Reverse Sneezing:

A fit of sneezing, snorting, honking and wheezing are not
necessarily a collapsed trachea.  Pulling on a leash (which
a harness should always be used).  Drinking to fast or
excitement can cause reversed sneezing.  This is usually
caused by a elongated soft palate that is thought to become
temporarily misaligned.  It is a common trait in toy breeds.
Although this may appear to be scary, it only last a few short
seconds and can be ended by massaging the dog's neck and
throat and encouraging the dog to swallow.  Other ways to
slow the reverse sneeze is to clap your hands, distract the
dog or close off the dog's nostrils with your fingers, simply
forcing them to breathe through their mouths and to swallow.


Subluxation of the patella:

In dog lingo, subluxation of the patella is called slipped stifles or loose kneecaps.  
When it occurs, the kneecap (we're talking about the rear legs) slips out of its groove
- sometimes often and sometimes rarely - depending on the severity of the problem.  
If your dog is one of the unlucky few whose kneecaps slip often, surgery may be the
solution.  A dog with a mild case can live a normal life, kind of like a person with a
trick knee.  Subluxation of the patella is a relatively common problem in small breeds
and some large ones as well.


Hypoglycemia:

Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar and is a common problem in your toy breeds.  
Although most of them grow out of it before they are old enough to leave the breeder,
but for a few, it's a danger throughout their lives.  Symptoms of low blood sugar are a
staggering gait, glassy eyes, and sometimes either limpness or rigidity.  If the dog
doesn't receive immediate help, he can suffer seizures, unconsciousness, and finally,
death.  Treatment involves putting some sugar in your dog's mouth, (We recommend
Karo syrup and 0.25cc in the mouth.) Wait about 15 to 20 minutes to see if your
puppy responds accordingly if not, call your veterinarian, and head for the clinic.  
Once you know your dog has a tendency toward hypoglycemia, you can prevent
further attacks by changing his feeding schedule to small amounts several times a
day and avoiding sugary treats (check the ingredients before buying dog treats).  To
much sugar in your pups food can put them on a roller coaster ride of major sugar
highs and lows rather than keeping his blood sugar nice and level.  Nutrical is
available at your local pet store.  If you find your Chihuahua in a stiff position, do not
give up hope, GET THEM SUGAR QUICKLY! give them the 15-20 minutes and if you
do not see any improvement, go to the vet.  If you see improvement, which is what I
expect, then your next step is to get them to eat.  Human baby jar chickenis what I
use and I always have boiled chicken or a high quality lunch meat available in the
freezer at all times, once they are mobile again but still look a bit tired, you may want
to offer them their regular meal. You should also take in a fresh fecal sample for the
vet to send out to the lab for analysis, your puppy may have picked up a parasite
from somewhere or just from stress. It is very important to make sure your puppy
eats! Chihuahuas are some times picky so don't just assume they will eat when they
are hungery, because they won't! make sure they are eating an adequate amount as
well.

We leave the puppies' kibble out and the bowl filled at all times. We know they will
nibble through out the day.  We also offer a high quality canned food at night to our
puppies just so they have a full tummy prior to going to bed.


Heart murmur:

Heart murmurs are relatively uncommon in chihuahuas and even those that have one
usually have the functional type.  As in people, that means they can be as active and
athletic as they want and live long, normal lives.


Molera:

The Chihuahua's molera (a.k.a. fontanel) is considered a breed characteristic and
NOT a defect.  Most chihuahuas (80 to 90 percent) have a molera - a soft spot on the
top of their head similar to a human baby's soft spot.  They generally close by 2 years
of age.  Although it usually shrinks as the dog matures and ends up between
nickel-and dime-sized, it will not be a problem as long as you're gentle when petting
or handling his head.  In rare cases, the molera remains quite large and can be a sign
of a serious problem called hydrocephalus.  
Visit here for more info. on the Molera






Hydrocephalus:

A dog with hydrocephalus (a.k.a. water on the brain) may have an unusually large
head for his size caused by swelling.  Other signs of this fatal condition are frequent
falling, seizures, a lot of white showing in the eyes,  east-west eyes (the opposite of
crossed eyes), an unsteady gait.  A dog with hydrocephalus can be in pain and won't
live long, so euthanasia is the humane solution.  (euthanasia is the medical term for a
humane, vet-assisted death.) There are medications that can be used to help limit the
amount of water build up in the brain.


