Bellissima Farms

  


           
HEALTH   CONSIDERATIONS

First & foremost, the irrepressible Chinese Crested is a TOY dog of the "small dog breed".  
All dogs evolved from the wolf, therefore one can assume these small breeds came from 
select breeding of miniature sized forefathers.  Small dogs, probably thru human 
intervvention, had specific job descriptions, developed to fill specific needs of mankind.  

Some small dogs are scrappy w/ great perseverance, no doubt used to flush vermin from
their holes & quick enough to catch & destroy.  

Some were eaten, while others were kept as royal companions, resting on laps, sleeping
in their masters  beds, keeping Poppa warm at night.  Intelligence, agreeable personalities,
cleanliness, talent, trainability put them in castles or in the entertainment field.  

Compatibility within our lives is their current job description.  Our unspoken promise to 
protect them from all evils translates to maintaining a lifestyle within our home but also to
pay attention to any health issues that may shadow the small dog breeds.

This page is not intended to do anything but keep you aware of a toy dogs health
considerations.  Large dogs have their own concerns which rarely beleaguer the litle guys.
Chinese Cresteds are a toy dog - but are not  necessarily prone to all considerations of
other toys.  Use information wisely - as a thumbnail of guidance. 

Theories abound where genetic cause of small breed maladies are because inbreeding is 
prominent among some breeders, mating two small dogs of very very close lineage to
produce mofe of their "type".  

Bellissima  Farms does not engage in any close line crossing, specifically no in-breeding.
Foundation studs/dams were acquired from various breeders - careful selection/planning is
done, in addition to post-birth evaluation of prior litters in order to determine tomorrow's path. 




Cross-species-transmission is made by organisms called "zoonotic" - however most 
dog diseases are not transmissable to humans.   A few, spred via drool, feces or
urine are some worms (hookworms/tapeworms), bacteria (salmonella/campylobacter),
& viruses such as rabies, West nile & Lyme, fungi such as ringworm,  or small bugs
such as fleas/mites. Keep doggy poopy areas away from kids' play area, wash hands 
after handling animals or touching their waste.  Dont share dog/human cooking/mixing
utensils.

*Keep dog vaccinated
*Watch for any behavioral changes
*Make sure you have a vet who is understanding to your concerns


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Symptoms that should cause concern:

General body/attitude:  unusually quiet, disinterest in food/water, uncharacteristic soiling
in house, weight loss, coughing/wheezing, unusual odor in mouth, skin, feces/urine, lack of 
bowel movement/passing urine, repeated vomiting/diarrhea, blood in vomit/urine/diarrhea,
repeated circling, crying out in movement, yipping uncontrollably, head/neck turned to side
w/ inability to move to front position, disorientation/loss of motor skills, drainage from 
anywhere, does not respond to commands. 

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 VACCINATIONS?  ARE THEY NECESSARY?

Vaccinations are definitely reccomended by American Vetrinary Medical Association - each identified by pups individual exposure to certain diseases or immune history.  Rabies are mandatory.  Do your homework, make responsible decisions for the health of your pet.  Some diseases are treatable, but a long road back.  Others are fatal.   Be a responsible pet owner.

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SPAY OR NEUTER?  WHATS THE DEAL?

PLEASE quickly spay or neuter any dog not intended for reproduction.  Chinese Cresteds become sexually mature very early in life - your commands cannot supercede those of Mother Nature.  A dog should not be punished for responding to nature because YOU didn't do the right thing, at the right time.  CC's should undergrow the proper procedure around 4 months - in accordance w/ your vet's advice.  Cost effective spay/neuter clinics ar popping up everywhere, allowing owners to complete routine procedures for much less than previous visits.  Females avoid annoying heat cycles & threat of uterine cancer.  Lack of hormones translates to lack of mammary cancer threats.  Males avoid testicular cancer & reduction in aggressiveness that arises during mating seasons.  Completed early enough, urine marking, wandering & other undesired behavior is practically eliminated. DO IT EARLY!  Don't allow the hormone factory to begin chugging out hormones that cause behavior the dog may remember.

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Hypoglycemia - drop in blood sugar, which comes on rapidly causing shock & possible death.  Symptoms are when an otherwise healthy pup, perhaps after rapid exercise or picky eating, falls lifeless, limp - in a kind of unconsciousness.  Rapid response if vital to saving his life - approx. 1 teaspoon of honey, corn syrup carefully into his mouth - in a pinch, pancake syrup can be used. Hold pup so there is no choking - follow up w/ a bit of gatorade-like product, to even out electrolytes.  Little pups expend a great deal of energy/nutrition on growth - add some rowdy romping to use up stored nutrients & necessary sugars drop.  More feedings per day can help - along w/ the fabulous tube vitamin Nutri-Cal or Puppy-Cal - FABULOUSLY helpful. NutriCal is a serious staple at our ranch.

