Wheezing/Seizure-Like Episodes

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua health concerns 85 Comments

What to do When Your Chihuahua has Wheezing/Seizure-Like Episodes

My husband and I have a chihuahua named Bugsy. We found your web site while trying to find health information. We absolutely love it. Do you have any information about wheezing and their seizure-like episodes. Ours sometimes acts like he can’t catch his breath…

Many chihuahuas owners do not realize that chihuahuas are bred to be small. Breeders create them and as much as we love them, cross breeding can have effects. Trachea issues are common in chihuahuas and can usually be identified by episodes of wheezing. Their trachea collapses on them and the wheezing is usually their immediate response. However, it is ineffective. Instead take firm hold of your Chihuahua, calm them and then plug their noses. This will force them to swallow and breath through their mouths. This is the only remedy so please make a mental note of this.

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Comments 85

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  2. sky

    Hello, I have a 3 year old long haired chihuahua that is 5 pounds named Cooper, he hasn’t has any seizures. He does shake and tremble when ever I come home, if i was gone for 2 minutes or 3 days. He also does have problems drinking water, like water going into his lung so he has problems breathing then but hes fine about 15 seconds after i just call his name and make him calm down and put his nose up towards the ceiling. He is a very good chihuahua, he doesn’t bark at others or others dogs ive spent lots n lots of time correcting him which sometimes felt like i was trying to teach a wall how to listen but eventually he learnt its not acceptable for him to act like a crazy demon dog. One problem he does have that i cant find any answers to is in the winter we live in Saskatchewan and it does get pretty cold here, but id never put him out in like -20 weather. Although at about -15 weather he acts or really cant i don’t know, as if his legs froze stiff and he cant move them so i have to go outside and get him and when i bring him in the only way i can describe it is as when a human is outside in the winter and gets cold toes and puts them on the heater, or hot water and its like a hurting burning feeling, well he cries when his legs are warming up. so i quit putting him outside and he is just trained on a puppy pad all year round, but he gets his summer/spring/fall walks and goes out in the yard in the summer.. any answers or does this happen to anyone elses chihuahua?

  3. Mary Beth

    Please help me find out what’s wrong with my Skippy. His actions sound similar to the previous comments of “Sherry // Dec 22, 2009 at 9:49 am”, but he has gotten much worse now. Thanks

  4. Mary Beth

    My 8 year old Chi male (Skippy) has been with me since 12 weeks old. He has always been very well behaved and sociable. He has traveled with us everywhere and never even barks – just a happy wagging little guy. Until about 6 months ago when he started acting funny. He started by jumping when I was holding him, as if something hurt, but I could not figure out what it was. After having his Rabies shot in April he got much worse! I had told the new vet that he gets sick from it, but he insisted on giving him the shot. Now he stiffens up and tries to jump from my arms screaming and trembling with his back curved, his front paws grabbing me while pushing me away with his back legs. I gently put him down and he looks back with wide eyes like I’m a monster or something. He was never dropped and I have held him the same way for years. He has only done this to my husband a few times. Please help me!!! I love my little guy.

  5. jen

    my chihuahua, sandy, is 14 .8 years old. Im not lying to myself, i know she is an elderly pooch, but i have a couple concerns…. I am aware that taking her to the vet would be the best bet at figuring this out, but i also know that vet visits are expensive & they may just tell me to “prepare” myself, as I keep hearing from friends/family/etc.
    had a few seizure-like episodes 6 months ago OR more, so no longer the “main” worry. she has QUICKLY developed arthritic hips, haunches, etc. AS ELL AS lost a significant amount of weight to the point where i don’t rub her belly anymore bc its just ribcage.
    Tha most recent problem is her ‘Achilles’/ankle area had swollen to a small ping pong ball size & then went down slightly, then developed in her other hind leg, then turned into a puffy pair of hind legs that looks like water retention. Ive tried to take her for walks (she is litterbox trained & would go outside only to play in backyard), but its too heart breaking to watch her mosey around & stare at me, most likely to be carried home.
    now with her puffy legs, her belly, which i mentioned was aALL ribcage, has a hanging fold of skin that i NEVER saw before, its kind of puffy like the leggies, so I am thinking (obviously, prepare myself…) or try to get her to drink more water? sugar water? sodium for water retention? anyone have any ideas or thoughts? she has also become very, i mean VERY attached to me, MORE so than usual. If i am not sitting with her, she will slowly circle the house until i come back to the couch and she will ‘check up on me’ in the bathroom several times. she doesn’t cry or anything, so is this an attempt to have me close bc she knows something is wrong? or have i created the monster that is obsessed with me, prob…

  6. Caan

    We’ve got a 12 wk old chi, he has low blood sugar and a bad cough. We have taken him to the vet several times and given him antibiotics. Now his cough is getting better but he sometimes holds his head up and stretched out looking like Yoda but struggling with his breathing. He’s had 2 seizures and we’re very nervous. Can anyone offer a solution?

