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Chihuahua Health Advice

 

The Chihuahua Check Up

 All Chihuahuas need regular checkups to maintain good health. Use the following tips to check your Chihuahua.

1...Choose a day for your dog's checkup. 2...Sit on the floor with your dog under some good lighting or on the ground  outside. 3... Start by checking your dog's ears. Are they clean? Do they have any sores  or is  there anything strange about them? 4...Now look into your dog's eyes. They should be bright and clean with nodischarge. Some breeds of dogs have normal discharge from their eyes. Make sure it looks very clear, not thick. 5... Check your dog's mouth. His gums should be bright pink and wet/moist. His teeth should be white and shiny. There should not be any sores on his gums or cheeks or tongue. 6... Now gently put your fingers on his neck especially in front under his chin. It should feel clean and smooth, with no lumps or bumps.7... You can check your dogs skin and Coat to make sure there are no burs caught  in your Chihuahuas fur. Seperate the hair and check the skin to see that it looks healthy, and dosen't have any sore spots. 8... Now check your dogs feet one at a time. They should be clean with no burs or stones between their toes.There should not be any cuts or splits in their pads. 9...His nails should be short enough that they don't touch the ground. If they are so long that they are curling under your dog's foot, they need to be trimmed.10...Feel your dog's tail. It should not be painful to the dog. Just run your hands over the tail, without pulling. Now lift up the tail and check for anything strange that looks like it shouldn't be there. Your dog's private parts should be clean.11...Run your hand over your dog's whole body. There shouldn't be any lumps or bumps. Don't forget the tummy, thighs, and chest. That's it! Try to give your Chihuahua a checkup every week. They will love the attention!

Chihuahua Health Problems 

Chihuahuas have fewer genetic defects than many other breeds. Here are some  of the most common ones found in them.

MOLERA (or Fontanel) is a soft spot on top of the head where the skull bones have not fused together.. It is considered a breed characteristic rather than a defect. 80 to 90% of Chihuahuas have this and most don't outgrow it. Be gentle when patting/handling your Chihuahua's head.

HYDROCEPHALUS  'water on the brain.' Fluid builds up and interferes with blood circulation in the brain. Symptoms include dizziness, seizures, falls and eyes going in opposite directions. This is a veterinary emergency, and requires specialst treatment.

PATELLA problems, i.e.slipped stifles/loose kneecaps. The kneecaps of one or both hind legs slips out of it's groove.  It may happen rarely or often, depending on the severity of the problem.  It is usually present by 4/6 months of age, and worsens with age, and may require surgery. Dogs with milder cases of this do well and lead a normal life. If you notice your dog yelping and holding a rear leg up against his body, or if he seems to be hopping, this may be a warning sign.

TRACHEAL COLLAPSE This is a fairly common condition in smaller dogs. When a dog breathes, he inhales through his wind pipe, the trachea. It is supported by tough rings of cartillage, which can weaken. This leaves the trachea without proper support and, so it collapses. The deeper he tries to inhale the more it collapses, making it harder and harder to breathe. Symptoms include, shortness of breathe, especially after exercise. Exhaustion and coughing. The dog tries to clear his airways and coughs. In severe cases the tongue and gums turn blue, as breathing is restricted. Your dog will appear in much distress and may even pass out. X-Ryas are needed to confirm this condition. It can usually be treated with medicine to dilate the airways and supress the cough. It can be controlled but seldom cured. Most dogs will live normal, but restricted lives. Obesity, allergies and second hand smoke are contributing factors to having this condition.

SNUFFLES/SNEEZING. I call this the Chihuahua Cough. What happens is your Chihuahua will appear as if he can't breathe, or is having an asthma attack. It may sound like he is choking. He will be making a honking or snorting noise, with his head extended forwards. What is occuring is that the muscles in his pharynx have gone into spasms. It is usually caused by smoke, dust or over excitiement, or drinking to fast. There is no specific treatment, but remaining calm is important. Many people find that gently stroking their Chihuahuas throat helps alleviate the symptoms, ordistracting them completely. Although it may be scary to witness, this is NOT  dangerous, nor life threatening.

HYPOGLYCEMIA ( low blood sugar) is common in young Chihauhuas. Symptoms include, staggering, glassy eyes, limpness or rigidity, seizures, and sometimes loss of consciusness. It can progress into a coma. It especially occurs when a Chihuahua is not fed, or is under stress. Immediate help is needed to prevent unconsciousness and death. Immediate treatment includes putting a small amount of honey into the dogs mouth, or sugar will suffice. Then get to the VET immediately.

HEALTH CONCERNS TO KEEP IN MIND & TO WATCH FOR

Because of the short nose that the modern day Chihuahua tends to have they naturally tend to wheeze or snore. Their prominent eyes make them susceptible to corneal dryness and secondary glaucoma. Their teeth are not the best and they are very prone to gum disease. They are prone to obesity due to overfeeding by owners, so watch this closely. In puppyhood they are vunerable to fractures and other accidents, as they under estimate their own size, and are very lively puppies.

 

Copyright ©  2002 - 2010 G.Double.  All rights reserved.
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