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Common Chihuahua Health Problems

No matter they are one of the smallest dog breeds, Chihuahuas are well-known for their beautiful personalities and even bigger hearts. There are only a few adorable dogs in the world which you can adopt; Chihuahuas are indeed one of them. These beautiful pet dogs are not only loyal but loving as well. By entering your life with their joyful feet, Chihuahuas can change your life in a positive manner. 

However, like all other dog breeds, these adorable small dogs are predisposed to some nasty health problems. But there is nothing serious to worry about because most of these medical conditions and health problems are treatable and some of them even disappear over time. 

What are the illnesses and diseases from which you Chi could possibly suffer? What are the symptoms of different illnesses in your Chihuahua and how to manage them? You will learn everything in this article. 

The below health problems are some of the most common medical problems in Chihuahuas. 

Table of Contents

    Dental Disease

    When it comes to the home pets like Chihuahuas, dental disease is one of the most common illnesses. According to some research studies, dental disease affects almost 80% of pooches aging 2 years or above.  

    The major reason for the dental disease in Chihuahuas is the build-up of tartar on teeth which eventually evolves into an infection of gums and teeth roots. As you known Chihuahuas are little canines due to which they are unable to maintain the cleanliness and shape of their “baby teeth”, which are also known as deciduous canine teeth. Due to the poor maintenance of deciduous teeth, there are likely chances of the improper development of an adult tooth. Thus, the food happens to get caught around these baby teeth, leading to serious gum disease. 

    This situation could be serious if you do not try to prevent the development of tartar. Your little furry friend might not only lose his teeth, but also feel problems in his kidney, joints, and heart. So, you need to take care of your pup’s teeth regularly.

    Patellar luxation

    Patellar luxation is also known as Luxating patella. It is described as the kneecap dislocation in Chihuahuas and other dogs. Patellar luxation is a hereditary disease that can develop in a puppy after four months of birth. You can observe limping in a Chihuahua suffering from Patellar luxation. In fact, in a server situation, a Chihuahua avoids using the suffering leg completely. 

    If the patellar luxation develops in the hind legs of Chihuahuas, you may notice them hanging their hind legs in the air for several minutes at a time. Chihuahuas usually do so to relax the affected legs’ muscles so kneecaps can come back into their place. 

    Thankfully, Patellar luxation is not considered a painful condition. It hurts your pup only when the kneecap first dislocates. In most cases, Patellar luxation disappears itself and kneecaps come back into their original places. However, in severe cases, surgery is used to treat Patellar luxation. 


    Hypoglycemia is a medical term used to describe low sugar levels. Under the effect of hypoglycemia, your Chihuahua may act dizzy, dizzy, and unusually drowsy. Sometimes he can even lose consciousness. Always take your Chihuahuas to the vet right away if you suspect they are hypoglycemic. According to expert veterinarians, hypoglycemic could be a symptom of serious medical conditions like liver diseases and diabetes, etc. So, taking your Chi to a veterinarian is the best way to diagnose these possible medical conditions. 

    To avoid hypoglycemia, make sure your Chihuahua is eating enough food throughout the day. Missing even one or two meals can cause a significant drop in blood sugar levels. 

    Canine Influenza

    Canine Influenza is more commonly known as dog flu. It is a contagious viral infection caused by the Influenza Virus. Canine Influenza has a very easy transmission among canines living close together. Chihuahuas, being a small breed, are more susceptible than other dogs. The most common signs and symptoms of Canine Influenza include:

    • Nasal Discharge
    • Fever
    • Lethargy 
    • Coughing
    • Loss of Appetite
    • Sneezing
    • Heavy Breathing

    If you believe your little Chi is suffering from this infection, immediately contact the vet because the delay of treatment could lead to more serious complications such as pneumonia. 


    There are many kinds of worms and bugs that can affect your little friend’s body both inside and out. For example, mites and fleas are considered enemies of dogs’ skin and ears. You should try your best to keep these things away from your little Chi’s body. 

    When it comes to the worms that can affect your Chihuahuas’ body by getting into them, heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms are common names. They can enter your pup’s body through various different ways such as being bitten by a mosquito, consuming unclean water, or stepping on feces. 

    All these parasites could cause all sorts of discomfort in your little furry friends, such as pain and inflammation. For this reason, Chihuahuas must be tested by the vet regularly. 

    Tracheal Collapse

    The trachea which is also known as the windpipe is the tube through which your Chihuahua breathes. The major function of the trachea is to take the oxygenated air from the mouth and nose to the lungs. If somehow, it collapses, your little furry friend could have trouble breathing and develop a chronic honking cough. 

    In case of severe tracheal collapse, your Chihuahua may faint he can’t breathe in this situation. This is a medical emergency situation that requires immediate hospitalization and treatment by your vet. Tracheal collapse is very common and easy to treat if initial measures are taken quickly. Your vet may prescribe some steroids or cough suppressants to open your Chihuahua’s trachea as much as possible. 


    Glaucoma is described as an eye’s related medical condition which can affect both dogs and human. It is considered a quite painful condition that could lead to complete blindness in severe cases. The common signs and symptoms of Glaucoma include:

    • Watery Eyes
    • Redness in the Eyes 
    • Squinting of Eyes 
    • Corneas Cloudiness

    Glaucoma is an emergency medical condition, so if you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your Chihuahua, immediately visit your nearest emergency clinic without visiting any time. 


