Chihuahuas are lively pets filled with personality. They are predisposed to certain diseases though, so careful observation of your pets daily routine is important. Any significant change in this routine is cause for an examination. Our web site in the Diseases Section has detailed information on many of the diseases they are prone to.
Chihuahuas can develop a problem called hydrocephalus (water on the brain). If your pet ever shows signs of disorientation, incoordination, or depression, it should be examined to help determine if this problem exists.
The shape of their face and eyes predisposes them to eye trouble. Any time you see your pet pawing at its eyes, have redness or discharge to one of the eyes, or is squinting, its needs help to determine if the problem is serious.
Some Chihuahuas can develop problems with the knee joint that might require surgery. Any time it is limping significantly, especially on one of its back legs, or if it kicks its leg out when it runs, we need to check for this problem.
Chihuahuas are particularly prone to dental disease. It is important to learn how to brush your pet’s teeth while it is a pup so that you are successful at it when the problem starts to arise later. We have a special kit for this purpose, please have one of our nurses show you the proper technique. We also have a food called t/d (it stands for tartar diet) that is a big help if you cannot brush its teeth.
As your pet gets older yearly exams are needed to identify the accumulation of tartar and treat it before it progresses to more serious complications and we have to remove rotten teeth under anesthesia. As tartar accumulates on the teeth we will perform non-anesthetic dentals (this is not a replacement for brushing) every 6 months and hopefully never have to remove rotten teeth under anesthesia.
Heart disease can also occur as your Chihuahua ages. We will check for heart murmurs with our stethoscope during your yearly examine to diagnose this problem and treat it before the onset of congestive heart failure. Always be diligent for signs of coughing, lethargy, weight loss, and exercise intolerance as an indication of this problem.