Category: dog

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds we care for at our hospital. 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.

Labrador Retrievers are susceptible to hip dysplasia, a disease characterized by malformation in the hip socket, which eventually causes arthritis.  The symptoms of this disease can vary, from a pet that is just not as active as it should be, to a dog that can barely get up after laying down. This breed also gets joint problems in other bones, particularly to the elbow joint and shoulder joint. Problems here are usually manifested by limping in the front legs. A physical exam and x-rays will help make the diagnosis.

If your young lab seems lethargic, disoriented, or just not with it, especially after eating, it might have a liver disease called a portosystemic shunt.

Unfortunately, the also can get a malignant cancer of the lymph nodes called lymphosarcoma. Please refer to our Learning Center to learn how to perform a lymph node exam. One of our doctors will help you find them.

Active labs that run and jump vigorously are prone to tearing a ligament in their knee call the cranial cruciate ligament. This occurs where there is a twisting or tweaking motion. Symptoms range from a subtle lameness to complete limping.

Labradors are also at risk for several eye problems including PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), cataracts, and retinal dysplasia. All of these eye problems manifest themselves by a loss of vision. If we suspect one of these problems we will refer you to our ophthalmologist. Hereditary cataracts can also occur. The problem can occur at an early age, and while cataracts may or may not interfere with the dog’s vision, some do progress into severe or total loss of vision.

Labrador Retrievers can also have an inherited deficiency in one of the clotting factors of the blood. Dogs affected with this disease may have symptoms varying from very mild to severe bleeding.  If your pet bruises easily or bleeds excessively, this disease is a possibility.

Hypothyroidism, a metabolic disease characterized by inadequate thyroid hormone circulating in the bloodstream, is common in the breed. Symptoms include obesity, lethargy, and/or coat problems. Affected animals may also have various reproductive problems, including irregular or absent estrus (heat cycle), and lack of fertility.

Other hormone problems include Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings), Diabetes Mellitus (sugar diabetes), and insulonima (causing low blood sugar). Symptoms vary, and usually include excess drinking and urinating.

If your Lab is underweight and regurgitates its food it might have an esophagus problem secondary to myasthenia gravis.

This breed is prone to many skin problems, particularly allergies and hot spots. The usual symptoms are excessive scratching, flaky or bumpy skin, an odor to the haircoat, and hairloss. Also watch for a lack of pigmentation on the nose or flakiness to the nose.

Run your hands over its haircoat daily because they can even get a malignant skin cancer called a mast cell tumor. These can appear as minor bumps or areas of inflammation, yet they can be highly malignant.

A vast array of eye problems can occur. Any discharge, redness, swelling, squinting, or pawing at the eyes is reason for an immediate exam.

Labs are also prone to ear trouble, which can be very painful without your realization. Any sign of head shaking, pawing at the ears, inflamed ears or odor requires veterinary attention. Daily checking for odors or discharge, and proper cleaning when needed, will help prevent this problem.

Several different types of heart problems can affect them. Look for symptoms of lethargy, exercise intolerance, coughing, and poor appetite as a clue.

Continue Reading

Dachshunds

Doxies are full of 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.

They are susceptible to a problem with their spinal cords called Intervetebral Disk disease (IVD). This is a serious problem that can lead to paralysis. Symptoms can include lethargy, lack of appetite, crying or whining, reluctance to move or jump, or even anxiety, is cause for immediate examination. Please use our web site to learn much more about IVD.

Several different types of heart problems can affect them. The most common is one called a Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA). Look for symptoms of lethargy, exercise intolerance, coughing, and poor appetite as a clue.

This breed is prone to many skin problems, particularly allergies and hot spots. The usual symptoms are excessive scratching, flaky or bumpy skin, an odor to the haircoat, and hairloss. Run your hands over its haircoat daily because they can even get a malignant skin cancer called a mast cell tumor. These can appear as minor bumps or areas of inflammation, yet they can be highly malignant.

