is a condition in which the Chihuahua's blood sugar level drops to an
extremely low level, causing "sugar shock". When glucose levels
rapidly drop the dog's body and brain is deprived of essential
nutrients. The results of hypoglycemia can be weakness, seizures,
coma, and in severe cases, even death. Because Chihuahuas are so
small, they can be prone to hypoglycemia, especially as young
puppies. Usual causes are stress, illness, lack of food, or use of
stored energy without it being replenished. It is therefore
important to make sure that young puppies eat regularly throughout the
day. As a preventive measure or treatment you can add a
high-calorie supplement called NutriCal to your dog's diet or give your
dog some syrup.
bouts of sneezing, snorting, honking, and wheezing are not unusual for
Chihuahuas. This sometimes referred to as "reverse sneeze" and is
usually caused by an elongated soft palate that is thought to become
temporarily misaligned. It is a common trait in toy breeds.
Although it may sound scary, it usually only lasts a short time and can
be ended by massaging the dog's neck and throat and encouraging the dog
to swallow or lick. Another way is to pinch close to the dog's
nostrils with your fingers, forcing it to breathe through its mouth and
of the patella, or dislocation of the kneecap, is a common hereditary
problem with Chihuahuas. There are several different degrees
ranging from minimal to debilitating. The dislocation is most
commonly found on the inner side of the patella. The attached
ligaments become stretched over time until the patella is no longer
where it is supposed to be, and may "pop" in and out of place very
Molera, also known as fontanel or "soft spot" is common in
Chihuahuas. In the past, this Molera was accepted as a mark of
purity in the breed, and it is still mentioned in most Chihuahua breed
standards all over the world. The Molera in a Chihuahua will occur
on the top of the head and may vary in shape and size when
present. The Molera should not be any larger than the size of your
thumb print, and there should be no swelling, bulging, or
throbbing. Unfortunately, many people and some veterinarians have
tried to link the mere presence of a Molera with a condition known as
hydrocephalus. This has caused many new comers to the breed
serious concerns and undo worry. The truth is that a domed head
with a Molera present does not predispose to this condition.
is the accumulation of excess cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and is
not normal for any breed, nor is it curable. It is also known as
"water on the brain". When fluid accumulates in the brain, it
compresses the brain against the skull. A puppy can be born with
this disorder or it can be caused by a brain infection, or head injury
later in life. Chihuahuas born with hydrocephalus do not generally
live more than a few months, and they do not grow normally, often
staying extremely time. Signs of hydrocephalus include wide-set or
protruding eyeballs (often with a lot of white showing at the corners),
blindness, abnormal behavior, walking in circles, mental and physical
slowness, seizures, abnormally slow growth, and lack of
coordination. Unfortunately, there is no cure for
hydrocephalus. Mild cases can be treated with steroids and
diuretics to reduce pressure, or with a surgically inserted shunt to
divert fluid from the brain to the abdomen.
are small protozoans (one-celled organisms) that live in the intestinal
tracts of dogs and cats. They cause disease most commonly in puppies
and kittens less than six months of age, in adult animals whose immune
system is suppressed, or in animals who are stressed in other ways
(e.G.; change in ownership).
puppy is not born with the coccidia organisms in his intestine.
However, the puppy is exposed to his mother's feces, and if the mother
is shedding the infective cysts in her feces, then the puppy will likely
ingest them and coccidia will develop. Since young puppies,
usually those less than six months of age, have no immunity to coccidia,
the organisms reproduce in great numbers.
exposure to the onset of the illness is about 13 days. Therefore,
most puppies who are ill from coccidia are two weeks of age and
older. Coccidia is contagious and therefore infected puppies
should be isolated from those that are not.
primary sign of an animal suffering with coccidiosis is diarrhea. The
diarrhea may be mild to severe depending on the level of infection.
Blood and mucous may be present, especially in advanced cases. Severely
affected animals may also vomit, lose their appetite, become dehydrated,
and in some instances, die from the disease.
The coccidia species of dogs and cats do not infect humans.
is treatable! Drugs such as sulfadimethoxine (Albon) and
trimethoprim-sulfadiazine (Tribrissen) have been effective in the
treatment and prevention of coccidia. Because these drugs do not kill
the organisms, but rather inhibit their reproduction capabilities,
elimination of coccidia from the intestine is not rapid. This allows
time for the puppy's own immunity to develop and remove the organisms.
If your puppy shows signs of this desease, please see your veterinarian for advice and treatment .
is a protozoan parasite that lives in the intestine of affected
animals. This microscopic parasite clings to the surface of the
intestine or floats free in the mucous lining the intestine.
Giardia occur in two forms: a motile feeding stage that lives in the
intestine, and a non-motile cyst stage that passes in the feces.
The cyst is fairly resistant, and can survive for several months outside
of a host's body as long as sufficient moisture is provided.
Giardia is transmitted from host to host by ingesting cysts in
contaminated feed or drinking water. Cysts may also be found in streams
or other water sources. Transmission also occurs by direct
contact, especially with asymptomatic carriers. More recently,
giardiasis has also been recognized as being able to be sexually
signs of giardia range from none in asymptomatic carriers, to mild
recurring diarrhea consisting of soft, light-colored stools, to acute
explosive diarrhea in severe cases. Other signs include weight
loss, inability to gain weight, vomiting, lack of appetite and greasy
Them most commonly used medication for giardia infection is
metronidazole (Flagyl). Alternatively, you may want to use
This disease may be contagious to people from infected dogs so good
sanitary practices, like washing your hands after handling an infected
puppy, are very important.