Chihuahuas might be the smallest Dog, but that does not mean that these cutie pies are short of health problems; these are the 10 Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems that parents can expect throughout their furry friends lifetime.
Generally speaking, these small toy breeds are relatively healthy. In fact, they can live up to almost 14 to 18 years which is significantly higher than many dog breeds.
However, we as parents also should do our part in taking care of them properly as this could also help reduce health problems and extend their lifetime even further.
Anyways, let me explain the health problems briefly.
Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
Hypoglycemia is meant to arise when a Chihuahua is low on blood sugar level.
This means they will feel exhausted, weakened, and less conscious, the Hypoglycemia also affects the Dog’s nervous system to an extent this may result in a comatose state and sometimes death.
Hypoglycemia has many causes and will strike without warning, plus it mainly occurs in Chihuahua puppies.
To reduce the risk of this problem, keep an eye on your Dog’s diet. A small Chihuahua that misses at least two meals a day can experience drops in blood sugar levels.
And also, avoid feeding human foods too.
And those Chihuahuas who weigh less than 1.5kg are commonly affected by this problem.
Make sure to take your Chihuahua to the VET immediately if you think they are suffering from Hypoglycemia because it can worsen fast.
#2 Dental Disease – Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
Dental disease is common in all dogs, but Chihuahuas often tend to have this problem.
A Chihuahua’s mouth is small, so when a tooth is about to grow, the lack of space inside the mouth comes into play and leads to irregular growth of teeth, which can end up in disproportionately large teeth.
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Because of this, food gets stuck in between the teeth and leads to the buildup of plaque and tartar, which results in infection to the gum and teeth’s roots. Not only this, it can be painful and can make it quite difficult for your furry friend to eat.
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Dental disease can also lead to heart and liver disease and fractured jaws.
To prevent this, make sure to take care of your Chihuahua’s teeth by brushing them on a regular basis and avoid feeding sugary treats too often.
#3 Patellar Luxation – Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
First, if you don’t know what a patella is, it is a small bone that is based in front of a knee joint. To be clear, the small bone can be any of these:
- Thigh Bones
Luxation means dislocation of the patella.
This is a hereditary disease which means it’s passed from its parents; this problem will start to occur when the puppy is just 4months old.
If a Chihuahua who is struggling with this condition will hold his/her affected leg up or will limp and avoid using it.
Older dogs are more likely to have Patellar Luxation.
However, it is not painful, nor does it lead to any other painful conditions and can be diagnosed easily. A surgery can be done to get rid of this, which has always been successful.
#4 Tracheal Collapse – Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
The Trachea is backed up by rings that are made of cartilage; Trachea is also called the windpipe, a tube that transports air in and out of the lungs.
Tracheal Collapse occurs when the ring of cartilage breaks down, which means a collapsed windpipe, this leads to difficulties in breathing and will lead to a harsh dry horsy cough. How this condition occurs is still unknown.
This can get even worse if a Chihuahua is higher in weight.
Things to look out for if your Dog has a Tracheal Collapse:
- Difficulty in Breathing
- Coughing when pressure is applied to the Dog’s neck
- Cyanotic (turning blue) means the gum can turn blue; this is in the worst-case scenario.
If your Chihuahua is experiencing any of these, make sure you seek medical attention immediately.
However, surgery is enough to treat this condition, but the thing is, some dogs may show symptoms even after the surgery.
Your VET may also prescribe:
- Cough suppressants
#5 Spinal Injuries – Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
Because of the fact that the Chihuahuas are so small, a spinal injury can take place anytime, anywhere and are mostly connected to trauma in Chihuahuas.
And one of the most severe ones is Acute Spinal Injury; this can lead to severe nerve damage and later can lead to excessive pain and even paralysis. The next is Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD); this can occur if those spinal discs slip, rupture or bulge.
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The IVDD can also result in a dog losing its ability to walk.
But the use of wheelchairs can be helpful to get back to normal or even help reduce pain and move freely.
However, if you want to reduce these kinds of injuries, don’t leave your Chihuahua alone while large dogs are around.
#6 Glaucoma – Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
This is a pretty painful condition that can affect a Chihuahua’s eyes, leading to loss of vision.
Signs of Glaucoma In Dogs:
- Pain in the eye
- Watery eyes
- Unresponsiveness and Lethargy
- cloudy or bluish in the clear part of the eye
- Bulging of the eyeball
If you suspect any of these problems in your Chihuahua, make sure to seek medical attention immediately.
Treating this condition depends on the severity of the problem. To reduce this problem, you can get yearly glaucoma screening, clean the eyes regularly to keep dirt off and drink clean water.
#7 Dog Flu – Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
Also known as the canine influenza virus, this is a viral and infectious disease caused by the influenza A virus, leading to severe respiratory disease.
It is spread by other dogs who are barking, coughing, sneezing closer to your Dog.
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- Nasal discharge
- Difficulty breathing
- Runny and watery eyes
Talk to your VET immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
#8 Bladder Stones and Kidney Stones
Bladder and kidney stones are hardened minerals that form in a dog’s urinary tract; if your Dog is suffering from this condition, he might find it hard to urinate or will be unable to urinate at all and will seem tired.
- Much frequent Urination.
- Urinary Accidents.
- Blood in Urine.
If this is the case, contact your VET immediately.
#9 Canine Hepatitis – Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
Canine hepatitis is an acute disease. The problem is caused by the canine adenovirus 1 (now known as Canine mast adenovirus A).
This is a severe virus that targets:
- Blood vessels
A dog can get infected by this Virus when saliva, faeces, urine, nasal discharge of other dogs are consumed.
- Red dots on skin
This primarily affects young dogs, and even a dog that is previously recovered from this Virus can spread it with their urine for at least 6months.
Sadly, Canine Hepatitis can also lead to death.
To prevent this from happening, make sure to take the mandatory vaccine, your VET, for more information about this.
If you think that your Dog is infected with this Virus, immediately contact the VET without wasting a minute.
#10 Obesity – Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
These days overfeeding a dog is just a thing of the past, but what else can you do if your furry friend is eagerly waiting to have a feast.
But you know what?
Overfeeding your Dog leads to Obesity which can lead to problems like:
- Difficulty breathing
- Joint problems
- Back pain
- Types of cancer
- Heart disease
For context, a Chihuahua should not weigh more than six pounds; this condition also drastically reduces the Chihuahua’s lifespan.
So to prevent these from happening, make sure to control your Dog’s diet as much as you can and mainly avoid feeding human foods. In fact, in popular dog training classes like Petsmart, before starting the training, they always control the dog’s diets with treats.
Final Thoughts about Most Common Chihuahua Health Problems
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Even if the Chihuahuas are prone to some health problems, they’re far better than many other dog breeds.
It is up to you to take care of them perfectly, and don’t forget to make regular veterinary checkups as it is one most important thing to keep track of your Chihuahua’s health.
Anyways I hope this information was helpful for you, and as always, take care of your companion and don’t let them fall into one of these issues.