Hypothyroidism, a metabolic disease characterized by inadequate thyroid hormone circulating in the bloodstream, is common in the breed. Symptoms include obesity, lethargy, and/or coat problems. Affected animals may also have various reproductive problems, including irregular or absent estrus (heat cycle), and lack of fertility.

Two other hormone disease that can occur include Cushing’s disease and Diabetes Mellitus (sugar diabetes). Symptoms here vary, but commonly represent as excessive thirst and urination.

Many cancers can occur and affect a wide variety of organs. Look for lumps or bumps on the skin, mouth and anus. Also check the feet for swelling of the toes or lameness because they can get a cancer called Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

A vast array of eye problems can occur. Any discharge, redness, swelling, squinting, or pawing at the eyes is reason for an immediate exam.

Doxies can also get a bladder stone (called urolithiasis). Look for symptoms of straining to urinate, blood in urine, licking, or urinating small amounts frequently.

Continue Reading

Shar Pei

Shar Peis are known for their unusual and distinctive skin wrinkles. In 1978 the Chinese Shar Pei was one of the rarest dog breeds in the world, and this means that every Shar Pei alive today comes from a small number of breeding individuals, so inbreeding had to take place in order to increase their population. This has caused a high incidence of inherited diseases.

When purchasing a Shar Pei chose one that has been genetically screened by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals; www.offa.org) to help minimize the numerous genetic conditions of this breed.

Before you purchase one you need to be familiar with the significant and chronic diseases you will be dealing with for the life of your pet.

Hip dysplasia, loose knee caps, and elbow dysplasia are not uncommon. Any limping or lameness in the legs that does not resolve after 1-2 days of rest should be checked for these congenital diseases.

An eye problem with the retina can occur. If your pet has any vision problems this needs to be checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

They also get a problem where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and prevents it from producing enough thyroxine (thyroid hormone). This disease can cause many different symptoms, so any sign of disease warrants and exam and blood panel.

Skin problems are very common in Shar Peis, including allergies and skin and ear  infections. They can become chronic in nature leading to debilitating conditions and unnecessary suffering. Any skin problem needs immediate diagnosis and usually long term treatment to prevent it from progressing.

Entropion, a painful eye condition where the eyelids roll inwards and allow the eyelashes to irritate the surface of the cornea. This condition usually needs surgical correction, and if untreated can lead to blindness. Squinting, pawing at the eyes, or eye discharge are the first signs of this problem.

Familial Shar Pei Fever is a serious and common inherited disease causing chronic fevers, swollen hocks and debilitation. There is no test for Shar Pei Fever, but some dogs may respond to treatment if instituted early enough.

Share Pei fever can also lead to Amyloidosis, an enzyme deficiency results in abnormal accumulations of amyloid proteins, causing liver or kidney failure.

Shar Pei are high maintenance dogs and need constant monitoring for problems. Keeping their weight down, and having their teeth cleaned every 6 months with our non-anesthetic dental, along with constant monitoring for problems, is the best way for them to achieve their full lifespan.

All of these possible problems emphasize the need for yearly exams and routine diagnostic tests to catch problems early. Many of the diseases of this breed are found in the Diseases section of our web site.

 

Continue Reading

Standard Poodle

The largest of the poodles, the Standard Poodle was originally a hunting dog, especially as a water dog and retriever. The traits that made them excellent hunting dogs are still present today: a good working intelligence, webbed feet (making them good swimmers), athleticism, and a water-resistant protective hair coat. They were also trained as working war dogs during WWII.

Standard Poodles have become a very popular dog breed since then and make excellent family pets, but do have some health and behavior issues to be aware of. When purchasing a Standard Poodle chose one that has been genetically screened by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) to help minimize the numerous genetic conditions of this breed.

