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Viewing Pet Directory:
The Pet Directory - Dog Articles -The Lion Dog of Peking

Supplied by Chihuahua Club of Victoria
As published in The Pet Directory NSW & ACT Edition

- Tea Cup Chihuahuas Myth -

This darling little fellow is “MindiBown Boyfromthebush”. We called him LeeFlea or just plain Flea. He’s shown here at 8 weeks when we had made the decision that he was staying right here. Quite a stunning little boy. A bit on the small side but that’s not really an issue with boys. Full of fire and spunk.

Here’s another shot of him just a few weeks later. Very nice movement, good head, good tail set, good turn of stifle...Could perhaps do with a bit more chest, but very promising. Our decision to keep him here definitely looking like the right one.

In this photo of him while still definitely a “puppy” he weighed a little under 700 grams. That’s small, but not exceedingly so. The trouble is...he didn’t get much bigger after that.

Our last photo is of Flee at about 9 months of age. Quite full grown...and at his maximum size of 810 grams. This photo shows him about a month before he died. That’s right. Despite 24 hour a day care, we lost him at 10 months of age. Some have said we did well to keep him that long. Perhaps! Or was it a lost cause before we started. Very likely!

Flee is one more example of the possible heartache in deliberately looking for an “extra tiny” or so-called “Tea Cup” Chihuahua.

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There was nothing to indicate any serious health problems at 12 weeks. An age that he may well have gone to a pet home. Your home perhaps?
Our vet examined him and found absolutely nothing untoward about him. Clean bill of health. Gradually however, several things became evident.

That “nice high dome” was perhaps just a tad TOO high. A sign of Hydrocephoulous? Our vet wasn’t prepared to say either way. If it was, the opinion was that it was a minor case with a good chance he would grow out of it. But there was more. That nice strong movement deteriorated as he grew older. There was definitely a problem with his patellas. What else could you possibly expect with leg bones that were literally no bigger than the lead in a pencil?
The killer however only became evident much later. The first time I went to check him and found him almost lifeless in his bed. Eyes rolled back into his head and limp as a rag. The classic signs of a low blood sugar level, or more accurately...a Hypoglycemic episode. Ok, we’ve been here before. Get some water from the tea kettle, mix in a good dollop of honey and syringe it into him....quickly!

He’ll come good, although he’ll probably sleep for a long time now. Watch him for dehydration and keep your fingers crossed. He’s ok! For now!

Now’s the major decision time. Is this a sign of things to come? Or just a once off? It HAS happened in the past. One, maybe two attacks...then nothing! A happy healthy life.

Several weeks go by and all is well. Flee runs around the house and bosses everyone else around. He’s even starting to cock his leg to piddle, just like the big dogs. I started to think, “Just like a Chihuahua..only smaller.” And so-o-o-o cute. You’ve just gotta love him.

He’s going to be ok...isn’t he? Another attack! Not as severe this time, or maybe I just caught it earlier. Same treatment...Same result. Now we keep our fingers crossed...again. And so our life goes. Marking his attacks in the calendar. Are they getting less frequent? Yes.

Does this mean he’s going to grow out of it? Oh I hope so! The end came fairly predictably. The attacks started to come a bit more frequently. Then, to the point where he never really recovered from one, before the next one came. He just didn’t have a chance.

His liver was smaller than the fingernail on my little finger. His heart no bigger than a “Minty”. How can anything this tiny, this fragile..ever hope to live for long. He’s gone now. Has been for quite some time. And and again, I find myself thinking: “I’ll just check that Flee is ok!”

Oh!...Yes...That’s right...I don’t have to do that anymore. He’s ok...He’s in our front garden. The phones ringing..... It’s a Chihuahua Enquiry.

Yes, I’ll take it.

“Hello?...Jim speaking...You want a little Chihuahua puppy? An extra tiny ‘Tea Cup’ one because you think they’re so cute?” My God!
How can I explain things to you?

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