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Jo`s Chihuahua Puppies

THE MOLERA

 OR (SOFT SPOT) IN THE CHIHUAHUA

Historically, the Chihuahua developed in Mexico and the United States has displayed a "soft spot" on the top of the head. In the Chihuahua this spot, or fontanel, is known as a MOLERA; Is the same as that found in human babies. In the past, this molera was accepted as a mark of purity in the breed, and it is still mentioned in most Chihuahua breed standards the world over.

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.Some very small and some can be on the large size.

Unfortunately, many lay people and some veterinarians not familiar with the Chihuahua have tried to link the mere presence of a molera with the condition known as hydrocephalus. This has caused many people not familiar to the breed serious concern and undue worry. The truth is that a domed head with a molera present does not predispose the Chihuahua to this condition. Along with the observations of devoted breeders over the years, there is adequate medical evidence to support this statement. 

  • In "Diseases of the Brain" 1989, Green & Braund stated that many clinically normal toy breeds may have open fontanels without associated hydrocephalus.
  • Drs. Walker and Rivers, Veterinarians at the University of Minnesota concluded that there did not appear to be any relationship between the presence or size of a fontanel and the condition of hydrocephalus.
  • Dr. Alexander de Lahunta of Cornell University in New York, one of the top neurologists in this country, stated that it would be wrong to conclude that any opening is abnormal.

While it would be impossible to list all the medical documentation here on this page, these few included here are perfectly clear; the presence of a molera does not mean the Chihuahua has a medical problem

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CANINE LIVER SHUNT
WHAT IS A LIVER SHUNT?  
 Liver shunts are a congenital problem in a certain percentage of canines/dogs.  
WHAT CREATES A SHUNT?
During gestation the placenta delivers blood with food and oxygen from the mother through the umbilical vein. This means that in the fetus,circulation is the reverse of circulation after birth,because the fetus' veins have the oxygenated blood and arteries return non-oxygenated blood to the heart. In order to make this work, there is a shunt from the liver venous circulation to the arterial Circulation. At birth, the pressure within the circulatory system changes as respiration occurs and this shuts the shunt, which eventually disappears.If this reverse in circulation doesn't happen for some reason,
 the liver is deprived of a blood supply and doesn't develop properly after birth.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PUPPY?
Many puppies can live with the small functioning portion of the liver for some time but eventually have problems and usually die if the situation is not corrected.  

HOW IS A LIVER SHUNT DIAGNOSED?
A Bile Acid test is performed by taking a blood sample, giving a meal, then taking another blood sample 2 hours after the meal.
Comparing the pre-meal and post-meal blood results gives us valuable information.
The bile acids test is an accurate measure of liver function.

CAN MY PUPPY BE SAVED?
It is possible in some cases to surgically close the shunt.Some dogs can live a long time (up to about 4-5 years) with this problem before it is detected.

 
We use NEOPAR PARVO Vaccine.
The ONLY Vaccine for PARVO that overrides maternal antibodies.  Do NOT use Lepto, in Toy Breeds.

Kennel Cough: we use  use INTRA TRAC III NASAL, & Galaxy DA2PPV

Give RABIES according to State law.

Vaccination Reaction

 It is true that some animals have a systemic reaction, including a low-grade fever or muscle aches and pain. This reaction is more common in young and toy breed dogs and causes them to eat less and sleep more for 24-48 hours.

Rarely, dogs will have a more severe reaction, characterized by hives, swelling of the face, or even vomiting.
This reaction is easily prevented.
I reccomend giving 1/2 cc liquid Benadryl 1 hr before giving the shots.(antihistamine).
 In some rare cases dogs will have a more severe reaction leading to death.
Leptospirosis, the component most likely to produce such strong reactions, can be left out of some vaccines.
(Therefore I do not reccomend any puppy to have a Lepto shot).
 If your dog has had a vaccine reaction in the past,
 don't skip future vaccinations but do warn the veterinarian so he can take steps to prevent a recurrence.
 