    Hydrocephalus is a medical condition in Chihuahuas when their whole brain fills with spinal fluid to the large size of molera spots at the time of birth. Both human and dog babies are born with a small soft spot on their head which is called molera. This spot usually closes up by the time of 1 year after birth in Chihuahua babies. However, sometimes the molera could not close up due to which the Chihuahua’s skulls may fill with spinal fluid which could eventually surround the whole brain. This condition leads to Hydrocephalus. 

    Chihuahuas suffering from hydrocephalus may experience several different signs and symptoms such as bad coordination, a swollen head, and some sort of neurological symptoms. For this reason, you should immediately take your Chihuahua to the vet on observing any sign of Hydrocephalus. 

    Spinal Injuries

    In most cases, spinal injuries are described as trauma. Since Chihuahuas are so tiny, a spinal injury could happen to them in a matter of seconds. Even a single mishap could spell disaster and produce a life-threatening condition for your beloved Chi. There are many types of Spinal injuries such as IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) which occurs as a result of spinal disc movement or slipping out of the place.

    To avoid Spinal Injuries, keep an eye on your furry friend especially in crowded areas and during playing. 


    Obesity is one of the major health issues in all types of canines including Chihuahuas. It is a very severe illness that may lead to back pain, heart disease, arthritis, and even certain types of cancer. We all know how tempting it is to give your furry friend food when they look with those humble eyes, but be careful because a lot of food could make you Chi gain weight consistently. 

    To save your Chihuahua from developing Obesity, try to limit the amount of food and keep an eye on their calorie intake. 

    Canine Hepatitis

    Canine Hepatitis is described as an acute infection in a dog’s liver. This condition is caused by the action of mastadenovirus A (previously known as CAV-1 – Canine adenovirus 1). Canine Hepatitis is a contagious disease of dogs including Chihuahuas which can transmit from one canine to another via blood, feces, saliva, and urine. 

    Some distinct signs and symptoms of Canine Hepatitis include:

    • Depression
    • Vomiting
    • Pale gums
    • Cough
    • Abdominal Pain
    • Increased temperatures
    • Signs of Jaundice

    If you are noticing these signs in your pet Chihuahua, keep him in a separate place away from other dogs. 

    Hair Loss 

    As you know, Chihuahuas have a large hair scalp due to which they are predisposed to pattern baldness. Just like a human, Chihuahuas may also face hair loss problems. The loss of hair in Chihuahuas doesn’t cause itchiness although the skin becomes dry at some times. 

    Generally speaking, the most affected areas of Chihuahuas from hair loss include the insides of the belly, neck, chest, and dog’s legs. 

    Up till now, there is no certain cure for Hair loss in Chihuahuas. However, your veterinarian might offer some supplements including a specific hormone. These supplements might help you a bit. 

    Kidney and Bladder Stones 

    Bladder and kidney stones are common in particularly old-aged Chihuahuas. Although there is no specific scientific reason for that, males are more susceptible to develop kidney or bladder stones compared to females. These tiny stones are made of calcium element which deposits continuously in urinary tract over the time and makes it difficult to urinate. Sometimes kidney or bladder stones can cause bloody urine with intense pain. 

    Usually, stones break down and pass out of the body on their own. However, if you notice that your little furry friend is facing difficulty while urinating, immediately visit the vet for a special checkup. In severe cases, kidney stones can cause completely block the urinary tract which could turn into medical emergencies. 

    Old Chihuahua Health Problems

    Although old Chihuahuas are more susceptible to illness, most of their common health problems are just like younger ones. However, some illnesses are dominant in old Chihuahuas than young ones. Here, we are enlisting some common health problems of old Chihuahuas. 


    Epilepsy is a medical condition that can affect nerves, the spine, and the brain. It is basically a brain disorder characterized by seizures or fitting in dogs including Chihuahuas. Epilepsy may begin in Chihuahuas as young as six months old. Depending on the severity, Epilepsy is controlled through medications and mental exercises. 

    Respiratory Problems

    Due to old age, the respiratory system of Chihuahuas becomes more vulnerable to diseases and illnesses. The most common respiratory problems from which old Chihuahuas may suffer include Bronchitis, lung cancer, cough, and tracheal collapse. Daily exercise and a good diet can help avoid respiratory problems. 

    Heart Diseases

    Heart Disease in Chihuahuas is divided into two types including acquired heart disease and congenital heart disease. Congenital heart diseases are inborn heart disease while acquired heart diseases develop later in life. Both types of heart disease may develop in old Chihuahuas and can lead to a state called “heart failure”. Old Chihuahuas are also vulnerable to heart valve diseases that can lead to heart failure. Early diagnosis of heart diseases is very important if you want to keep your furry friend safe and healthy. 


    Arthritis is a structural disease in a Chihuahua’s body in which the bones become soft and delicate due to the deficiency of calcium over time. This disease can significantly decrease the strength of bones and they become more prone to fracture and dislocation. Arthritis is a very painful condition for most Chihuahuas. If you notice that your furry friend is feeling difficulty in movement, it might be a sign of Arthritis. In this situation, you should immediately visit the vet. 

    Good Health

    Yes there are certain health issues that Chihuahuas are prone to. Fortunately there are many things that can be done to make sure they have a long and healthy life. One of them giving your chi pet the proper chihuahua diet. Check out our articles on ways to preserve their health and chihuahua diet options.