10 Most Common Chihuahua Health issues

Chihuahuas are normally super healthy pets with an extended life expectancy. However, in all breeds of dogs, there are some dog common health issues that seem to bother them and your chihuahua is no exception. To make sure that your dog is well insulated from the risks that may arise from its genetics, it’s imperative that you get well informed on some of the health issues that are likely to affect the dog.

1. Luxating Patella

Luxating Patella in chihuahua

source: google images

A luxation patella, called also patellar luxation, is when a chihuahua’s kneecap moves out of its ordinary location. This health condition is hereditary and usually appears when the puppy is about four months. health professionals estimate roughly 10% of chihuahuas suffer from this disease.

A chihuahua with this disease may try to avoid most of the time using the affected leg. In addition, when this disease affects the dog’s hind legs, you may notice him holding the affected one in the air for a few minutes. Because doing so may help him relax his leg and its muscles.

 Fortunately, this disease is not a source of consistent pain for the dog, your puppy will suffer only during the dislocation of the kneecap.

In order to treat severe cases of patellar luxation, your dog will need surgery. However, most of the time the vet may ask for systematic checkups to keep track of any future complications.

2. The Morella

This is a soft spot on the skull that almost all apple-headed are born with. Basically, it’s similar to a soft spot that human babies are born with and serves the same purpose: facilitating a safe passage in the birth canal and preventing exposing the brain to a lot of pressure. In most of these little chihuahuas, the soft spot will be completely sealed by the time they reach adulthood. But for some the closure is partial.

This is not a defect but a characteristic of some chihuahuas. If hit on the spot with a hard object the chihuahua may quickly die therefore care must be taken. In fact, there was a time back in the years when breeders used the Morella to classify some breeds like true Chihuahua; any dog that didn’t have a soft spot was crossed out.

3. Reverse sneeze

Descriptions of this disorder are several and they depend on the owners. Collectively, this condition is represented by some snorting and some sort of wheezing among other descriptions.

This is a condition that has not been fully explored and there are many suggestions trying to explain why it actually happens. Among the varied reasons given here are a few:

  • Small trachea
  • Sinus infections
  • Elongated soft palate with temporal misalignment

The reasons vary but this seems to be a common issue with chihuahuas that have broad and short heads and mostly the toy breeds.

Sometimes it will happen when the leash is pulled or when the pet is playing, eating, drinking too quickly, and could just happen for no reason at all.

The good thing is that this should not alarm you, most bouts will only last a couple of moments and if you want to speed things up, try rubbing their throats, or simply distracting them.

4. Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal Collapse in chihuahuas

source: google images

The trachea is the conduit that holds the passage of the air from your chihuahua’s mouth or nose to his lungs helping the dog to breathe easily. Your chihuahua will display some breathing symptoms such as a chronic honking cough when his trachea is collapsed.

When tracheal collapse is extreme, a chihuahua‘s gums may become blue or faint. Due to breathing difficulties. When this occurs you have to take your dog immediately to your vet.

Thankfully Collapsed tracheas are not a rare disease they are very common. In other words, they have a good prognosis when treated proactively. To treat this condition the vet may prescribe a steroid or cough suppressant to help open your chihuahua’s airway.

 5. Hypoglycemia

This is a condition that arises when blood sugar levels fall way below normal levels. When this happens, the brain is severely deprived of essential nutrients and it leads to weakness, severe seizures, and a disheartening death.

Remedy and Prevention

As a response to an emergency situation, quickly give the chihuahua something that is sugary like syrup or jelly.

To prevent this from happening altogether, make sure that your dog eats regularly. If your dog is not a little piglet, then you can start free-feeding them. But if they have a tendency to overeat it’s not recommended to use free feeding, as they might become obese altogether.

If you suspect that normal diets are insufficient, you should introduce a high-calorie mix feed.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ: Keys to an Excellent chihuahua Diet 

6. Obesity

overweight in chihuahua

source: google images

Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed in the world and Giving too many foods and treats to our chihuahua will lead directly to obesity.

According to the American Kennel club’s breed standards, the weight of a pure-bred chihuahua is less than six pounds.

Obesity in chihuahuas will result in other unexpected conditions including heart disease, stress on the spine, arthritis, back problems, joint problems, difficulty breathing, and shortened lifespan.

In order to keep your chihuahua healthy, try to limit the amount of food you give your pup, and track their weight before they become fat. What you should keep in mind is that whenever you want to change the dog’s diet as your vet.

THIS ARTICLE MAY HELP: Weight issues in your Chihuahua

7. Dental issues and problems

Before they reach the age of four years 75% of all chihuahuas will develop dental problems of some kind. Mostly, this is contributed by their small mouths and small snouts making the teeth become stacked closely together resulting in issues when feeding.

Food gets stuck between their teeth so often. This means that regular dental care is a compulsory chore for chihuahua owners if they wish to avoid further complications. Get your chihuahua a dental kit but in the meantime, you can use a child’s toothbrush to clean their mouth.

Dealing with it

Make it a habit to regularly give the dog some raw bones. These will not only keep your dog occupied but also clean its teeth. When you go to the vet store make sure that you purchase some water additives that contain an antibacterial. This will help to eliminate bacteria that cause bad breath and plaque.

Finally, always have a vet check your chihuahua for any dental issue that you are unsure of.

8. The cherry eyes

chihuahua with The cherry eyes

source: pexels

This is a condition that makes the eyes protrude and be so close to the ground. Apart from the fact that foreign materials can easily injure the eyes, this does not cause any danger on its own. Of course, it’s unsightly but that doesn’t mean life-threatening.

There are several methods used to fix this problem which may include:

  • Massaging the eyes back into position
  • Steroid eye drops
  • Surgical procedures
  • Placing some warm and mildly moist cloth over the eyes

Breeders have tried to overcome this issue through selective breeding with a huge success rate.

9. Bladder and Kidney Stones

This condition is common in older chihuahua males. During a chihuahua’s life, some tiny stones made of calcium build up in his/her urinary tract. The symptoms of this issue are bloody urine, difficulty urinating, and intense pain.

Normally, those tiny stones pass on their own over time. But when your dog is showing signs of intense pain when he tries to urinate, then you should seek your vet’s advice. In some severe cases, kidney stones can cause blockages that will require medical emergencies.

10. Scleritis

This condition is caused by a parasite. This health issue manifests as the inflammation of the sclera, which is the white area of your chihuahua’s eyeball. When your chihuahua’s eye gets this issue, the full sclera becomes inflamed. The chihuahua may lose her eye if you let the disease untreated.

 Because of their eye shape, chihuahuas are easily prone to eye issues. Thankfully, this condition can be avoided thanks to access to clean drinking water. 

When your chihuahua gets an eye issue he will naturally try to lick or scratch the affected eye. When you notice this behavior you have to take your dog to your vet.

Last word

Finally, you should know chihuahuas are healthy dogs and they have the longest lifespan of all dog breeds. Of course, you can’t control all the health issues of your dog but you can prevent and/or treat many of them.


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