Dental Disease

Dental disease is that the commonest chronic problem in pets, affecting 80% of all dogs by age two. Unfortunately, your Chihuahua is more likely than other dogs to possess problems together with her teeth. Dental disease starts with tartar build-up on the teeth and progresses to infection of the gums and roots of the teeth. If we don’t prevent or treat dental disease, your buddy may lose her teeth and be in peril of injury to her kidneys, liver, heart, and joints. In fact, your Chihuahua’s lifespan may even be curtail by one to 3 years! We’ll clean your dog’s teeth regularly and allow you to know what you’ll do reception to stay those pearly whites clean.

Chihuahua Dog Breed Info – Infections

Chihuahuas are vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections — equivalent ones that each one dog can get — like parvo, rabies, and distemper. Many of those infections are preventable through vaccination, which we’ll recommend supported her age, the diseases we see in our area, and other factors.


Obesity is often big ill health in Chihuahuas. it’s a significant disease that will cause or worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain, and a heart condition. Though it’s tempting to offer your pal food when she looks at you with those soulful eyes, you’ll “love her to death” with leftover people food and doggie treats. Instead, give her a hug, brush her fur or teeth, play a game together with her, or perhaps take her for a walk. She’ll feel better, then will you!


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 her skin and ears. Hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms can get into her system during a number of ways: drinking unclean water, walking on contaminated soil, or being bitten by an infected mosquito.

A number of these parasites are often transmitted to you or a loved one and are a significant concern for everybody. For your canine friend, these parasites can cause pain, discomfort, and even death, so it’s important that we test for them on a daily basis. We’ll also recommend preventive medication as necessary to stay healthy.

Spay or Neuter

One of the simplest belongings you can do for your Chihuahua is to possess her spayed (neutered for males). In females, this suggests we surgically remove the ovaries and typically the uterus, and in males, it means we surgically remove the testicles. Spaying or neutering decreases the likelihood of certain sorts of cancers and eliminates the likelihood of your pet becoming pregnant or fathering unwanted puppies.

Performing this surgery also gives us an opportunity, while your pet is under anesthesia, to spot and address a number of the diseases your dog is probably going to develop. for instance, if your pet needs hip X-rays or a puppy tooth extracted, this is able to be an honest time—it’s more convenient for you and easier on your friend too. Routine blood testing before surgery also helps us to spot and take precautions against common problems that increase anesthetic or surgical risk. Don’t worry; we’ll discuss the precise problems we’ll be trying to find when the time arrives.

Genetic Predispositions for Chihuahuas

Eye Problems

Not many things have as dramatic an impression on your dog’s quality of life because of the proper functioning of his eyes. Unfortunately, Chihuahuas can inherit or develop a variety of various eye conditions, a number of which can cause blindness if not treated directly, and most of which may be extremely painful! we’ll evaluate his eyes at every examination to seem for any signs of concern.

Glaucoma, an eye fixed condition that affects Chihuahuas and other people too, is a particularly painful disease that rapidly results in blindness if left untreated. Symptoms include squinting, watery eyes, bluing of the cornea (the clear front a part of the eye), and redness within the whites of the eyes. Pain is never noticed by pet owners though it’s frequently there and may be severe.

people that have certain sorts of glaucoma often report it seems like being stabbed within the eye with an ice pick! Yikes! In advanced cases, the attention may look enlarged or swollen like it’s bulging. We’ll perform an annual glaucoma screening to diagnose and begin treatment as early as possible. Glaucoma may be a medical emergency. If you see symptoms, don’t wait to call us, attend an emergency clinic!

Dry eye also referred to as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS, is common in Chihuahuas. KCS reduces the quantity of fluid produced by the tear glands such they’re not ready to keep the eyes moist. This leads to sore, itchy eyes, and infections. Symptoms of KCS include a dull, dry appearance or thick discharge from the eyes, squinting, and pawing at the eyes.

KCS may be a painful condition; please call us immediately if you notice any of those signs, and we’ll conduct a tear test on your pet. If he has this disease, we’ll prescribe ointment that you’ll get to apply for the remainder of your dog’s life.

