Chihuahuas are prone to medical complications, usually resulting from stress-related issues. We encourage people interested in Chihuahuas to study the information, provided below, to help you understand the issues, learn to recognize the signs, and respond accordingly.

This will keep your Chihuahua happy and reduce stress on your dog -- and yourself!

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HYPOGLYCEMIA

Hypoglycemia is defined as a blood glucose or blood sugar concentration of less than 70 milligrams per deciliter of blood. Symptoms depend on how quickly the blood glucose concentration decreases but rarely occur until it falls below 50 mg.

Symptoms reflect the rate of decrease of the blood glucose concentration, the underlying cause of Hypoglycemia, and the chronicity of the problem.

One common form of hypoglycemia is called juvenile hypoglycemia because it occurs in puppies less than ten months of age. This condition is common in all toy breeds. Frequently, this occurs when the dog suffers stress: During weaning, getting too cold or hot, not eating, relocating to a new home, or excess activity .

If left unattended, this situation can become life threatening.

Symptoms to look for are:

  • Refusal to eat
  • Pale gums
  • Lethargy

If not treated immediately, the puppy can get worse, even to the extreme of death.

When your puppy arrives home, it is extremely important to make sure he is eating. I suggest for the smaller puppies that you don't leave them alone for more then a few hours at a time until you are sure that they are acclimated to you and eating properly.

Each puppy will need you to have a tube of NUTRICAL on hand. This is a high-calorie substance that is very important in preventing your toy breed from developing hypoglycemia. Dogs seem to love the taste and therefore are very interested in taking Nutrical. The dogs will most times lick the Nutrical as it comes out of the tube, if they don’t you can carefully open their mouth and place it on the roof of their mouth, a usual dose is about a half inch of the product as it comes out of the tube. During the first few days, it should be given several times a day and most importantly, should be given just before going to bed at night. Also, just before you go to bed at night, make sure your puppy has a full belly. Bedtime until the morning feeding is a long time for a small puppy, consequently, its a prime time for a hypoglycemia episode.

Of course, the best remedy is prevention.

Toy Breeds have to eat. Small meals, several times a day, will provide them the energy and protein they need to be healthy. We put honey in the drinking water, increasing their caloric intake and providing sugars which reduce the likelihood of a hypoglycemic episode.

Toy Breeds are too small to eat the required amount of dog food for their tiny bodies to store the necessary energy reserves, so it must be given in other ways .We give frosted cheerios as a treat to help raise their sugar level.

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO YOUR PUPPY TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE EATING. Lots of little meals are the best. Don't over-do play time... Most pups out will out-grow this condition by 6 months in age.

Other Health Information

OPEN FONTAL (MOLERA): Also known as a "soft spot" This is often seen in this breed and not life threatening to the puppy. This soft spot will occur on the top of the head and will vary in shape and size.

HYDROCEPHALUS: Also known as "Water on the brain" OR "Hydro" It is an excess of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. It is not normal in any type of breed nor is there a cure for it. When fluid builds up on the brain it pushes the brain against the skull. Puppies can be born with this or it can occur later in life usually with a head injury. Chihuahuas that are born with this normally will not live, maybe a few months, they do not grow normally, staying extremely tiny. Signs of a hydro puppy are wide set protruding eyes (you will see a lot of white in the eyeballs at the corners), walking in circles, blindness, siezures, slow or no growth. Some mild cases of hydrocephalus can be treated by a licensed vet with steriods to reduce the pressure. You should see a veterinarian that knows about the chihuahua breed as some vets will misdiagnose a molera as "Hydro"

COLLAPSING TRACHEA: Can be a problem in toy breeds, symptons include coughing, exhaustion, and shortness of breath. This usually appears in older dogs, but occassionally a puppy will be born with it. Treatment can be done with medication. REMEMBER- Secondhand smoke hurts our pets also, This can make a collapsing trachea even worse in a toy breed.

PARVOVIRUS: Survives in the environment for 5 months or more. It will cling to shoes, floors, beds, or other surfaces. You don't want to expose your puppy to any household where a Parvo virus has happened to a dog. Parvo can be killed by using bleach on everything. Parvo incubates for 7 to 14 days. Signs of Parvo are lethargy, not eating, vomiting, hight fever, and bloody diarrhea. It causes sever diarrhea and dehydration especially in puppies. This is why we suggest not taking your puppy to any public places such as parks until they are completely finished with their full set of shots. Parvo is best prevented by vaccinations.

CANINE DISTEMPER: Often is fatal, it affects the animals nervous system, skin, eyes, intestinal and respiratory tract.

