Chihuahua Health Issues

Did you know that different breeds of dog are predisposed to different health issues? Well Chihuahuas are no exception and have certain conditions that they are predisposed to. That’s one of the reasons that we developed the My Healthy Chihuahua Multi-vitamin and Mineral. Isn’t it better to give your Chihuahua a supplement that helps support its body against the specific predispositions that Chihuahuas have?

Here are some of the common issues Chihuahuas are predisposed to…

Heart Disease

Heart failure is a leading cause of death in older Chihuahuas and 75% of the heart disease is caused by valve deterioration. Heart murmurs, mitral valve disease, and pulmonic stenosis (a heart valve disorder) are common issues. Young dogs and puppies can suffer from an inherited heart condition called PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) where the arteries and veins in the fetal heart do not develop properly and cause problems after the puppy is born. Chihuahuas with heart conditions can be very lethargic, show blue or pale gums, may develop a cough, and, in the latter stages of the disease, develop fluid in the abdomen and suffer from strokes.

Dislocated Knee Caps

Chihuahuas can experience a condition called patella luxation, where the kneecaps on the back legs slip out of place. Dogs with this issue will limp quite badly, often holding the affected leg totally off the ground, will not want to exercise, will have difficulty walking, and experience joint stiffness and pain.

Collapsing Wind Pipe

The American College of Veterinary Surgeons describes the trachea (or windpipe) as resembling a ribbed vacuum cleaner hose, with its small cartilage rings that keep the airway open. Because the cartilage rings holding open the trachea (the airway to the lungs found in the neck) are so fragile, the slightest strain against a leash or collar can cause them to collapse in this tiny dog. A Chihuahua with this issue may wheeze, cough, or have problems breathing.

Low Blood Sugar

Tiny dogs, like Chihuahuas, often experience episodes of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, particularly when they’re young. Caused by underfeeding, or long periods of fasting between meals, hypoglycemic dogs show signs of weakness and seizures, and as the condition progresses, blindness and even death.

Skin Problems

Chihuahua often suffer from skin problems. These problems are often the result of an excess level of toxins being released. As well as toxins, skin problems can also stem from dietary allergies, fleas, bacterial infections and other product specific allergies.

Hair Loss

Chihuahuas are prone to pattern baldness. This usually begins with a thinning of hair underneath the dog’s neck, in her temple area, and on the chest, stomach, and back of the thighs. The thinning continues until these areas are completely void of all hair. Over time, the skin in these areas may darken and become scaly.

Dental Disease

Did you know that dental disease, known in veterinary circles as “the silent killer” is the #1 diagnosed problem in dogs.

Disturbingly, by the time they’re just two years old, 80 percent of dogs exhibit some sign of gum disease!  Chihuahuas are prone to dental disease more than many other other breeds because they often keep their “baby teeth” (called deciduous canine teeth.) This can cause the adult teeth to grow in crooked or incorrectly. As a result food can get trapped, which can lead to severe gum disease.

Bladder & Kidney Stones

Chihuahuas, especially older males, may be genetically predisposed to developing cystine bladder stones because of their acidic urine. Dogs with this disease often urinate in appropriate places, spot urinate (meaning they urinate in small amounts in different places), and may have trouble urinating at all. Bladder stones can be painful and a Chihuahua may show discomfort upon palpation of the abdomen. Additionally, there may be blood in the urine (hematuria). There are also other types of stones that form in the bladder or kidneys that Chihuahuas are more prone to than other breeds.

Obesity

Because of the size of the Chihuahua, it is easy to overfeed them and give them too many calories for their little bodies. According to the American Kennel Club, a Chihuahua should not weigh more than 6 pounds. Any dog over that weight is considered overweight, verging on the obese. A moderately active, 6-lb. Chihuahua should only consume approximately 300 calories per day. Obesity is a serious disease that can cause cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Because an obese Chihuahua  is carrying more weight than it was built for it can also result in back pain.

Eye Problems

The eyes of a Chihuahua are susceptible to corneal dryness, conjunctivitis and secondary glaucoma.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, often associated with overeating, or eating the wrong kinds of fatty, calorie-laden food. Dogs that get this are often garbage scroungers who eat human food that they shouldn’t. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia (unwillingness to eat), lethargy, and pain and possible bloating in the abdomen.