Puppy will need revaccinated at 3-4 week interval`s,
until they have had a set of 4..
Wormings should be done at the same time..
If pups are kept warm and fed and seen by a Vet regularly
 they will live a long life..

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.

Hydrocephalus

The presence of a molera in a Chihuahua DOES NOT make the dog any more or less susceptible to brain injury, seizures or hydrocephalus.

The molera should not usually be any larger than the size of your thumb print, and there should be no swelling, bulging or throbbing. Check carefully on the sides of the head for normal bone there as well; make sure there is no more then one molera, on the top of the head only, as more than a single molera is not normal.

Hydrocephalus is the accumulation of excess cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and is not normal for any breed, nor is it curable. Hydrocephalus is also known as "water on the brain" or "hydro". When fluid accumulates in the brain, it compresses the brain against the skull. A puppy can be born with this disorder, or it can be caused by a brain infection or head injury later in life. Chihuahuas born with "hydro" do not generally live more than a few months, and they do not grow normally, often staying extremely tiny.

Signs of hydro include wide-set or protruding eyeballs (often with a lot of "white" showing at the corners), blindness, abnormal behavior, walking in circles, slowness (mental and physical), seizures, abnormally slow growth and lack of coordination.

Concerns about Chihuahua moleras and/or hydro should be addressed to a licensed veterinarian. Be aware, however, that many veterinarians not familiar with Chihuahuas have WRONGLY told owners that their puppy is unhealthy and/or hydrocephalic just because of the presence of a normal molera. Diagnosis is based on the signs in conjunction with techniques to image the brain. In dogs with a molera, ultrasound can be performed by scanning through the molera to detect the excessive accumulation of fluid within the brain.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for hydrocephalus. Mild cases can be treated with steroids and diuretics to reduce pressure, or with a surgically inserted shunt to divert fluid from the brain to the abdomen.


Luxateing Patellas
 
A dog from one of the smaller breeds runs across the yard chasing a tossed ball. In mid-stride, it yelps in pain and pulls its left hind leg off of the ground. After a second, he continues limping on in three-legged fashion. After ten minutes, the rear leg drops back down to the ground and he uses it normally. This episode occurs maybe once a week. It never really seems to bother him that much – a yip of pain, a short period of lameness, and in a few minutes he is back to his old self. Typically, he is a small or toy breed such as a Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Poodle, or Boston Bull.

A luxating patella may affect some animals much more severely, They may hold the leg up for several days and show considerable discomfort. Dogs who have a luxating patella on both hind legs may change their entire posture, dropping their hindquarters and holding the rear legs farther out from the body as they walk. Those most severely affected may not even use their rear legs, walking by balancing themselves on their front legs like a circus act, holding their hindquarters completely off the ground.

Normal knee anatomy
The patella is the bone we know as the knee cap. A groove in the end of the femur allows the patella to glide up and down when the knee joint is bent back and forth. In so doing the patella guides the action of the quadriceps muscle in the lower leg. The patella also protects the knee joint.
Looking at the lower front portion of the femur (the thigh bone) in a normal dog, you will notice two bony ridges that form a fairly deep groove in which the patella is supposed to slide up and down. These structures limit the patella’s movement to one restricted place and, in so doing, control the activity of the quadriceps muscle.
The entire system is constantly lubricated by joint fluid. It works so that there is total freedom of motion between the structures.

What occurs when the patella is luxated?
In some dogs, because of malformation or trauma, the ridges forming the patellar groove are not prominent, and a too-shallow groove is created. In a dog with shallow grooves, the patella will luxate (jump out of the groove) sideways, especially toward the inside. This causes the leg to 'lock up' with the foot held off the ground.
When the patella luxates from the groove of the femur, it usually cannot return to its normal position until the quadriceps muscle relaxes and increases in length. This explains why the affected dog may be forced to hold its leg up for a few minutes or so after the initial incident. While the muscles are contracted and the patella is luxated from its correct position, the joint is held in the flexed or bent position. The yip is from the pain caused by the knee cap sliding across the bony ridges of the femur. Once out of position, the animal feels no discomfort and continues its activity.

