HYPOGLYCEMIA

Hypoglycemia definition:
Hypoglycemia is a sudden fall in the concentration of blood glucose (sugar) levels in the bodies blood volume below normal levels. The body uses glucose as its primary energy source.  An example is the brain which is completely dependent upon glucose to function and unlike many other organs, the brain has a very limited ability to store glucose. The dropping of blood glucose can cause seizures in dogs.

 

Production of glucose:
The pancreas makes the hormone insulin, when to much insulin has been produced your dog will develop Hyperglycemia and the production of not enough insulin will produce hypoglycemia..
The liver is responsible for manufacturing glucose (sugar) and for storing it in this usable form. Glucose can be stored in fat and muscle. Fat is the first preference of the body for the storage of glucose. Then the body  will use the muscles for extra storage of glucose. When the body requires energy the body will first convert the bodies stored glucose in the fat. After the body has used up all of that supply of glucose then the body will start to attack the muscle for it's storage of glucose.


Diabetes mellitus (DM):
This is a disorder whereby the  body is unable to regulate glucose (blood sugar) levels.  Regulating the diabetic dog so that their blood glucose levels are as normal as possible is vitally important.  A diabetic dog may even have the presence of sugar (glucose) in their blood stream but something interferes with the bodies ability of glucose (sugar) to enter into the body's cells where it is required for the life sustaining energy of those cells.  With no sugar in the cells, the cell dies in a very short period of time.


Hypoglycemia in small dogs:
Hypoglycemia is a common problem in small breed dogs like Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese,Toy Poodles and  Pomeranians. Some toy breeds suffer from hypoglycemia as a metabolic disorder. Sometimes in hunting dogs hypoglycemia occurs at the beginning of the hunting season, and is usually the result of poor conditioning and can also be related to poor nutrition.


Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia can be brought on by fasting and can usually be seen in puppies 5 to 16 weeks of age. Sometimes a dog will outgrow this condition. A dog that is high strung, or has a lot of nervous energy will need to be watched carefully. Keeping these pups in a calm state as much as possible avoiding any extra added stress. A pup born with a  low bodily temperature, a pup that has received poor nutrition, or may have had a sudden change in feed, water or their normal scheduled patterns may have increased their chance of developing hypoglycemia. Infections, and premature birth may also be linked to  the onset of hypoglycemia. The toy breeds runts may have insufficient muscle mass and that may make it difficult for the body to store the glucose and keep its blood sugar properly regulated.

 

“Puppy Hypoglycemia” is seen in toy breed dogs less than 5 months of age. These dogs have more brain mass per body weight compared to other breeds and therefore need more glucose for brain function.

 

Signs of hypoglycemia:
The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia are similar regardless of the cause. Confusion, disorientation, becoming drowsy at unusual times, shivers, and/or staggers about, Lethargy (lack of energy), weakness, head tilting, hunger, restlessness, stupor, convulsions, seizures, or coma and even death. The occurrence of the above signs depends on how far the blood glucose has dropped and on how fast the blood glucose drops.  Hypoglycemia reactions are thought of as "mild," "moderate," or "severe." If untreated, the early mild symptoms of hypoglycemia can become moderate or severe.  Immediate treatment by a veterinarian is imperative, as recurrence of, or prolonged attacks, can cause permanent damage to the brain.


Treating Hypoglycemia:
If you see one or more signs of hypoglycemia in your dog. Feed it immediately.
The first priority is to get its blood glucose back to a safe level. If the dog will not take food then try giving it a quickly absorbing source of sugar such as karo syrup, honey, or jam by mouth.  Liquid glucose is also available over the counter in most drug stores; and is a good thing to have on hand.


Be Prepared:
Always have corn syrup available or maple syrup that can be absorbed quickly into the dogs bloodstream. Give one teaspoon of syrup to a small dog, and one tablespoon of syrup to a large dog. The effect of syrup does not last long, but it works quickly to reverse a low blood sugar situation. If your pet is unconscious Rub the syrup on the gums and under the tongue. If your pet is not unconscious and can swallow you can give the sugar with a needleless (no needle) syringe. Keep on hand a filled 1mL syringe (no needle) with corn syrup, and carry it on trips in case it is needed. If your pets blood sugar drops it may also begin to suffer with hypothermia, so you'll need to help keep your dog warm with a hot water bottle and blankets. A milk jug filled with steaming hot water makes a good hot water bottle in a pinch. This treatment can also work with puppies  who are failing to thrive. Do not pour the syrup into the dog's mouth. Simply lift one side of the dog's lip and rub the syrup into that area. Additional information: If you own a toy breed dog you should feed 3 small meals a day to help avoid hypoglycemia. Some owners mix Karo syrup in the drinking
water, if you do this the water should be changed daily to avoid bacteria growth. Hypoglycemia is very dangerous and can kill if left without treatment. Immediate treatment by a veterinarian is imperative.....

