Health disorders of Chihuahua

This dog breeds requires expert veterinary attention in areas such as birthing and dental care. Chihuahuas are also prone to some genetic anomalies, often neurological ones, such as epilepsy and seizure disorders.

Chihuahuas, and other toy breeds, are prone to the sometimes painful disease, hydrocephalus. It is often diagnosed by the puppy having an abnormally large head during the first several months of life, but other symptoms are more noticeable (since "a large head" is such a broad description). Chihuahua puppies exhibiting hydrocephalus usually have patchy skull platelets rather than a solid bone and typically are lethargic and do not grow at the same pace as their siblings. A true case of hydrocephalus can be diagnosed by a veterinarian, though the prognosis is grim.

Chihuahuas have moleras, or a soft spot in their skulls, and they are the only breed of dog to be born with an incomplete skull. The molera fills in with age, but great care needs to be taken during the first six months until the skull is fully formed. Some moleras do not close completely and will require extra care to prevent injury. Many veterinarians are not familiar with Chihuahuas as a dog breeds, and mistakenly confuse a molera with hydrocephalus. The Chihuahua Club of America has issued a statement regarding this often deadly misdiagnosis.

Chihuahuas can also be at risk for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. This is especially dangerous for puppies. Left unattended, hypoglycemia can lead to coma and death. This can be combated with frequent feedings (every three hours for very small or young puppies). Chihuahua owners should have a simple sugar supplement on hand to use in emergencies, such as, Nutri-Cal, Karo syrup or honey. These supplements can be rubbed on the gums and roof of the mouth to rapidly raise the blood sugar level. Signs of hypoglycemia include lethargy, sleepiness, low energy, uncoordinated walking, unfocused eyes and spasms of the neck muscles (or head pulling back or to the side).

Chihuahuas are prone to eye infections or eye injury due to their large, round, protruding eyes and their relatively low ground clearance. Care should be taken to prevent visitors or children from poking the eyes. The eyes also water to remove dust or allergens that may get into the eye. Daily wiping will keep the eyes clean and prevent tear staining. Chihuahuas have a tendency to tremble but this is not a health issue, rather it takes place when the dog is stressed, excited or cold. One reason for this may be because small dogs have a higher metabolism than larger dogs and therefore dissipate heat faster. Due to this Chihuahuas often wear coats or sweaters when outside in the cold or in overly air-conditioned places. Chihuahuas often like to dig and snuggle down in blankets for sleeping.

Although figures often vary, as with any breed, the average lifespan range for a healthy Chihuahua is approximately 10 to 17 years.

Chihuahuas are sometimes picky eaters, and care must be taken to provide them with adequate nutrition. Chihuahuas could earn this reputation because they seem to find small unnoticed bits of food all day. Sometimes wet or fresh food can have the most appealing smell to these constant eaters. "They will eat when they are hungry" does not apply as Chihuahuas are prone to hypoglycemia and could be at a critical state if allowed to go too long without a meal. At the same time, care must be exercised not to overfeed them. Human food should be avoided. Due to their small size even tiny high fat or sugary treats can result in an overweight Chihuahua. Overweight Chihuahuas are susceptible to having an increased rate of joint injuries, tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis, and shortened life span.

Top 100 Pets Sites on - Add your Site, Boost Your Traffic! Dog Topsite The Puppy Network Top Dog Sites
List your site in the Hot Vs Not web directory You can find other related resources in the Pets Directory