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Puppies

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Health Concerns Health Guarantee

Health Concerns in Toy Breeds

Patella Luxation (knees)
Patella Luxation is common in ALL toy breeds. In the active Papillon the luxation can be thought to be congenital but whether its congential or not is unknown for certain and can not be 100% proven. In research study it's shown patella luxation can be caused due to a injury and its diagnosed in 7% of (toy breed) puppies.
Even with studies from the OFA if you have both parents OFA certified still 25% of those dogs can show up with patella problems. Its just no way to totally prevent it from happening. Studies show it seems to be Polygentic meaning it can possible be carried down the bloodlines and may never show up until you breed together the right combination. You can have two parents who tested clear on the OFA test. Then if you breed those two and if its the right combination (meaning both dogs are carriers of Patella Luxation, but never show any signs of Patella Luxation, meaning it can be down in both dogs lines-genetics) it can then show up in the offspring.. That's the reason it cannot be prevented.
The condition effects primary Small (TOY) breeds. Patella Luxation can be misdiagnosed and maybe a growing phase for young pup under the age of 7 months. Its almost impossible to diagnose Patella Luxation in a very young puppy that is still growing. A puppies knees may feel loose but will tighten up as the puppy grows and should not be misdiagnosed as Patella Luxation. Remember just because a puppy has loose knees does not mean it has patella luxation give those knees time to tighten up and they will as the puppy grows.
In a large number of cases the addition of Selenium to the diet removed the problem by strengthening the muscles and ligaments that hold the kneecap in place. We have seen puppies/dogs teething and females in heat show slightly temporary luxation during teething and heats or whelping. We have found that patella problems are normally stress related injury due to activity. Because this can be an injury related problem and developmental (based on environment such as diet, excerise, etc). Most Breeders do not and cannot guarantee against this issue. We do the best we can to produce the healthest puppies.
But few dogs need surgery ever. In cases (with mild patella luxtion grade 1-2 surgery is not required) you will find that putting the dog on bed rest and giving a anti-inflammatory medication will help and the Patella will tighten back up and surgery is NOT always needed. So please try this options first if this problem ever was to occur. The breeder is not reasponsible for the costs are replacement of a puppy caused by this issue. As this is developmental the smallest injury to the kneecap can develop into full luxation.
As one veterinarian describe during my Patella Luxation research. If you breed "SMALL" dogs then Patella Luxation will show up even at a faster rate. The small Papillons are fine boned, very fragil making them more suceptaible to bone fractors and patella problems. (Think about how tiny the knees are about the size of a pencil lead in a young puppy. The SMALLEST injury can become full blown patella luxation. Puppies must be handled very careful the first year. Please do not let your puppy jump from furniture, your arms, run and play to rough are train in preformance (agility) until puppy is well over 1 year old. You want to make sure his/her bones have fully developed first :)

Grade 1

Manually the patella easily luxates at full extension of the stifle joint, but returns to the trochlea when released. No crepitation is apparent. The medial, or very occasionally, lateral deviation of the tibial crest (with lateral luxation of the patella) is only minimal, and there is very slight rotation of the tibia. Flexion and extension of the stifle is in a straight line with no abduction of the hock.

Grade 2

There is frequent patellar luxation, which, in some cases, becomes more or less permanent. The limb is sometimes carried, although weight bearing routinely occurs with the stifle remaining slightly flexed. Especially under anesthesia it is often possible to reduce the luxation by manually turning the tibia laterally, but the patella reluxates with ease when manual tension of the joint is released. As much as 30 degrees of medial tibial torsion and a slight medial deviation of the tibial crest may exist. When the patella is resting medially the hock is slightly abducted. If the condition is bilateral, more weight is thrown onto the forelimbs.

Many dogs with this grade live with the condition reasonably well. The constant luxation of the patella over the medial trochlear ridge of the trochlea causes erosion of the articulating surface of the patella and also the proximal area of the medial lip. This results in crepitation becoming apparent when the patella is luxated manually.

Grade 3

The patella is permanently luxated with torsion of the tibia and deviation of the tibial crest of between 30 degrees and 50 degrees from the cranial/caudal plane. Although the luxation is not intermittent, many animals use the limb with the stifle held in a semi flexed position. The trochlea is very shallow or even flattened.