  7. Megan

    I have an 8 week old chihuahua X boston terrier, and he has a 1-2 grade heart murmur. He is playful and active and never slows down. The only problem is he coughs in the morning. He does it for about 10 minutes off and on while he is waking up….is this related to the murmur? The vet suggested having his heart looked at by a specialist, but its $700 in my city…..is it worth the money at this age?? Will he grow out of it?

  8. Crystal

    I’m not sure if its wheezing but sometimes my dog Choco often when he gets excited starts to make snorting sounds, they tend to go away after a few seconds to a minute, but I’m not sure if thats just the so called grunting or wheezing.

  9. olive

    I have a chiweenie a doxen and chihuahua mixed and shes been acting so stranger tonight. It almost sounds like there is something stuck in her throat and idk how to explain this but she like sticks her tongue out and sounds like shes choking.
    And at points she does it a lot than gets up and jumps off my bed than goes in her bed than quickly comes back to mine.
    Im really worried I dont know whats wrong with her.
    I tried to hold her and plug her nose but she wont breathe out of her mouth.
    What can I do?

  10. Jpo

    My puppy just had an episode of something and im very sad and scared. after he ate he looked weird so i took him outside to go potty and he started shaking his head uncontrollably and a weird sound started coming out i thought he was sneezing. as soon as i took him inside he had another episode, shaking his head uncontrollably and making a weird sound and half of his face was spasiming and showing teeth, half of his lip lifted upwards, then after it was over he was extra tired. Please Help!!!!

  11. vanessa

    i have a chihuahuah named chuy , every time i get home from school he gets very excited, but sometimes out of the blue even,he stops, stiffens his back legs, and starts wheezing
    it is an awful sound,he usually has them 2 times a day, i dont know what to do but after these episodes he is perfectly fine and is ready to play again. PLEASE help!!!!!

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  13. Soutsada

    Hi, my chihuahua has been weezing for the past few nights. She looks like she’s in pain but when I alert her, she goes right back to normal. I’m not sure if it’s something with her sleep or another possibly major problem.

  14. hazzy

    i had a weird experience with my chihuahua, she looked like she was gasping for air: Making a weird noise through her nose, I got scared and calmed her down, but was quiete nervous didn’t know what to do. I calmed her down and gave her some food, and she got better. Iam wondering what was her problem and could it happen again, and what should I do if it does occur.

  15. Robin

    One more question his ears have not stood up yet do you think they ever will. And what is the average age of a chi for there ears to stand up his brother and sisters ears were up at six weeks.

  16. Robin

    I have had that same experience with my chi Tucker he sometimes acts as though he has asma he cant catch his breath it scares the crap out of me the vet says he will out grow it but I dont think so because his mother has the same problem what do you suggest.

  17. Arlette

    my 5 month on chihuahua nikko is having strange breathing episodes. usually at night. she seems to be almost forcing her breath through her nose. she seems like she is in discomfort and she pulls her mouth back during this.these can last anywhere for 30 seconds- 2 minutes. the only thing i can find online is a possible collapsed trachea or a reverse sneeze. can u tell me what this is.

  18. Amna


    I have a 5.5 year old chi. Just last week on Friday he suffered a seizure and it scared the living crap out of me and of course I panicjed. He is my child so to see his helpless was heart breaking. I took him to the vet and they did blood work adn everything came back normal other than the levels of his red blood cells were high. The doctor wanted to keep him over night, but since he’s never been alone I was not sure and we decided to do a ‘fluid ball’ so I could bring him home. He has not had any seizures and is acting/eating normally. He is sleeping more. Other than that all is well, but I am a little concerned as to what the next step should be. Should I do more tests? Any one know of any great vets in the Orlando area? Please advice.