Allergies - exhibit themselves as itchy ears, skin conditions, head shaking, bald/raw spots, runny eyes/nose, sneezing, caughing, vomiting, diarrhea.  Dogs can be allergic to things that aggravate  people:  pollen grass, mold, dust, flea bites, foods.
If you have suspicions of an allergy, see your vet. Contact allergies - reaction to items that "touch".  Inhalant - mildew, mold - anything inhaled.  Food allergies - anything taken orally - sometimes food that has worked well for years can cause a reaction.  Just like us, sometiems, something bugs them.  CC's are not overly allergic, no more than people.  however, it does occur. Atopy is an allergic skin condition believed to be hereditary in origin - it manifests as a non-parasitic skin itching, redness, inflammation -scratching - while the pup may lick his feet, thus alluding to a grass allergy, it may well be from an inhalant.  

Epilepsy - Dogs can have seizures, just like people.  Causes are many.  The pup may fall to ground, lose consciousness, grind teeth or chatter the jaws, thrash limbs, run in place, or stiffen.  Bowel/bladder control is lost.  Post-seizure, the dog may be
temporarily blind or deaf, wander, pace or eat/drink excessively.  See the vet.

Dental disorders - missing teeth are common in small breeds - but gum disease & resultant tooth loss is strictly lack of hygiene.  Gum disease contributes to heart disease & kidney infections.  Under/over bites is inherited in small dogs - no exhibition pups can carry this trait, but it doesnt seem to affect a pet dog.

Fleas/ticks - Flea prevention is essential, especially in warmer months.  Ticks can pass on diseases, see  your vet.  Some dogs are very allergic to over the counter powders/collars. Hairless CC's happily offer much less fur for the flea to make a home & breed.  Vacuum frequently, especially in Spring/summer when flea season is in high gear.  Change vacuum bags frequently as fleas can like/escape & reinfest your home.  Run pillows thru warm dry cycle of dryer - 15-20 minutes.  Keep bedding very clean - wash weekly - hot, soapy water.  Fleas hide in carpets & upholstered furniture.  
Ticks have a harpoon-like barbed mouth which attach to host for feeding.  Sticky secretions & crab like legs hold it in place while it leaves behind infectious organizms & transmits diseases such as babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, tick paralysis - all delivering problems such as muscle aches, loss of appetite, weakness, swollen joints, lack of coordination.  Tick habitats include woods, grass, lawns, forests - but are also carried by night creatures, such as racoons.  

Colitis - inflammation of bowel - various causes, from allergies to infection.  Feces may have mucus/blood, unproductive straining, bloody diarrhea.  Dehydration can kill rather quickly  - seek vet care.  

Parasites - worms (hookworms, round worms, tapeworms heart worms) can be addressed by the vet.  General symptoms includes lethargy, diarrhea, small worms or white egg fragments in feces,  - various parasites, various symptoms.  External parasites - fleas, ticks, mites - require different treatment.  Mosquitos transfer parasites.  Dog parks are worrisome for primarily for this reason.  Keep your dog clean - inside & out.

Coccidiosis/Giardiasis - protozoal infection - affect puppies while older dogs may harbor, but not exhibit any problems - symptoms: diarrhea, weight loss, lack of appetite

Diabetes - the body stops responding to insulin or stops making it - sugars are not processed correctly.  Kidneys will release sugar into the urine - dog usually drinks & urinates more often.  Other signs:  weight loss despite increased appetite, blindness, numb limbs.  Early detection is crucial.

Inter-digital cysts - infection between toes resulting in painful boil-like swelling.  Long soaks/epson salts, some folks use a bit of bleach as staph is usually involved - dont combine - along w/ topical antibacterial ointments will likely bring infection to surface.  Oral antibiotics may be needed

Anal sac conditions - Anal sacs are tiny organs located on either side of anus - they produce liquid thought to asist dogs in marking their territory.  The ducts sometimes become blocked/infected.  Signs:  scooting his bottom along the ground, lexcesssive licking on the area.  Expressing the blocked liquid is easy, have your vet show you how to handle it yourself  - or, if squeamish,  have them do it.Simple & quick.

Bloat - serious condition that can rapidly kill - the stomach inflates w/ gas or fluids, twists around & may press on major arteries disrupting blood flow, putting pup in shock.   It can follow heavy exercise, large meal, lots of fluid intake.   Signs are distended belly, drooling, dry vomiting, pale gums.  CC's are not typically susceptible, but be aware. 

