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October 29, 2012 @ 6:41 pm
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With small dogs there are some health concerns an owner should be knowledgeable about, not because you should be scared, but it can only be beneficial to know. If you do not know remember it is certainly easy to learn. A few simple things to remember are even though they are small do not feed them canned food all the time because small dogs are prone to teeth and gum problems. A next concern is similar to “short man syndrome” in humans. In small dogs they tend to be dare devils and not know their size, of course jumping from places, etc. can cause injuries.

Parvovirus can be a serious health hazard to puppies, especially tiny ones. Oprah just had a puppy who passed away from this and so have I. It is important to look into these health matters. There is a vaccine all puppies should have so parvovirus is prevented. It is most common in puppies 6 weeks – 6 months old. Without treatment almost all puppies will die when coming across the virus, but if treated in a quick amount of time almost all puppies will survive this horrible virus. The virus attacks and kills the cells of the intestinal lining causing the puppy to have diarrhea and vomiting. It will also suppress the puppy’s appetite because they cannot absorb the nutrients a puppy needs.

Another health concern in small dogs is a collapsed trachea. I recently read an article about this because it was titled “something all small dog owners should know.” Prior to this article I did not know about it.

The trachea is a dog’s windpipe and when the cartilage around it weakens the trachea begins to collapse. Highest risk breeds are Chihuahuas, Italian Greyhounds, Maltese, and Pomeranians, Toy Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers and usually older dogs of 4 years old and up. The symptoms I feel would be obvious short breaths, honking like a goose when coughing, having problems exercising, and could even pass out. To prevent this, a major thing is using a harness. You can use a collar for the name tag, but harness should be used when walking the dog so not as much stress is on the neck.

A last popular health concern an owner should be aware of is hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. It is so common in small dogs because they have a fast metabolism. Most instances of low blood sugar in the puppy are the result of inadequate nutrition; either not enough or poor quality food for the puppy. Excessive exercise may also cause the body to use up more sugar than is available. To help with this always have sugar available in case symptoms get severe you can put some sugar in their water.

Hopefully none of this happens to your puppy, it is just helpful to know the information in advance!

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