For many years, large dogs have been the go-to pets for many as they are good watchdogs, perfect for kids, and easy to train—no wonder why many pet lovers decide to take good care of medium-sized and large breeds.
But they cost more, tend to shed, scare people, and might require an expensive diet.
What’s the best alternative to consider?
Teacup dogs might exceed your needs. According to the American Kennel Club, teacup breeds are getting more popular with their loving personality and cute size than ever.
Every year, the number of teacup dog’s registration continues to increase.
Compared to large breeds, they cost less in terms of veterinary expenses and food.
They are also less costly and easier to take during your escapades as they don’t take much space on airplanes.
Similar to large breeds, teacup dogs have some drawbacks you need to know.
Aside from being aggressive, they have a few potential health risks. What are those?
Don’t worry as you came to the right place. In this article, we will also know some common health problems with teacup dogs. Are you ready? Let’s get started!
1. Heart Defects
One of the common health risks with teacup dogs is serious heart disease due to the breed’s genetic predispositions.
Studies show that heart disease cases in teacup breeds are over 75%, and the number is expected to double in the coming months.
Before they suffer from heart failure, a heart murmur is the first recognized sign.
Regular checkup with certified and licensed veterinarians can reduce their risk and avoid other potential problems in the future.
Yes, a heart murmur in teacup breeds is sometimes hard to determine, especially when you don’t have prior experience.
This is where vets play a role. But be careful when choosing a medical professional.
Always direct your attention to the right specialists for your peace of mind.
Aside from a heart murmur, other heart disease symptoms in small dogs include rapid breathing, lethargy, excessive panting, loss of appetite, fainting, and coughing.
If you see any of the signs in your teacup dogs, contact, and visit your vet right away.
Stress is another health risk with teacup dogs. Unlike heart defects, an anxious dog is easy to identify.
There are different ways to find whether or not your pets are stressed. Here are a few signs of stress in small breeds according to the American Kennel Club:
- They start destroying different types of objects at home
- Pooping or peeing inside your space
- A sudden change in behavior (abrupt aggression)
- Restlessness, pacing, and panting
- Repetitive behaviors
Now, why do teacup dogs get stressed? Well, there are various reasons. Usually, they get anxious because of a new environment, loud noises, and strange objects. What else? Other causes of stress in dogs are highlighted below:
Of course, you cannot be with your pets 24/7. You need to go to the office to work, shop in malls, and meet a friend. What are you going to do to avoid separation anxiety? Proper training is crucial.
Introducing them to new people.
Dogs are man’s best friend. But not all teacup breeds are comfortable being with new faces.
The trick here is to give them enough time and even space. Plus, never pressure them. It takes time and a lot of effort, after all.
Whether you’re rehoming or adopting a teacup dog for the first time, they might get anxious. So, don’t be surprised when they throw up or pee inside your home.
Is your teacup dog suffering from confusion, disorientation, restlessness, seizures, or low energy levels?
If yes, don’t relax! Give your vet a call.
Or take your dog to a medical specialist right away to avoid serious complications as they might have hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
Because of their size, any teacup breeds tend to have low blood sugar, especially when they don’t take any food for a day.
Make sure they have access to enough food and water every day.
The most important thing to do is to monitor them 24/7. If you have a busy schedule, let someone supervise them.
Don’t forget to instruct them before you leave.
4. Liver Shunts
Pug, Maltese breeds, Yorkshire Terrier, and other teacup dogs are cute, affectionate, energetic, and faithful.
No wonder why you’re planning to have any of them soon.
But before you make a decision, take note that teacup breeds are more prone to congenital liver shunts.
What is it? This birth defect happens when the major blood vessel of the liver directs blood around the organ.
Common symptoms include blood in the urine, anorexia, disorientation, weight loss, lethargy, straining while urinating, seizures, staring excessively, stumbling, frequent urination, constipation, and behavior changes circling, and blindness.
Aside from being hereditary, other factors might develop liver shunts in dogs.
Too many toxins, for instance, might bypass the liver and go into the system.
Whether your teacup pets suffer from anorexia or disorientation, contact a trusted and certified medical professional to avoid unexpected problems in the future.
When they are diagnosed with liver shunts, a surgical closure is a popular treatment. How does it work?
Before administering the treatment, vets stabilize the dog. Then, they administer IV fluid therapy to balance electrolytes and restore hydration.
They also try to reduce the toxins and ammonia in the intestine with enough amount of lactulose.
After that, the surgery takes place. Specifically, the shunt is tied off to help the blood pass thru the liver.
Another medical condition common in teacup breeds is hydrocephalus.
Known as water on the brain, the condition is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull.
While some believe it can be congenital, a few other experts say that it can be acquired after inflammation or trauma.
Signs of hydrocephalus in teacup dogs are altered gait, enlarged skull, blindness, circling, difficulty learning commands, and behavioral changes.
Before, hydrocephalus was difficult to treat. Things changed today. Thanks to the advancement of technology.
