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

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua health concerns 536 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!  this article will help you determine if your chihuahua is showing signs and symptoms of being ill and when you need to take them to see a veterinarian.

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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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Comments 536

  1. Peggy

    My Chihuahua just lays still. Smacking his lips. Scooting on his belly. Won’t let me pick him up. Won’t respond to any thing.only let’s me scratch his back.

  2. George

    I just came in this site. I see people have lots of questions but no answers. If I had any answers I would help. Just wondering if the replies are private or something.

    Good luck

  3. Todd

    My Chihuahua will not stop scratching and chewing on himself. He has several red hive type sores from his back to his chest. He’s so uncomfortable. We have tried everything we can think of. Any suggestions?

  4. Val

    My dog started acting strangely not like himself on Sunday (today is Tuesday.) He’s having trouble walking and he seems as if it’s painful to lay he kinda just gets all stiff and he seems kinda lost and he won’t look at you when you call his name to him and he is shaking more than usual. When I take him outside to potty, he just sits there and doesn’t want to move. I’ve seen some posts describe some similar issues and wanted to find out the outcome of the other pets.

  5. June Rohr

    My 7 yr old female chi licks the front of her front legs after she has done some fast hard running chasing a ball in the house. She
    does not limp. Any ideas?

  6. STEPHANIE

    I HAVE A 4 YEAR OLD APPLE HEAD AND THREE YEARS AGO I NOTICED THAT HE WOULD START SCREEMING AND HIS BACK LEGS LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE HAVING MUCUSLE CRAMPS BUT I TOOK HIM TO THE VET. AND THEY SAID THAT HE IS ALLERGE TO FLEES SO HE HAS TO TAKE A 20 DOLLAR FLEE PILL EVERY MONTH AND ALLERGE PILLS EVERY MONTH WHICH COST 62 DOLLARS… THESES LITTLE GUYS GET SICK ALOT……

  7. Mike

    I have an 6 month old chuawa he a king word we went to the store he was fine we got home I open the door put him down we went in the house and in just a few minutes he ackes like he just burned a fat one .can’t walk stand sleepy can’t hold his head up on his own some body please help

  8. Tracy Larson

    I have a 2 y/o male chihuahua. He recently started shaking, like shivering and I thought he was cold, so I tried holding him in a blanket. He doesn’t care for dog sweaters.
    But along with this he acts anxious, can’t sit still, up and down off couch. These episodes are increasing. Do you think he’s just cold or something neurological? Thanks so much for any advise you can offer.

  9. Meredith Hornbuckle

    Hello! I have a male chihuahua named Buddy! He just turnt 7 in April. Yesterday morning he was fine and he was full of energy. Later on in the morning Buddy went outside to use the bathroom and he came back in sneezing and snorting and he wouldn’t let me pet him or love on him. Me and my family got concerned so we took him to the vet. They diagnosed him with reversed sneezing and sent him home. However, I believe that Buddy is not feeling well. He always wakes my mom up to take him outside and he did not even come get her up. Also Buddy is eating and drinking ,but all he is doing is laying around and he acts like he is super tired. He has a ball that he likes to play with and I threw it and he wouldn’t even chase it. Plush my dog always goes to my next door neighbors house to get doggie treats and he hasn’t been going other there to get his treats. Does anybody know what could be wrong with my Buddy?

  10. April

    Chihuahua’s sneeze “outwardly” which is a “backward sneeze” which kind of sounds like a mild choking noise but in reality they are blowing “air” out of their nose… And they are commonly know for having allergies. In addition they are accustomed to getting diabetes – so feed them frequently with good food///snacks are bad for them unless low fat. And of course – provide LOTS of fresh water for your fur baby. Obviously if symptoms don’t reduce a vet check should occur to maintain healthfulness. Good luck!!! Love my little guy sooooo much so am VERY sincere in the hopes your baby will be right again!

  11. Amika

    I just adopted my pet Chihuahua from the animal shelter a month ago she is four years old she is acting strange to me I just noticed today that she pooped a yellow dierreah looking poop yesterday she vomited a yellow looking foamy vomit wasn’t alot my mom just adopted a terrier mix breed a few days ago and that dog was vomiting and pooping alot could my dog have gotten the flu? She also is not listening to me she got out her bed and was looking down like she saw something I couldn’t see she stayed in this trance like state for a few minutes until I tried to distract her I have given her table scrapes a few times but she also gets treats I have her on imes small toy breed she was eating fine but I just noticed she is not eating her food and every time I take her outside she is sniffing around like she is looking for something to eat I have caught her chewing on whatever is left on the ground what worry’s me the most is she keeps getting out of bed and sits and looks down and there is nothing on the floor that I can see why is she doing this

  12. Diane Pesano

    We need help my mommy is so upset you see we are best friends we are together 24/7 we are never apart. My name is Ozzy I m a long hair Chihuahua my moma says I m the sweetest prettest boy in the world. I’m not sure of how old I am I’m thinking around 12 years old . I was put on phenobarbital last year for my seizures. And that’s been working pretty good but now I cough up water constantly and having a hard time breathing. Also when I bark I’m losing my voice. My mommy has taking me for x-rays and everything is good there. Mommy even got me some pills antibiotic and steroids. Well the steroids about killed me I couldn’t breathe hardly at all so my mommy took me off them. Now she doesn’t know what to do. I know if I could just get better my mommy wouldnt cry anymore can you please help us.

