Could you talk a little about "teacup" dogs? I know they're unethical and not real breeds, but I'm curious why they're unethical and what some of the problems associated with them are.
Dogs are living things that aren’t supposed to get smaller with every generation. Some of the ethical concerns with breeding them are:
- High risk to the mother when pregnant being so small. This is both in terms of pregnancy complications, giving birth and developing hypocalcaemia when lactating.
- Breeding runt dogs together - often closely related individuals, or individuals with other illnesses (eg liver shunts)
- High risk of hydrocephalus. That bulging look to the skull with the eyes that look slightly apart instead of straight again? That’s hydrocephalus.
- Seizures and other neurological abnormalities can occur secondary to the hydrocephalus.
- High risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). This may be related both to their small size and potential liver issues
- They often have abnormal joints, Medial Luxating Patella being the most common. And being so small, surgically correcting this dislocating kneecap is extremely difficult.
- They’re also physically fragile, injuring themselves jumping off couches can fracture their legs, and they’re easy to accidentally severely injure underfoot.
- Let’s not mention their frequent dental disease
- Collapsing trachea is common, because the cartilage that holds open the airways is weak and small. Some dogs have a chronic cough, some dogs frequently faint, and this gets worse with age.
- Liver shunts are a common cause on runty dogs, and unsurprisingly when you consistently breed runts together the condition becomes more common. Some of these dogs are treatable with surgery, some are not, but surgery is expensive and not all dogs are normal even with treatment.
Just don’t fall for this scam. These are living dogs, not objects that you can breed for fashion. Everyone I know who purchased one, who didn’t just pull the pit when managing it got expensive, regretted their purchase.