JAPANESE CHIN PUPPY CARE
reprinted with permission from "Chin of Touche".


The Japanese chin are physically delicate . They have delicate necks holding big heads and are remarkably frail and prone to injury. Their love of play makes this a daunting task, but don't let your guard down. The smallest of dogs can make them either injure themselves or injure them, even in play. We must protect them at all times. The Chinese and Japanese bred them in close confinement for centuries. It is important to keep their world small.

It's a good idea to keep your Chin's nails trimmed every 2 weeks so they don't injure their eyes. Also be sure any playmate for your Chin has short nails as well. The Chin's favorite game is slapping like a cat, so scratching their eyes is always a worry.

Remember that this is a stressful time for baby, having never been away from her littermates. The more you can keep her in a familiar habitat, the better it will go for both you and baby.

Our puppies are used to living in a Puppy playpen or or med size wire crate because it gets better ventilation than a plastic one. This is where he/she eats and sleeps.

If puppy is not on your lap or on a road trip, she should be in the playpen. DO NOT let puppy roam your home unattended. This will chill and stress the baby not to mention completely un-housebreak her. Once she is 4-5 months old, she may play for longer periods of time (supervised), but for now, we suggest a strict "in the lap or in the pen" policy. Remember, keep her world small.

In the playpen a round donut bed with a raised bolster works well. We also like to have one soft toy, a rubber squeaky toy and something for baby to chew, such as greenies, rawhide, hoofs, etc.
 
Also keep a litterbox in the playpen. We use a product called Feline Pine, available at Petsmart and some grocery stores. Don't use regular cat litter.
Simply remove solid matter with a tissue and flush down the toilet, the urine will turn the pellets into sawdust which may be dumped every week or so on your outdoor garden plants. There is virtually no odor with this method and keeps the baby cleaner than using pee pads or newspaper.


********** VERY IMPORTANT **********
FEEDING:

Leave a crock of dry kibble available at all times. We recommend Royal Canin Mini Puppy 33. Do not feed table scraps or canned food unless baby isn't eating. She may have grilled chicken or fresh, frozen Bil-Jac mixed with one tablespoon of canned food to entice her to eat.

DO NOT EVER GIVE A CHIN BABY MILK, RED MEAT, OR ANYTHING FRIED. THIS WILL CAUSE ENTERITIS WHICH CAN LEAD TO DEATH.
Remember to check puppy's bottom daily for any stool sticking. Keep  hair trimmed around the vent (under the tail) and wash off any remaining feces as it will burn the skin.
 
Leave fresh (preferably bottled) water available at all times in the playpen in a small, heavy crock. Be sure the baby can't spill it on her bedding and get a chill.

NEVER, NEVER FORCE WATER DOWN A CHIN! THEY WILL ASPIRATE AND GET PNEUMONIA. If you feel your chin is ill or dehydrating, take her to a veterinarian immediately for SQ fluids.

Put baby in Playpen to eat and LEAVE HER ALONE! It may take an hour or so for baby to settle down and eat. Be sure to give 1/2 inch of Nutri-Cal every 3 hours for the first month she's in your home. This is especially important at the first morning and last evening meals.

Check baby's bottom daily to make sure there is no stool blocking the opening. If your puppy is not eating or strains to eliminate, this is the first thing to check. You may trim some of the long hair around the anal vent to prevent the sticking. Shampoo and rinse any residual stool off as it will make the delicate skin there very sore. If you do find a stool sticking and it has reddened the skin, any diaper rash treatment for human babies such as Desitin or Vaseline may be applied.
Take care not to let the baby walk on surfaces where other dogs and puppies have been i.e. parks, veterinary grounds, clinic floors, pet super stores, etc. These places are loaded with bacteria and viruses that could make your baby sick. From 6 weeks to 1 year puppies are susceptible to many diseases.
SERIOUS AILMENTS

VOMITING:

It is not uncommon for a puppy to get carsick and vomit from a road trip. This is minor. However, if your puppy vomits at home for no apparent reason, call your vet immediately, this could be very serious. Most ailments are minor if treated early, however, if a puppy is allowed to vomit several times, it will rapidly dehydrate. The outcome can be deadly and it is up to you to turn this around by getting baby to a vet if you even think he/she may have vomited. Do not wait.
 
