Chihuahua Health Problems
Important Facts about Chihuahua Health Problems
Even to a normally dog breed such as the Chihuahua, health problems can be heartbreaking when they occur to your own beloved pet. All dog owners expect that they may encounter some health issues with their pets, and it is wise to be aware of what types of problems to on the lookout for well before the problem occurs.
Chihuahuas are a breed of dog that is categorized in the toy breed, with the average dog weighing in at less than 6 pounds. This small size belongs to the oldest known breed in America; originating from Mexico with records proving their existence at least as far back as the 9th century. Their name was derived from the state in which it was found; Chihuahua, Mexico. Their coats can be either short or long, and may be found in any variety of coloration; solid or marked. The Chihuahuas are a recognized breed with the American Kennel Club, and have been for over a hundred years. Through the years, the breed has become a popular choice as a pet for many people; drawn to the little canine for its intelligence, huge liquid brown eyes, loyal nature and their impish attitude.
Most dogs have the potential to carry certain genetic defects that are attributed to their specific breeds, including the Chihuahua. Health problems can be a serious matter, so it is important for owners of the dog to know the symptoms that are common with different ailments in order to thwart any grave conditions. Some of the most likely conditions that are encountered are patellar luxation, eye abnormalities and low blood sugar.
Patellar luxation is largely a genetic disorder that affects many small dogs. The patella is better known as the kneecap which, in these animals, is encased within a sturdy band of tissue called a tendon. When luxation occurs, the kneecap actually slips out from the tendon and then returns back to its original position. In the beginning, this slippage may occur only infrequently, but then will start to occur more frequently and remain out of position for longer periods of time. The Chihuahua, as well as other dogs of small stature, tends to develop this condition through heredity, and also due to the fact that they are often jumping up and down. Patellar luxation is graded according to the severity of the condition on a scale from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most severe of cases. Surgery is performed to correct the condition, which in young dogs can cause a bowing of the legs initially with complete loss of the limbs to develop later.
Eye issues haunt small dogs such as the Chihuahua. Health problems affecting the eye include conjunctivitis, kerato conjunctivitis and red eye. Because of the prominent eyes of the breed, they are also prone to retinal dryness and glaucoma. It is important to note that ticks and other parasites can be the cause behind your pet acquiring conjunctivitis; keeping them safe from these dangerous pests is vital on many levels.
The diminutive size is the reason that many small dogs develop hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Although a qualified veterinarian must be consulted for an accurate diagnosis of the condition, symptoms to be noted are lethargic behavior and a difficulty in mobility; including stumbling or falling. Puppies in particular are susceptible, as most pups weigh in only around one to one and half pounds.
All pet owners should be aware of the common ailments and disorders that can affect their pet. Regularly scheduled visits to their veterinarian are important to maintain the health and well being of their beloved dogs.