Grade 4

The tibia is medially twisted and the tibial crest may show further deviation medially with the result that it lies 50 degrees to 90 degrees from
The knee cap (patella) normally fits into a groove in the thigh bone (femur). The patella slides up and down in this groove as the leg bends and straightens. Patellar luxation means that the knee cap has slipped out of the groove. There are several reasons why this happens, including malformation of the groove. Luxation may happen only occasionally, or may happen continuously. The knee cap may pop back into the groove on its own, or your veterinarian may need to push it back into place. Your dog will be lame when the patella is out of place.

When the knee cap is out of place, your dog will be lame and may refuse to bear weight, or his/her knee may be "locked". The severity of the condition varies widely. In mild cases, the knee cap may only slip out of place occasionally, causing your dog to "hop" for a few steps, and then it may slide back into the groove on its own. In severe cases, the knee cap slips out of place more often, or is never in a normal position. It may not go back into the groove on its own and your veterinarian may need to push it back into place.

Moderate or severe cases often require surgery to make sure that the knee cap stays in the groove in the femur, and to prevent painful osteoarthritis. Exercise restriction is important for a period after surgery, and the results are usually very good.

The mode of inheritance is not yet known. Some researchers think that this disease may be polygenic. Patellar luxation may also occur in any breed as a result of trauma.


Coccidia

We also would like for all our clients to be well aware of the signs of stress in a puppy. Lots of puppies can stress out from the move from here to there new homes. Think about it, new smells, new sounds, new voices, new faces and absolutely everything is different. This can cause a little puppy to become very scared. Even though you shower your puppy with attention and love he or she becomes stressed from the changes. The first sign of stress is a loose stool, then mucousy or even a tint of pink may appear in it (blood). Not to worry its very curable! This is what is diagnosed as Coccidiosis. I have done research on this and the way I describe it is as. Coccidia is dormant in the intestines. It is commonly referred to as a parasite but it is indeed a protozoa. Not that it matters they will be treated the same.. When a puppy gets upset, this protozoa can become active and irritate the intestinal lining which causes the loose stool, mucous and blood. If ignored, it can be very serious and sometimes even fatal. If you know what to watch for, you can catch it and treat it right away.

It can be carried by bugs (especially flies, fleas) wildlife ( birds, rabbits, mice) cats, dogs, and other animals. So, when dogs and puppies play in the yard, they can pick up the oocytes. Since we don't believe in keeping puppies in little above-the-ground cages 24 hours per day and 7 days per week (that would not be fun for them OR for us), we know they will be exposed. Yours will too, when you allow him or her to walk on grass in your yard or at parks. 

Most vets prescribe a medication called Albon but other may use a different type, you will give this once a day for about 10-14 days. It is remarkable how quickly it takes affect. Within 24 hours usually you will see a big change. Now remember this is if you are keeping watch on your puppy and looking for signs. If ignored, a puppy will get diarrhea but goes down hill from there. Worse case would be not only the diarrhea but also vomiting and eventually becoming lethargic and dehydrated. The smaller the puppy, the quicker you lose them. This may scare you, we have never lost a puppy it has shown up in a few puppies that I purchased from other breeders and we treated them with Albon and they became okay very quickly..

If this happens please take your puppy to the vet immediately don't wait..
Also if your puppy starts shaking want eat or drink not responding please take him/her to vet. Breeders do not and cannot guarantee against this.

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I am now convinced that if you raise litters of puppies, you will have cocci at some point. It does not have to do with lack of cleanliness like older literature states. It is just a fact of breeding.  Coccidia is something that is in the intestines of every puppy. When everything is in balance, it is as it should be but when the coccidia goes above a a certain range, the puppies can get an intestinal infection called Coccidiosis.  It is a fairly common infection. if it is verified, your vet will probably prescribe Albon (Comes in liquid or pill).  This treatment can take up to 2 weeks.   Coccidiosis is frequently referred to as an opportunist – a disease that will develop when other stress factors are present. For example, the highest incidence of coccidiosis is in the first 21 days after a dog has changed owners and moved to a new residence. If a normal animal carries oocysts, it is relatively easy for rapid development when the conditions are right – adverse weather, shipping, dog food changes, new owners, new residence, and other stresses are important.

