dogs over the age of 10.”

  1. Back to normal

    Charlie is back home and acting like nothing ever happened, much to the delight of his loving family.

    Image of Charlie the Labradoodle with his owner for Vets Now article on dog low blood sugar
  2. Back to normal

    Charlie is back home and acting like nothing ever happened, much to the delight of his loving family.

    Image of Charlie the Labradoodle with his owner for Vets Now article on dog low blood sugar

Senior vet Stephanie Timmons, one of the Vets Now team who treated Charlie, said: “We’re all so pleased to hear he’s doing well. He was such a character and very affectionate.

“He’d been very poorly indeed but once we managed to stabilise him and bring his blood sugar levels up to a reasonable level his tail started wagging and he became everyone in the clinic’s best friend.

“I’d echo Mrs Evan’s advice on blood sugar levels. Hypoglycaemia is a common complication of diabetes and anyone spotting the symptoms, such as disturbance of vision, disorientation or tremors, should see a vet immediately.”

The Vets Now pet emergency clinic in Farnham has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. All of Vets Now’s out-of-hours clinics and 24/7 hospitals have a vet and a veterinary nurse on-site at all times.