Dysplasia - deterioration of a joint, usually hip/elbow - inflammation results - symptoms include:  pain or slowness upon rising, 
swollen joints, pain

Heart Disease - Symptoms:  weight loss, coughing, pale mucuous membranes, exercise intolerance, fluid accummulation in various body parts.  The vet can identify which & what.

Obesity - fat dogs are at a higher risk in surgery, just like humans.  They tend to have greater # of injuries, and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.  There is more stress on heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, joints, intestines & stomach.

Rabies - virus invades central nervous system, causing pain, anxiety, haluccinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, & finally, death.  Vaccinations can prevent an otherwise likely death.

Lyme disease - infected dogs sometiems limp, have swollen lymph nodes, temperature above norm, lack of appetite.  it affects heart, kidney, joints - leads to neuro disorders - relapses can occur - vet intervention necessary. Preventible w/ vaccine.

Leptospirosis - caused by bacteria, symptoms vary:  fever vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, depression, muscle pain infertility - antibiotics are sometiems effective.  However, vaccinations can ward away any such worries.  THIS VACCINATION HAS PROVEN TO CAUSE PROBLEMS W/ CHINESE CRESTEDS.

Distemper - virus attacks respiratory, gastro, & nervous system.  Symptoms include;  eye/nose discharge, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, twitching, seizures, paralysis, death.  Vaccines can fortify the immune system in order to fight against an attack.

Bordetella - very communicable bacteria - symptoms:  coughing, whooping, vomiting, seizures & death.  Vaccines available.

Hepatitis - virus attacks liver - symptoms:  fever, congestion of mucus membranes, depression, vomiting, jaundice, enlarged abdomen, vaccine available

Corona - virus attacks gasto system - sometimes respiratory - Symptoms:  loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, no drugs to cure, but vaccines to prevent. 

Parainfluenza - contributes to kennel cough - vaccine available

Kennel cough - bacterial or viral - inflammation of upper airways - often involves multiple infections simultaneously, Symptoms:  dry, hard cough, retching, gagging, loss of appetite, - easily spred in close quarters. Vaccines can improve immune system.

Parvovirus - virus zeros in on gastro system - Symptoms:  vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, extreme dehydration comes on rapidly & can kill pup - easier to keep pup alive by preparing his system w/ vaccinations.  

Heartworm - worms lodge in heart/pulmonary arteries, sometimes invade liver & kidneys.  Worms can grow to 14 inches in length, sometimes blocking/injuring organs.  New infection not noticable, late stage may cough, lose appetite, tire quickly,  - transmitted by mosquitos.  Vaccinations available.  

Eyes - possible disorders:   
Cataracts - like humans, can affect 1 or both eyes - can develope early or late in life - surgical action is possible - consult w/ vet
Corneal erosions - eye trauma - see vet as specific meds are required
PRA-progressive retinal atrophy - genetic - affects both eyes - not painful to pup - evolves to complete blindness
Dry eye - 1 or both eyes - chronic eye infections - daily flush w/ saline, severe dry eye ointment no less than 2 x day helps but of course, your vet will test to verify this is causing infections- can evolve to secondary glaucoma, which may cause headaches
Glaucoma - primary is inherited -usually both eyes involved 
See  your vet for identification of problem - some can be treated w/ over the counter remedies

Ears - any dogs can be deaf in one or both ears - every so often, HL, as in many HL breeds,  are born missing ear canals
If dog is scratching at ears, shaking head or emits a foul odor from ears -see vet - could be allergies, mites, bacterial, yeast, fungus. Pretty darn distressing to the pup - have it addressed by vet - also practice good ear hygiene to avoid dirty build up - careful when bathing - put cotton in ears.  Reoccuring ear infection are sometimes the sign of another problem, such as thyroid disease - history & testing will deliver footprints to lead to origin. 

Food allergies/sensitivities - like people, CC's can be sensitive to anything, but not necessarily everything (as earlier reading material may have insinuated) - soy, corn, lamb, beef, chicken could cause anything from itching/scratching  to red skin spots or hair loss.  Your vet can help quickly identify origin.