Which dogs are at risk of having a luxated patella?
Smaller breeds of dogs, especially Miniature and Toy Poodles, have the highest incidence of patella luxation. Genetics can play a role.
In certain breeds that have extremely short legs such as the Basset or Dachshund, patellar luxation is thought to be secondary to the abnormal shape of the femur and tibia. The curvatures of the bones in these breeds work in conjunction with the forces of the quadriceps muscles to displace the patella to the inside. Please do not misunderstand – not all members of these breeds are affected with patellar luxation, only a small portion.

What are the symptoms?
Most dogs are middle-aged, with a history of intermittent (on-again-off-again) lameness in the affected rear leg(s). An affected dog commonly stops and cries out in pain as he is running. The affected leg will be extended rearward, and for a while the dog is unable to flex it back into the normal position.

What are the risks?
Uncorrected, the patellar ridges will wear, the groove will become even shallower and the dog will become progressively more lame. Arthritis will prematurely affect the joint, causing a permanently swollen knee with poor mobility. Therefore, a good evaluation needs to be done by your veterinarian early in the condition to prevent long-term arthritic crippling.

Treatment for Luxating Patellas
As would be expected, medical therapy has little corrective ability in this disorder and surgery is therefore required and is the treatment of choice. A surgical treatment is not necessary in every individual with this condition.
Surgery can alter both the affected structures and the movement of the patella. The groove at the base of the femur may be surgically deepened to better contain the knee cap. The knee cap itself may be "tied down" laterally (on the outside) to prevent it from deviating medially (toward the inside). The bony protuberance at the site of the attachment of the quadriceps tendon on the tibia may be cut off and then re-attached in a more lateral position. All of these procedures work well and the type performed depends on the individual case and the clinician. The animal should respond quickly after surgery and is usually completely recovered within thirty days, using its legs in normal fashion.

Breeding Considerations
Because of the strong genetic relationships, we really feel that animals with this disorder should not be used for breeding. They can still be excellent pets - and those that do require surgery will usually lead perfectly normal lives without any restrictions on activity.

 

Written permission to reprint from Pet Education
DrsFosterSmiths&PetWarehouse
Owned & Operated by Practicing Veterinarians
2001 Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

Canine Diseases

Many Canine diseases can be prevented through vaccination. Listed below are the most important diseases for which vaccines are available.

Canine Distemper is often fatal, affecting the nervous system, skin, eyes, intestinal and respiratory tract.

Canine Adenovirus 1 & 2 cause infectious hepatitis and respiratory infection, respectively.

Canine Parvovirus is a widespread disease that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration, especially in puppies.

Rabies is a fatal disease spread through saliva. Rabies vaccinations are given by a veterinarian.

Canine Bordetella (Bordetella bronchiseptica) is one of the causes of infectious tracheobronchitis, previously known as "kennel cough".

Canine Parainfluenza is another cause of infectious tracheobronchitis.

Lyme Disease is caused by Borrelia burgorferi. It is spread by ticks, and causes arthritic-type signs.

 
EXTERNAL PARASITE PREVENTION:
We use Revolution
It kills fleas,ticks,roundworms,earmites and helps prevent Heartworms.


 


KENNEL COUGH

Kennel cough is a fairly common ailment in dogs. People tend to associate it with dogs who either are being or recently have been boarded (or "kenneled"). But your dog need not be boarded to catch kennel cough. Kennel cough is caused by an airborne virus, which is highly contageous. Any time your dog is in the vicinity of an infected dog, the potential exists for infection. The incubation period is about 8-10 days, meaning your dog will not display symptoms of illness for about 8-10 days following exposure to the virus. Having a strong immune system is best way to avoid coming down with symptoms if/when your dog is exposed to the virus. This is why not every dog in the kennel (or house) will get it if there is an outbreak.

