how to brush your chihuahua’s teeth

famous chihuahua editor chihuahua health concerns

your chihuahua’s teeth should be brushed everyday.  it will help to keep your chihuahua’s teeth and gums clean, healthy and free of periodontal gum disease.

start brushing your chihuahua’s teeth early, so it becomes routine they willingly become accustomed to.  early brushing will also prevent the likelihood of other chihuahua health problems.

chihuahua holding toothbrush

(photo: minnie pearl by lauren quinn)

what should you use to brush your chihuahua’s teeth?

use a child’s soft-bristle toothbrush, a finger toothbrush, gauze around a finger or a cotton swab.

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the dangers of periodontal gum disease in chihuahuas: what you need to know

famous chihuahua editor chihuahua health concerns

healthy chihuahua teeth

chihuahua with strong and healthy teeth – model: bella the famous chihuahua

when gum disease starts, it’s usually goes unnoticed because there are no outward signs and symptoms.  however, once it begins to accelerate in growth, it can damage your chihuahua’s mouth resulting in eroded gums, teeth falling out, bone loss, internal pain, suffering and even death.

the good news is that gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can be prevented.

why do chihuahuas get gum disease?

after your chihuahua eats, bacteria mixed with saliva and food begins to create an unpleasant film over the teeth called plaque that’s recognized as foreign matter to the immune system.  this foreign matter triggers the immune system to react and it begins to assemble white blood cells to attack the foreign matter.

enzymes then released by the white blood cells fight to break down gum tissue resulting in inflamed gums, damaged tissue and bone loss.  in chihuahuas, it eventually leads to tooth loss if proper dental care is neglected.

because chihuahuas have a more alkaline environment in their mouths that propels plaque formation than humans do, they are five times more likely to get periodontal disease.

chihuahua back molars gum disease

brushing the hidden back molars of your chihuahua’s teeth should not be overlooked

plaque-forming bacteria also multiplies if your chihuahua’s teeth are not brushed every day, which also includes lifting their lips and thoroughly cleaning their hidden and hard to get at back molars.

the dangers of gum disease in chihuahuas

if plaque and mineral deposits (dental calculus) on your chihuahua’s teeth is not cleaned with regular brushing and routine veterinary dental care, it will result in halitosis (bad breath), gingivitis (painful inflammation of the gums), tooth loss and full on periodontal disease.

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symptoms and signs of a sick chihuahua: know when to see a veterinarian!

famous chihuahua editor chihuahua facts, chihuahua health concerns 511 Comments

chihuahua veterinarian

your chihuahua can not explain its symptoms, so it’s your responsibility to keep him or her healthy and to determine whether or not they need veterinary care.  chihuahuas tend to want to hide their illness, so it is up to you to check your chihuahua for abnormalities.

not knowing if your chihuahua is feeling sick or how to care for your chihuahua when they are sick can be VERY stressful!  the ebook caring for chihuahuas made easy: breed information, health care and nutrition gives you preventative measures and solutions to common Chihuahua health problems.  “if there is one absolute must-read book on chihuahua health problems, this is it!”

“click here to download it today!”

chihuahau health problems

be prepared: questions your veterinarian may ask

your veterinarian may ask additional questions to help localize or diagnose the problem.  it may help to be prepared to answer some of the following questions:

  • how long have you owned your chihuahua?
  • where did you get your chihuahua (adoption center, breeder, previous stray)?
  • what other type of pets do you have?
  • what is the age of your chihuahua?
  • has your chihuahua experienced any previous illnesses?
  • is your chihuahua currently under treatment for an illness or disease?
  • what preventative medications is your chihuahua currently taking?
  • does your chihuahua receive consistent flea treatment?
  • are any other pets ill?
  • has he/she been vaccinated? if so, when? which vaccines?
  • have there been any recent pet acquisitions?
  • have there been any recent activities such as boarding, grooming, trip to the park?
  • is a majority of your chihuahua’s time spent indoors or outdoors?
  • have there been any recent changes in diet or eating habits?
  • what brand of food, how much and how frequently does your chihuahua eat?
  • what type of table scraps are offered and how frequently?
  • what type of treats are offered and how frequently?
  • how much water does your chihuahua typically drink per day?
  • have there been any recent changes in water consumption?
  • have you noticed any coughing or sneezing?
  • have you noticed any lumps or bumps on your chihuahua?
  • is your chihuahua urinating normally?
  • Is your dog having normal bowel movements?
  • when is the last time he/she had a bowel movement?
  • have you noticed any recent weight loss or weight gain?

after answering some general questions, more specific questions need to be answered.  a brief cursory exam of your chihuahua at home can help you determine the answers.  these questions are also commonly asked when chihuahua owners are seeking help over the phone.

know when to take your chihuahua to see a veterinarian!