 

GENETICS

 

Breeding and the study of Genetics must go hand an hand.
The understanding of basic Genetics is not so obscure nor is it to technical for the average person to understand.


Ethics should play a major role in your breeding program.
A Chihuahua that is not physically and mentally sound should not be bred. There are no BUTS...A Chihuahua should show TYPE . Any person should be able to look at a Chihuahua and KNOW that it is a Chihuahua. A Chihuahua that does not show type should not be breed. A "Master" breeder will have researched the problems existing in Chihuahuas and especially in his/her own line. The "Master" breeder is sure of the soundness of their line. The success of your breeding program will be based on the soundness of your foundation sire and bitch. Soundness is the physical and mental health of your Chihuahuas at the phenotype & genotype level.

 

Every breeder needs to understand these three simple facts :
1. There will always be pet quality Chihuahuas in your litters.
2. Show dogs will make great pets but the reverse is NOT true.
3. Every Chihuahua carries at least 4-5 genetic defects.  It is up to you to make sure that the defects will not cause any harm to the Chihuahua or will place an undue hardship on the pet owner that will be buying your pet quality stock. 

 

Genetics
In each cell of a living being are chromosomes, where all information about the appearance of the plant, animal or human is stored. Chromosomes come in pairs, one donated from the father and one from the mother makes up the pair.
Dogs have 39 pairs. Repeat breedings will not bring the same results and each offspring can arrange the pairs in a different arrangement. That is why litter mates do not look the same. The part of the chromosome that carries the information for a certain attribute or trait is called gene (plural genes), like the genes/trait for hair color, the gene/trait for blue eyes etc. The place on the chromosome where this gene is Located, is called the locus (plural loci).

 

The four terms to know:
1. GENOTYPE:  What the Chihuahua looks like on the inside. The make-up of all of the genes including the good as well as the bad. Those that can be seen and those that may remain hidden to show up in the offspring for even as long as 5 generations in the future.    

2. PHENOTYPE: What the Chihuahua looks like on the outside, it's physical appearance.

3. HOMOZYGOUS: Two of the same genes, a match or an identical pair said to be "pure" for this trait.               

 4. HETEROZYGOUS: Means two differing genes in a pair or mixed genes, one of each kind (hybrid). Not "pure" for this trait. 


              There are three genotypes for every gene/trait:

1. Double Dominant or pure for a character = Dominant Homozygous uses two Capitol letters.

2. Double Recessive or pure for a character = Recessive Homozygous uses two small letters.

3. Mixed Genes or Hybrids = Heterozygous uses one small letter and one Capitol letter.


               There are four modes of inheritance
1. AUTOSOMAL RECESSIVE
2. AUTOSOMAL DOMINANT
3. SEX-LINKED
4. POLYGENIC

Note:
It is not possible to BLEND genes. You cannot breed a large Chihuahua to a small Chihuahua and hope to get medium size Chihuahuas. You cannot breed a long legged Chihuahua to a short legged Chihuahua and hope to get medium size legged Chihuahuas. Etc.. You will get a mixed bag of results. Some will be like dad and some will be like mom.It is also important to remember that due to the usually small size of the Chihuahua litters it is not as feasible to do test matings to see what a lot of the recessive genes are in our breed.

 

                     So what can we do?  

1. Prioritize the traits in our breeding program.

2. Encourage open registries for your breed club.

3. Follow your puppies and find out what developed with them. Yes. ALL OF YOUR PUPPIES not just the show ones. If the new owners do not keep in touch with you then you must try to keep in touch with them.

4.  Be sure to sell all of your pet stock ALREADY spayed/neutered. Just because they are fixed does not mean you don't need to know what genetically develops with them.

 

5.  Learn the percentages of risk for all of your matings remembering that every dog carries 4-5 defects.

6.  Learn that when told all the defects of the dog in question that it does not mean to blacklist this dog but it allows for you to calculate the risks of breeding your dog to theirs and what the chances are for the offspring to develop the defects. It is not important that a dog is a carrier but it is important to know what they are carrying.

