Chihuahua Health Issues
Like many other small dogs, there are several Chihuahua health issues that current and prospective owners should be aware of. These can range from genetic diseases common in the breed to complications resulting from their small size. Most are not excessively serious and can be managed or avoided if the correct steps are taken.
Choosing a Healthy Chihuahua
Although it is impossible, and may not be the prospective buyer’s intention, to avoid adopting a Chihuahua susceptible to illness with complete certainty, there are certain steps that can be taken to make it much less likely. Buying from a reputable breeder that has taken pains to eliminate strains of genetic disorder from their lineage is the most effective means of avoiding disease. Reputable breeders will also usually have more complete medical histories for their animals with details of the puppy’s lineage. This will make the process of selecting an animal free from Chihuahua health issues much more straightforward and discourage unhealthy breeding practices by taking business away from puppy mills.
Preventing Health Problems
A wide variety of measure can be taken to reduce the likelihood that Chihuahua health issues develop into serious problems. Supplying dogs with proper nutrition is among the most effective preventative medicines there are. Look for a statement of approval from the Association of American Feed Control Officials on the packaging. This will ensure that the dog food has enough of the right vitamins, proteins and minerals to make up a healthy diet. Another important factor when choosing dog food is ensuring that it is properly suited for the age of the dog. A good brand will have indications of the intended age group on the bag.
In addition to proper nutrition, it is important to be vigilant about any signs of illness in a dog. Regular checkups at the vet can prevent minor issues from growing into dangerous diseases. Also, be sure to keep a look out for any unusual behavior of the animal, as this can be the sign of an underlying problem.
Identifying and Dealing with Chihuahua Health Issues
Of course, certain Chihuahuas will have problems no matter what precautions are taken. Among the most common diseases in Chihuahuas are:
Collapsing Trachea, This problem affects many of the smaller breeds and can lead to trouble breathing, exhaustion and perturbed behavior. It is usually treatable.
Cystinuria, A genetic affliction often present in Chihuahuas and other breeds that can lead to the formation of kidney and bladder stones.
Hemophilia, another genetic disease that prevents the blood from clotting. Warning signs of hemophilia are gum bleeding or excessive bleeding from scratches. Can be treated with blood transfusions but serious hemophilia frequently results in death.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy, A degenerative genetic condition which first causes poor eyesight and eventually leads to blindness.
Hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, a condition common in the smaller breeds. Can result in exhaustion, irritable behavior and eventually death if not treated.
This is by no means a comprehensive list Chihuahua health issues and the owner should take any signs that there dogs might be unwell very seriously.