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Discussion Starter #1
My puppy Che, has a very large open fontanelle (soft spot), which he will not grow out of. He should be wearing a helmet but I have been unable to find any helmets that:

(i) have been made for this purpose (most are for cycling or motorcycle enthusiasts with pressure points that if an impact were to occur would be worse for a dog with a soft spot then wearing nothing); and

(ii) are small enough for a teacup sized dog.

Does anyone know of small puppy/dog helmets made for open fontanelle issues?

Thanks, Nancer
 

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Nope, no helmet is required. There's some chi's that have huge open fontanels (like 50 cent pieces) and while you do have to be careful that they don't bonk their heads - there's really nothing special that you have to do to protect their heads. Some of the smaller chi's have large open fontanels their whole lives and live normal lifespans.
 

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My girls both have them. Ruby's (our smallest) is not easy to feel at all. VERY small. Hope's is big. It was like quarter sized when we got her and now is down to penny/dime sized. I did not look to see if you were out of the U.S. where none of what I said would make any sense!

Since I have read/researched all about them, I stopped worrying.
 

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An open fontanel is also called a "molera" and here is the official statement on them from the Chihuahua Club of America ....

As I stated previously, perfectly normal in our breed and not a cause for concern, although normal precautions should apply. (No helmet necessary or required).

Molera Statement
 

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Also interesting Tracy, our vet (VERY experienced, SMART guy) was not familiar at all with moleras and Chi's. He indicated that in his 25+ years in practice, he had not seen many baby Chi's.
When we AKC registered Hope, some breed specific paperwork was sent to us with her paperwork. I found it very helpful and one half of one page was dedicated to explaining the molera.
I took it to our vet and shared with him at our next visit.
One breeder we met with indicated that when she started showing Chi's 30 years ago that a judge would actually be at the entrance to the ring and feel the head before they entered!

I am not certain how old your baby is or if you veterinarian is familiar but the link Tracy provided is great.
 

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Quigley has a large one as well. And as Tracy stated you just have to be cautious of the area. Be careful when they are in your lap to not drop hard heavy objects (like a cell phone accidently slipping out of your hand). Or if you are cooking and they are on the floor not to drop something on top of them. These are normal precautions you would take with any dog though. The day before yesterday Quigley was running around the house playing and ran under a chair where he had plenty of clearance. Not sure how but he jumped up at the wrong time and hit his head on the chair rung. He was moving pretty fast so it was a hard bonk. Poor fella. He was crying and did not understand what happened. Scared me to death. I have been watching him signs of trouble since. He seems okay though thank God!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Grateful for the advice

Any advice about pet insurance products - with a molera being a pre-existing condition, has anyone had good or bad experiences?
 

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It is not a pre-existing condition like a defect, it is a part of the breed. Purebred Chihuahua's will have this. It either seals itself or it does not-like tiny Quigley's. It is not generally something treated medically or surgically.

I did not see if you answered how old your baby was. Most are closed (or close to closed) by 1 year.
 

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Hmm, it's not looking like the OP is really reading replies? LOL

Molera's (open fontanelles) are NORMAL for Chihuahuas. It's not an abnormality & a vet with ANY experience with Chi's would know this. I have six Chihuahuas and four of them have molera's at an adult age (they are all between 1 1/2 & 3yo). They have grown smaller as they went through puppy hood but they will have them for the rest of their lives. We currently have a litter of 3 who all have molera's as well...all different sizes ranging from pencil eraser sized to dime sized. They are six weeks old & I'm sure will get smaller or perhaps close at some point. They are normal, do normal puppy activities (including wrestling each other into the wall or floor) and they are perfectly normal. I still cringe when they hit the floor/wall hard when they're playing but so far, so good. :)

Your Chihuahua doesn't need a helmet nor does it need coverage specifically for this "condition". It's normal...not a defect or what I would consider a "condition". Just a normal thing for a normal Chi. :)
 

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It's funny that when we got Chip and took him to our vet for the first time, he was THRILLED that Chip had a molera! He said that in our area where there are a lot of puppy mills, unfortunately, most of the chi's he sees are not pure chi's. He said that most that he sees are actually mixed breeds that have been crossed with rat terriers or minpins or other small dogs. He checked Chippy over thoroughly and stated he believed Chip to be the first pure chi he had seen in some time, and one of the ways he could tell was by his molera.
 

