Chihuahuas are the smallest toy breed of dog and have their own
My little Rusty is so comical and full of energy and for such a small little thing (he only weighs 5 pounds) but he thinks he is huge, not taking any guff off of my 10 pound Rocky. Rocky was here first and then 5 months later we decided he needed a play buddy and that's when Rusty came along. I never thought I could love two little dogs as much as I adore them both.
At first Rocky was very protective of his territory and bossed little Rusty around so bad that he quickly caught on and now it's so funny to watch that little dog take big Rocky's toys and treats away while poor Rocky can only sit and whine until I make Rusty give it back.
Chihuahuas are very tiny and get cold very easily so for this reason they really should be indoor dogs; and by the way be sure to keep plenty of small blankets laying around, and by all means be very careful when sitting on the blankets because there just may be a little Chihuahua underneath that you can't see.
Well, I could just go on and on but I think I should give you a list of health issues that you should be aware of before delving into the chihuahua purchase.
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First of all if you decide to purchase a pure bred chihuahua instead of adopting (which is what I will do from now on since there are so many dogs that need good homes); the most important thing to take into consideration is how to make that purchase. If you find a puppy online that you just cannot live without I would make sure that you are welcomed to come to the premises and pick him or her up in person. That way you can check out the environment that they have lived in for the first few weeks of their life.
If you don't feel comfortable with the breeder or the shape of the beds and other pets on the premises then by all means just get back in your car and drive away. There are many good breeders who will be glad to invite you into their homes and make sure that the puppy is in good health and not born and raised in a kennel atmosphere. If you get the wrong puppy, you could pay later with mega health issues and visits to your vet.
Although I dearly love the Chihuahua breed I must admit that they do have a few health problems that can be controlled with little effort. My first chihuahua; "Rocky (the white one) was already bow legged but we never really thought much about it and then one day I was opening the back door to let him out and (somehow) my left foot clipped his left leg as he was turning around. He yelled and I cried and off to the vet we went to have surgery to correct both of his legs.
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Even though I only had contact with the one leg, he was already on the verge of getting crippled because of the breed and their tiny fragile legs.
The name of the condition is "subluxation of the patella" or "slipped stifles" or "loose kneecaps". This is where the kneed caps are facing inward; causing the bow in the legs.
When it occurs, the kneecap (we are talking about the rear legs) slips out of its groove, depending on the severity of the problem.
Not all chihuahuas have this condition but when they do, it can be damaging; both to their health and the pocketbook. Since his surgery he has never been the same and I have to keep him on pain medication to ease his discomfort.
I know it sounds cruel to keep him in such condition but I just cannot bare to have him put down even though the thought has crossed my mind just so he won't have to suffer so much, however he is still so full of life and on his good days (and he does have many) he and Rusty play and wrestle and love to groom one another.
Another condition that is very common and could actually be fatal if not treated immediately is "Hypoglycemia"; where the dog suffers from low blood sugar. I almost lost Rusty many times due to this condition and it was so severe with him that my vet told me to start using karo syrup instead of the store bought tube of nutri-cal vitamin paste; It was just not strong enough.
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One morning I found him laying half out of his bed, limp and already getting cold and stiff but I rushed him into the kitchen and put some karo syrup in his mouth and minutes later he was wide awake and waging his tail. He was only 8 weeks old! But the good news is they can grow out of it (and yes Rusty did thank goodness).
Symptoms of low blood sugar are staggering, glassy eyes, and sometimes either limpness or rigidity. If the dog doesn't receive immediate help, he can suffer seizures,unconsciousness, and finally death within minutes of the episode.
Other conditions that these tiny little comedians are prone to have (that I have not had to deal with as of yet) are: Collapsing trachea - a problem for Toy dogs of many breeds and most Chihuahuas (80 percent to 90 percent) have a molera, a soft spot on the top of their head similar to a human baby's soft spot.
By: Candy Little
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