Health Issues in Chihuahuas
Just about anybody can recognize the Chihuahua
breed. They are the smallest dogs in the world, and one of the most popular breeds.
What is unknown about Chihuahuas are the health concerns associated with the breed. The Chihuahua breed has
several known genetic risks for health disorders.
The most common health problems in Chi Hua Huas are; Hydrocephalus, Morela, Hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea, and
Chihuahuas suffering with Hydrocephalus are born with larger than normal heads. This disease causes brain edema,
which is a very painful condition. Chihuahuas with this health issue may present balance incoordination and
They are usually the smallest out of the litter and act lethargic. Although most Chihuahuas do not live long
with this disease, there have been cases of dogs that lived with the condition through adulthood.
Morela refers to a soft spot in the head that most Chihuahuas are born with. The Chihuahua is the only breed
that is born without a fully developed cranium. Most of the time this condition will resolve as the dog grows.
It is very important to be careful when handling a Chihuahua with this health condition. Injury to the area can
cause serious health issues, or even death. It is necessary to have the Chihuahua examined by a veterinarian to
make sure that the condition is in fact Morela and not Hydrocephalus.
Common health problems in Chi Hua Huas also include Hypoglycemia. This condition is mainly seen in Chihuahuas
that go long periods without eating. Even if well fed, their fast metabolism will digest the food too quickly and
can cause the blood glucose to drop.
It is a good idea to have some corn syrup (such as Karo syrup) with you in case your Chihuahua becomes
Hypoglycemic. Rub small amounts of the syrup on your dogs’ gums and tongue; this way the substance will be absorbed
and help stabilize your dogs’ glucose.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia include; balance incoordination, shaking, seizures, collapse, and pale gums. If your
Chihuahua manifests any of these symptoms, immediately take him to the nearest veterinary hospital.
Collapsed Trachea and Patellar Luxation
Collapsed trachea and patellar luxation are less severe conditions often seen in Chihuahuas. A collapsed trachea
is when the tracheas’ cartilage is not fully developed or is weak; causing collapse. This will cause a “reverse
sneeze,” or coughing sound.
The condition can easily be treated with medication prescribed by a veterinarian. In more serious cases, surgery
may be necessary to correct the problem. Patellar luxation is commonly seen in Chihuahuas and other small breeds.
Limping or hopping on one back leg is a possible indication of patellar luxation.
This condition is caused when the kneecap is loose and comes out of place. It can be painful, but the kneecap
will usually go back in place within minutes. Most veterinarians agree that a dog with patellar luxation can live
an active and normal life. If the problem is severe, your veterinarian might consider surgical correction.
The Chihuahua breed has the capability to live up to 17 years. Having your Chihuahua examined by a veterinarian
yearly can increase your dogs’ lifespan. Always follow your veterinarians’ advice to ensure that your Chihuahua
gets the best care.
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