What many dentists do is that they instill a shunt in the brain to drain the buildup of fluid into the abdomen.
However, the surgery might break your bank. Yes, it is expensive.
If you cannot afford this kind of treatment, medical management is another popular and effective solution.
Depending on the medications, this treatment can help control seizures and even brain inflammation. But it takes time, so you have to be patient.
Diuretics are another treatment you might take into consideration. Similar to the surgery and medications, diuretics can effectively draw the buildup of fluid from the brain.
Ask your doctor for what’s best for your teacup dogs. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Everything will be all right.
Chronic stress is indeed a top factor that leads to incontinence in teacup dogs. Other types of anxiety can also provide a contributing effect.
Apart from that, their small size can result in incontinence.
Compared to large breeds, teacup dogs have tiny bladders, making repetitive bathroom breaks crucial.
Set a timer on your mobile phone or laptop to remember your dog’s potty breaks for your convenience.
At first, you might find the process stressful, especially when you are a starter. But everything will be easy and simple as time goes by.
House training can also be a lifesaver. You can invest in a turf potty patch and a dog litter box. It is also important to bring them out to pee and poop. It depends on your preferences.
Aside from constant peeing, you might notice some rashes or skin redness in your dogs. Don’t panic. Your vets are just a call away, remember!
Another effective way to manage incontinence is by using dog diapers.
Instead of investing in the cheapest brands to save some cash, purchase trusted products.
Although it’s costly, its quality can ensure your dog’s comfort 24/7.
Incontinence in teacup breeds is overwhelming and tiring for some pet owners, so they limit their dog’s water intake.
Don’t do the same thing. Give them enough access to water to avoid dehydration, hypoglycemia, and urinary tract infection.
7. Bone Fractures
Large dog breeds are strong. On the other hand, teacup dogs are fragile, making them prone to simple or complicated bone fractures.
Unlike large pets, small dogs don’t have enough supporting muscles around their long bones.
But don’t remove outdoor exercises and activities from their daily routine. They badly need it just like medium-sized and large dogs.
As a pet owner, don’t allow them to jump off elevated surfaces, including the bed or couch. This helps reduce the risks of any bone fractures.
Since teacup dogs are playful, you can install sturdy gates to restrict access to other parts of your home.
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It is also imperative to be aware of where you are stepping. Your cute pup might be hiding from the carpet.
Signs of bone fractures are swelling, limping, whining, and trembling. Before you bring them to a vet, don’t forget to stabilize the affected legs.
Then, transport them to your vet for proper treatment and quality medication.
8. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
A brachycephalic airway syndrome is an upper airway problem in flat-faced or short-nosed dog breeds.
Suffering from a compressed respiratory system, your teacup dogs might experience a hard time breathing.
If you have large dogs and provide them strenuous exercise, your teacup Yorkshire terrier has a different case.
It is imperative to modify the exercise they need. You can ask an experienced trainer for more information.
Also, don’t demand too much from your cute pets. They might not exceed your expectations.
Health Tips for Your Teacup Dogs
There are a lot of many health dangers teacup dogs might experience along the way. While some medical conditions are congenital, other health concerns might be acquired. Keeping your dog’s health is the best way to protect them from any health risks.
Here are some useful tips you should weigh in mind:
1. Proper Diet is Key
It’s a bit tricky to find a diet that best suits your dog’s needs, and a medical professional might be of great help throughout the process.
Suppose you cannot afford to hire a certified specialist, ask what kind of food the pet owner of your teacup dog use. Feed them with the exact brand to avoid digestion-relation issues at the end of the day.
It’s also all right to introduce fresh whole foods to your pets, including fruits and vegetables. They are full of good enzymes that would keep your dog healthy.
Whole foods are packed with fiber that can improve stools, encourage pooping, and aid digestion.
Alternatively, feed them with a range of ingredients rich in strong anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, and other quality components.
Instead of rice, organic green lentils are a perfect alternative. Also, add enough raw coconut oil to their daily food as they are a good source of fat.
2. Enough Water Intake is Imperative
Enough water intake keeps your dog hydrated all year round. Although they might pee more often than expected, don’t reduce the amount of water they drink every day.
Instead, put enough water dishes in places your dogs can find easily. Also, make sure to monitor the water level so that your dog can stay hydrated all day long.
3. Keep them Active
large dogs can adjust to strenuous exercise. Small breeds, on the contrary, are different. Walking with them is an ideal workout routine that might not put them in danger.
Besides walking, try other simple exercises to give your pets a fun and interesting experience every day.
Don’t forget to provide them with treats and other forms of reward to help them retain learning in the long run.
4. Protect them from Fleas and Ticks
Many parasites, including ticks and fleas, don’t just affect your teacup dogs’ comfort level. They can also transmit Lyme disease and other health issues to your pets.
Damage to their skin, for instance, can lead to bacterial infections. When not treated right away, these infections might get serious.
It is necessary to check your dog’s fur for parasites. Aside from using tweezers, take advantage of safe and effective antiseptic solutions to enjoy the quality and immediate results.