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Health Guide

All our Moms and Dads here at Sunshine puppies are health screened on a regular basis. When it comes to the health our of our adults and puppies we care very much. We never breed parents that have known health issues. We are state of Missouri licensed and inspected. The following is a listing of our vaccination, deworming and parasiticide protocol for each puppy:

Each puppy is given a series of shots before leaving to come home. Most of our puppies can leave our care around 10 weeks depending on size and readiness of the puppy. On some occasions we may have to keep a puppy longer.

When our puppies leave our care they will have at least the follow health record and shots

  • Dew claws removed most of the time
  • Wormed every 2 weeks
  • Neopar shot (parvo shot)
  • Vanguard plus 5 (parvo/distemper shot)
  • Treated with Albon

When you puppy comes home to you, you will receive a copy of its health record. Before each puppy leaves our care they are seen by our vet to make sure they are healthy and not showing any signs of issues.

~Health Concerns In Toy Breeds~

Patella Luxation (knees) 

Patella Luxation is common in ALL toy breeds. It can be thought to be congenital but whether its congenial 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, exercise, etc). Most Breeders do not and cannot guarantee against this issue. We do the best we can to produce the healthiest puppies.

But few dogs need surgery ever. In cases (with mild patella luxation 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 responsible 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 eventually n at a faster rate. Toy breeds tend to be fine boned, very fragile making them more susceptible to bone factors 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 performance (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 relax's 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.

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.

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.

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.  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 ( 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 accurse due to a fall or from trauma to the head.
Breeders do not guarantee against this.

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 recommenced to use. Your dog will love it, and the "live culture" present in yogurt 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 available 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 until 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 at least every 1-2 hours when they are very young.

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