Posts Tagged ‘chihuahua’

Problems Common To Chihuahuas

While Chihuahuas tend to be healthy there are several Chihuahua specific health issues that you should know about before committing to one.  Some of the common genetic problems include Patellar Luxuation, eye problems, hypoglycaemia, heart disease and tooth and gum ailments.  Chihuahua health is a concern for all Chihuahua owners.

Luxation of the patella, is medical speak for dislocation of the kneecap.  It is a common hereditary health problem with Chihuahua that is also shared with other small breeds. Patellar luxation can occur in varying degrees – it can be minimal or debilitating. Young dogs are often able to compensate for this deformity, and you may not notice your dog has knee cap problems.  However,  the condition gets worse over time and will become obvious as the dog ages.

Checking your Chihuahua for Luxation of the Patella – The dislocation usually occurs on the inner side of the patella (knee cap). The ligaments stretch over time until the patella is not where it is supposed to be.  It then can “pop” in and out of place very easily.   Treating your puppy as soon as the problem occurs can save your older Chihuahua from being crippled.  Because Patellar luxation is an inherited trait dogs with the condition should not be bread.

Another common Chihuahua health is the “Reverse Sneeze.” If your Chihuahua sneezes, snorts, honks and wheezes it may well be afflicted by this deformity.  The condition is caused by an elongated soft palate that becomes temporarily misaligned. This deformity is especially common in toy breeds.  A reverse sneeze can occur in instances such as pulling hard on a leash, drinking too fast or getting overly excited.

Chihuahuas can also be prone to Hypoglycaemia.  Hypoglycaemia is where the Chihuahua’s blood sugar level drops to an extremely low level causing “sugar shock.” When levels of glucose drop quickly, the dog’s body and brain are deprived of essential nutrients. The symptoms of Hypoglycaemia are weakness, seizures, coma, and in severe cases, death.

Chihuahuas are prone to Hypoglycaemia because they are so small. Puppies are especially prone to Hypoglycaemia. Triggers for attacks include stress, illness, lack of food, or by using up stored energy without it being replenished.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is another ailment Chihuahua are prone to.  This is a collective term comprising a group of hereditary degenerative lesions of the retina. PRA is commonly characterized by night blindness. When both eyes are affected dogs eventually become totally blind.  Central PRA (also called RPE dystrophy) is characterized by accumulations of pigment in the layer of pigmented lining of the retina which eventually results in total blindness.

Chihuahua are also genetically predisposed to Cystinuria (crystals formed out of amino acid called cystine).  Traces can be found in the urine and eventually a build up will lead to stone formations in kidneys and bladder. The stones can result in irritation and infection.

Signs your Chihuahua has Cystinuria include blood in the urine, difficulty and pain in urinating, and small frequent amounts of urine. If a stone completely obstructs the urethra it prevents the passing of urine.  This is more common in male dogs than female, and may cause kidney failure, vomiting, depression, or loss of appetite.

If you are looking to purchase a Chihuahua you can have a vet check for signs of many of these health problems which will save you a lot of money and heart ache down the road.

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10 Facts About Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas have become a popular fashion statement in our culture.  Celebrities carry them around in their purses and movies are made about them.

Before you rush out and buy a Chihuahua you should know these ten facts.

1.    The first fact to know about Chihuahuas is that Chihuahuas need lots of attention.  You should be prepared to play games, interact, and talk to your dog.  Chihuahuas are a very social breed of dog and they bond strongly with their owners.  They are not dogs that enjoy being alone at home all day.

2.   Chihuahuas will compete with your children for attention.  These dogs have a low tolerance for noise, even though they are able to make a din of their own.  You should also know that Chihuahuas can be biters.  While they do not inflict serious damage most of the time, it is not a breed that makes sense if you have young children.

3.    Chihuahuas don’t like changing homes.  They are happy living their lives in one place.  So, if you are a highly mobile family, you should consider a different breed.  If you do move homes, you should be prepared for it to take some time for your dog to settle in it’s new location.

4.    Chihuahuas don’t like other pets in the home. Goldfish might be the one exception. Any other animals competing for your attention and your Chihuahua will not be happy.  Chihuahuas often stand up to dogs twice their size.  You should be prepared for a lot of fights if you have other pets in the home.

5.    Contrary to the images that celebrities project with their “pocket pets,” Chihuahuas don’t like to be carried around. They enjoy running, walking, and playing, not being a fashion accessory.

6.    Chihuahuas do not travel well.  If you are going across country in either a car or aeroplane, expect problems from your pooch as they do not like being confined to a carrier.

7.    Chihuahuas like their personal space.  The dog is very territorial and can dominate its space.  You should expect the breed to be quite aggressive if a family member intrudes on what the dog has defined as his or her space.

