By Michael J. Warren
Although Chihuahuas are usually healthy, they do have special health
considerations, both as puppies and as adults. For puppies, starting
at birth through age sixteen weeks, you should be aware of some
potential health issues.
Chihuahuas, among other small breeds, often develop "reverse
sneezing," which can be caused by excitement, soft palate problems,
dust and pollen, cold air, or a collapsed trachea. Your Chihuahua
may sound like it is gasping or huffing for air, honking like a goose,
Another Chihuahua health risk is hypoglycemia, as Chihuahuas
have a very small fat reserve around the liver. This problem can
happen at any age, although small, young Chihuahua puppies have
a higher potential for developing hypoglycemia.
Chihuahuas (just like people) need essential fatty acids, which
are good fats like Omega 3 and Omega 6 that help build cell membranes
in the body. Without them, the body's chemical structure will
not function as well. Omega 6 is one fatty acid that cannot be
made by your Chihuahua's body. Therefore, you should ensure your
Chihuahua is getting Omega 6 in its diet for optimal health.
To determine if your Chihuahua has a deficiency in fatty acids,
check its skin to see if it is flaky and if the coat is dull,
greasy, or has a course texture. If you notice these things, you
can be relatively certain your Chihuahua is not getting enough
essential fatty acids.
Other Chihuahua health problems you may notice that may be attributed
to a lack of or reduction in essential fatty acids:
Arthritis or arthritis-like conditions
Disrupted healing process
Eczema-like skin eruptions
Foul odor coming from the coat
Heart and circulatory problems
Impaired learning abilities or vision
Kidney or liver degeneration
Lethargy or lack of energy
Regular hair loss
Vulnerability to infection
Don't forget that Chihuahuas have a tendency of becoming obese.
To maintain proper Chihuahua care, keep your dog on a healthy
food, decrease treats, take your dog for a walk, and provide regular
weigh-ins to ensure correct weight is being maintained. Obesity
is a major cause of coronary heart disease and if your Chihuahua
is allowed to live with excess weight, its health or lifespan
could be dramatically reduced!
With its immune system not yet fully developed, problems such
as worms, parvovirus, myocarditis, or coccidian can spread through
contaminated feces. Without being vaccinated, your puppy has a
greater risk of getting sick. Puppies love to sniff around the
ground and can easily get into something they should avoid.
|For more detailed information about Chihuahua health and
general Chihuahua care, please see "The Ultimate Chihuahua
Care Handbook," an invaluable resource for both new
and current Chihuahua owners.
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