HYPOGLYCEMIA:

This is a potentially serious problem in some toy dogs. If your puppy overplays, misses a meal or cries too long, his/her blood:sugar level can drop making her lethargic and weak. In the event that this occurs you will need to immediately apply 1/2 inch of Nutri-cal, Nutri-Stat, or Kayro syrup to the puppy's tongue to raise her glucose level. She should be much stronger in 15 minutes or so. If not, get to a veterinarian who can give her fluids (dextrose) immediately. If your attending vet has not had experience with Japanese chin, please stress to him that intolerance to IV fluids is a breed characteristic and warming the fluids first will help to avoid throwing them into shock, causing more harm than good. Many puppies who have shown no signs of illness will have a bout after certain vaccinations, especially leptospirosis in combination shots. Do not let your puppy be vaccinated with combination shots that contain leptospirosis or corona virus in them. Also don't vaccinate your puppy before our recommendations of when the next shot is due. This has been known to bring about hypoglycemia, anorexia and even death. Veering from our vaccination protocol will not only put your puppy in grave danger, it will void your guarantee. Other causes of hypoglycemia are over-exertion, missed feedings, or stressing the puppy.

If your puppy seems limp, lethargic, or just wants to sleep, it's blood:sugar level is dropping and you will need to act immediately. Give 1/2 inch of Nutri-Stat, Nutri-Cal or Kayro syrup ASAP! This should bring the baby around in about 15 minutes or so. If it doesn't perk the puppy up, run-don't walk to your veterinarian for some immediate SQ fluids. If this happens, how quickly you react will determine the outcome. Keep in mind as well that once a puppy has been allowed to go hypoglycemic, the likelihood of it reoccurring is much higher.

This is operator error. If you have been giving her Nutri-Stat every 3 hours as we suggest, you'll have no problem with hypoglycemia. Chin do not do well outdoors for extended periods of time. Debris and wind will damage their eyes. They do not tolerate temperatures above 80 degrees. They're also sensitive to cold weather due to their light body weight. A good gauge of their temperature tolerance is to stand outside with no coat on and barefoot. They will be as uncomfortable or comfortable as you!

MINOR AILMENTS
 
COCCIDIOSIS:

This is a very minor ailment that all dogs are capable of breaking with when stressed, especially puppies.
Your puppy is free of coccidiosis at this time. However, with environment, schedule, diet and water changes, he/she may break with it. Your baby may have coccidia if you see mucous or a trace amount of blood in his/her stool.
Your vet will take a sample, examine it under a microscope and probably prescribe an oral medicine called Albon. This is an inexpensive, low- grade antibiotic that will eliminate the bacteria in about 10 days.

EAR MITES:

Check your babies ears from time to time for any foul smell or dark discharge. Puppies are prone to mites especially if they are around cats. There are several excellent, products available from your veterinarian or feed store that are extremely effective in killing the mites. Again, not a serious ailment and inexpensively remedied.
We recommend a product called Thornit. We order it from England. After we bathe and dry our dogs, we put a pinch of it in their ears to keep them clean and dry. This may be ordered on-line.
 
DIARRHEA:

If your baby has an off stool, she may have 2 cc's of plain flavored Kaopectate. (not peppermint flavored). This may be repeated several times every 3-4 hours until stool is firm. This is usually caused from too many tablescraps or canned food. However, it's much more important that the baby eats than having a perfect stool, so do not eliminate chicken or canned food if he/she is eating well.

HERNIAS:

MOST Japanese Chin have hernias. This is not an ailment, but something your veterinarian may point out to you. (Think "outsie" belly button). While it is up to you to have it repaired or not, we can say with confidence that we have never experienced any complications from leaving them alone. I have discussed this at length with many vets over the years and not one has ever seen a hernia gone unchecked put a dog in grave danger. You may have it repaired if your dog is spayed or neutered, but it is our opinion that the risk of any surgery far outweighs the potential danger of the hernia itself.

Having a puppy is just like having a human baby. It's a constant battle of checks and balances. The more observant you are, the healthier your baby will be.
 
GROOMING:

Chin don't really mat per se. They may get a tangle in their ear or tail occasionally. A bath every week to 10 days will keep them smelling fresh and shedding down to a minimum.

Take care not to get water down your baby's nose in the tub. A washcloth and tearless shampoo work well to clean around the eyes and face. We recommend Oster Show White vanilla shampoo and Coat Handler conditioner. (available at www.Petedge.com).
After the bath, thoroughly blowdry the coat. We use a boar bristle brush for this on babies. (available from Petedge.com).
 Once she's older and has more hair you'll want to use a pin brush. (also available at Petedge) If baby seems chilled, tuck a heating pad set on medium, under her donut bed in her playpen. It may take an hour or two for her to warm up.
Japanese Chin do take much care, but we hope you will find as we do, it is a labor of love.