 
If you read on the Internet, you will find it is common. We keep our yards and kennels very clean. It is not true that this infection is caused soley by unsanitary conditions. The younger the pup is when it goes home, the more likely it is to succumb to coccidiosis due to the increase in stress level. By 12 weeks of age, a pup is immune to this infection. Coccidia is a microscopic parasite that lives in the lining of the intestinal tract. It can be passed from one dog to another through fecal contamination.

How do puppies get intestinal parasites? Dormant larvae can live in the muscles of adult dogs and can be activated by hormones during pregnancy. They are then transmitted from the mom to her pups before birth or during nursing. Puppies also contract intestinal parasites when they ingest larvae in an environment where any of the following are found: flies, roaches, fleas, rodents, wild birds, etc... Thus, a young pup can take one trip outside to go potty, lick up some wild bird poop and get coccidosis from even that encounter.

What do we do about Coccidiosis?? My number one choice is Ponazuril which is also known as Marquis. Marquis was originally developed to treat EPM in horses. This is an equine protozoan disease, just as cocci is a canine protozoan disease. Breeders use to use Albon to treat their pups, but this is a 2 week treatment; whereas Ponazuril ( = Marquis) is only a 3 day treatment. You can only get this medicine via prescription and you may have to educate your vet on its use in dogs. It is reasonably priced, the puppies love the taste and it is effective. The other positive aspect of Ponazuril is that it can be used as a preventative treatment for cocci; whereas Albon is used after the cocci exists in your pups. As puppies get past 10 to 12 weeks of age, they develop a natural immunity to coccidia and do not show illness if exposed as a young puppy. A fully mature immune system (adult dogs) typically is able to deal with coccidia before it becomes a clinical issue. Coccidia has a 28 day life span as a parasite. It is important to have the Cocci under control in order for your vaccinations to be effective. Other breeders recommend giving the Marquis on Day 4, then 2,4,6,8 and 10 weeks of age by mouth. I have been skipping the day 4 dosage. Roadrunner pharmacy will compound the Marquis and give administration dosages.

Albon is a coccidiostat, while Ponazuril, Baycox, Marquis are coccidiocides.   ‘Stats’ arrest, ‘cides’ kill. Coccidiastats and coccidiocides are both effective. Treating with the ‘cide’ is newer and many veterinarians are either not familiar with the cides or do not want to be the first to use an off label protocol. 

The older protocols using coccidiostats arrest the reproductivity of coccidia, allowing the immune system to ‘catch up’ and eradicate it by flushing it from the body.  The newer protocols that involve using ‘cides’, work by killing off the coccidia, thereby doing the work for the immune system, and doing it more quickly.

Your vet will need to call in the prescription. I use Road Runner Pharmacy at 877-518-4589. It comes in beef, chicken or bacon flavor at no charge.

A second way of treating is using a protozoan medicine for piglets called Baycox. You do not need a prescription and can get it at this site. The literature claims that one dose will kill the cocci for pups and treat your adults 2x per year. From my readings, we will give  .1 ml for every 1 pound of dog of 5% Baycox. If any of the puppies have diarrhea, then we dose mom and puppies for 2 - 3 days and then repeat again in 14 days, for 2 - 3 days.

http://www.vetproductsdirect.com.au/usacad/items.asp?Cc=Diarrhoea&iTpStatus=0&Tp=&Bc=

All recommendations stated here are what we do to care for our own personal dogs, but we cannot be held liable for any practices you choose to use on your dog. I recommend you speak with your vet before administering any medication.

DO NOT GIVE CORID. CORID IS TOXIC AT WRONG DOSAGE.

Coccidiosis is different than the parasites treated by a normal puppy wormer. We do worm our pups with the method described here: http://iamranch.com/pupsworm.htm
Here is what I found on a website that I have often referred to about breeding dogs....
 
 
Clinical signs of coccidiosis usually are present or shortly following stress such as weather changes; weaning; overcrowding; long automobile or plane rides; relocation to a new home and new owners; and/or unsanitary conditions. Symptoms or signs of coccidiosis will depend on the state of the disease at the time of observation. In general, coccidiosis affects the intestinal tract and symptoms are associated with it. In mild cases, only a watery diarrhea may be present, and if blood is present in the feces, it is only in small amounts. Severely affected animals may have a thin, watery feces with considerable amounts of intestinal mucosa and blood. Straining usually is evident, rapid dehydration, weight loss and anorexia (off feed) also may be clinically visible. One of the most prevalent canine coccidia is S. tenella and during autopsies of dead animals appears as microscopic muscle cysts in the host animal. Oocysts in the feces of dogs are also microscopic in size and can only be positively identified through lab tests or direct observation under a microscope.