Cataracts are a standard explanation for blindness in older Chihuahuas. We’ll await the lenses of his eyes to become more opaque—meaning they appear cloudy rather than clear—when we examine him. Many dogs adjust well to losing their vision and obtain along just fine. Surgery to get rid of cataracts and restore sight can also be an option.

Chihuahua Dog Breed Info – Heart Disease

Heart failure may be a leading explanation for death among Chihuahuas in their time of life. The most heart condition in dogs is caused by the weakening or slow deformity of heart valves such they not close tightly; blood then leaks back around these weakened valves, straining the guts. Pets with heart valve disease (sometimes called bicuspid valve disease) have a cardiac murmur.

If your dog features a cardiac murmur or outward signs suggesting heart problems, we’ll perform testing to work out the severity of the disease. equivalent tests will be got to be repeated a minimum of per annum to watch the condition. If heart valve disease is diagnosed early, we could also be ready to prescribe medications that would prolong your pet’s life for several years. Veterinary care and carboxylic acid supplementation also can help prevent heart condition, and weight control can help diminish symptoms.

Chihuahuas are vulnerable to a condition called patent ductus arteriosis, or PDA, during which a little vessel that carries blood between two parts of the guts doesn’t close because it should shortly after birth. This leads to an excessive amount of blood being carried to the lungs, causing fluid build-up and strain on the guts.

Outward signs could also be mild or severe, including coughing, fatigue during exercise, weight loss, shortness of breath, and weakness within the hind limbs. We listen for a selected sort of cardiac murmur to diagnose this problem during your pet’s examinations. If your pal has this condition, we may recommend surgery to shut the problematic vessel.

Knee Problems

Sometimes your Chihuahua’s kneecap (patella) may slip out of place. this is often called patellar luxation. you would possibly notice that your pet, while running, suddenly picks up a back leg or skips and hops for a couple of strides. He might then kick his leg out sideways to pop the kneecap back in situ. These are common signs of patellar luxation. If the matter is mild and involves just one leg, your friend might not require much treatment beyond arthritis medication. When symptoms are severe, surgery could also be needed to realign the kneecap to stay it from luxating further.

Hip Necrosis

Young Chihuahuas could also be susceptible to a painful degenerative hip condition called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. The precise explanation for this condition remains not completely understood, but it’s 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 aged, LCP causes pain and lameness in one or both rear legs, and sometimes requires surgery.

Tracheal Collapse

The trachea, or windpipe, is formed from rings of cartilage that look almost like the ridged hose of a vacuum. 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, resulting in coughing or difficulty breathing. Most cases of tracheal collapse are mild and may be treated symptomatically with medication. When symptoms are severe, however, surgery could also be recommended.

Bleeding Disorders

Your Chihuahua is susceptible to a bleeding disorder called hemophilia. We’ll conduct diagnostic testing to assess his blood coagulation time before we perform surgery. this is often a crucial test as we might not otherwise know whether your pet has hemophilia until severe bleeding occurs during surgery or after a significant injury.

Liver Problems

Your Chi is more likely than other dogs to possess a liver disorder called portosystemic shunt (PSS). a number of the blood supply that ought to attend the liver goes around it instead, depriving the liver of the blood flow it must grow and perform properly.

If your friend has PSS, his liver cannot remove toxins from his bloodstream effectively. to see for this problem, we’ll conduct a liver function test additionally to a typical pre-anesthetic panel whenever he undergoes anesthesia. If he develops symptoms like stunted growth or seizures, we’ll test his blood and possibly conduct an ultrasound scan of his liver. Surgery could also be needed, but in some cases, we will treat with a special diet and drugs.

Bladder or Kidney Stones

There are a couple of differing types of stones that will form within the kidney or within the bladder, and Chihuahuas are more likely to develop them than other breeds. We’ll periodically test his urine for telltale signs indicating the presence of kidney and bladder stones, which additionally are very painful! If your buddy has blood in his urine, can’t urinate, or is straining to urinate, it’s a medical emergency. Call us at (760) 456-9556 immediately!

