The japanese chin is a healthy breed with a few health problems to look out for

The Japanese Chin is a very old Oriental breed who was considered by many to be of royalty. They originally lived with the Chinese Aristocracy and eventually lived at the Imperial Palace. It is believed that the Chinese so admired these dogs that the Chinese Emperor gave a pair to the Emperor of Japan. In Japan the Japanese Chin was kept by the Noble who used them as gifts to very special people.

In 1853 Commodore Perry visited Japan. While he was there he was given several Japanese Chins. He gave a pair to Queen Victoria, Admiral Perry’s daughter and to the President. This was the introduction of the Japanese Chin to England and North America. The Japanese Chin had been known as the Japanese Spaniel until 1977. In 1977, the name of the breed was officially changed to the Japanese Chin.

The Japanese Chin is a dainty little toy breed with a distinctive oriental expression. I am so amazed at how the Oriental people created these dogs with this type of expression. I feel it was a work of art and genius. The Chin is a regal little dog who displays himself in a very proud aristocratic manner. He stands about 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 4 and 11 pounds.

Interesting to note about the Japanese Chin is that he uses his paws to wash his face like a cat.

The Japanese Chin like other Oriental breeds is a fairly healthy dog with a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. However, as with all dog breeds, small or large, there are a few diseases to watch out for especially in the Japanese Chin. They are:

* Heart disease; * Dyspnea; * Dislocated knees.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is characterized by dilation or enlargement of the heart chambers and markedly reduced contraction. Symptoms to watch out for this disease in the Japanese Chin are:

* Shortness of breath; * Coughing; * Exercise intolerance; * Collapse; * Sudden onset of pain and paralysis, usually in the back legs.

The start of these symptoms should alert you that your Japanese Chin is in need of emergency medical treatment.

Treatment of DCM is usually drug therapy. Administer all advised veterinary medications. Watch for difficulty in breathing, increase in coughing, lethargy or sudden inability to use one or more limbs. Notice the breathing rate when your pet is relaxing. Regular veterinary visits to monitor the condition are required.

DCM is very common in dogs. The canine disease is acquired in life, but is influenced by genetic factors still not explained.

Dyspnea is actually respiratory distress. It is labored, difficult breathing or shortness of breath. The causes of dyspnea could be any of the following:

* Heart disease or heart failure; * Lung disease; * Tumors or cancer in the lung; * Infection such as pneumonia; * Trauma; * Bleeding into the lungs or chest; * Abnormal fluid accumulation in/or around the lungs.

Brachycephalic breeds such as the Japanese Chin (short faced breeds) are predisposed to upper airway problems.

Symptoms to watch for:

* Coughing; * Shortness of breath; * Difficulty breathing; * Weight loss; * Fatigue.

The treatment for dyspnea depends upon the underlying cause. Treatment may include:

* Hospitalization with administration of oxygen; * Minimizing stress; * Draining the fluid that has accumulated around the lungs; * Diuretics; * Combination drug therapy.

True Dyspnea is usually an emergency. When you first note your pet having trouble breathing, note his general activity, exercise capacity and interest in the family activities. Note the presence of any coughing or severe fatigue and report these symptoms to your vet for further a diagnostic evaluation.

Dislocated knees are a condition in which the patella (knee-cap) no longer glides within its natural groove in the femur. Dislocated knees can occur as a result of trauma or develop during the first year of an animal’s life. Congenital or developmental dislocated knees are more common. It is more commonly found in small dogs such as poodles, Yorkshire terriers, Maltese and the Japanese Chin. Traumatic dislocated knees usually occurs secondary to being hit by a car at any age.

Treatment in low grade cases can be managed with restricted exercise and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. More severe cases can be addressed surgically.

When selecting your Japanese Chin it is wise to ask the breeder about the history of patella problems in the bloodline.

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.