 Here is an article that is written by an online vet. 

Answer:

Coccidia are a group of protozoan parasites that are extremely common and which infect a wide number of animal species, including dogs, cats, horses, cattle, goats, sheep and chickens --- and many other species of animals, as well.  The groups of coccidians that infect pets include Eimeria, Isospora, Hammondia, Toxoplasma and Neospora.  Of these, the two that are usually referred to as "coccidia" infections are Eimeria and Isospora infections and the rest are generally identified by name, as they are more complex parasites and cause specific disease problems. Eimeria species are more commonly involved in infections in cattle, sheep, horses, etc. and Isospora species are most commonly involved in infection in dogs and cats. So for the purpose of the rest of this note, the enteric (gastrointestinal) forms of Isospora are what will be covered.

The first thing that has to be considered is that coccidosis is very common. It is likely that 30 to 50% of puppies have coccidia in their stools at some time during their first few months of life. These may be coccidia from another species that the puppy or kitten has in the digestive tract due to ingestion of stool, such as rabbit feces, squirrel feces or cat feces (in the case of puppies).  If this is the case it is unlikely that the puppy or kitten will actually have any clinical disease as a result of ingesting the coccidia. In other cases, a puppy or kitten becomes infected with coccidiosis, produces lots of oocysts of coccidia but never has clinical signs of disease such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting or failure to thrive. These pets may never show any clinical signs and without signs it is questionable whether they should be treated or not, although I think that almost all veterinary practitioners go ahead and treat for the infection. Isospora species can also be transmitted through ingestion of intermediate hosts, such as infected mice.

Isospora species that affect dogs include Isospora canis, I. ohioensis, I. neorivolta and I. burrowsi.  The species that affect cats include Isospora felis and Isospora rivolta. These coccidia tend to be pretty species specific, so infection of a puppy or kitten is not thought to be a risk to humans and puppies are not a risk to cats or infected kittens a risk to dogs. It is very likely that if one puppy in a litter has coccidiosis that all puppies are affected. It is extremely difficult to prevent coccidia infections, especially in group situations, so puppies coming from a breeder with coccidia is not an indication of poor sanitation or poor health care practices. It is simply a very common problem.

Coccidia spread when oocysts are shed in the stool of infected pets and then the oocysts are consumed later by another susceptible dog or cat. Since incredible numbers of oocysts are shed from infected pets, the environmental contamination with coccidia oocysts is severe. Puppies and kittens often show signs of illness, usually watery diarrhea, before there are oocysts in their stools, so it sometimes takes several fecal samples to know if a puppy or kitten is infected. In addition, lots of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are infected and are shedding oocysts despite having no clinical signs of infection.

Coccidia are easy to find using standard fecal floatation methods for fecal exams and are often present in sufficient numbers to show up if a small amount of stool is smeared on a glass slide, mixed with a small amount of saline and examined.

When Isospora species cause disease the most common form is watery diarrhea that is very profuse. Many kittens and puppies seem to just leak watery stools as if they have no control at all over their bowel movements, while others have a more "normal" diarrhea. Without treatment, the diarrhea might last for several weeks. With treatment the diarrhea might last several weeks, too --- but it does seem to cut down some on the duration of the diarrhea to treat affected puppies and kittens. The most commonly used medications are sulfonamide antiseptics, such as sulfadimethoxine (Albon Rx, Bactrovet Rx) given at 55mg/kg of body weight initially and then 27.5mg/kg per day for 4 to 7 days. The medication should be given until two days after symptoms of illness have disappeared. Lots of vets substitute trimethoprim/sulfa combination medications (Ditrim Rx, Tribrissen Rx, Bactrim RX) for this sulfadimethoxine, using a dosage of 15mg/lb of the combined product and this seems to work, too. While it is probably impossible to kill all the coccidia in a puppy with clinical disease using medications, it may help reduce the numbers of organisms that littermates and housemates are subjected to and to shorten the duration of clinical signs.

