As tiny and adorable as they may be, toy or teacup sized dogs are breakable! Many dog owners are unaware how fragile their little buddies are, especially dogs under 10 lbs. Tiny dogs have very fragile bones, which can break easily and not heal well.
Tumi, an 11 month old Yorkshire Terrier (who's name has been changed to protect his identity), broke both front legs when three children hijacked him and placed him on top of a bunk bed. The owner heard piercing shrieks echoing through the house after the fearless Yorkie jumped off. “I thought his neck was broken!” exclaimed the anguished owner. The total vet bill was over $6,000 not including the puppy stroller, needed for 8-10 weeks as the limbs healed. His owner had a crash course in the fragility of toy breeds. “I didn’t even know anything like this was possible” said the owner ”I should have gotten insurance.”
Jumping off of a bunk bed would probably break anyone's legs, dog or human. However, toy dogs are susceptible to breaks jumping off a sofa, high bed, table, out of the arms of its owner, out of a car, or escaping a child. They can even break a leg from being accidentally stepped or sat on.
Besides the painful suffering, the tiny dog must endure surgery and orthopedic implants to heal a simple fracture, which may or may not heal properly. Depending on the type of break the average cost of plating one broken leg is $2,000 - $3,000, not including the cost of x-rays and cast changes.
Plan ahead if you are thinking about or already own a toy/teacup breed. Purchase pet insurance that covers broken legs or keep a dog injury savings account. To avoid slips and falls, move furniture that they are likely to jump across, and place a rug on slippery floors. Don’t allow young children to handle the dog unattended or without proper instruction. Keep your tiny dog off high beds, couches, and tables. If you must have them on a high bed, train them not to jump off - but stay on your toes: small dog, small bladder. Leave them on the bed for too long and you might crawl into a waterbed!
Leg breaks aren't the only worry for tiny dogs. In 2002, Tiger a three pound Yorki-Poo, was the victim of canine slaughter while jogging with his owner. The tiny puppy maneuvered under his owner’s feet during the run and was crushed. Why anyone would run with a dog that small is astonishing, and has been voted into Dog Chatter's 'Dumbest Moves' Hall of Shame!
To find insurance try http://www.petinsurance.com/
You can read more about Yorkies on our blog post http://dog-chatter.myshopify.com/blogs/barkworthy/50572419-december-s-feature-dog-yorkshire-terrier
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