Above we have mentioned the preventive measures of eclampsia, the nervous disorder to which pregnant and suckling Chihuahua females are prone due to incorrect care. Normally it occurs either in partus or postpartum period.
Frankly speaking, the view of a dog suffering from eclampsia is horrible. First it gets agitated, frightened, shivering, yelping. In several minutes (15–20) dystaxia and cramps come, the hindquarters get paralyzed. The dog is seized by fear, the eyes wide open, the foamy saliva drops, the limbs numb, breath stressed and fast. Cramps are likely to last for some hours, a day sometimes.
Well-known French veterinaries P. Cadio and F. Breton (1930) wrote that ‘eclampsia left alone can cause death’. With timely aid the treatment is almost always achievable.
First, one should call a doctor as soon as possible. If the doctor’s arrival is being delayed for some reasons, one should take all necessary before-doctor measures. At the first stage (the dog is agitated, seeks for darkness, ‘digs a hole’) — 15 drops of valerian tincture, ? of Relanium pill, ? of a calcium gluconate ampul (into the mouth) can prevent the disease’s progress.
But one can’t mark time if there are cramps — an injection of 10% calcium gluconate solution with an insulin needle to a hip is necessary, if it’s of no help — make an intramuscular injection of 25% magnesium sulfate solution as follows: first inject 0.5 ml of novocaine, leave the needle in the muscle, attach a syringe with 1–3 ml of warm magnesium sulfate to it and inject this slowly.
After that the dog must be provided with maximum comfort — isolation in a dark room, silence. Usually, with the said conditions met, in a couple of hours the dog recovers, the next day it can join the puppies. If needed some cardiac and relaxant medication may be given to the dog.
The puppies’ eclampsia is much more difficult to be cured. It starts with muscular rigor, apnea and is followed by jaws, body, and limps’ cramps. If the needed measures are not taken, the puppies soon get exhausted and die. In this condition one can’t lend them any effective aid by himself. The main thing is to discover the disease symptoms and call an experienced doctor.
The basic cause of the Chihuahuas’ premature death is injuries. Dogs’ teeth, cats’ claws, crows’ nibs, cars’ wheels, men feet… aren’t there too many tragic dooms, interrupting so unexpectedly our pets’ lives? Unfortunately, the mother’s warm side is one of those. It’s not so seldom when minute Chihuahua mothers squeeze their tiny new born puppies to death.
The symptoms that don’t require immediate vet aid but can’t be overlooked: fetid smell from the chap, highly increased thirst (either with or without diarrhea), excessive coat loss, lameness, sudden weight increase or decrease, hot and dry diarrhea, pale or bluish gums.
Single and uncaused vomiting and diarrhea can be left alone: it can occur once or twice a month (physiologic particularity of predators, the Chihuahua included). In these cases it’s recommended not to feed the animal for 1–2 days, but give only water to it. By the way, some dogs control the process by themselves, refusing from eating.
Some words about pyroplasmosis — a parasite blood disease that is transferred by bugs attacking dogs in warm seasons (in spring or early fall). The bugs usually stick to dog’s chest and neck, transmitting the pyroplasm to its blood system — a causative agent that kills red corpuscules.
The incubation period lasts for 6–10 days, the disease can be peracute (sudden death under no evident causes) and acute (appetite loss, apathy, reddish or bloody urine, hard breath, fever of 41–42°, pale mucous membranes and so on followed by death with no measures taken within 3–5 days). ‘Anti-fleas collars’ are not effective against these insects.
For preventive purposes against fleas, bugs, lice and other skin parasites one should use special medication, which can be bought in veterinary drugstores. In your vet medicine chest there must be remedies against diarrhea, constipation, vomit, cough, antibiotics, an oculentum, cardiac medicine, vitamins, mineral salts and bandaging material (adhesive plaster, medical bandage and cotton) and some instruments (medical thermometer, tweezers, scissors, eye drop-tube, water bottle, claws’ scissors, syringes for injection (2 and 3 cubic cm) with a set of needles, an enema). The exact name of medications and remedies should be agreed with a veterinary).
Any self-treatment is dangerous, don’t grudge time (or money if needed) for making your pet healthy and cheerful. However, in emergency cases one must be ready to take necessary measures:
- give medication per os (powder, pills, capsules, tabs), pouring 5–10 ml of water behind the cheek for better medicine passage through the gullet (if giving the medicine without water it can stick to the throat or gullet side and cause mucous membranes’ inflammation;
- make under-skin and intramuscular injections (to the crest or the hip relatively) to support the dog before the professional vet aid. The medicine quantity is subject to expert advice, and if the latter is impossible — counting from the dog’s weight in terms of 1 kg of a Chihuahua weight.
Generally, the Chihuahua breed is genetically sane and resistant. These dogs are not prone to inevitable grave heart, vascular and bones’ disorders when aged. The serious age illnesses such as liver, kidneys’, bowels, womb, prostate diseases, and tumors are pretty rear with Chihuahua compared to other dog breeds, including the smallest.
Nevertheless, there is a vulnerable spot also — the mouth cavity diseases (caria, paradontosis and early tooth fall as a consequence). This is not about the life conditions, the point is the breed standard, prescribing the defined head shape and a short muzzle. Though correct feeding containing vitamins and mineral salts, combined with regular tartar removal and occasional (2–3 times a week) teeth brushing with a special toothbrush and paste allow preserving the Chihuahua’s dental system for years to come.
Don’t grudge money for scheduled preventive examination at a good vet doctor. After 6 years of life an examination once a year is enough, after 10 years — twice a year.