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Izzy's Molera is still very large although she is still a pup, My cousins chi who is only 4 days younger then izzy barely has one.
 

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Pixels was pretty big but she's almost 6 months old now and it's still there but quite small. I am pleased as when it was big it freaked me out!
 

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Nope, no helmet is required. There's some chi's that have huge open fontanels (like 50 cent pieces) and while you do have to be careful that they don't bonk their heads - there's really nothing special that you have to do to protect their heads. Some of the smaller chi's have large open fontanels their whole lives and live normal lifespans.
I beg to differ.. My baby teddy is in the emergency hospital right now due to a suspected brain injury due to my yorkie stepping on him. Right now his prognosis is grim. I'm prayin he is gonna be ok . He is 10 wks old n his molera is a little bigger than a quarter. I will definately be investing in a helmet If he pulls through..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wishing Teddy well. Poor bunny. This is the only supplier I could find for dog helmets: Dog | Pet Bike Helmet - 4 sizes in WHITE, BLACK & PINK. Since my little dog is less than 3 pounds, these helmets are too large. I am going to have something custom made for my dog Che. I will let you know how this goes.

My little dog Che is 10 months old now and his molera has not noticeably decreased in size. It has caused other problems then just concerns about an impact. Che has trouble regulating his core temperature and has got severe heat stroke 3 times in a matter of minutes just by lying out in the sun on a hot humid day or sitting on my lap in the car when it is sunny and the windows are open. A neurologist said that his brain has no insulation where his molera is and that lead to the heat stroke. Are there any other molera issues I need to be watching out for? (Other than encephalitis?)
 

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I have never heard of using a helmet to protect the molera on a chihuahua. I guess anything is possible? I know many chi's have open moleras their whole lives that do not cause any problem at all. Of course there are always exceptions.

I am sorry to hear about Teddy. :( Small chi's with open molera's do require that extra bit of supervision.

Also realize that hydrocephalus can cause the conditions you are experiencing. Many dogs with open moleras do have hydro, but there are many that don't. The extra fluid on the brain can be controlled partially with medication, but often a shunt is necessary. This is an entirely different condition than just an open molera.
 

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A lot of good advice has been given. It's perfectly normal for a chi to have a molera.. accidents can happen in dogs without this problem, but with a little extra caution on your part there isn't much to worry about. However, some accidents can't always be predicted (like Teddy's incident) and I'll respect anyone who'd rather be safe than sorry.

Don't know if cost is a factor but these are REALLY cute; and the few I clicked on come in X-Small.

Designer Dog Helmets Puppy Helmets - Small Dog Helmets Large Puppies Helmets

**Edit to ad; says they do custom orders too. Not sure if it's just for designs but I'm betting you could shoot them an email and see if they can make them in an even smaller size if the XS was too big. Worth a shot! =)
 

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I'm sorry to hear about Teddy & hope he pulls throught his accident.

If anyone wants to go the "better safe than sorry" than by any means go ahead. Chi pups (with or with out a molera) DO require precautions. I'm forever getting after my older Chi's when a new baby is around. No rough housing or zooming around the house. It could still happen, yes, but you do have to be careful. For me, I'd never have one of my Chi's living in a helmet. They'd be miserable! Lulu is 6mo & her molera is still quite large & while I get after her & Marley for being rough at times (they are BFF's & alllllllways horsing around) she's now big enough where the immediate danger is very minimal. It's like kids playing on the money bars. I'd never expect my kids to wear a helmet though the risk is always there they may get a head/neck injury.

A healthy Chi can have a molera. A sick Chi can have a molera...and it may be larger because the condition. But the molera itself doesn't cause the illness in the dog.
 
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