Although there is a vaccine (Bordatella) for Kennel Cough, it is often not effective in preventing infection. The most likely explanation for this is that there are many strains and mutations of the virus out there. Therefore, it is hit or miss whether the vaccine used on your dog will be the right one for the strain with which your dog comes into contact. This is similar to the "flu shot" for people; each year a vaccine is developed based on which strain(s) are suspected to be most prevalent. Be aware that your dog can still catch Kennel Cough even if s/he has had a shot to prevent it.

The usual symptoms of Kennel Cough include a dry, "non-productive" cough. The dog sounds as if there is something stuck or caught in the throat and the coughing is an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the object. Sometimes the coughing/gagging seems very violent. The episodes of coughing may go on for minutes at a time and then be repeated at intervals. Of course you will want to check your dog and make certain that there isn’t anything actually stuck in the throat! One way you can "test" for Kennel Cough is to press the throat gently, right in the collar area. If the dog has Kennel Cough, this will probably trigger some coughing.

If your dog does develop Kennel Cough symptoms, don’t panic! The way this illness operates is analagous to the common cold that we humans sometimes catch; simply put: it must run its course. There is no magic pill or cure, but there are many ways to treat and ease the symptoms. The goal is to support the body (immune system) while it is healing itself.  Antibiotics are NOT indicated (although they are routinely prescribed and used) because this is a virus, not a bacteria. Antibiotic use is actually thought to slow the healing process. Kennel cough generally will be gone in two weeks time or less, with or without antibiotics (but probably faster without).

Here are some ideas for natural treatments you may use to treat your dog’s Kennel Cough symptoms. None of these will harm your dog in any way, even if s/he does not even have Kennel Cough, but you may want to check with your own vet before giving them to your dog.

For boosting the immune system and fighting off infection:

Vitamins:

  • 500 mg Vitamin C 3x/day (250 mg for tiny dogs) (If you already supplement with vitamin C, great! But this is in addition to the regular daily dose, and is spaced out during the day.)

Herbal tinctures:

  • Echinacea (give a few drops, 3x/day, either directly into the mouth or on food)
  • Goldenseal (same instructions as Echinacea)

Other:

  • Colloidal Silver (Give just a drop or two, 3x/day. May be mixed with food or put into drinking water.)

For directly combatting the Kennel Cough virus:

Homeopathic Remedies:

  • Bryonia (give 1-2 pellets/tablets 3x/day, allow no food for ten minutes before and after the dose.  Most health food stores sell homeopathic remedies in the 6X or 6C potency, which is fine to use.  If you have a choice of potencies, ask for 30C, which is a bit stronger.  Homeopathy works when the correct remedy is matched to the correct symptoms, regardless of the potency of the remedy.)
  • Drosera (same instructions)

For soothing throat irritation:

  • Honey (about a teaspoon for a small-med dog, a tablespoon for a larger dog, 3x/day)
  • Eliminate exposure to second hand smoke.
  • Maintain humidity in the environment.

If you have more than one dog in your household, and one of them develops Kennel Cough, you can try to keep that one isolated, to minimize exposure to your other dog(s). However, by the time your dog is symptomatic, the virus has probably already been "shared" with your other pets or any other dogs with which yours has had contact recently. You may wish to treat all of your dogs, as a preventive measure for those that are asymptomatic, to ensure their immune systems are strong enough to ward off infection from the virus. Also, it would be good pet ownership to refrain from taking your ill dog to obedience class, dog shows, or any other dog-related event until s/he has recovered.

Collapsing trachea is a problem for Toy dogs of many breeds. The symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, and exhaustion. Although it appears more often in dogs older than 5 years, an occasional puppy has it from birth. To understand the condition, think of the trachea as a straw made of cartilage that carries air from the neck to the chest. When the cartilage collapses, breathing becomes difficult, kind of like sipping soda through a flattened straw.

Your vet can treat the condition with medication, but if you smoke, your Chi's prognosis may be poor. Secondhand smoke is a proven contributing factor to the problem . . . and smoke tends to settle low, where a little dog's nose is