CANINE ADENOVIRUS 1 & 2: Causes infectious hepatitis and respiratory infection.

RABIES: Spread through saliva and is fatal. This vaccine should be given by a licensed veterinarian.

BORDETELLA: Is a cause of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as "Kennel Cough"

PARAINFLUENZA: Another cause of "Kennel Cough"

GIARDIA: Tiny one celled parasitic life forms. Some dogs are carriers but show no signs, but others they are in contact with can get sick. Giardia matures in stages, it is found in contaminated water and feces. Once ingested it goes into the intestines. Symptons include feces that are soft, light colored, and slimy or Mucus looking. Treatment: There are several options. some with 2 or 3 day treatments but some need 7 to 10 days of treatment. Panacur is a safe way of treating Giardia, it is used to worm dogs but has also treated Giardia. It is safe to use on puppies at least six weeks. If you have more than one dog, it is best to treat all of them in the household. Giardia can infect people, so sanitation is important. You should wash hands after handling dogs and clean up after your pet. When traveling prevent your dog from drinking from streams or ponds if possible.

COCCIDIOSIS: A parasite of the intestinal tract. It is spread from one animal to another by contact with infected feces. It is severe in young or weak animals and often causes blood in stools. Most common in puppies under 6 months of age or in an adult who has a week immune system or who are stressed. Diarrhea is the most common sympton. Stress plays a big role in developing Coccidiosis. It is not uncommon for a healthy puppy to arrive at its new home and develop this parasite several days later leading to the diagnosis of coccidia. The period from exposure to illness is about 13 days. Coccidiosis is treatable Albon, Tribrissen and Corid have been effective in the treatment to prevent coccidia. Prevention is important, Coccidia is spread by the feces of carrier animals so all fetal materials should be removed. Cockroaches and flies can carry coccidia from one place to another. Mice can also be a carrier, so pest and rodent control are very important in preventing coccidiosis. Coccidiosis does not infect humans.

REVERSE SNEEZING: Also known as "Pharyngeal gag reflex" During a reverse sneeze, the dog will make rapid and long inspirations, stand still, and extend his head. They make a loud snorting noise, The most common cause of a reverse sneeze is irritaion to the soft palate, which results in spasm. THe spasm narrows the airway and makes it temporarily more difficult for the dog to take in air. This can be caused by excitement, eating or drinking, exercise, physical irritation of the throat such as from pulling on a leash, respiratory tract mites, allergies, irritating chemicals such as perfumes or household cleaners, viral infections, foreign bodies caught in the throat, and post nasal drip. When a dog does the reverse sneeze it may seem alarming, but in most cases it is not a harmful condition, there are no ill effects, and treatment is unnecessay. Usually the dog is completely normal before and after the episode. A reverse sneezing episode can last for several seconds to a minute. Some claim that an episode can be shortened by closing the dogs nostrils for several seconds with your hand or massaging the throat.

STRESS: Chihuahua puppies can become stress easily and this is the main cause of illness and death to newly acquired puppies!!! Taking your puppy to your home from the breeder, holding him/her too much, having to deal with other pets in the home, or being able to play too much in a big open area are a lot of reasons your puppy will become stressed. Your puppy should be in a warm dry area to sleep, Crates, Playpens, and ex pens are great for keeping your new puppy in, it provides a safe place for your puppy and will help limit the stress he or she may feel. It can also help with potty training. Or give them a sense of security as their safe place. Provide a comfy bed in the area as puppies do sleep a lot. They will need food and water available at all times (this will also help with hypoglycemia) Avoid handling your puppy too much, this can add stress and and overtire. A tired puppy wil not eat, he will only want to sleep and missing a meal can be life threatening to your new chihuahua puppy. As the puppy grows older and stronger he/she will be able to play for longer periods of time.

SPAY OR NEUTER EARLY: If you do not want litters you need to spay or neuter your pet Early. This is the only 100 percent way of avoiding unwanted litters. Even though you have a purebred papered dog does not mean it is breeding quality. A spayed female will not bleed. And a neutered male will be more likely to stay home instead of trying to find a female in heat. He is also less likely to mark in your home (lift his leg and pee on everything) Best time to spay or neuter is right around 6 months old. If you are buying a dog/pup from us, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE THAT DOG SPAYED OR NEUTERED. We seldom will sell a dog for breeding purposes unless it is arranged in advance and going to a show home. Show home defined as attending 20 or more shows in a calendar year. (one weekend is 2 shows)

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