Laryngeal spasms/paralysis -- reverse sneezing  -- tracheal collapse - normally, a dog sneezes outward, however, occasionally the CC will "reverse sneeze", air is noisily sucked into the nose - will stay locked in awful sounding pattern for 30-90 seconds.  Not a problem unless it obviously evolves into something worse, but it shouldn't.  Laryngeal spasms exhibits as respiratory sounds after excitable moments.  Dramatic snorting, choking sounds along w/ a bit of dry vomiting are symptoms - unless the pup begins to suffer lack of oxygen, just keep an eye on them.  Paralysis & spasms are different - paralysis may require surgery.  Tracheal collapse is degeneration of cartilage that moves air up/down. There ae varying degrees of tracheal collapse, depnding on # of rings involved.   Sometimes requires vet intervention (surgery) if severe, but is not something that should be in the forefront of your mind when choosing a CC.  Does it happen?  Yes.  Is it regular common occurance?  Not usually.  All of these disorders have similar sounds of rapid in/out air movement, snorting, hacking, etc.  - unless recovery does not occur within a minute or so, or it becomes a multiple time per day concern, no need to rush to vet - unless you see symptoms that warrant immediate response.  Bellissima Farms is not a vet center, however we have much experience w/ CC's, do what you think is correct for your family.   

Acne - umbrella term for whiteheads, blackheads, clogged pores, inflammations.  Sebaceous glands under the skin produce lubrication.  Like people, unless the dead skin cells on top are exfoliated, oil remains trapped, mixes w/ bacteria & causes problems.  Results can be mild/annoying or painful w/ large infections.   As w/ a human teenager, hormones rage, stimulate excretion of sebum - exacerbating the problem.  Hygiene is of upmost importance:  make bath day a spa day.  Warm, longgggg soaking bathes - using disposable scrubbies (oatmeal soaps, epsom salts, etc.) are great.  Warm water opens the pores, scrubby products helps slough off dead cells trapping oils/bacteria/dirt.  Disposable scrubbies help prevent re-infection of the same bacteria. Active towel drying helps remove the final tops that are rising out of the skin.  Diligent, regular spa days will quickly put the situation in a much better place.  Stubborn infections can be dabbed w/ over the counter acne solutions containing benzoyl peroxide are also effective.  Prudent home-doctoring does not mix products & is careful w/ products used in the sun.  While moderate sun exposure is great for the dog, sun light on acne medications could be hurtful.  As we all know, excessive sunlight on unprotected skin, human or otherwise, is foolhardy.     

Patellar luxation - kneecap dislocation - bones have slipped out of position due to injury or poor alignment  or weakened soft tissue - Symptoms:  dog runs w/ leg lifted & held flexed - occasionally, surgery is prudent.

Legg-Calve-Perthes - believed to be hereditary necrosis of femoral head - small dog disease - increasing lameness, atrophy of thigh &  upper leg muscles/ w/ distortion of femur - painful - see vet     

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Bubblegum is dangerous to dogs - sugar-free variety is deadly.  Xylitol toxicity - in gum, low calorie foods & pastries - can cause concerns such as liver failure.

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Top Dog Needs:

a.  healthy diet - the body cannot function/grow without proper nutrition.
b.  comfort - providing loving comfort is what makes a pet feel safe.  The best comfort?  Sleeping in owners bed, snuggled for naps & nightime sleep.
c.  exercise - pets suffer more physical problems when not exercised.  Keep off the extra pounds to keep a happier, healthier life.

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Water is vital to a dogs health.  its essential for life.  Water helps digest food, carry & absorb nutrients, flush out waste & control body temps.

next to oxygen, water is most important.  Dogs can go for days without food - lose all its fat & up to 1/2 its protein and STILL survive.  But when a dog loses just 10% of its boys water, bodily functions shut down causing serious ilness.  A 15% of water loss will kill him.

Water needs depend on :  stress level, activity, size, age, health & kind of food he eats.  Weather can also be a factor.

As a general rule, dogs should take in 2.5     x  more water than food.  For example:  a dog requires 1 cup of water for every 5 lbs. of body weight - therefore a 20 lb. dog needs 3 cups of water per day.

the dog does not have to drink the daily fill of water, as some can be obtained thru the food eaten.  Wet food has alot more water content than kibble.  Apple snacks are also a great water source.

When fresh, clean water is available, a dog will generally consume all he needs to survive.  The fresher the water, the more appealing it will be.

Wash water bowl to remove bacteria.

Dogs seem to prefer cool water, while in winter months, warm water sometimes works to act as "core-warmer".

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PetPlace.com  (Dr. Jon)  reports cancer strikes 1 in 3 dogs in the same age group.

Some cancers, when discovered early, probability of a positive outcome is higher than 50%.  

Top 10 Signgs  of Cancer:

1.  Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to enlarge
2.  Sores that will not heal
3.  Weight loss
4.  loss of appetite
5.  Bleeding or discharge from any body orifice
6.  Offensive odor
7.  Difficulty eating or swallowing
8.  Loss of stamina, hesitation to exercise
9.  Persistant lameness, stiffness
10.  Difficulty breathing, urinating or defacating


Pet Insurance is an option to address long-term treatment.  

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