Food & HealthTips & Facts

What Are The Common Diseases That A Chihuahua Can Have?

Having a Chihuahua is a great responsibility. It would be best if you took care of it like a child. Chihuahuas are sensitive to noise, food, and the environment. In addition, you must take into consideration the breed of Chihuahua you have or you are planning to have because there are breeds that have congenital health problems. Examples of health problems that a Chihuahua can have are heart problems, posture disorientation, walking disturbances, and many more.
In this post, you will learn the significant health conditions that a Chihuahua can have, depending on their breed and genes.

HEART PROBLEM / DISEASE

Most breeds of Chihuahua have a short lifespan, but the most common cause of death is having a heart problem. Teacup Chihuahuas are the most prone to having a heart disease because of the breeding process to make them really small. Chihuahuas with congenital heart problems can live up to 14 months. To check for the signs and symptoms of having a heart disease, observe your dog for possible abdomen swelling, body weakness, gum discoloration, exhaustion, coughing and choking, and diarrhea. If you noticed signs of heart failure, call your vet immediately. Upon going to the vet, your Chihuahua will go through some sort of test. The vet will do an x-ray, auscultation, ECG, fluid tests, and ultrasound. Unfortunately, there is no recorded cure for Chihuahua’s heart disease, but you can still do something to prolong its life.

-How To Prevent Early Onset Of Heart Failure

  1. Set regular vet check-ups for your Chihuahua.
  2. Have a regular exercise with them, but do not over exhaust your dog.
  3. Give fish oil or Omega-3 supplement on its meal plan for a stronger heart.
  4. Follow the diet plan from the vet. Avoid giving treats that are not recommended, like treats containing peas, seeds, and potatoes.
  5. Avoid mixing high fat in their food, for it can lead to obesity and difficulty indigestion. Instead, monitor your Chihuahua’s weight. And, avoid dry foods because they can turn into sugar and can choke your Chihuahua.

DEAFNESS

Deafness is a common congenital disease in Chihuahuas. White Chihuahuas, or any Chihuahuas that have a shade of white and spots, are the common breed that has a high chance of acquiring deafness. There is currently no cure for Chihuahuas’ deafness, depending on the type, but it can have some preventions or prolonging their normal hearing. Such things to do are cleaning the ears because ear infections due to earwax add to the severity of deafness. Veterinarians can also check for some swellings that block the ear canal and administer some otic medications.

There are different types of deafness in Chihuahuas. These are the genetic, obstructive, age-related, and toxicity. For age-related deafness, it may occur starting from their 8th to 13th year. Age-related deafness is called “degenerative deafness” because there are nerves that die due to aging. The sign for your Chihuahua’s deafness is being unresponsive to different levels of noise. They also sleep for a more extended period because they do not hear distractions.

To check for your Chihuahua’s deafness:

1. Try calling your dog at different distances.
2. Observe if it constantly scratches its ears because this can be a sign of wax build-up inside.
3. Try clapping your hands or snapping your fingers if it reacts aggressively.
4. Deaf Chihuahuas are also irritated easily, so monitor their reactions very well. If it sleeps longer than usual, even you make a noise, that is also a clear sign of deafness.

HYPOGLYCEMIA

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar for Chihuahuas may be congenital, or it can be an environmental cause. Like in humans, you can be hypoglycemic if there are hypoglycemic in your family or if your lifestyle affects your sugar intake. For Chihuahuas, hypoglycemia can be acquired in the environment if they have parasites in their gut or are surrounded by stress. Another reason for hypoglycemia is because Chihuahuas are energetic and active.

Their body uses sugar as a source of energy. So, after a long day of activities, you’ll notice your dog trembling and exhausted. Take note also of the discoloration of their gums. Unusual discoloration of gums is a sign that your Chihuahua is going into sugar shock. Dropping of sugar level for an extended period of time can cause seizure, coma, and death. To avoid the shock, do not overcast your Chihuahua with its meal. Instead, avoid vigorous activities and prepare for a lump of sugar treats in case of seizure attacks.

Like on humans, hypoglycemia is an alarming health condition. This is how to manage hypoglycemia and how to detect it.

  1. Too tired or too weak after a slight movement
  2. Drooping of eyes
  3. Heavy breathing and irregular heartbeat
  4. Give a sweet treat for immediate treatment

ORAL DISEASE

All types of dogs have a chance of developing oral problems. But, Chihuahuas are more prone to dental caries and infection. If left untreated, it can lead to loss of the tooth. Dental problems can affect not only the oral health but also the organs of a Chihuahua. It can weaken the digestion of the Chihuahua and can damage the liver, heart, and bones.

To avoid these adverse effects:

1. Check the oral health of your Chihuahua regularly.
2. Remove the biteable toys that can break your Chihuahua’s tooth. You can try some dog treats that have antibacterial properties for their gums and teeth.
3. Visit the vet from time to time and ensure that there are no plaques build-up on the tooth and gums of your Chihuahua.

SEIZURES

Seizure is congenital and can be acquired through the cross-breeding process. Organ diseases or failures may also be a reason for seizure in a Chihuahua. Another cause for seizure is that there is a chance that a Chihuahua has a brain tumor or sometimes water build-up on the brain. Chihuahuas who suffer from seizures can live up to eight years, and there are ways to prolong their life. Chihuahuas with episodes are very sensitive to the environment. Avoid surprise attacks on your dog and remove all the things that can trigger it, like flashing lights and loud toys. If your Chihuahua has a seizure attack, ensure your dog is in a calm environment, record the time of its seizure, make sure to lower its body temperature, and immediately call the vet if the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes.

HYDROCEPHALUS

Hydrocephalus is the water build-up in the brain. Water in the brain can increase the head pressure that can lead to death. Hydrocephalus in Chihuahuas can occur if a virus or infection affects the brain, there is a vitamin deficiency, and the most common reason is a brain tumor. Signs of hydrocephalus in Chihuahuas are big head (except if the breed is a deer head Chihuahua), protruding eyes, seizures, difficulty to train, weakness, irregular breathing, and coma. Hydrocephalus may also occur if there is a head trauma while still in the womb or it was caught in an accident. If your Chihuahua is already diagnosed with hydrocephalus, your vet may give some anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure medicines.

Image credits: Cynoclub

BROKEN KNEECAPS

Chihuahuas are a very small type of dogs. Because of their size, they have a delicate body structure that you must be gentle with when carrying them. Dislocated kneecaps are mostly congenitally called “luxating patella”. One sign that your Chihuahua has luxating patella is limping or unusual position when sitting. It can be cured through therapy and surgery for severe cases. However, after the surgery, you must still practice your Chihuahua to walk correctly. Broken or dislocated kneecaps mainly occur through breeding, so it is strictly advised not to breed different types of Chihuahua because it may cause congenital disorders.

FINAL WORDS

Cross-breeding in Chihuahuas is the most common cause of health conditions. It may cost a lot if you buy an unusual breed of Chihuahua, but it may cause you to spend more if they develop different health conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to learn the type of Chihuahua you are getting and know what the possible health disorders that your Chihuahua can have in the future are. Knowing your Chihuahua’s breed and the condition is vital so that you will know what to expect will happen and how to manage such conditions listed above:

  • Always set a schedule for a vet check-up and observe your Chihuahua’s movements and reactions.
  • Ensure a safe environment and a healthy meal plan.
  • Carry your Chihuahua diligently and responsively.
  • Monitor your Chihuahua’s vital statistics, like the height, weight, and temperature.