Reproductive Difficulties

Breeds with an outsized head and little pelvis are more susceptible to difficulties during the birthing process. The female’s pelvis could also be too small to pass the puppies’ heads and a C-section is usually required for her health which of her puppies. If you’re curious about breeding your Chihuahua, speak with us first. we will assist you to make an informed decision supported the body conformations of both sire and dam.

Chihuahua Dog Breed Info – Retained Puppy Teeth

Dogs normally begin to lose their primary (“puppy”) teeth at around 4 months aged. If the first teeth don’t fall out because the adult teeth are available, infection or damage to the adult teeth may occur. Retained puppy teeth crowd the incoming adult teeth and may trap food and hair between the teeth causing cavities and infections. Painful gums, bad breath, and permanent tooth loss may result if untreated. Retained teeth are common in small breeds like Chihuahuas, but we’ll monitor your pet’s growing teeth at each exam and discuss the removal of any retained puppy teeth with you when indicated.

Neurological Problems

Several neurologic diseases can afflict Chihuahuas. Symptoms of neurological problems can include seizures, imbalance, tremors, weakness, or excessive sleeping. The health care chart included during this care guide will list the precise conditions we’ll be monitoring for. If you notice any of those symptoms, please seek immediate veterinary care.

Low blood glucose

Hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, maybe a common condition in young, small-breed dogs, like your Chihuahua. Physical signs of hypoglycemia include weakness, collapse, and seizures. Hypoglycemia may occur after exercise, periods of pleasure, or after missing a meal. If your baby shows any of those signs, call us right away! Most pets outgrow the tendency to hypoglycemic reactions, but it’s important to regulate an affected pet’s blood glucose while he’s young.


In humans, allergies to pollen, mold, or dust make people sneeze. In dogs, instead of sneezing, allergies make their skin itchy. We call this skin allergy “atopy”, and Chihuahuas often have it. The feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are most ordinarily affected. Symptoms typically start between the ages of 1 and three and may worsen per annum. Licking the paws, rubbing the face, and frequent ear infections are the foremost common signs of allergies. the great news is that there are many treatment options available for these conditions.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Chihuahuas are more likely than other breeds to possess instability within the first two neck vertebrae (called the atlantal and axial vertebrae). This condition can cause sudden spinal-cord injuries within the neck. If your dog is suddenly unable or unwilling to leap or go up stairs, if he cries for no apparent reason, or if he tries to show or lower his head once you pick him up, he could also be in severe pain, and you ought to call us immediately!

We’ll control the pain with medication, although surgery can also be recommended. like numerous other diseases, weight control helps to stop injuries from this condition. With this breed, it’s also important to line up ramps or steps in your home from the time your pet may be a puppy to save lots of him a lifetime of stressing his neck when jumping on and off the furniture.


Demodex may be a microscopic mite that lives within the hair follicles of all dogs. Normally a dog’s system keeps the mites in restraint, but some breeds, like your Chihuahua, may develop an overabundance of those mites. In mild cases, pet owners may notice a couple of dry, irritated, hairless lesions. These often occur on the face or feet and should or might not be itchy. Secondary skin infections can also occur. Prompt veterinary care is vital to stay the disease from getting out of hand. Many pets seem to outgrow the matter, while others require lifelong management.

Water on the Brain

Hydrocephalus occurs when fluid builds up inside the skull, putting pressure on the brain. This condition is commonest in breeds with dome-shaped heads, like your Chihuahua. Hydrocephalus most frequently occurs when the skull bones don’t fuse properly after birth. Signs of hydrocephalus include seizures, dulled mental function, circling, and a spastic gait.

Owners of affected pets report that training is additionally harder. Hydrocephalus is typically diagnosed early in life but is occasionally diagnosed in adult dogs also. We’ll keep this risk in mind during your pet’s visits, recommend early testing for the condition, and discuss effective treatment options if symptoms develop.

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