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Chihuahua Health

Breeding Standard



Article: The 'Tea-Cup Chihuahua' Myth, Buyer Beware!
Author: Allison Rhodes
If you are seeking a 'Tea-Cup Chihuahua', search no longer, this creature does not exist!

The Chihuahua is a small breed of dog, which can be any size up to 6 lb according to the written standard and quite often individuals will exceed this amount. They are not recognised as any more than either a Long Coat or Smooth Coat Chihuahua. A 1kg Chihuahua is very small, but will not fit into a tea-cup.

Within the breed there is a great variation of size, just like any other breed of dog and for that matter humans. There are smaller Chihuahuas and larger Chihuahuas, but there are no 'tea-cup Chihuahuas'. Within a litter even, the sizes of individuals when adult can vary considerably from the very small to the very large, so even viewing the parents will not necessarily give an indication of the eventual size of a young pup.

When puppies are 8 weeks old, of course they are very small, but they grow and at 8 weeks, no one can tell you what size they will eventually grow to.

Most photos of 'Tea-Cup Chihuahuas' are very young pups that will actually fit into a tea-cup. They will not stay this size.

Very small Chihuahua pups are possibly that size because of health problems, others though live long healthy lives. It is the ones with health problems that can cause distress to new owners when they either die at a very early age or become a financial burden requiring constant veterinary care. Potential buyers need to be aware of health issues such a hydrocephalus or heart problems.

If you really want a very small Chihuahua, you are best to leave buying one until it is at least 4 months old and then even 6 months is better. At this time it should be clear as to their size and health status.

When buying a Chihuahua, seek out a breeder registered with the governing body in your state. They will be able to refer you to the appropriate club for information and details on breeders with available pups. (See also the Dogz Online Breeder Listing for registered breeders.)
(C)Copyright 2007, this article is copyright protected
Special thanks to Allison Rhodes for permission to display this article on RoyaltyChi Chihuahuas website

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Hypoglycemia / Sugar Drop

Article: Hypoglycemia in Chihuahuas
Author: Sue Lane
Also known as Von Gierke Syndrome, this is a condition in toy breeds which is characterized by sudden coma, shock and occasionally by convulsions and in many cases death.

There are two types:
Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia
If the puppy is controlled well it will survive and normally grows out if it by 6 to 9 months.
Persistent or Recurrent Juvenile Hypoglycemia
Is a storage disease and is caused by a deficiency of glucose 6 phosphatase, which is an enzyme necessary for the conversion of glucose 6 phosphate to free glucose. These puppies respond to initial treatment, relapse and eventually die. Autopsies reveal glycogen deposits in the liver, kidneys and myocardium. The cause is not completely known. There seems to be a relationship in that stress conditions in young puppies are the very small hyperactive type. These tend to run in certain lines so may be familial. Over the years I have found that any predisposing factor that causes lack of appetite or no food over 8 hours can produce the syndrome.
Young puppies that are handled too much or become exhausted playing with larger, fitter mates or miss out on their share of food to bossier pups are common causes, as are sudden cold snaps, shock or gastrointestinal disturbances, change of food, change of homes, vaccinations or sometimes even a change in nursery routine.

Signs of Hypoglycemia
  • Drowsiness
  • Shivering
  • Collapsing
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Listlessness
  • Depression
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Tremors

    Your Chihuahua may not experience all signs but if you notice your dog becoming wobbly on its feet or extremely tired the follow the steps below:

    Emergency treatment for sugar drop

    Simple measures can be taken at home by the following:

    1. The pup even if comatose will have a swallowing reflex, half a teaspoon of honey or glucose onto the tongue and roof of the mouth will normally revive the pup within the hour. It is imperative to then feed the pup carbohydrates and protein as the pup is usually extremely hungry. Give the pup anything it will eat. Nutragel or Nutrapet are most helpful supplements to prevent recurrence. Liver is also a source of glycogen, shredded liver in small amounts is a helpful extra.

    2. Warmth and rest separate from the other pups and feed a little often. The pup may be put back with a pup of similar size when quite recovered but be sure to follow the management regime below. In cases that do not respond seek prompt veterinary assistance.
    I used to follow up on these pups with honey several times a day but found they developed diarrhea and the occasional pup died, not from sugar drop but from the treatment. The honey causes excessive carbohydrates which causes enterotoxaemia, which is caused by an increase of carbohydrate in the bowel which allows excessive bacterial growth and subsequent endotoxin production. I found better results from honey for initial treatment in acute cases and then an inch of Nutrigel / Nutripet morning and night. Electrolytes, 1ml per hour for 4 hours once the pup is sitting up, as well as milk, biscuits, chicken, beef or anything I can get into the pup to eat. These pups should be confined to small pens as rests is essential.

    Follow up management for sugar drop puppies
    1. As the pup usually goes into sugar drop during the night and is found in a comatose or semi-comatose state in the morning feed a late supper of milk and dry food and half an inch of Nutrigel / Nutripet.

    2. Breakfast no later than 8am, puppies cannot go without food and water for more than 8 hours.

    3. Dont vaccinate before 8 weeks.

    4. Dont subject to excessive stress, dont worm and vaccinate in the same week, be careful with puppies around families with small children : remember the smaller the child the larger the dog should be.

    5. These puppies require a little and often 4 to 5 feeds daily. If you are going away for the day remember to leave plenty of food and water particularly biscuits. (C)Copyright 2007, this article is copyright protected
    Special thanks to Sue Lane for permission to display this article on RoyaltyChi Chihuahuas website.

