Chihuahua Health Problems and Raising a Chihuahua Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
The most common health problems in Chihuahuas:
The leading health issue in toy dogs is INJURY. You must keep Chihuahuas under constant surveillance and leash/arm control. Too much can happen to these small creatures in the blink of an eye.
- Bone fractures or a concussion can occur from jumping off furniture, or falling or leaping from your arms, or being hit on the head by a thrown or falling object, or being stepped on.
- Chihuahuas can choke on the tiniest object and it takes very little to overdose them with anything toxic.
- Chihuahuas can squeeze through the smallest crack of a door or fence and be gone.
- If you allow them to act foolishly aggressive toward larger dogs, their neck can be broken with a single grab.
- If you let them off-leash, their excitable chasing instincts may send them under the wheels of a car.
The most common orthopedic problem in Chihuahuas is luxating patella (loose knees). Luxating shoulder occurs occasionally. Hip dysplasia has been evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation of American at 6%. That's high for a tiny breed and the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Legg-Calve-Perthes disease has also been reported.
Heart disease (especially patent ductus arteriosus and mitral valve disease) is occurring more frequently in Chihuahuas.
The most common eye problem in the breed is corneal ulcers. Occasionally reported are corneal dystrophy (and when it does occur, it's a particularly severe form in Chihuahuas), lens luxation, glaucoma, and dry eye.
Skin diseases include color dilution alopecia (in blue Chihuahuas) and demodectic mange (in Chihuahua puppies). Some Chihuahuas have pattern baldness, a gradual thinning or complete loss of hair around their temples and ears, underneath their neck and abdomen, and on the backs of their thighs. It's not itchy and the skin and coat are otherwise normal. Since it's only a cosmetic condition, there's no treatment required other than adding supplements that are good for the skin and coat, such as fatty acids (The Missing Link).
Other common health problems in Chihuahuas include hypoglycemia (especially in Chihuahua puppies and in adults under 4 pounds), collapsing trachea, and liver shunt.
Hydrocephalus occurs occasionally in Chihuahua puppies.
Chihuahuas are prone to dental disease and to harmless episodes of reverse sneezing.
You probably want to know if you can prevent those health issues from happening to YOUR Chihuahua.
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Chihuahuas today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Chihuahua puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental, which means they're caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Chihuahua puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Chihuahua puppy or adult dog:
How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.
Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Chihuahua lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.
The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Chihuahua
The best diet for feeding your Chihuahua is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.
The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Chihuahua
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Chihuahua puppy really need? Does your adult Chihuahua need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what some vets aren't telling you....
The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Chihuahua.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
Copyright © 2000-2014 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.