Most common health problems in Chihuahuas, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Chihuahua

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Chihuahua, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your Chihuahua already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


Chihuahua dog breed

Chihuahua Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Chihuahua health problems

The leading health issue in toy dogs is injury: fractures, concussions, choking on small objects, being attacked or jumped on by a larger dog.... you must keep a Chihuahua under constant surveillance and leash/arm control. Too much can happen to these little guys in the blink of an eye.

There are several conditions in Chihuahuas that can require expensive surgery: (1) dental disease; (2) a weak windpipe (collapsing trachea) that causes chronic coughing); (3) loose knee joints (luxating patella) that cause lameness and pain; and (4) a liver disease called liver shunt.

Heart disease has become more frequent in Chihuahuas, and their large eyes are vulnerable to scratches and corneal ulcers.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Chihuahua have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of heart disease, hereditary eye diseases, and luxating patella, your Chihuahua has less risk of developing those conditions.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your Chihuahua, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Chihuahua puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Chihuahua puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton 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.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Chihuahua
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Chihuahua. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Chihuahua
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Chihuahua. 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.


Information on spaying your Chihuahua. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Chihuahua. 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.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of Chihuahua health problems

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.

There are several conditions in Chihuahuas that can require expensive surgery: (1) dental disease; (2) a weak windpipe (collapsing trachea) that causes chronic coughing); (3) loose knee joints (luxating patella) that cause lameness and pain; and (4) a liver disease called liver shunt.

Beside bad knee joints, Chihuahuas can have bad shoulder joints, or bad hip joints. Two hip diseases that occasionally occur in Chihuahuas are hip dysplasia and a more serious degenerative hip disease called Legg-Calve-Perthes.

Heart diseases (especially patent ductus arteriosus and mitral valve disease) are 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).

Quite a lot of 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).

Chihuahua puppies (and adults under 4 pounds) are at risk for low blood sugar episodes, which can cause collapse and seizures.

Hydrocephalus occurs occasionally in Chihuahua puppies.

Chihuahuas are prone to dental disease and to harmless episodes of reverse sneezing.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.