They can suffer from separation anxiety and other behavior issues. Good socialization and obedience training are extremely helpful for Standard Poodles, beginning in puppyhood. A commitment to caring for their coats regularly is also important, as the poodle coat grows continuously and will become tangled and matted without regular brushing and grooming.

If you dog is lethargic, is drooling thick saliva, or appears bloated, it could have GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus). This is an emergency, and should be checked immediately if you poodle shows any of these symptoms.

Addison’s disease (a disorder of the adrenal glands) is especially prevalent in Standard Poodles compared to other dog breeds. Symptoms are variable, and can be subtle. They range from a pet that seems a little sluggish to complete collapse, and anything in between. Any symptom of disease in your poodle warrants an exam and a blood panel to check for this.

They can also get another adrenal gland disease called Cushing’s. In this disease they will routinely drink and urinate more than usual, might pant excessively, have skin changes, and even a pot bellied abdomen.

von Willibrand’s Disease (a type of hemophilia) can cause anemia. There might not be any symptoms, or your pet might be lethargic, have decreased exercise tolerance, and have a poor appetite. Our learning center shows you how to check the gums for anemia. This disease is diagnosed with a blood panel.

Heart disease can also occur, so a routine yearly exam can help detect this by listening to a murmur or irregular heart beat.

An eye problem with the retina can occur. If your pet has any vision problems this needs to be checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Standard Poodles are hardy and long-lived dogs. Keeping their weight down, and having their teeth cleaned every 6 months with our non-anesthetic dental, along with constant monitoring for problems, is the best way for them to achieve their full lifespan.

All of these possible problems emphasize the need for yearly exams and routine diagnostic tests to catch problems early. Many of the diseases of this breed are found in the Diseases section of our web site.

Continue Reading

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are wonderful pets due to their friendly personality. Their name comes from the Chinese word for “lion dog”, because the breed resembled the lion as depicted in traditional oriental art.  They have silky long hair and typically weigh between 11 and 15 pounds.

Shih Tzus 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 a veterinary examination. Our web site at https://www.lbah.com/word/search-by-disease/ has detailed information on many of the diseases Shih Tzu are prone to.

Shih Tzus can develop kidney disease (renal dypsplasia) early on in life, which verifies the importance of routine exams on a yearly basis. The initial symptoms of this disease are subtle, consisting only of a mild increase in thirst and urination. Due to this subtle nature, it is a good idea to quantify how much water you put in your pets bowl everyday. This problem is diagnosed with a blood sample and a urinalysis.

Shih Tzus are genetically predisposed to many different types of bladder stones; calcium oxalate, urate, struvite calcium phosphate, and silica crystals.  These problems are diagnosed with fresh urine samples, and typically treated with medications and diet changes.

Shih Tzus are particularly prone to eye problems because of their large dark eyes, affecting the eyelids, cornea, and retina.  Specifically; entropion, where the eyelid folds towards the eye and the eye lashes scratch on the eye ball. They can get a dry eye, where they eyes do not produce enough tears.  Any sign of squinting, redness to the eye, ocular discharge, cherry eye, or cloudiness, warrants an exam.  After our preliminary exam we may even have our ophthalmologist examine the eyes.

Shih Tzus are also prone to ear infections.  So plucking the hair in the ear canals, along with cleaning and inspecting the ears on a regular basis will help prevent this painful problem. You can learn more about this common problem at the following link- (/word/canine/ear-infection/

Like most small breed dogs dental disease is especially prevalent.  Please visit our web site to learn more about this important problem and its prevention. /word/services/dentistry/.

Male Shih Tzus are commonly affected by a disease of the stomach musculature called antral pyloric hypertrophy.  The result of this malady is a reduction of outflow and resultant back-up of ingesta in the stomach.  Abdominal pain and vomiting are typical signs if this problem is present.  X-rays and ultrasound are used in the diagnosis.