be prepared to answer the following questions, depending on the problem with your chihuahua:

regarding the eyes

  • have you noticed an increase or decrease in tear production?
  • do the eyes appear cloudy or red?
  • have you noticed any discharge coming from the eyes?
  • do the eyes appear bloodshot?
  • are the pupils the same size in both eyes?
  • have you noticed your chihuahua rubbing or pawing at the eyes?
  • is your chihuahua squinting?
  • do the eyes appear to be sunken or excessively protruding?

regarding the ears

  • do you notice any swelling or discharge from the ears?
  • are the ears drooping when they normally stand erect?
  • are the ears red and inflamed?
  • do you notice any odor to the ears?
  • is your chihuahua rubbing or pawing at the ears?
  • have you noticed a lot of head shaking?
  • have you noticed any pain or crying when you rub or scratch your chihuahua’s ears?

regarding the nose

  • have you noticed any congestion, sneezing or coughing?
  • have you noticed any blood coming from the nose?
  • have you noticed any nasal discharge?

regarding the mouth

  • have you noticed any swelling of the lips or tongue?
  • have you noticed any bleeding from the mouth?
  • what color are the gums – tissue just above the teeth?

looking inside the mouth

  • are there any foreign objects such as bones or sticks stuck on the roof of the mouth or around the teeth?
  • is your chihuahua able to open and close the mouth normally?
  • is there any pain involved in opening or closing the mouth?
  • have you noticed any excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth?
  • is your chihuahua able swallow food normally?

regarding the chest

  • is your chihuahua experiencing any difficulty breathing?
  • have you noticed excessive panting?
  • is there any pain when the chest area is petted?
  • have you noticed any recent coughing?
  • is the heartbeat steady and consistent?
  • what is the heart rate?

place your hand or your ear on the left side of your chihuahua’s chest, just behind the elbow.  you should be able to feel or hear the heartbeat. count how many beats the heart pumps in one minute.

regarding the abdomen/stomach area

  • has your chihuahua been having any diarrhea or vomiting?
  • is your chihuahua able to eat and drink normally?
  • does the abdomen/stomach area appear swollen or distended?
  • does your chihuahua appear to be in pain when the stomach area is petted?
  • is your chihuahua known to chew on non-food items such as clothing, towels, rocks, or other items?

regarding the urinary and reproductive systems

  • have you noticed any difference in urinating?
  • does your chihuahua seem to strain to urinate or cry in pain?
  • does your chihuahua repeatedly try to urinate with no urine produced?
  • is there any blood in the urine?
  • how frequently does your chihuahua urinate?
  • is your female chihuahua spayed?
  • has your female ever had puppies? if so, at what age?
  • if your female is not spayed, when was her last heat cycle and was she bred?
  • do you notice any discharge from the vaginal area?
  • is your male chihuahua neutered? if so, at what age?
  • do you notice any discharge from the penis?
  • if your chihuahua is not neutered, do you notice any swelling of the testicles?
  • have you noticed your chihuahua excessively licking or grooming the genital area?

regarding the musculoskeletal system – bones and joints

  • have you noticed any limping?
  • are any legs or joints swollen?
  • has your chihuahua been excessively licking at one area of his/her legs?
  • does your chihuahua show signs of pain when walking?
  • is your chihuahua able to walk normally?
  • does your chihuahua walk on his/her knuckles?
  • does your chihuahua drag any legs when walking?
  • does your chihuahua seem to be in pain when petting him or her?

by supplying the answers these questions, your veterinarian will be in a much better position to help your chihuahua.  additional tests may be necessary to find out what the problem is, but the answers to the above questions can greatly narrow the area of concern.

chihuahua with veterinarian

please note that famous chihuahua is providing this information to chihuahua owners as a guide so you know when to take your chihuahua to see your veterinarian.  if at any time your chihuahua is showing signs or symptoms of illness and discomfort, don’t wait, just go the vet!

“get solutions to chihuahua health problems in an ebook delivered right to your inbox!”

the amazing ebook, caring for chihuahuas made easy, breed information, health care and nutrition teaches you about common chihuahua health problems and how to properly care for your chihuahua!  it also teaches you the secret to making your chihuahua live longer!

below is a sample page from the section on chihuahua health!

signs and symptoms of a sick chihuahua


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shaking puppy syndrome: a condition in dogs known as hypomyelination

famous chihuahua editor chihuahua health concerns 12 Comments

chihuahua in hands

shaking puppy syndrome is a disease that effects the central or peripheral nervous system of the brain and is medically termed hypomyelination.  the good news is that your puppy can grow out of it and still grow up to live a happy and healthy life.

at birth, often puppies that develop the syndrome are normal.  they later develop symptoms at 1 – 2 weeks old.  typically they begin to tremor and it’s predominantly more noticeable in the hind legs.

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