For The Love Of Chihuahuas
GENERAL INFORMATION AND CARE SHEET
In the following paragraphs are just the basics of how to care for a new puppy and some information that may save your puppies life in an emergency situation. I will also try to educate you to be observant so
you may meet the needs of even the tiniest of my little puppies.
TAKING YOUR PUPPY HOME
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they purchase a new puppy is they immediately have to take it
visiting to show it off. NOT A GOOD IDEA !! Do Not Take your dog to a PET STORE. Take your puppy straight home
and try your very best to keep it there until it has adjusted to it's new surroundings and it's new parents. Don't do
anything that stresses the puppy out like going out shopping for new puppy clothes. You will have plenty of time
later. You can place a small stuffed toy with your puppy for a little company. Do not allow your puppy to have run of
the house. Your puppy should be placed in a small area /crate/playpen etc. He will not be able to find his food and
water if he goes out exploring a big room or house. Please remember these are very small puppies and even a small
room to us is a huge place for them. If you put your puppy alone in a room to "cry" himself to sleep. They may feel to
be in great harm. Make sure your puppy is comfortable and feels safe.
Going to the Vet
When going to the vet, please keep your puppy in a crate or in your lap when visiting the vets office. Do not let it
romp on the floor or furniture and most certainly do not allow it to socialize with other animals that also may be in the
office at the same time. Do not let others handle or pet your puppy. Their hands may carry germs that will cause your
puppy to become sick. Where do all people take sick dogs? To the vet! Where is the best place to pick up germs or
contract disease? Naturally, it's where everyone takes sick dogs. TO THE VET!!
Your puppy will already have its first series of puppy shots when you receive it. Make sure that you complete the
proper series of puppy shots as this could save your puppies life. If the vet you choose says your puppy will have to
be started over on its shots already given run out the door! It is vital that you do not overload your little Chihuahuas
immune system. This can cause just as many problems as not receiving any puppy shots. Make sure you take your
new puppy to someone you feel comfortable with. Make sure that you do not do more than one treatment in a visit. If
you puppy needs a worm treatment ask to take it home and give a couple days after the vaccination was given. Also
when your puppy is old enough for its rabies shot make sure that is the only shot it is receiving that day. The puppy
series that your vet will give will protect it from catching several different viruses. Make sure that vaccination for your
Chihuahua does not contain protection against leptospirosis. This vaccination has been known to have adverse
reactions when given to Chihuahuas. Discuss this with your vet to see if leptospirosis is something your Chihuahua
has to be concerned with catching in your area. Always remember to tell them when taking your Chihuahua in for its
shots that you do not want it to include "lepto".It could be fatal to your Chihuahua.
DIET AND FEEDING
You should keep the puppy on
the same food that was provided for you so that you don't stress the puppy any more that necessary. If you decide
that you do not want to continue the puppy on the same food you must slowly introduce the new food. Mix a little of
the new food in with the food the puppy is already eating. You can add a little more of the new food and a little less of
the old food each day. This should be done over a 10 day period until the puppy is completely on the new food only.
Don't change the puppy's diet or eating routine too abruptly. The smaller a puppy the more times a day it has to be
fed. I leave dry food out for my puppies at all times (until they can go several hours with out eating). You have to
remember that because of their small stomachs they have to eat more often to sustain themselves. Never confine the
puppy for any length of time with no food or water. This means during the night also. Puppies have to eat and drink
during the night time hours just to sustain themselves. Make sure to confine them in an area that has enough room
for a bed, food, water and some paper down so they can relieve themselves. Until they are older they will not be able
to go very long without eating, drinking and going to the potty. I have provided access to dry food at all times for this
puppy, so that is what it is use to. It has been weaned from mom for several weeks and is eating dry food with no
problems. It is very important to make sure the puppy is eating once you get it home. Do not be concerned with your
puppy eating the same kind of food everyday. You should decide on a good puppy food and keep it on it. When you
offer different kinds of food all the time ?trying to find one he likes? you are actually creating a picky eater. The food I
sent home with your new puppy is a good puppy food. It is a great food and all of my Chihuahuas love it. You can
change to adult small bites as your puppy becomes an adult.
A young puppy cannot be expected to "hold it" until it is taken outside. You should have paper or wee pad down on
the floor close the where your puppy is at all times. If it is introduced to the option of not having paper down it will
forget about the paper thing and just go when needed. You can do the same thing with "puppy litter" it is a great
alternative to newspaper or puppy pads.
Make sure the area where you keep your puppy has a bed, food and water. Also a place to relieve itself is away from
the bed, food and water. They do not like to potty where they eat, drink and sleep. Once your new puppy is familiar
with its new surroundings and getting use to it?s new routine you can start introducing itself outside. Chihuahuas are
really smart and catch on pretty fast as to what you expect of them.
Occasional bouts of sneezing, snorting, honking and wheezing are not unusual in Chihuahuas, and is sometimes
called a reverse sneeze. This is usually caused by a elongated soft palate that is thought to become temporarily
misaligned. It is a common trait in toy breeds. Pulling hard on a leash, drinking too fast or getting overly excited can
lead to an episode of reverse sneezing. Reverse sneezing should not be confused with a different condition call a
collapsed trachea. Although reverse sneezing may be scary, it only lasts a short time and can be ended by
massaging the dogs neck and throat and encouraging the dog to swallow or lick. Another way to slow the reverse
sneeze is to clap your hands to distract the dog, or pinch closed the dog?s nostrils with your fingers, forcing it to
breathe through its mouth and to swallow.