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  20. Raul

    Hello, my chi’s name is K.C. stands for Killer Chihuhua. he i a huge chi the biggest i have ever seen. He is 7 years old. in the last 2 years he has had a few seizures. He tightens up falls over and it scares us all. I have asked around and I get so many different answers. Can anyone help us or know of any website we can get some answers from? thank you all and God bless!

  21. does anyone else have a spoiled overweight chi?

    My sister passed away last April and I promised to love and take care of cheech the rest of his days. Not a problem there i love him so much i think he has me wrapped around his paw. I went to his vets recently and found out he is 13 years old as of Feb 3rd. I actually made him a b-day cake . I think i’ve lost it huh. Like the rest of your posts he too has had several episodes of wheezing to the point that i thought for sure he’d cough up a hair ball at any second. My sister was a heavy smoker so until i found your site i thought perhaps it was doggy zema so to speak. thank you for helping me love this little man to the best of my ability . Forever a chi aunt with pride . love to you all out there for loving your chi’s too . god bless

  22. Madison

    My 7 year old long haired Chihuahua recently started having seizure like symptoms. The Chihuahua started having odd spasms six days ago, but they aren’t seizures though, he doesn’t fall over, he walks around and sits down having the spasms and finally yelps in pain for almost 60 seconds at times.
    The spasms are only located near his neck and shoulders. He only eats half the food he used to eat. When he has the spasms he tries to be as close as he can to the nearest person when he used to only go to my mother and me.

    We took him to the vet, but they told us it was seizures! The vet wont listen and charges too much for us to take him back for other tests. He doesn’t vomit, have diarrhea, have lumps or anything else that point to answers.

    Please help, i know he’s in terrible pain.

  23. Jenessa

    My 5 year old has had seizure like episodes for three years now, i have noticed a progression, they started out not even being a minute long, but her balance was off, legs would freeze up, and have this blank look on her face, now they last about 10 minutes most of the time, i keep a log of when she eats, and poops and has these episodes. She would have these episodes only after she had pooped, although now it is after she goes to the bathroom, peeing or pooping. I am not sure what that has to do with it, The vet thought that the OPC Formula with Glucosamine would help, it was working to keeping it down to once a week although it has been about every 2 weeks the last 2 months. I was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions on how to prevent these episodes or if there is anything i can do at all? Thanks

  24. Andrea

    My Chihuahua will only walk to the left. If I try and pull him to the right he scraps and claws to get to the left side of the sidewalk or the wall. Do you think he had a stroke or his eye site is getting impaired?

  25. Sherry

    Hi– i have a beautiful little ChiChi, the absolute light of my life. Her name is Ginger and she will be turning 6 on Christmas Eve. She is wonderful, incredibly loving and seemingly very happy, but she has one small “quirk” that appears almost daily and i have no idea what is going on.
    I got Ginger at 8 weeks and she has never had any health problems at all, ever. She is as fun and as funny today as she was 5 years ago. She’s not even an ounce overweight, and that’s obviously quite an accomplishment with this breed!
    But for the past few years i have noticed that very frequently, while lying around resting, she will very suddenly spring up and jump away from where she was lying, almost as if she has been bit, and she always appears very startled by it whenever it happens, even if it has already happened twice that hour.
    She has never had fleas, and has never had any signs of bites. She’s mostly inside and has never been boarded. She doesn’t present any physical symptoms at all and never has, except for the one brief second where she suddenly seems so startled. It’s almost as if she’s being goosed, but there is no one or nothing there to do the goosing.
    I’ve asked numerous vets about this and none has been able to give me any real answer. Ginger has no nuerological problems; she comes back completely normal and very healthy no matter the test. She runs, eats and plays with abandon the rest of the time and never has any other health problems whatsoever (thankfully!). Also, she is never actually sleeping when it happens, it’s always when she is just kind of lying around but definitely has her eyes open. So it’s not from a bad dream.
    Nor does it only happen in one particular situation. It will happen at 11pm while she is on my bed curling up with me, at midday as she is soaking up some sun on the big pillows of the couch, or while she is lying around watching me cook and obviously desperately hoping that some of the food is for her. It can be when it is hot or cold, quiet or loud, early or late. I honestly have not been able to find even one thing that these little freak-outs of hers have in common.

    So… can anyone here help me? Has anyone experienced this or something like this with their little one? I have only been able to find one other post in all of cyberspace (also on a chihuahua site) that sounds similar, and nothing in that thread gave me any real insight into this situation. So i am open to anything and everything that might help, and thanks in advance.

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