patellar luxation: what you should know about this knee problem in chihuahuas

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua health concerns 32 Comments

the chihuahua breed is known to have the knee condition known as patellar luxation and is one of the most common health problems associated with chihuahuas.   the knee is a complex structure consisting of muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bones.  these components must align properly and interact harmoniously in order to function properly.  three bones are included in the knee: the femur, the tibia, and the patella (kneecap).

the lower front portion of the femur (thigh bone) in a normal chihuahua has two bony ridges that form a fairly deep groove in which the patella is supposed to slide up and down.  these structures limit the patella’s movement to one restricted place, and in doing so, control the activity of the quadriceps muscle.  the entire system is constantly lubricated by joint fluid.  it works so that there is total freedom of motion between the structures.

diagram of the anatomy of a normal knee cap

diagram of the anatomy of a normal knee cap

patellar luxation (or trick knee, subluxation of patella, or floating patella), occurs when the patella, or kneecap, dislocates or moves out of its normal location.

when the patella is luxated in a chihuahua, the ridges forming the patellar groove are not prominent, and a too-shallow groove is created.  in a chihuahua with shallow grooves, the patella will luxate (jump out of the groove) sideways, especially toward the inside.  this can causes the leg to ‘lock up’ with the foot held off the ground.

chihuahua with a luxating patella on both hind legs

chihuahua with a luxating patella on both hind legs
(like teaka the famous chihuahua has as seen in the video above)

when the patella luxates from the groove of the femur, it usually cannot return to its normal position until the quadriceps muscle relaxes and increases in length.  this is why a chihuahua may be forced to hold their leg up for a few minutes after this occurs because the muscles are contracted, the patella is luxated from its correct position and the joint is held in a flexed or bent position.  pain is caused by the knee cap sliding across the bony ridges of the femur.

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

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua health concerns 543 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.

the book caring for chihuahuas made easy gives you preventative measures and solutions to common Chihuahua health problems.  “if your chihuahua is sick or you want to know what to do to keep it from getting sick, then this is an absolute must-read book!”

“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?

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tracheal collapse in chihuahuas: a serious chihuahua respiratory health problem

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua health concerns 162 Comments

chi-tracheal-collapse

many chihuahua owners email us with concerns related to their chihuahua puppies or dogs experiencing breathing problems, more specifically frequent gagging, coughing and chihuahua wheezing and seizures that result in gasping for air.  this article may be helpful to you if your chihuahua has been affected by obstructed breathing or symptoms thereof.

chihuahuas are known to suffer from problems related to their soft palate or a collapsed trachea.  it is a health concern that is characteristic of the chihuahua breed and is also commonly referred to as “reverse sneezing”.

chihuahua trachea collapse

tracheal collapse is a condition in which the trachea partially collapses or flattens out as your chihuahua is trying to breath.  this leads irritation and results in the gagging, coughing and wheezing symptoms mentioned above.

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why does my chihuahua snore? how can a tiny dog make so much noise?

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua Q and A, teaka 27 Comments

teaka the famous chihuahua snoozing – how can something so small snore so loud!”

snoring is a common occurrence in chihuahuas and has nothing to do with a collapsed trachea.  it is attributed to their short muzzle and sometimes it is loud enough to wake the house up.  it can be incredibly funny when you have visitors as no one can believe that such a small dog can make that much noise.

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what is a teacup chihuahua? is this even a legitimate term? get the facts right here!

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua Q and A 125 Comments

Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy Dry Dog Food, 2.5-Pound Bag
teacup chihuahuas

what exactly does the term teacup chihuahua mean and is it a legitimate term for characterizing a specific type of chihuahua?  much controversy exists over this term, so let’s get the chihuahua facts!

the term teacup chihuahua is mainly an american term.  it’s often used to refer to the size of a chihuahua and shouldn’t be used to categorize a specific type of chihuahua as you would reference a short-haired vs a long-haired chihuahua or a deerhead chihuahua vs an applehead chihuahua.

are teacup chihuahuas tiny chihuahuas that fit into a cup?

most chihuahua puppies are born teacup-sized, but they usually grow out of it.  it is important to note that chihuahuas of this size must be handled delicately and dressed accordingly with the proper chihuahua clothes to keep them warm and properly shielded.

many prospective chihuahua buyers are also unaware of the fact that if a chihuahua puppy isn’t nourished properly from birth, they will not grow to their full potential. this undernourishment will keep a chihuahua puppy from growing to their full potential as they reach adulthood.

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