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    A molera is also known as an open fontanel and is a soft spot found on the top of the head. The illustration below shows where the molera is found.
    A molera is common in Chihuahuas and not considered abnormal. Chihuahuas with a more domed head are more likely to keep their molera throughout life, and those Chihuahuas with less rounded heads the molera is likely to close by the time the dog reaches adulthood.
    Be extra careful to ensure that your Chihuahua does not hit his/her head in the open spot.
    Please note that some vets not familiar with Chihuahuas and moleras can mistakenly diagnose hydrocephalus when they find a molera.
    (C)Copyright 2007, this article is copyright protected
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    Nutrition, Bones and Raw Food (BARF)

    What should you feed your Chihuahua?
    The answer to this is to feed your chihuahua what they do best on.
    There are many different varieties of commercial dog food available which are perfectly suitable for Chihuahuas, for example Advance Rehydratable for baby puppies.
    Another way to feed your Chihuahua is by using the BARF diet and the following gives some information on this.

    Bones and raw food diet is basically recreating a dogs natural choice of food. To do this we must try to understand what a wild dog eats.
    Dogs are by nature, scavengers and opportunity eaters. They will eat almost anything, although obviously the bulk of their diet is other animals. What you must remember however is that they get the WHOLE animal, not just the meat. In fact, in the wild, the muscle meat is usually the last part of the animal to be consumed. The dog gets almost everything it needs from all the different parts of it's prey. The internal organs, skin, bones etc. Vegetable matter is in the form of whatever that animal has eaten and is now in the stomach & intestines. In fact if there was one complete diet to feed your Chihuahua, I would have to say to give him a whole dead rabbit. Head, fur and all. Ok, that would probably be just a bit inconvenient and a bit hard for us to handle!

    Here is a basic guide of a BARF diet:
    60% of our dogs diet is nothing more than raw meaty bones from the butcher. Any kind of bone. Beef, lamb chicken necks, etc. The only stipulation is that they MUST be RAW. Never, ever cooked.
    The remainder is made up of a variety of other foods. ALL RAW. This includes minced meat, fish, eggs and vegetables.
    Our dogs that are feed the BARF diet are healthy and the condition of their teeth and coat are excellent.
    Is it a lot of work? I have to be honest, yes it can be but if you are prepared to use this diet then your dog will love you for it and you will definately notice a diffence in their bodies for the good.
    An easy option for feeding BARF is to buy pre-packaged BARF, which is available ready made and frozen, much more convenient.
    If you would like to learn more about BARF then visit the following website:
    (C)Copyright 2007, this article is copyright protected
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    Breeding Standard

    The Chihuahua breed standard is a set of guidlines that responsible breeders use to help breed Chihuahuas. Registered breeders will do their best to make sure they breed as close as possible to this standard and produce puppies which are as close to the standard as possible, this creates the best representation to the breed in appearance, movement, temperament and structurally.

    The following is the basic standard of the Chihuahua, if you are interested in a more detailed version including pictures I have included a link at the bottom of this page.


    General appearance: Small, dainty, compact.
    Characteristics: Alert, little dog, swift moving with brisk forceful action and saucy expression.
    Temperament: Gay, spirited and intelligent, neither snappy nor withdrawn.
    Head and Skull: Well rounded apple dome skull, cheeks and jaws lean, muzzle moderately short, slightly pointed. Definite stop.
    Eyes: Large, round, but not protruding; set well apart; centre of eye is on a plane with lowest point of ear and base of stop; dark or ruby. Light eyes in light colours permissible.
    Ears: Large, flaring, set on an angle of approximately 45 degrees; giving breadth between ears. Tipped or broken down highly undesirable.
    Mouth: Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
    Neck: Slightly arched, medium length.
    Forequarters: Shoulders well laid; lean, sloping into slightly broadening support above straight forelegs, set well under chest giving freedom of movement without looseness.
    Body: Level back. Body, from point of shoulder to rear point of croup, slightly longer than height at withers. Well sprung ribs, deep brisket.
    Hindquarters: Muscular: hocks well let down, with good turn of stifle, well apart, turning neither in nor out.
    Feet: Small and dainty; turning neither in nor out; toes well divided but not spread, pads cushioned, fine strong, flexible pasterns. Neither hare nor cat-like, nails moderately short.
    Tail: Medium length, set high, carried up and over back (sickle tail). When moving, never tucked under or curled below the topline. Furry, flattish in appearance, broadening slightly in centre and tapering to point.
    Gait/Movement: Brisk, forceful action, neither high stepping nor hackney; good reach without slackness in forequarters, good drive in hindquarters. Viewed from front and behind legs should move neither too close nor too wide, with no turning in or out of feet or pasterns. Topline should remain firm and level when moving.
    Coat: Smooth, of soft texture, close and glossy, with undercoat and ruff permissible.
    Colour: Any colour or mixture of colours.
    Size: Weight up to 2.7 kg (6 lbs), 1-1.8 kg (2-4 lbs) preferred. If two dogs are equally good in type, the more diminutive preferred.
    Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
    Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


    The standard of the Chihuahua (longcoat) is the same as the standard of the Chihuahua (smoothcoat) with the exception of the following :
    Coat: Long, soft texture (never coarse or harsh to touch) either flat or slightly wavy. Never tight and curly. Feathering on ears, feet and legs, pants on hindquarters, large ruff on neck desirable. Tail long and full as a plume.

    Extended Breed Standard:

    The link below will open under the link and shows the extended breed standard of the Chihuahua.
    Extended Breed Standard

    The link below will open under the link and shows an article called 'A Closer Look' which explains the Chihuahua breed standard in detail.
    A Closer Look

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