Teacup Myth:

There is no such thing as a teacup, pocket pet, micro, mini, pipsqueak, munchkin,
dollface or any other term used by some uneducated breeders to describe the size of
a Chihuahua.  Please visit the
Chihuahua Club website for information pertaining to
the term "Teacup". If a breeder is using the term teacup or any other term to
distinguish or charge more, just shows how uneducated they are in the breed.  Also,
visit this link
HERE to learn about the acceptable standards of the Chihuahua.


Parvo Virus:

The parvo virus is a life threatening disease that will contaminate your home for many
years which will prevent you from getting another puppy.  It is very important to not
take your new puppy anywhere till he/she has had all 3 innoculations (vaccines) for
Parvo as well as distemper.  Make sure your breeder is giving at least the first
vaccine needed which consist of Parvo, Distemper, Parainfluenza, and Adenovirus
before the puppy leaves their care.  Visit
HERE for information on Parvo.  Please  
note, the only way to kill the virus is with bleach! so unless you want to bleach your
whole entire house including your yard, I would make sure your puppy is properly
vaccinated with all 3 series of vaccines.


Foods to avoid feeding your pets:

Alcoholic beverages  - Can cause intoxication,
coma, and death.

Avocado - The leaves, seeds, fruit, and bark
contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.  

Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources - Can cause obstruction or laceration
of the digestive system.

Cat food - Generally too high in protein and fats.

Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine - Contain caffeine, theobromine, or
theophylline, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea and be toxic to the heart and
nervous systems.

Citrus oil extracts - Can cause vomiting.

Fat trimmings - Can cause pancreatitis.

Fish - (raw, canned or cooked) If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a
thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe
cases, death.  

Grapes, raisins and currants - Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the
kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.

Hops - Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated
temperature, seizures, and death.

Human vitamin supplements containing iron - Can damage the lining of the digestive
system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.

Macadamia nuts - Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and
nervous systems and muscle.

Marijuana - Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the
heart rate.

Milk and other dairy products - Some adult dogs and cats may develop diarrhea if
given large amounts of dairy products.

Moldy or spoiled food, garbage - Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and
diarrhea and can also affect other organs.

Mushrooms - Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body,
cause shock, and result in death.

Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder) - Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which
can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs.
Garlic is less toxic than onions.

Persimmons Seeds - Can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.

Pits from peaches and plums - Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.

Raw eggs - Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of
biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also
contain Salmonella.

Raw meat - May contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause
vomiting and diarrhea.  

Rhubarb leaves - Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and
urinary systems.  

Salt - If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.

String - Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."

Sugary foods - Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.

Table scraps (in large amounts) - Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They
should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones
should not be fed.

Tobacco - Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can
result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.

Yeast dough - Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain
and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Xylitol (artificial sweetener) - Can cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which
can result in vomiting, weakness and collapse. In high doses can cause liver failure.

courtesy of:
Dr. Foster & Smith

Bathing:

Bathing your dog should not be do to much.  Over bathing will remove the important
oils on your dogs skin.  Over bathing will lead to dry skin and itching.  Recommended
bathing is 6 to 8 weeks apart.  When you do bath, make sure you rinse completely,
making sure to remove all the soap.  Dried soap will lead to itching and flaking. If you
notice that after bathing your dog scratches, it could be due to allergic reactions to
the type of soap you used.  Using a mild oatmeal based soaps.  There are so many
shampoos on the market these days.  Puppies should have a mild tearless soap.  I
use puppy tearless soap on all my dogs all the time. Most important thing to
remember is rinse, rinse, rinse.  Make sure to remove ALL the soap.

Ear Cleaning:  

This tends to scare many of us, but it is very important to remove debri from the ears
regularly.  Never poor any ear cleaning solution into your dogs ears.  If your dog has
constant ear problems, you should leaving the cleaning up to the vet.  There are
many ear cleaners on the market but what they tell you to do can harm your dog.  
Never squirt the cleaner into the ear and rub the ear vigorously.  If you haven't
verified that the timpanic membrane is intact, you can cause major harm to your pet.  
The only way to view the timpanic membrane (ear drum) is to use an otoscope and
even then it is pretty tricky to view it.  As you can see from the diagram below, the ear
canal is shaped like the letter "L" so you basically need to incert the otoscope then
pull down on the ear flap to get a straighter view of the ear canal and timpanic
membrane.









So for cleaning the inside the ear flap, you can take the ear cleaner and soak cotton
balls, making sure to squeeze out the excess, wipe around the inside.