Over the course of time, many genetic factors have been located and named and work continues today in many areas of dog genetics. Keeping abreast of the current developments of dog genetics should be a priority for your success of developing healthy and winning dogs

 

 CHIHUAHUA SPECIFIC GENETICS

This list of Chihuahua genetic health problems is not all inclusive. The Chihuahua for the most part has very little health problems. Some health problems may not even be listed here that you may know of that has occurred in the Chihuahua breed. There is a need for surveys to be sent to Chihuahua owners, Veterinarians,etc....  A data bank of disorders then can be compiled and research money can be directed toward the most common diseases to find cures or genetic markers for our beloved Chihuahuas. It is important to take note that Polygenic traits like Recessive traits must come from BOTH sides of the Chihuahuas pedigree. No dam or sire can transmit ALL of the genes involved in these traits.
Polygenic
traits are not equal in the transmittal of faulty genes from both sides of the pedigree.
Recessive
traits are equal in the transmittal of faulty genes from both sides of the pedigree.
Undetermined is used when not enough data has been obtained to determine if the trait is Recessive or Polygenic. BUT
it comes from both sides of the pedigree.

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1.   Hypothyroidism: (Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Hashimoto's Disease, Lymphocytic Thyroiditis):
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is   
  Recessive or  Undetermined
The age of onset is less than 2 years of age.

2.   Primary Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison"s Disease):
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                      Undetermined.  
The age of onset less than 5 years of age.

3.   Constitutional Hypoglycemia (Idiopathic Hypoglycemia):
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                     Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 6 months of age.

4.   Methemoglobinemia:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:          
              Recessive.
The age of onset is less than 6 months of age.

5.   Endocardiosis:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:                       
Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 18 months old.

6.   Mitral Valve Defect( MVD, Mitral Stenosis):
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                     Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 1 year of age.

7.   Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA):
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                        Polygenic.
The age of onset is birth.

8.   Pulmonic Stenosis (PS):
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                                                                               Polygenic.
The age of onset less than 1 year of age.

9.   Subaortic Stenosis:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is: 
                     Polygenic.
The age of onset is less than 1 year of age.

10. Demodicosis:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                  Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 1 year of age.

11. Alopecic Syndromes:
A. Color Dilution Alopecia:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                      Recessive.
The age of onset is less than 6 months of age.
B. Pattern Baldness:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                  Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 2 years of age.
C. Pinnal Alopecia:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                  Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 2 years of age.

12. Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance 
                        Recessive.
The age of onset is less than 9 months of age.

13. Inguinal Hernia:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
    Recessive or Undetermined
The age of onset is less than 6 months of age.

14. Umbilical Hernia:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
           Recessive or Polygenic
The age of onset is less than 6 months of age.

15. Ceriod-Lipofuscinosis(ATP Subunit C Storage):
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                         Recessive.
Age of onset is greater than 1 year of age.

16. Glycogenosis (Glycogen Storage Disease):
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                         Recessive.
The age of onset is less than 12 months of age.

17. Hydrocephalus:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                           Polygenic.
The age of onset is less than 3 months of age.

18. Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (NAD):
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                         Recessive.
The age of onset is less than 6 months of age.

19. Spinal Dysraphism (Spinal Dysplasia, Syringomyelia):
In the Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
            Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 3 months of age.

20. Corneal Dystrophy:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                  Undetermined.
The age of onset varies by breed.

21. Endothelial Dystrophy:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                  Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 1 year of age.

22. Entropion:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                  Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 1 year of age.

23. Glaucoma more specifically Narrow-Angle Glaucoma:
In Chihuahuas the mode of inheritance is:
                  Undetermined.
The age of onset is less than 9 years of age

 

DOG STOOL  “PROBLEM INDICATORS”

One of the books I have lists the following colors of stools and
what it could mean:

 COLOR:
Yellow or greenish stool - indicates bowel hypermotility
 Black tarry stool - indicates bleeding in the upper digestive tract
 Bloody stool - red blood or clots indicate lower bowel bleeding
 Pasty, light-colored stool - indicates lack of bile (liver disease)
 Large gray rancid=smelling stool - indicates inadequate digestion

 CONSISTENCY:
 Watery stool - indicates extreme hypermotility and bowel wall irritation (toxins and severe infections)
 Foamy stool - suggests a bacterial infection
 Greasy stool - often with oil on the hair around the anus - indicates malabsorption

 ODOR:
 Food-like or smelling like sour milk - suggests both hypermotility and malabsorption: for example, overfeeding, especially in puppies Putrid smelling - suggests an intestinal infection

 FREQUENCY: 
 Several in an hour, each small, with straining - suggests colitis (inflammation of the large bowel)
 Three or four times a day, each large-suggest malabsorption or small bowel disorder.

The book is : Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook by Delbert G  Carlson DVM and James M Giffin MD.

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