common signs of illness in your chihuahua (and what you can do about it)

famous chihuahua editor chihuahua health concerns 3 Comments

chihuahua vet exam

regardless of how old your chihuahua is, you play a key role in helping them defend against illness and remain healthy.  your chihuahua can’t speak, but they can show signs of illness, so having an awareness of the most common signs of illness will help you know what to look for.  unfortunately, at least 10% of chihuahuas that appear healthy have underlying health issues.

here are the most common signs of illness to look for:

  • bad breath or drooling
  • excessive drinking or urination
  • appetite change associated with weight loss or gain
  • change in activity level (e.g., lack of interest in doing things they once did)
  • stiffness or difficulty in rising or climbing stairs
  • sleeping more than normal, or other behavior or attitude changes
  • coughing, sneezing, excessive panting, or difficulty breathing
  • dry or itchy skin, sores, lumps, or shaking of the head
  • frequent digestive upsets or change in bowel movements
  • dry, red, or cloudy eyes

if you see any of these signs in your chihuahua, then take them to see a veterinarian immediately.  if the signs are not obvious, then your veterinarian will likely recommend preventive care testing during an annual screening which can include:

  • chemistry and electrolyte tests to ensure your chihuahua isn’t dehydrated or suffering from an electrolyte imbalance
  • heart worm testing, tick-borne or other infectious diseases testing
  • a complete blood count test to rule out blood-related conditions
  • urine tests to screen for urinary tract infections and kidney issues
  • a thyroid test to determine if the thyroid gland is producing too little thyroid hormone
  • an ECG test to screen for an abnormal heart rhythm

preventative testing doesn’t only help to catch underlying health issues, it also helps to avoid large vet bills and medical expenses if an illness does go undetected.  in a nutshell, if you want the best healthcare for your chihuahua, don’t blame old age and play a blind eye to any noticeable signs of illness and be sure to take your chihuahua in for regular check ups.

further reading:

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

common health issues and health problems in the chihuahua breed

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Comments 3


    My husband & I have a 5lb very pickiest Chihuahua. Shyly gets upset tummy I always know I give her punkin. I have give her two drops of pesto she likes it & it works. I watch her close she’s our Angle & kid.

  2. Megan Earl

    Thank you for sharing these common signs of illness in chihuahuas. My husband and I have been thinking about buying a puppy and I think this month we will finally do it. A chihuahua is definitely a very strong possibility, seeing as we both love them. I had no idea that stiffness could be a sign of illness for dogs. I’ll make sure to keep my eyes open for that!

  3. Susie Campbell

    My chihuahua mix delivered 7 puppies about a week ago and since has had diarrhea with very strong odor,she doesn’t seem to be keeping weight but her appetite is good and she seems sluggish,at first I thought this may be normal after a large delivery.Having 7 surprised me as my other Chihuahuas had no more than 3.Something in the way she looks at me tells me something may be wrong with her so I called my vet and first available appointment is Tuesday.Can you please tell me if something serious is wrong?? I do plan to take her in to her Vet in the morning because I am having panic attacks and can’t wait until Tuesday and can only hope that they will see her,please help!

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