Anal Glands How To Empty:

I know this sounds gross but some dogs cannot express their anal glands
themselves.  Vets charge quite a bit to do this deed for you.  It is very simple and
once you know how, you can help your pet out without incuring a vet bill.  Dog have
glands that are located at about 4 and 8 oclock on each side of the anus as
diagrammed. These glands can get impacted if
They are not regularly emptied.  As stated, many
dogs can express them themselves, others need
assistance. Here is a great video showing how
to assist your pet emptying the anal glands.
Click here.  I prefer to insert the tip of my pointer
finger into the rectum and apply pressure on both
sides of the glad I am cleaning. Now, I will warn
you, there is no smell like the smell of anal gland
juice.  YUCK!  But doing so whether you are
planning on doing it yourself or the vet, will
prevent anal gland absesses and possible a very expensive surgery.  SO, how do
you know your dog's anal glands need expressing? they drag their bumb on the
ground.  You are thinking, "oh great, she has worms" so you take her in to the vet,
35.00 min. vet visit, fecal test done, 30.00 min. done, which comes back negative so
then the vet suggest emptying the anal glands, another 20.00 min. we are up to 85.00
just for the first visit.  Typically you will be paying the vet visit and anal gland
expression.  This is usually done every couple of months or so depending on how
often you notice your pets discomfort.

Vaccination/Worming - Schedule:

All breeders have their own vaccination schedule so all I can share here is what I do
and what we do at the vet's office.
@ 2,4,6, & 8 weeks of age we worm with nemex II.

8 weeks - we issue our first set of vaccines which consist of what is called a 5 n 1
which includes: Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type-2, Parainfluenza
Your new puppy should not receive anything less then this vaccine before leaving the
breeders house.  We do not give Corona vaccine nor Lepto vaccine.  Corona is
basically a virus that effects puppies under the age of 8 weeks.  It mimmics parvo with
the same symptoms but not nearly as bad. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection
contracted from waterways where wild animals deficate in.  Some vets feel the
chihuahua should receive both the Corona vaccine as well as the Lepto vaccine. We
DO NOT recommend either of these vaccines. Here are the vaccine labels used at all
vets office so you know what is in them:
DHPP - reg. 5 n 1 vaccine
DHPP-C reg. 5 n 1 vaccine with Corona = 6 n 1
DHLPP - reg. 5 n 1 vaccine with Lepto = 6 n 1
DHLPP-C reg. 5 n 1 vaccinw with both Lepto and Corona = 7 n 1

Some breeders vaccinate with Neopar, which is a parvo vaccine that is suppose to
bypass the mother's antibodies and is considered a very strong vaccine.  It is
generally used if breeders have had parvo before.  This is a good vaccine but all the
other vaccines need to be given as well and shouldn't be the only vaccine given.  
Also, there are stickers that are on the bottles of the vaccines.  If your breeder does
not give you a vaccination schedule with these stickers attached, it is best to assume
no vaccine was given.  

9 weeks of age - we run them through a 3 to 4 day cycle of Panacur wormer as well
as Albon if we feel the puppy is overly stressed to weaning or vaccines.

12 weeks of age - Second 5 n 1 vaccine is given.

How many vaccines does a dog need? well, it is believed they really only need 2
vaccines but since the first vaccine is given at 8 weeks of age more then likely won't
take due to the mother's antibodies present in the puppy.  The only way to tell how
many antibodies are present you would need to run a titer test on the puppies which
is very expensive and since you cannot tell how many antibodies the momma has on
board when she is bred and whelps, it is best to give the first vaccine between 8 to
10 weeks of age and then follow up every 3 to 4 weeks for a complete set of 3 5 n 1
vaccines.  Then usually annually after that.  They do now have a 3 year 5 n 1
vaccine available.

16 weeks of age - Third and final 5 n 1 vaccine

20 weeks of age - 1 year rabies vaccine then every 3 years after that.

Senior Care: Click Here

Emergencies: Click Here

Trimming Toe Nails:

This seems to be the most dreeded task of all.  Why Chihuahuas can grow their nails
out overnight it seems, but they do.  It can be very intimidating to trim them
escpecially if they are black!  This is a task that should be started when they are
young and should end every session with a treat.  I use boiled chicken breast that I
have cubed and keep frozen.  

When Trimming nails, you just need to cut the tip off.  If you do this regularly, they will
not become overgrown.  Overgrown nails can curl and puncher the pad of the dog.
It is best to have quickstop on hand incase you cut the "quick" or vein of the nail.  I
use human toe nail clippers or even baby nail clippers on the puppies.  There are so
many clippers on the market but I would suggest cat nail trimmers for your
Chihuahua.  Here is a diagram on where to trim:
                                                                           Useful items to have:
Where to trim:                                                  












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