Historically the Chihuahua as developed in Mexico and the United States has displayed a soft spot on the top of its
head. In the Chihuahua this spot, or fontanel, is know as the molera, and is the same that is found in human babies.
In the past this molera was accepted as a mark of purity in the breed and is still mentioned in most Chihuahua breed
standards all over the world. American Kennel Club (AKC) lists it as an acceptable breed standard.
It is important to note that while many Chihuahua puppies are born without the molera, there are probably just as
many born with one and its presence is nothing to become alarmed over. The molera in a Chihuahua will occur on
the top of the head and may vary in shape and size when present. Unfortunately many people (some veterinarians -
not familiar with the Chihuahua breed standards) have tried to link the presence of a molera with the condition known
as hydrocephalus. The truth is that a domed head with a molera present does not predispose the Chihuahua to this
It is not uncommon that your puppy will have a systemic reaction to its vaccinations. This can include a low-grade
fever or muscle aches and pain. They may be really sleepy for the next 24 to 48 hours after their vaccinations. A
more severe adverse reaction would be characterized by hives, swelling of the face or even vomiting. This reaction
can be prevented by administering an antihistamine at the time of the vaccination. Please check with your vet about
this option. In some rare cases dogs will have a more severe reaction leading to death. Leptospirosis, the component
most likely to produce such severe reactions should always be left out of your Chihuahuas vaccinations. Chihuahuas
do not respond well to this component so unless the area you live in has a leptospirosis concern please ask you vet
not to include it in its vaccine. If your dog has had a vaccine reaction in the past, don?t skip future vaccinations but
do warn your veterinarian so he can take the proper precautions when vaccinating your pet. If your dog does have
an adverse reaction to its vaccinations always contact your veterinarian immediately.
Coccidia: (Coccidiosis) A Cause of Diarrhea
Coccidia are small protozoans (one-celled organisms) that live in the intestinal tracts. They cause disease most
commonly in puppies less than six months of age, in adult animals whose immune system is suppressed, or in
animals who are stressed in other ways (e.g.; change in ownership, other disease present).
In dogs and cats, most coccidia are of the genus called Isospora. Isospora canis and I. ohioensis are the species
most often encountered in dogs. Regardless of which species is present, we generally refer to the disease as
coccidiosis. As a puppy ages, he tends to develop a natural immunity to the effects of coccidia. As an adult, he may
carry coccidia in his intestines, and shed the cyst in the feces, but experience no ill effects.
How are coccidia transmitted?
A puppy is not born with the coccidia organisms in his intestine. However, once born, the puppy is frequently
exposed to his mother's feces, and if the mother is shedding the infective cysts in her feces, then the young animals
will likely ingest them and coccidia will develop within the young animal's intestines. Since young puppies, usually
those less than six months of age, have no immunity to coccidia, the organisms reproduce in great numbers and
parasitize the young animal's intestines. Oftentimes, this has severe effects.
From exposure to the coccidia in feces to the onset of the illness is about 13 days. Most puppies who are ill from
coccidia are, therefore, two weeks of age and older. Although most infections are the result of spread from the
mother, this is not always the case. Any infected puppy or kitten is contagious to other puppies or kittens. In breeding
facilities, shelters, animal hospitals, etc., it is wise to isolate those infected from those that are not.
What are the symptoms of coccidiosis?
The primary sign of an animal suffering with coccidiosis is diarrhea. The diarrhea may be mild to severe depending
on the level of infection. Blood and mucous may be present, especially in advanced cases. Severely affected animals
may also vomit, lose their appetite, become dehydrated, and in some instances, die from the disease.
Most infected puppies encountered by the authors are in the four to twelve week age group. The possibility of
coccidiosis should always be considered when a loose stool or diarrhea is encountered in this age group. A
microscopic fecal exam by a veterinarian will detect the cysts confirming a diagnosis.
It should be mentioned that stress plays a role in the development of coccidiosis. It is not uncommon for a seemingly
healthy puppy to arrive at his new home and develop diarrhea several days later leading to a diagnosis of coccidia. If
the puppy has been at the new home for less than thirteen days, then he had coccidia before he arrived. Remember,
the incubation period (from exposure to illness) is about thirteen days. If the puppy has been with his new owner
several weeks, then the exposure to coccidia most likely occurred after the animal arrived at the new home.
What are the risks?
Although many cases are mild, it is not uncommon to see severe, bloody diarrhea result in dehydration and even
death. This is most common in animals who are ill or infected with other parasites, bacteria, or viruses. Coccidiosis is
very contagious, especially among young puppies. Entire kennels may become contaminated, with puppies of many
age groups simultaneously affected.
What is the treatment of coccidiosis?
Fortunately, coccidiosis is treatable. Drugs such as sulfadimethoxine (Albon) and trimethoprim-sulfadiazine
(Tribrissen) have been effective in the treatment and prevention of coccidia. Because these drugs do not kill the
organisms, but rather inhibit their reproduction capabilities, elimination of coccidia from the intestine is not rapid. By
stopping the ability of the protozoa to reproduce, time is allowed for the puppy's own immunity to develop and
remove the organisms. Drug treatments of one to three weeks are usually required.The coccidia species of dogs and
cats do not infect humans.
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