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 414

  1. T. Melnyk

    In the last week my 3 and a half year old purebred chi has started to yelp, just once but loudly for no apparent reason. To me this seems like pain but where? He is eating fine (picky as usual, lol) but he does eat his food, runs seemingly normally, walks normally and I have touched him from his nose to the tip of his tail and he doesn’t show any signs of pain. I have watched him pee and poop on his pads and no pain then. No blood in either. However with all this absense of symptoms he still just yelps, maybe once a day and I can’t figure out what brings it on. He isn’t jumping up or down and in fact sometimes is just lieing down in the morning under the covers as usual and all of a sudden with no movement – yelps. Just once.

    Any ideas on what could be the problem? He has always seemed a little sensitive to this tail and his butt (anal glands seem to fill more than normal) but this is different – usually anal gland issues are more about scooting on the carpet or licking his butt a lot.

    I’m confused. Helpppppppppppppppp. Thanks.

  2. Eloise R. Hernandez

    I have a 9 yr old male chichiua he has never been sick just started yesterday Saturday January 23,2016 he has problems getting up on the sofa or the chair he has never had that problem he eats but I noticed he vomited like form I am concerned what is wrong with him.

  3. Heather

    My female chihuahua is less than 6 months old (birthday Aug 8th,2015) her face is swollen,and her genitals are swollen and red.she is not fixed. She’s like my child and I very worried. Anybody know what it could be?

  4. Presley.S

    My chihuahua is coughing I’m starting to get worried ,and she’s rubbing her ears and their kinda pinkish red inside them!!!😰😰😰😖😖😖

  5. nicole

    my baby chihuahua named Groot is shaking alot i mean alot and h won stop he just started it tonight fter i ave him water !! I NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Nancy

    Have an 11 year old female that has never been spade. For about the last 3 months, she has repeatedly come into heat. She has never been bred. Getting worried and will be taking her to the vet. Anyone else experienced this with an older female?

  7. Anthony Contreras

    My Chihuahua appears to be weak on one leg and it looks like he sometimes walks on his knuckles . He will still sprint and jump off the furniture when he hears a door bell.
    Any info why he seems weak?

    Thank you kindly.

  8. Ron Velarde

    My female chihuaha is 6 months old and hasn’t had her shots yet. She chews her little stuffed animal and cloth rubber ball she also is shaking all of the time . She doesn’t want to eat or chew food at all nor drink water. She is overly shaking . She is squinting her eyes. I need help

  9. Kim

    I have a 22 year old chihuahua who was dragging his leg behind him for a while his hips bother him he lost he’s losing his appetite and he’s doing a lot of sneezing and the little bit of discharge coming out of his nose when he sneezes is this because of old age

  10. Daniela

    My female chihuaha is shaking all of the time . She doesn’t want to eat or chew food at all nor drink water. She is overly shaking . She is squinting her eyes. I need help

  11. Lynnetteleany

    So are dog has been acting very strange he keeps sleeping he is not eating at all he walks weird and he starts to feel pain but we don’t were he feels pain at all also he starts to shake and he starts to cry can you help us plz we need you

  12. Rebecca

    I have recently noticed my 1 year old male Chihuahua not eating his dog food as much as he used to, it sits in his bowl all day and he barely ever goes near it and he doesn’t drink as much as I’d like. I’ve also noticed him frequently taking sneezing episodes and a runny clear discharge coming from his nose, his paws/coat are always cold and he is shaky quite a bit which he never was before. Is there anything I should be worried about?

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