Shih Tzus are also genetically predisposed to back problems (intervertebral disk disease, /word/canine/disk-disease-ivd/).  If this occurs, they will have back pain, loss of the coordination of their back legs, and they can even become paralyzed.

Shih Tzus can have breathing problems related to the shape of their nasal passage ways and face.  This is called Brachycephalic syndrome.  They can have a soft pallet that is too long, a trachea (windpipe) that is to small, and  smaller than normal nostrils.  As Shih Tzu’s age they can also have a collapsing trachea.  The cartilage rings of the trachea become weakened and flat.  They may have a “goose type honk” when they become excited.  Certain surgeries can be performed if you pet has a serious problem caused by snorting, snoring or passing out.

Their beautiful long silky coat, which reaches the floor, requires daily brushing, and frequent grooming, and should be clipped short for comfort if your pet seems uncomfortable or has skin conditions during the summer.

Shih Tzu are to some degree hypoallergenic, in comparison to other breeds.  They do not shed to the same degree, only losing small amounts of hair when bathed or brushed.  Remember that it is the dog’s dander and saliva that trigger most allergic reactions in people.  Always keep the hair out of their eyes.

Allergies (www.lbah.com/word/skin-allergies/) also affect Shih Tzu, as evidence by hair loss, itching, and licking.  The symptoms of allergies can mimic other skin conditions, which may have completely different causes.  For example, hypothyroidism (/word/canine/hypothyroidism/) which can be a genetic problem in Shih Tzu causing hair loss, weight gain, muscle loss, and being lethargic. Therefore, it is imperative that we make an accurate diagnosis early in the course of this problem, and institute a long-term treatment regimen that will prove beneficial to your pet.

 

Continue Reading

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher (DP) is an intelligent, alert, and loyal dog commanding a level of respect matched by few other breeds. DP’s are predisposed to many 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.

DP’s are prone to several heart diseases. The common ones are atrial septal defect and cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is serious and prevalent, and should be checked for as your DP ages. Any symptom of lethargy, coughing, poor appetite, or exercise intolerance could be a sign of a heart problem and should be investigated. Our Heart Disease page has details.

Several skin diseases have been reported in Dobies.  They are susceptible to bacterial and fungal skin infections, inhalant and food allergies, along with several diseases in which the immune system behaves inappropriately. Symptoms include lots of itching, hair loss, and smelly skin, in addition to chronic ear problems. These can be chronic in nature so early diagnosis and treatment is imperative.

Hormone problems also occur that cause internal disease. The primary one is low thyroid, called hypothyroidism. Symptoms can include weight gain, lethargy, and skin conditions.

They are prone to a large number of cancers that can be of the skin, lymph nodes, reproductive organs or internal organs. Cancer in DP’s can cause many different symptoms, so diligence in checking for any problems in home and prompt examination is imperative

Problems with the red blood cells are not uncommon. This can cause anemia and bleeding disorders (the most common one is called Von WIllebrand’s). Watch for lethargy, easy bruising, limping, or blood in urine or stool. Perform a weekly exam of your DP’s mucus membranes (gums) to make sure they are pink. Our Learning Center located on the Home Page shows you how to do an in-home exam to check for this.

Bloating, known as gastric dilatation-volvulus is a problem to be on the alert for at all times. Your dog might be lethargic, have stringy mucous from its mouth, or quite distended. If you see these symptoms consider this an emergency and get immediate care. We can potentially prevent this when we spay a female by tacking down part of the stomach.

Eye problems can occur at many different ages. Some involve the eyelids while others involve the internal structures of the eye. In some cases symptoms are apparent, while others need a thorough ophthalmic exam.

A kidney problem can occur starting as early as one year of age. Pets with this problem might be drinking and urinating more than usual. Early care is important due to the chronic nature of this disease.

 

Continue Reading

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is a warm and loving pet that is full of personality. Cockers are predisposed to certain diseases, 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 these diseases.

