Little Neah the Chihuahua was a birthday present and Christmas present, all bundled into a small package. Now, her owner is warning others wanting a similar pet, about taking precautions with smaller breeds.
Shirley Gilmer, who bought the dog for her granddaughter says, "We went to a ball game, came in the little puppy could not stand up could not walk, couldn't do anything."
Sadly, Neah died just six days after she was purchased. The veterinarian cited blood sugar problems. The Gilmers found her through a classified ad in the paper, which promised kennel club approved teacup Chihuahuas. True breeders and vets say that's just a gimmick for quick sales, and inflating the dogs' value.
VeterinarianTai Curry-Fox says, "There are no teacup, toy, tiny, miniature, they are strictly Chihuahua whether you have a six pound four or three pound Chihuahua. If you see a toy miniature or teacup being advertised that person obviously does not know the breed they are breeding."
Dr. Curry-Fox has bred Chihuahuas herself. She says some puppies can be weaned at four weeks, but some take longer. It's always a good idea to make sure your dog is able to eat on its own before taking possession.
"Toy breeds are very fragile they actually need 24 hour care. They need small frequent meals to keep up their blood sugar because they metabolize so much faster," says Dr. Curry-Fox.
It's also better to buy from a well known breeder. Also, research the dog you want to buy, so you're informed of the care they need, especially if they're tiny puppies.
Dr. Curry-Fox says, "A responsible breeder would make sure they interviewed the potential owner if they understood the breed and they give them info on products and web sites or something for them to read so they will be knowledgeable."
Shirley Gilmer is now negotiating with the person who sold her Neah, to get another dog at a discount. She's heartbroken after the dog's death, and frustrated with her other loss, a 300 dollar investment.
If you're interested in buying a dog, even from a local breeder, vets say your first stop should be the American and Continental Kennel Clubs.
American Kennel Club
Continental Kennel Club
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