For the most part, Chihuahuas are a healthy breed, and your Chihuahua will live to be anywhere from 15 to 22 years of age. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any health concerns that you must be aware of. As with any breed of dog, there are certain health risks associated with Chihuahuas, as well as genetic disorders that you should be aware of.
Hydrocephalus is one genetic disorder that Chihuahuas are subject to. This is essentially a condition where there is too much fluid on the brain, causing the head to be rather large. It is a fatal condition. Chihuahuas are also born with an incomplete skull, which creates a soft spot right on top of their heads. Getting hit in this spot could kill the dog. Some Chihuahua’s skulls will close over time, while others will never fully close.
Hypoglycemia is another health condition that you should be aware of, as it can lead to coma or death. Hypoglycemia is essentially low blood sugar. These dogs have an incredibly high metabolism, and if they are not fed properly – or often enough – they can suffer from low blood sugar.
Chihuahuas have protruding eyes, and this combined with the fact that they are so close to the ground leads to eye problems. These eye problems and infections are usually caused by foreign objects in the eye. Any sign of redness in the eyes should be thoroughly investigated, and veterinary care should be sought to avoid eye infections.
Obesity is another health concern. Proper nutrition is essential to the Chihuahua’s good health. Check with your veterinarian to ensure that you are not over feeding your Chihuahua, or feeding him foods that will lead to obesity.
Many new Chihuahua owners wonder about the trembling or shivering that they see in their Chihuahuas. This is seldom due to any health problems. In fact, in most cases, it means that the Chihuahua is full of energy that he needs to expend, or that he is simply cold.
When a Chihuahua is giving birth, professional health care should be sought. This is very important because these dogs are so small that losing the mother or the pups is not uncommon. Chihuahuas should never give birth unassisted.
Make absolutely sure that you and your Chihuahua visit your veterinarian at least twice a year for a checkup. This is the best way to prevent many health problems, and to detect other health problems in the early stages, so that successful treatment can take place. With proper care, your Chihuahua will live a long and healthy life.