This breed is prone to skin problems that can become chronic in nature and require constant attention. The usual symptoms are excessive scratching, flaky or bumpy skin, an odor to the hair coat, and hair loss. Some of the causes are mange, allergies, bacterial and fungal skin infections. Our allergy page in the Diseases section of our web site goes into more detail.

A variety of eye diseases are another group of problems to which Cockers are predisposed.  These can include lashes which grow inappropriately, inward rolling lids, outward rolling lids, third eyelid problems, retinal problems, cataracts and glaucoma.  If these problems are not addressed early there can be permanent changes to the eye. Any sign of squinting, redness to the eye, ocular discharges, pawing at the eye, or cloudiness, warrants an exam.

Cockers are particularly prone to ear trouble, which can be very painful without your realization, and can even require major surgery if left untreated.  Any sign of head shaking, pawing at the ears, inflamed ears or odor requires veterinary attention. Daily checking for odors or discharge, and proper cleaning when needed, will help prevent this problem. Allergies to the environment along with food can be major predisposing factors.

Cockers are also prone to spinal cord problems. Any time your pet seems painful, reluctant to jump or move about it might have a slipped disk. You can learn more about this on our Intervertebral Disk Disease page.

Active Cockers are prone to knee problems. They can tear or rupture ligaments in the knee, which can manifest itself as a subtle lameness to complete limping. They are also prone to arthritis. Fortunately, we have many effective treatments that can dramatically improve your dog’s quality of life.

Heart disease occurs in Cockers. Any symptom of lethargy, coughing, poor appetite, or exercise intolerance could be a sign of a heart problem and should be investigated. In young dogs a disease of the heart called Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA) can occur. We check for this when we listen to your puppy’s heart with our stethoscope when it comes in for routine exams.

Problems with the red blood cells are not uncommon. This can cause anemia and bleeding disorders. Watch for lethargy, easy bruising, limping, or blood in urine or stool. Perform a weekly exam of your Cocker’s mucus membranes (gums) to make sure they are pink. Our Learning Center shows you how to do an in-home exam to check for this.

Skin tumors also occur, both benign and malignant. Rub your hands over the hair coat daily to feel for any lumps, bumps, or inflamed areas. Any problem here is a reason for an exam by one of our doctors.

Continue Reading

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd  (GS) is an intelligent, obedient, loyal dog commanding a level of respect matched by few other breeds. They are predisposed to many 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.

Skeletal disorders are common in German Shepherds and include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and panosteitis.  Most skeletal disorders occur in relatively young dogs and are first noticed when the pet seems to move painfully or becomes reluctant to play actively.  If your GS is limping mildly rest it for 24 hours, and if the problem persists come in for an exam and radiographs.

Some problems that seem skeletal (involve the bones and joints) are actually neurological (involve the nervous system). They range from epilepsy, to conditions that cause the inability to use the back end properly. Degenerative myelopathy, a serious problem of the rear quarters, is especially prevalent.

Several skin diseases have been reported in German Shepherds.  These dogs are susceptible to moist dermatitis, yeast dermatitis, and inhalant and food allergies, along with several diseases in which the immune system behaves inappropriately. Symptoms include lots of itching, hair loss, and smelly skin, in addition to chronic ear problems. These can be chronic in nature so early diagnosis and treatment is imperative.

Hormone problems also occur that cause internal disease. In some the growth is stunted, in others the adrenal glands secrete excess cortisone, the pancreas secretes excess insulin, or the parathyroid glands secrete too little or too much hormone.

They are prone to a large number of cancers that can be of the skin, lymph nodes, reproductive organs or internal organs. Cancer in GS’s can cause many different symptoms, so diligence in checking for any problems in home and prompt examination is imperative.

Problems with the red blood cells are not uncommon. This can cause anemia and bleeding disorders. Watch for lethargy, easy bruising, limping, or blood in urine or stool. Perform a weekly exam of your GS’s mucus membranes (gums) to make sure they are pink. Our Learning Center shows you how to do an in-home exam to check for this.