  13. Gill

    Sesley Finley
    November 4, 2016 at 4:15 am “it started three days ago he’s been acting strange not like himself at all he’s having trouble walking and he seems as if it’s painful to lay he kinda just gets all stiff and he seems kinda lost and he won’t look at you when you call his name to him and he shakes but these symptoms only come in hourly episodes”

    Sesley, my old girl is experiencing very similar…yours is an older post. what was the outcome please

  14. Gill

    my old girl is 14, woke in the night screaming in pain, we rushed heer to the vets 4.30 am..they said she was constipated.. kept her in 24 hours ,, cleared her, meds for home.. Next day, whimpering on moment when she woke up so we took her back,, they said bloodwork ok.. pulse and temp ok.. she was fine.. today on waking, she was guarded , slow moving and cried a little.. once she got going she was ok… shes has had a usual two hour nap after food and woke up screaming again… only for short periods but its heartbreaking… we got her moving , took her outside to pee and she came in on her own but not walking properly. she doesn’t want cuddles, and she wants to just lay on a floor bed , not her usual be with mom 24/7 just called vets again.. no reason they said for that behavior unless we go MRI ive paid $1700 in three days..any clues from anyone what could be going on..I’ve had her two years, she was a rescue

  15. Kaleigh Deskins

    My miniature chihuahua is 4 years old and has started losing TONS of weight to the point where I can see her ribs and backbone also she is always drowsy / tired and sleeps all day and when she pops she screams to the top of her lungs but we don’t give her table scraps and she eats her food but it seems like no matter what I do she won’t get better and I am very worried that there is something wrong with her but her vet puts her on the same medication every time we take her

  16. Diane Bolton

    I have an 8 will old Toy Chihuahua, he plays around but not as often as he can. He pukes up clear like mucus and seems like he’s choking on it sometimes..then he just lays down afterwards. You can tell he’s not feeling well because he just whines and whimpers. Help, I don’t have money for vet..

  17. Steve

    Mickey is a 12 yo male who can’t seem to hold down food, vomits his food up within 1-2 hrs after eating causing weight loss. His vomit is always a greenish liquid with whatever he ate. HELP

  18. DeAnn Fykes

    Our 10 year old chihuahua stopped eating 2 1/2 days ago. She drank some water but it came back up in less than a minute. She has been throwing up yellow bile for the last two days and the first day it was more thick. Everything seems normal but she just lays around. She is an inside dog.

  19. Christine Ames

    I have an elderly chihuahua (18) she usually will walk outside with me ..but now out of the blue she cant walk..and is screaming in breathy sounds ..so i know shes hurt bad..i took her to a vet and he wants to charge me 500 dollars to do x-rays..i just need to know if she snapped a bone ftom walking or WHAT could be the reason for her pain? She loves life and i dont want to put her to sleep ..i will if i need to though..because i love her so much..but before such drastic measures are taken i need to know what i can do to help her

  20. George

    Our 9 year old chihuahua stoped eating 2 1/2 days ago.She tried to drink some water but it
    Came up in about 2-3 minuets, also throwing up a yellow bile.
    Her chest seems to larger than normal, if we put outside now she will
    Just lay down, that’s all she is doing now. Breathing slow and shallow.

  21. Ramiza

    My 1 yr old chihuahua started acting weird 2 hours ago, i let him outside he pooped, came
    Back inside, he was ok for a minute, all of a sudden he got up from the couch moved to another spot, came back again and was just laying there, his eyes seemed tired, he kept them closed, he kept licking his lips and swallowing, he wasnt paying attention to anything i was saying? Does anyone know what this could be? Maybe he was nauseous? This lasted 10 mins and he passed out sleeping

  22. Tilda Butts

    My Chihuahua s eye is sowlen and he seams to want to Squeanch his eyes I can tell he not fillings to good cause he is just laying around I think he might have some fever I need help please

  23. Sue lawrence

    My chihuahua is 3 years old yesterday she started acting like she wants to cough something up. It stops awhile then up again..maybe its something stuck in mouth or. Lung?? Help what do i do?? Limited income..

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