When you decided to get a Chihuahua, I’ll bet you daydreamed about the great times you’d have with your new best friend. However, there are many things that you need to consider to keep your pooch happy and healthy. Facts that perhaps you’d rather not even think about!
Urine and Stool Samples: Myths and Facts
When you go to the veterinarian, he may ask you to bring a urine sample from your Chihuahua. How do you do this? Your dog surely won’t be able to hit a sample bottle. The easiest way to accomplish this is to tape a polythene container to the end of a yardstick. While your pup is out doing his business, position the container underneath his urine stream. This is easier to do with male dogs than female dogs, but you can usually get a sample with one or two tries.
Your veterinarian will want a fresh sample, so you should keep it refrigerated until you bring it in. The vet will also be checking the sample for a variety of things like bacteria and crystals. If bacteria are found, it could mean that your dog has a urinary tract infection. This will most likely require your dog to be put on a course of antibiotics or a prescription diet.
If your veterinarian asks for a stool sample, it could mean that he suspects that intestinal parasites are bothering your pup. They can get these by eating fecal matter from another affected animal, carcasses, or other unsavory things. You will want to bring in a fresh sample.
The doctor will examine it under the microscope and look for telltale eggs of parasites. The most common parasites are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Several of today’s monthly heartworm medications also protect against roundworms and hookworms. If you live in the country or your Chihuahua is outside for much of the day, he may need to be treated with a tapeworm wormer quarterly. The vet can also see other diseases like coccidia under the microscope from your dog’s stool sample.
External Signs of Health Issues
What about anal glands? The anal glands are two small glands located just inside your dog’s anus that secrete a foul-smelling liquid. Usually, the glands empty when your dog defecates. Unfortunately, in some dogs, the anal glands become impacted and do not empty properly. If your dog is urinating more than usual or licking his hindquarters more often, there may be a problem with his anal glands.
In this case, it’s important to make an appointment with your veterinarian, who will check the anal glands by gloved touch. If the anal glands are full, he will be able to empty them manually. It is possible, however, to learn how to do this yourself at home. Some dogs require their anal glands to be manually emptied regularly. Some owners have their dog’s anal glands surgically removed but if you choose to do this, discuss the possible outcomes with your veterinarian.
Another issue that many does (especially Chihuahuas) suffer from is dandruff. Dandruff is caused by skin allergies, nutritional deficiencies, or improper grooming. Sometimes, however, dandruff can be a sign of a parasite called mange. This parasite can be demodectic, sarcoptic, or cheyletiellic – all of which have different means of irritating your Chihuauha’s skin. All in all, frequent visits to the vet will identify the warning signs, so make them a habit of yours.
There you have it! Now you know the most unpleasant facts of dog care. Of course, you must know these facts, so you’re properly educated. This way, you can recognize signs and symptoms so that you keep your Chihuahua as healthy as he can be.