In some cases it does seem like there is resistance to the sulfanomides. I am not sure if this is actually the case, since it is difficult to tell if the medication is working in the first place. However, if this is suspected, alternative medications include ampolium (Corid Rx) and furozolidin (Furoxone Rx).

General cleanliness does not ensure that infections will not occur, but removal of contaminated stool reduces the potential for infection. The oocysts are supposed to be pretty resistant to most disinfectants and things like steam cleaning or flame guns may be necessary to actually kill the oocysts, which is impractical for most situations.  Keeping access to mice down (especially for cats) is also a good idea.

So the direct answers to your questions are that most of the time all littermates are infected. It is not likely that other species will be affected. The organism is spread in the stool, so keeping non-infected pets away from the stool of infected pets is helpful but if they share a common environment it is highly likely that infection will occur. The infection may or may not cause clinical disease and treatment is generally considered to be necessary only for pets showing clinical signs.

I hope this information is helpful.

Mike Richards, DVM 8/20/2001    

Molera

Molera (open fontanel) is seen in the toy breeds. 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. But unlike babies, most Chihuahuas don't outgrow it. Although it usually shrinks as the dog matures and ends up between nickel and dime-sized, Pepe's molera won't be a problem as long as you're gentle when petting or handling his head.
I have seen Molera in Papillons and they closed completely up by the time the Papillon was mature. It does not pose any health problems as long as the puppy does not get hit on the soft spot. Breeders do not and cannot guarantee
against this.
In Very rare cases will you find a dog with a Molera have Hydrocephalus. The two are none related.

Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus ( water on the brain) you may find in small breeds and large breeds. The puppy may have an unusually large head for his size caused by swelling. Other signs of this condition are frequent falling, learning problems, seizures, a lot of white showing in the eyes, an unsteady gait, and east-west eyes (the opposite of crossed eyes). A puppy with a mild cases of Hydrocephalus may never show any signs and can live a perfectly normal life.
In some cases it can be treated with medications and the dog live a normal life. Where as a puppy with Sever Hydrocephalus may need to be euthanasia. (put to sleep).
Hydrocephalus can also accure due to a fall or from trama to the head.
Breeders do not guarantee against this.

Puppy Care

Supplements We Add to the Dogs' Food

We use Royal Canin dog food for our adult dogs from Pet Smart but in addition we supplements our dogs with the follwing. The essentail oils and vitamin and mineral supplements are added supplements based on an indivial or personal requirements. Every dog is different and needs different amounts of supplements.
Raw eggs Vitamin C
Vitamin E Vitamin/Mineral Supplement
Echinacea
Fish Oil
Cod Liver Oil
Yogurt Can Help Fight
Off
Intestinal Parasites
One thing you can do to help your puppies health is to add a teaspoon of yogurt to their food. The organic yogurt daily is what we recommened to use. Your dog will love it, and the "live culture" present in yorgurt will work wonders in your dogs intestinal tract. The intestinal tract is home of the always present coccidea parasites and organic yogurt works wonders in fighting of coccida growth. It doesn't cost much, and the Horizon Organic Yogurt is avaliable at most grocery stores and Walmart- but any organic yogurt will suffice.
Crate or X-Pen Training
Why crate train? Dogs are den animals and feel safe in enclosed spaces. By nature they do not want to excreting waste in the places where they sleep and eat. It also keeps them safe and out of harms way.
Never let a puppy have free run of your home not untill he or she is house broken. Remove them from there crate and let them go out side after eating, sleeping and playing. Rewards like treats work great to use after they have gone and potted. I always use the term go potty and they tend to learn very quickly what I am asking of them. Then when you return to the inside of your home you can let them play for a while in your kitchen or den, if you keep a close eye on them and then return them to there crate or X-Pen after play session is over. I would let them have potty session atleast every 1-2 hours when they are very young.

Designer Dogs The Myth
We don't believe in mixing breeds. We believe that this could do more harm than good to our breeders and should never be done we take all the precautions possible necessary to make sure this never happens we believe in keeping are breeds Pure no mixing breeds...
The myth that crossing breeds can produce a healthier puppy is not true at all,each breed has enough inherent problems itself. Crossing two breeds could very well produce puppies that inherit all the problems of both breeds, and there will be no guarantee on how there temperments will be when you cross the breeds are what they will look like when an adult.
They call the cross dogs designer dogs and demand high prices and we all know that these dogs are mixed bred Mutts and should be priced as such.