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Chihuahua Health Problems You Should Know About

Chihuahua Health Problems

Responsible owners (or potential owners) of these spunky dogs will want to know about Chihuahua health problems that may occur during their pet’s lifetime.

Getting a Handle on Chihuahua Health Issues

When you are aware of common health problems in Chihuahuas, you will be better prepared to give your pet the care it needs.  The simple fact is that there are certain medical matters that are more prevalent with this breed of dog than with other breeds.  If you watch out for your pet and keep an eye on any unusual symptoms, you can help your dog to have a long and healthy life.

How Long Does a Chihuahua Live?

Of course, there’s no simple answer but basically it depends on the general health of the animal and the care that it receives.  In general, the life span of a Chihuahua can range anywhere from 15 to 18 years. As you can see, the Chihuahua life span is long.  Even so, health problems in Chihuahuas can and do occur.

Therefore, it will be helpful to take a look at some of the more common Chihuahua health problems. Since the Chihuahua life expectancy is quite high, you may find some health issues surfacing, especially as the dog gets older.

Chihuahua Breathing Problems

Toy breeds like Chihuahuas can experience a number of breathing issues.  Among these include a Chihuahua tracheal collapse and also, reverse sneezing.

During a tracheal collapse event, the windpipe flattens out during the pet’s breathing. When Chihuahua collapsed trachea develops, the animal will cough, gag and wheeze due to irritation. A trip to the veterinarian can provide medication that will help with a collapsed trachea in Chihuahuas.

Another common condition which can affect the breed is “reverse sneezing”.  It actually sounds much more like a honking noise.  Nevertheless, Chihuahua reverse sneezing occurs when a dog is born with a soft palate that is not aligned correctly.

Chihuahua Seizures

Why do Chihuahuas have seizures? Well, not all of them do, but it seems that they may be genetically disposed to this occurrence. Seizures in Chihuahuas can come on suddenly and are frightening to witness. The best thing to do is to keep the pet as calm as possible. If Chihuahua seizures occur, the animal should be taken to the vet for medication to help control episodes.

Hydrocephalus in Chihuahuas

This is a congenital condition where fluid forms around and within the brain. The animal will have a dome-shaped head, may experience seizures, an inability to learn, and an unstable gait. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of a Chihuahua with hydrocephalus is most often under two years. This is usually a fatal condition but not always so you need to discuss all possible options with your vet to be sure.

Chihuahua Hair Loss, Skin Problems, etc.

Chihuahua hair loss can come about for a number of reasons. Stress can sometimes cause it. Hair loss may also result from Chihuahua skin problems, such as dermatitis. Pets may have parasites that can be responsible for mange, which results in a Chihuahua losing hair. Even Chihuahua allergies may bring about this condition. In any event, it should be checked out by a veterinarian to ascertain what is causing the problem.

Chihuahua Patellar Luxation

One of the most common Chihuahua health concerns occurs with the knee.  Luxating patella in Chihuahuas can often develop and may be due to a congenital condition or an injury.

Chihuahua knee problems are not unusual, and this condition involves a dislocated kneecap. Chihuahua patellar luxation should be corrected with surgery before it has the chance to become debilitating, as it does tend to worsen over time.

If your pet has Chihuahua patella luxation, you will want to have the necessary surgery performed to ensure a long and comfortable life.

Hypoglycemia in Chihuahuas

These dogs are very active and also very small. They sometimes burn off more energy than they take in, which can result in low blood sugar. You may notice certain symptoms in your pet, such as lack of energy, shivering, sleepiness, lack of coordination and even convulsions. These may be hypoglycemia symptoms and should be treated quickly. Typically, the dog will usually perk up if given something with sugar. Severe cases can (and should) be treated by the veterinarian.

Chihuahua Teeth Problems

A small dog has a small mouth, and typical problems may include crowding. You may want to take a little bit of time to brush your pet’s teeth, keeping them as clean as possible. Professional dental cleanings may also be in your dog’s future. Lastly, a consequence of teething may involve retained teeth that do not fall out and will need to be removed by the vet.

Chihuahua Heart Problems

Common problems may include heart murmurs, mitral valve disease and pulmonic stenosis. Your vet can diagnose and treat any heart ailments that your pet may develop. If you notice your dog stumbling, bumping into objects, tilting the head or showing signs of confusion, contact your veterinarian immediately as these can be Chihuahua stroke symptoms. Strokes are rare in dogs but do occur.

Chihuahua Eye Problems

Since toy breeds are close to the ground, Chihuahua eye problems can be an issue. You can use saline eye drops in your pet’s eyes to wash away any debris that might become troublesome or could cause damage to the eye.

Chihuahua Stomach Problems

Since a dog will eat almost anything, every dog can get an upset stomach from time to time and a Chihuahua is no different.  Causes for an upset stomach range from a change in food, to viruses (like coccidia or giardia, especially in a puppy) or even worms.

Your pet may experience dog diarrhea or vomiting as a result.  Most veterinarians often advise dog owners to not give the dog anything to eat or drink for twelve hours after vomiting. In the case of diarrhea, much of what is recommended depends on the type of diarrhea that the dog is passing.

In any case, no food or drink will give the stomach a chance to settle down. If the animal is vomiting a great deal, though, the veterinarian should do an exam to make certain that something more serious is not going on.  This is also true in cases where brown, black or bloody stools are present.  You’ll want to get your pet to vet immediately in such situations.

Consider Getting Puppy Insurance to Lower Your Risk

Although health problems with Chihuahuas can (and do) occur, some of these problems may be unexpected and expensive.  Therefore, dog insurance is an option you may want to consider, as it will help to cut the cost of veterinary bills.

Remember that the more Chihuahua health information you have, the easier it will be to deal with any issues that will come up during your dog’s life.

Although there may be a number Chihuahua health problems you’ll need to confront, these little dogs are not necessarily at any greater risk than other toy breeds – you just need to be vigilant and safeguard their health as best you can.