The owner of three beautiful Chihuahuas, I have been very lucky to have had some healthy pups. I also have had several other Chihuahuas that have gone to “doggy heaven” in the past and the most difficulty I have faced was a case of allergies and one of epilepsy.
When you get a toy breed dog, you think of specific breed problems and there are some congenital diseases that seem to face the Chihuahua as well with some serious health risks. Be sure to preventive care if you can and be sure the breeding stock is free from genetic defects, warranting for a healthy Chihuahua.
Patellar Luxation is a condition involving the tendons in the thigh and the kneecap where the dog’s knee has a tendency to slip in and out of the tendon. This condition can be mild to severe.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy PRA) is a degenerative condition of the retina. Generalized PRA is night blindness, with both eyes affected, and your dog eventually becomes totally blind. Central PRA (also called RPE dystrophy) is the accumulation of pigment in the layer of the retina, which results in day blindness and eventually terminates in total blindness.
Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia is very common in toy breeds of dogs. Toy breeds have a tendency to be very finicky eaters and stress, low body temperature, poor nutrition, sudden change in feed, water and schedule patterns, infections, and premature birth may precipitate the onset of hypoglycemia.
Cryptorchidism is a condition that affects the male dogs, and actually is something I as a male Chihuahua owner have experienced – twice. When the pup is born, they should have two testicles (or shortly after birth), but if one only descends, the other is lost within the body, which is at risk for injury, being twisted or prone to cancer.
Hydrocephalus is a condition where fluid builds up in the brain, and may be caused by birth defects of the brain’s drainage system, head injuries, tumors, parasitic or other infections. Some common symptoms to watch for are depression, severe loss of movement coordination, eye abnormalities, seizures, vision problems, and skull enlargement.
Demodicosis – An infestation of demodectic mites that cause skin lesions and hair loss. The infestation is usually caused by immune system disorders, hypothyroidism, poor nutrition, existing disease, cancer, and exposure to harmful substances that may lead to development of cancer.
Cystinuria is a formation of cystine crystals (crystals formed out of amino acid called cystine) in the urine which eventually leads to stone formations in the kidneys and bladder. These stones can cause irritation and infection.
Mitral Valve Disease is a degenerative thickening and progressive deformity of one or more heart valves – mitral valve disease, mitral valve degeneration, mitral valve insufficiency etc. Mitral valve disease is a serious heart condition caused by the abnormal function of the valve that separates the upper and lower chambers of the heart and can cause a heart murmur.
Hemophilia is a genetic bleeding disorder and the most common coagulation disorder in dogs.
All these conditions may affect your Chihuahua but is only for informational purposes, as the Chihuahua breed of dog really is a very healthy specimen. If you suspect any congenital problem with your little dog, early detection is most often a way to protect and prevent any seriousness in any of these conditions. You can read further on any of these conditions at
If looking to adopt a new family member for your home, check out local shelters such as – http://www.noahsarkanimals.org/ or http://www.animalshelter.org/shelters/Humane_Society_of_Winnebago_County_rId1450_rS_pC.html or http://www.wcasrock.org/ or http://www.adoptapet.com/adoption_rescue/72634.html. Check on line for other local listings. http://www.chihuahua-land.com/chi/puppy/index.asp