The Chihuahua is a small breed of dog that originated in Mexico and is known for its big ears and prominent eyes. As with all dogs, there are some health concerns that are more common in Chihuahuas than in other breeds. It’s important to be aware of these potential health issues so that you can take steps to prevent or manage them.
Dogs is dental disease
One of the most common health issues in dogs is dental disease, and Chihuahuas are particularly susceptible. Tartar buildup on the teeth can lead to infection of the gums and roots, which can cause your pet to lose teeth and may even lead to damage to other organs. It’s important to keep your Chihuahua’s teeth clean, both by having them regularly cleaned by a vet and by practicing good dental hygiene at home.
Another concern for Chihuahuas is obesity. This can lead to joint problems, digestive issues, back pain, and heart disease. It’s important to monitor your pet’s weight and ensure that they are getting enough exercise and a healthy diet.
Parasites are also a concern for Chihuahuas. They can be infected by a variety of worms and bugs, both internally and externally. It’s important to have your pet tested regularly for parasites and to use preventive medication as necessary.
Eye problems are common in Chihuahuas, including glaucoma, dry eye, and cataracts. These conditions can cause pain, discomfort, and even blindness if left untreated. It’s important to have your pet’s eyes examined regularly to catch any potential issues early.
Heart disease is another concern for Chihuahuas, particularly as they age. Heart valve disease is a common issue, and symptoms may include a heart murmur and fatigue. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prolong your pet’s life.
Other potential health issues for Chihuahuas include knee problems, hip necrosis, tracheal collapse, bleeding disorders, and liver problems. It’s important to be aware of these potential issues and to have your pet regularly checked by a vet to catch any problems early.
Get the latest Chihuahua Buzz
In conclusion, Chihuahuas are a beloved breed of dog, but they are not without their health concerns. Regular vet checkups, dental care, exercise, and a healthy diet can all help prevent or manage potential health issues. By staying aware of these concerns, you can ensure that your furry friend lives a long and healthy life.
Reproductive Difficulties in Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas with large heads and small pelves are more prone to difficulties during the birthing process. The female’s pelvis may be too small to pass the puppies’ heads and a C-section is often required for her health and that of her puppies. If you are interested in breeding your Chihuahua, consult with your veterinarian first. They can help you make an informed decision based on the body conformations of both the sire and dam.
Retained Puppy Teeth
Dogs typically lose their primary (“puppy”) teeth at around 4 months of age. If the primary teeth don’t fall out as the adult teeth come in, infection or damage to the adult teeth may occur. Retained puppy teeth crowd the incoming adult teeth and can trap food and hair between the teeth causing cavities and infections. Painful gums, bad breath, and adult tooth loss can result if left untreated. Retained teeth are common in small breeds like Chihuahuas, but your veterinarian will monitor your pet’s growing teeth at each exam and discuss the removal of any retained puppy teeth with you when necessary.
Several neurologic diseases can afflict Chihuahuas, including seizures, imbalance, tremors, weakness, or excessive sleeping. The health care chart included in this care guide lists the specific conditions your veterinarian will be monitoring for. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek immediate veterinary care.
Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a common condition in young, small-breed dogs like Chihuahuas. Physical signs of hypoglycemia include weakness, collapse, and seizures. Hypoglycemia may occur after exercise, periods of excitement, or after missing a meal. If your Chihuahua displays any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately. While most pets outgrow the tendency to hypoglycemic reactions, it’s important to control an affected pet’s blood sugar while they’re young.
Chihuahuas often suffer from skin allergies, or “atopy”. Symptoms typically start between the ages of one and three and can get worse every year. Licking the paws, rubbing the face, and frequent ear infections are the most common signs of allergies. The good news is that many treatment options are available for these conditions.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Chihuahuas are more likely than other breeds to have instability in the first two neck vertebrae (called the atlantal and axial vertebrae). This condition can cause sudden spinal-cord injuries in the neck. If your dog is suddenly unable or unwilling to jump or go up stairs, cries for no apparent reason, or tries to turn or lower its head when you pick them up, it may be in severe pain, and you should call your veterinarian immediately! They’ll control the pain with medication, although surgery may also be recommended. With this breed, it’s also important to set up ramps or steps in your home from the time your pet is a puppy to save them a lifetime of stressing their neck when jumping on and off furniture.
Demodex is a microscopic mite that lives in the hair follicles of all dogs. Some breeds, like Chihuahuas, may develop an overabundance of these mites. In mild cases, pet owners may notice a few dry, irritated, hairless lesions. These often occur on the face or feet and may or may not be itchy. Secondary skin infections may also occur. Prompt veterinary care is important to keep the disease from getting out of hand. Many pets seem to outgrow the problem, while others require lifelong management.