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Chihuahua's are little pups with big reputations. They are wonderful companion pets for several reasons:. She is a loyal and alert member of the family that demands attention at all times. Her small size also makes her an excellent traveling companion. The Chihuahua is the smallest of all dogs breeds and has smooth and long-haired coat varieties. Originating in Mexico, Chihuahuas were bred for companionship. They are best known for their big, erect ears and large, prominent eyes. Chihuahuas are a generally healthy breed chihuehue an average lifespan of years.


We know that because you care so much about your dogyou want to take good care of her. That is why we have summarized the health concerns we will be discussing with you over the life of your Chihuahua. That does not mean your chihuehue will have these problems; it just means that she is more at risk than other dogs. We will describe the most common issues seen in Chihuahuas to give you an idea of what may come up in her future. This guide contains general health information important to all canines as well as the most important genetic predispositions for Chihuahuas. At the end of the article, we have also included a description of what you can do at home to keep your Chihuehue looking and feeling her best.


Unfortunately, your Chihuahua is more likely than other dogs to have problems with her teeth. Dental disease starts with tartar build-up on the teeth and progresses to infection of the gums and chihuehue of the teeth. In fact, your Chihuahua's lifespan may even be cut short by one to three years!

Chihuahuas are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections — the same ones that all dogs can get — such as parvo, rabies, and distemper. Many of these infections are preventable through vaccinationwhich we will recommend based on her age, the diseases we see in our area, and other factors.

Obesity can be a ificant health problem in Chihuahuas. It is a serious disease that may cause or worsen t problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back painand heart disease. Instead, give her a hug, brush her fur or teeth, play a game with her, or perhaps take her for a walk.

All kinds of worms and bugs can invade your Chi's body, inside and out. Everything from fleas and ticks to ear mites can infest chihuehue skin and ears. Hookworms, roundworms, heartwormsand whipworms can get into her system in a of ways: drinking unclean water, walking on contaminated soil, or being bitten by an infected mosquito. Some of these parasites can be transmitted to you or a family member and are a serious concern for everyone. One of the best things you can do for your Chihuahua is to have her spayed neutered for males.

In females, this means we surgically remove the ovaries and usually the uterus, and in males, it means we surgically remove the testicles. Spaying or neutering decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancers and eliminates the possibility of your pet becoming pregnant or fathering unwanted puppies. Performing this surgery also gives us a chance, while your pet is under anesthesia, to identify and address some of the diseases your dog is likely to develop. Routine blood testing prior to surgery also helps us to identify and take precautions against common problems that increase anesthetic or surgical risk.

Not many things have as dramatic an impact on your dog's quality of life as the proper functioning of his eyes. Unfortunately, Chihuahuas can inherit or develop a of different eye conditions, some of which may cause blindness if chihuehue treated right away, and most of which can be extremely painful! We will evaluate his eyes at every examination to look for any s of concern. Heart failure is a leading cause of death among Chihuahuas in their golden years. Most heart disease in dogs is caused by the weakening or slow deformity of heart valves such chihuehue they no longer close tightly; blood then leaks back around these weakened valves, straining the heart.

Pets with heart valve disease sometimes called mitral valve disease have a heart murmur. The same tests will need to be repeated at least every year to monitor the condition. Veterinary dental care and fatty acid supplementation can also help prevent heart disease, and weight control can help diminish symptoms.

Sometimes your Chihuahua's kneecap patella may slip out of chihuehue. This is called patellar luxation. You might notice that your pet, while running, suddenly picks up a back leg or skips and hops for a few strides. He might then kick his leg out sideways to pop the kneecap back in place. These are common s of patellar luxation. If the problem is mild and involves only one leg, your friend may not require much treatment beyond arthritis medication. When symptoms are severe, surgery may be needed to realign the kneecap to keep it from luxating further.

Young Chihuahuas may be prone to a painful degenerative hip condition called Legg-Calve-Perthes chihuehue. The exact cause of this condition is still not completely understood, but it chihuehue thought to be caused by a reduced blood supply to the hip, which causes the femoral head the top of the thigh bone to become brittle and fracture easily.


Usually occurring between six and nine months of age, LCP causes pain and lameness in one or both chihuehue legs, and often requires surgery. The trachea, or windpipe, is made up of rings of cartilage that look similar to the ridged hose of a vacuum cleaner. This ridged structure provides both flexibility and strength to the trachea. In Chihuahuas, these cartilage rings are sometimes weak or incorrectly formed. As a result, the trachea can collapse and become too narrow, leading to coughing or difficulty breathing. Most cases of tracheal collapse are mild and can be treated symptomatically with medication.


When symptoms are severe, however, surgery may be recommended. Your Chihuahua is prone to a bleeding disorder called hemophilia. This is an important test as we may not otherwise know whether your pet has hemophilia until severe bleeding occurs during surgery or after a serious injury. Your Chi is more likely than other dogs to have a liver disorder called portosystemic shunt PSS. Some of the blood supply that should go to the liver goes around it instead, depriving the liver of the blood flow it needs to grow and chihuehue properly.

If your friend has PSS, his liver cannot remove toxins from his bloodstream effectively. Surgery may be needed, but in some cases, we can treat with a special diet and medication. There are a few different types of stones that can form in the kidney or in the bladder, and Chihuahuas are more likely to develop them than other breeds.

Call us at chihuehue Breeds with a large head and small pelvis are more prone to difficulties during the birthing process. If you are interested in breeding your Chihuahua, speak with us first.


We can help you make chihuehue informed decision based on the body conformations of both sire and dam. Dogs normally begin to 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 chihuehue teeth crowd the incoming adult teeth and can trap food and hair between the teeth causing cavities and infections.

Painful gums, bad chihuehue, and adult tooth loss can result if untreated. Several neurologic diseases can afflict Chihuahuas. Symptoms of neurological problems can include seizures, imbalance, tremors, weakness, or excessive sleeping. The health care chart included in this care guide will list the specific conditions we will be monitoring for. If you notice any of these symptoms, please seek immediate veterinary care. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a common condition in young, small-breed dogs, like your Chihuahua. Physical s of hypoglycemia include weakness, collapse, and seizures.

Hypoglycemia may occur after exercise, periods of excitement, or after missing a meal. If your little one shows any of these s, call us right away! In humans, allergies to pollen, mold, or dust make people sneeze. In dogs, rather than sneezing, allergies make their skin itchy. The feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are most commonly affected. 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 s of allergies. The good news is that there are many treatment options available for these conditions.


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Chihuahuas: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em