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

chihuahua doctor

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.

you know your chihuahua best.  you will notice subtle early warning signs that someone else might not.  if any of the following chihuahua health care symptoms or signs of illness exist, call your veterinarian immediately.  do not wait – your chihuahua must be examined!

indications of a “sick chihuahua” include:

  • lethargy
  • disorientation
  • weakness
  • weight loss
  • seizure
  • lack of appetite
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • unproductive retching, straining to urinate
  • bloody urine
  • difficulty or inability to walk
  • bleeding, pale mucous membranes
  • difficulty breathing and persistent cough

oh no, teaka the famous chihuahua has a boo boo!

it is also a good idea to learn simple health tips that could potentially save your chihuahua’s life in an emergency. this is a must for any chihuahua owner. the ultimate guide to taking care of your chihuahua contains all of this helpful chihuahua care information as well as valuable information for new chihuahua buyers and breeders.

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.

the editor of famous chihuahua would like to encourage chihuahua owners to follow this advice as their rule of thumb as to when to take their chihuahua to the vet:

if at any time your chihuahua is showing signs or symptoms of illness and discomfort, don’t wait, just go the vet!

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Comments 392

  1. PENNY

    my tthree year old chi got sick 05/10, would not jump on couch, shaking, pain when i picked him up, did eat food slow normally ravages it but was slow. i took him to the vet & they gave him a shot for pain, said it would last 24 hours & thy were correct smae symptoms are back, just stands does not want to sit lacks energy. any suggestions

  2. Andrea

    We have a 12 week old female chihuahua she is pretty lathargic, vomiting, not eating or drinking. She seems to have no energy. She isnt the only dog sick, we also have a 10 month old pitbull who is sick as well with the same symptoms but our other 2 dogs are fine. Which is another pitbull and another chihuahua. The pitbull that is sick is starting to eat today but he had the runny stools and what looked like maybe a little blood in it. If anyone could possibly help please do.

  3. gabriel ramirez

    I noticed that when my chihuahua has an erection between his shaft and testicles it swells up to were it looks like another set of testicle but whe not erected everything looks normal should I be concerned or is this normal.

  4. Post
    famous chihuahua editor

    hi holly, please take your chihuahua to another vet and get a second opinion. i realize this will cost money but pets are a responsibility so it is up to you to look after your chihuahua properly. consider giving your chihuahua an essential fatty acid formula every day. here are a few links to review that may serve helpful:

  5. Holly

    I have a 2yr old 4lb Chiihuahua male. He at times gets very larthargic, glossy eyes, shallow breathing. He can’t balance, falls over, has stiff arms, not very responsive. His tummy will at times get swollen. I have took him to the vet and they ran many tests and he was negitivefor everything. I then took him to a neurologist and they could be of no help (unless I had $2000). He gets these “fits” every few months, but once they start he has a few back to back. Any suggestions on what it could be? Or how to make him more comfortable? What should he be eating during this time, should I make him drink/eat?

  6. Post
    famous chihuahua editor

    please call your vet as soon as possible to make and bring your chihuahua in for a complete examination. do not try to figure out the problem yourself. let a professional take care of your chihuahua.

  7. katie

    my chihuaha is 5 months old and for the past 2 days he hasnt been able to keep food down , well the first time he threw up it was white foam and then the 2nd day he ate really good but he threw up again and i dont know if he has a cold or could this be more seriouse.

  8. Post
    famous chihuahua editor

    it sounds like your chihuahua puppy has eaten something that has resulted in her becoming ill. please call your vet immediately to make an appointment to bring her in for examination. if it is after hours, call their emergency after hour number. do not try and solve the problem yourself, get professional help.

  9. anna

    my puppy is vomiting foaming liquid she is 5 mths won’t eat or drink water I am giving her pedialite also her stool is a little watery but still kind of normal Please help what can I give her does anyonr know what it might be she is an inside puppy.

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  11. melissa25

    my chihuahua is sick. he is breathing very heavy and not opening his eyes as much. he’s been coughing all day, a dry cough. help someone. has anyone had this problem.

  12. bobby DeVeau

    i have two chihuahuas and am very concered. I think that they may be sick and not sure what to do or how to treat them. they are both females and they are around 8 months old. they have lack of energy, loss of appite, and they constantly look like they are cryin. They used to be so full of energy running around playin, eatin all the time, up till about a week ago. If any one can help please please help my two little girls, we all would appritiate it very much!!!

  13. Denise Sandoval

    my 5 month old chihuahua today vomited and does not want to eat she is shaking all just wants to sleep, she also has been barking for no reason at everyone.

  14. Cariesa

    My 3 month old female chihuahua has been sick for little over a month know(I got her like that from the breeder). She coughs and sneezes. The sneezing mostly through the day, but the coughing mostly at night. In the last 3 weeks she has been to 2 doctors, has had Sinolux twice, Riloton, Vibroliet, Panacur(currently on), Kennel cough injection, 2nd vaccine and I put viks on her chest at night. They thought she had kennel cough, but she got the injection 2 weeks back and she has showed no inprovement. The doctor gave her a prednisolone injection and thought she is alergic to something in the bedding, monitored her for 48hours nothing changed. They think it is two things, worms on the lungs or something she was born with. She can’t go for scans, because she is to little. Any advise on what it can be or what more I can do. Desperate! I’m very worried, because last night she was looking at me with those little dark eyes that said please help. I can see it is hurting her. Mia and I haven’t slept one night through since I got her a month ago.

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  16. Robbin

    Good Morning I have a little 5month old female, she eats fine and is drinking, but she has been coughing and this morning sounds a little congested, my friend is a breeder and she gave me some antibiotic to give to her is this ok??

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  19. Karen

    My male chihuahua pup is 5months old. He’s normally very lively and running around your feet. Today he will not eat or drink, has vommited and has had diarrhea. His eyes appear abit bloodshot. He seems very weak and only wants to sleep. Can you advise what might be wrong? should I take him to the vet or should I see how he gets on throughout the day???Please advise!

  20. Nena

    My dog, Menudo, will scratch his ear and then start whinning. We tried treating him for earmites but it still happened. What is wrond with his ear?

  21. Tina

    I have a six week old male chi . Since I brought him home he won’t eat, I feed him with a syringe and give him honey to keep his sugar up. He had to leave his mom early as she had 7 pups and was unable to care for them anymore. He seems sad most the time, won’t eat, doesn’t wag his tail unless he sees another animal and the breeder won’t let him stay with his mom another week. Do you have any suggestions?

  22. sharon

    both of my chihuahuas make the honking noise you mentioned. Instead of plugging their noses I use my finger and rub it lightly in down ward strokes on the front of their throats. this makes them swallow and stop the honking sound. I also do what I can to calm them down.

  23. tara

    My chihuahua is 7 mos old and is in heat she has diarhea ,loss of appetite, vomitting, loss of weight, and a little bit of weezing she also seems as if she is depressed . she is the type of dog that when you walk thru the door shes there excited to see you now i have to find her she doesnt even eat her treats let alone do tricks any more can you tell me whats wrong???

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  25. amanda

    my poor little chihuahua makes this honking noise all most like hes coughing but he does it for a straight minute. what do i do? is he sick?

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