They have anal problems (called perianal fistulas) that sometimes need surgical correction if severe enough. Symptoms include rubbing, itching, odors, and infection. This is a potentially chronic problem and needs to be dealt with soon for a good outcome.

There are a wide array of diseases that can cause problems to the digestive system. Any abnormality of the digestive system such as regurgitation, vomiting, or diarrhea should be brought to our immediately. They are prone to a problem where the pancreas does not secrete enough digestive enzymes. Symptoms include diarrhea, greasy, and being underweight.

German Shepherds are predisposed to bloat, a serious and even fatal problem in the stomach.  Tacking down the stomach when a routine spay is performed on female dogs at an early age might be beneficial. Most of these GI diseases can be successfully treated if correctly diagnosed in a timely fashion.

Eye problems can occur at many different ages. Some involve the eyelids while others involve the internal structures of the eye. In some cases symptoms are apparent, while others need a thorough ophthalmic exam.

German Shepherds are prone to several heart diseases. Any symptom of lethargy, coughing, poor appetite, or exercise intolerance could be a sign of a heart problem and should be investigated. In young dogs a disease of the heart called Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA) can occur. We check for this when we listen to your puppy’s heart with our stethoscope when it comes in for routine exams.

 

 

Continue Reading

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds we care for at our hospital. 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.

Golden Retrievers are susceptible to hip dysplasia, a disease characterized by malformation in the hip socket, which eventually causes arthritis.  The symptoms of this disease can vary, from a pet that is just not as active as it should be, to a dog that can barely get up after laying down. This breed also gets joint problems in other bones, particularly to the elbow joint and shoulder joint. Problems here are usually manifested by limping in the front legs. A physical exam and x-rays will help make the diagnosis.

Hereditary cataracts are a common eye problem in the Golden Retriever. The problem can occur at an early age in affected Goldens, and while cataracts may or may not interfere with the dog’s vision, some do progress into severe or total loss of vision. Golden Retrievers can also have an inherited deficiency in one of the clotting factors of the blood. Dogs affected with this disease may have symptoms varying from very mild to severe bleeding.  If your pet bruises easily or bleeds excessively, this disease is a possibility.

Hypothyroidism, a metabolic disease characterized by inadequate thyroid hormone circulating in the bloodstream, is common in the breed. Symptoms include obesity, lethargy, and/or coat problems. Affected animals may also have various reproductive problems, including irregular or absent estrus (heat cycle), and lack of fertility.

Another hormone problem is called Insulinoma. Golden’s with this problem have a low blood sugar due to excess insulin. They might appear weak, in-coordinated, behave strangely, can collapse, and even have seizures.

If your Golden is underweight and regurgitates its food it might have an esophagus problem secondary to myasthenia gravis.

This breed is prone to many skin problems, particularly allergies and hot spots. The usual symptoms are excessive scratching, flaky or bumpy skin, an odor to the haircoat, and hairloss. Run your hands over its haircoat daily because they can even get a malignant skin cancer called a mast cell tumor. These can appear as minor bumps or areas of inflammation, yet they can be highly malignant.

Goldens can get a kidney disease at an early age that can lead to kidney failure. Any symptom of excess drinking or urinating, weight loss, lethargy, or poor appetite is cause for an immediate exam and blood panel.

A vast array of eye problems can occur. Any discharge, redness, swelling, squinting, or pawing at the eyes is reason for an immediate exam.

Goldens are also prone to ear trouble, which can be very painful without your realization. Any sign of head shaking, pawing at the ears, inflamed ears or odor requires veterinary attention. Daily checking for odors or discharge, and proper cleaning when needed, will help prevent this problem.

Several different types of heart problems can affect them. Look for symptoms of lethargy, exercise intolerance, coughing, and poor appetite as a clue.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Chihuahua

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.

Continue Reading