8.    Chihuahuas can jump.  You will be surprised at just how much trouble a Chihuahua can get into in your kitchen!  They can jump more than two feet from a standing position.  Keep this in mind when you are stocking shelves.

9.    Chihuahuas get cold very easily. One thing every owner should know about Chihuahuas is that their short hair and bony frame means that they don’t retain heat well.  If you live in a cold climate, buy sweaters and coats to keep them warm.  Also, give them a warm bed with blankets if needed.  If they’re cold, they can throw a tantrum.

10.    The Chihuahua is highly strung. To keep him or her in line, it is important to keep their most common personality traits in mind when making training decisions.  Before buying a Chihuahua, know as much about the dog’s background as possible.

Remember these 10 things about Chihuahuas before you make the decision to buy one.
Rocky and Gretchen

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The Baby-boomers are leading the charge in this new phenominum, with an estimated 1 million dogs in the United States have been named the primary beneficiary in their owner’s will. According the Nielsen group’s research U.S. consumers now spend more for dog food than baby food.

The research shows up other surprising statistics as well. Where as about thirty nine percent of pet owners say they have more photos of their pet than of their spouse or significant other. Only 21 percent say they have more photos of their spouse or significant other than of their pet.

Dogs first choice.

So children are on the out (and perhaps spouses soon to follow), dogs are queuing up to take their place. It is not only the dogs who are reaping the rewards of this new trend, their owners are cashing in on health benefits. Pet owners, on average, live longer and experience less stress and heart attacks.

Dogs can also have remarkable health alert abilities.Scientists have discovered that dogs can sense the presence of autism in children. There are also ‘Seizure Alert’ dogs, which can warn their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure.

Although the popularity of dogs in general is on the increase, it seems that the small dogs are getting more than their fair share of the cake. With there being a drive toward living “green” which involves downsizing houses and cars, now pets have also come under the shrinking trend. This may be because of the lower maintenance costs involved in smaller dogs, or it may be because they are this years fashion, or it could even be just a practical issue of what fits in a modern apartment, but the trend is definitely toward miniature pets.

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog recognized by the American Kennel Club. Standing six to nine inches at the top of the shoulders and weighing two to six pounds the Chihuahua may not have an imposing physical presence, but in terms of longevity it takes out the record for the longest average span amongst dogs. Named for the region of Mexico where they were first discovered in the mid-19th century, the Chihuahua can live anywhere between 11-18 years [i-pets.com].

A growing problem in today’s search for designer dogs is the trend toward Teacup, Miniature, and Imperial breeds. These trendy sounding names and cute little dogs hide a plague of serious problems. The following warning is an excerpt from pet-facts.info.

The Truth About Teacup Dogs

In order to understand how many continue to breed smaller and smaller dogs, one must understand that it means playing around with genetics. In most cases, teacup dogs are not just small examples of the breed but are, instead, either dwarfed animals that are the results of recessive genes, or they have been crossed back and forth with their relatives, in a process known as inbreeding. While inbreeding can often result in very tiny “typey” dogs, it is a very dangerous practice because, not only can it strengthen the very best of the line and achieve desired results (such as the tiny size), but it also strengthens the very worst of the lines. Line-bred or inbred dogs tend to have an increased risk of heart, liver, and kidney defects, as well as being very susceptible to a host of genetic diseases and disorders that can range from blindness to outright deformities.

There are similar problems with dogs that carry the dwarfism gene. Very popular in the Chihuahua breed and often disguised as the teacup or apple-headed Chihuahua, dwarfs are very tiny dogs, often with larger heads and very short and stocky legs. While dwarfism does occur naturally in the wild, in various animals, these offspring usually don’t survive into adulthood and are often plagued by many serious genetic diseases and defects. While human intervention can help these tiny dogs avoid predators that they might face outside of the home, there is very little that can be done to protect them from the genetic defects that cause these puppies to suffer a host of health problems and live much shorter lives.

Be warned that buying into this trend may cost you thousands in vet bills and a lot of heart ache as your beloved puppy develops crippling health problems and succumbs to premature death. You may also be required to spend months acting as nurse maid to your sick pet. Unfortunately there are people out there who knowingly breed animals that will experience poor quality of life, just so they can sell them at inflated prices to unsuspecting fashion pet seekers.

Many of these problems can be avoided by buying only from reputable breeders, or by choosing more mainstream breeds. Remember, with pets living longer your commitment to the animal is greater. It makes sense to spend some extra time researching exactly what pet suits your lifestyle and living arrangements (thinking also how you will be living 10 or more years from now).

Children be warned – your days are numbered! Choosing Miniature Dog Breeds

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