Breeding Chihuahuas is not an undertaking for the inexperienced. These tiny dogs have a lot of difficulty with delivery (whelping). They are very fragile animals with easily breakable bones and many things can go wrong. As a word of caution, you should consult your veterinarian before taking on this endeavor. Your pet should receive a complete bill of health before undergoing the process. You should be able to communicate with your veterinarian at any time when you have any questions about your Chihuahua’s health or her ability to bring her litter to term.
There is much more involved in breeding than simply choosing two purebred Chihuahuas to mate. A complete history of genotype and phenotype of the animals is required to avoid genetic complications such as heart problems, liver shunts, patellar luxations, leg perthes and more.
When to Breed
Do not mate your female before she weighs at least four pounds. You will also want to make sure that she is at least one year old before you start. A Chihuahua should never be bred during the first, second and possibly the third heat because of their delicate constitutions.
Complications with Pregnancy and Delivery
Since these dogs are so tiny, it does not come as a surprise that the average litter is two pups. Chihuahuas can have as little as one pup and as many as four.
Bear in mind that even though the litters are not large stillborn births are common. Your female may require an emergency caesarian section. There is always the threat that the mother (brood bitch) will not make it through the surgery.
Chihuahua pups have large heads. Their heads may be too big to naturally pass through the female birthing canal. You may need to monitor the birth. If there are any signs of distress, or prolonged delivery, contact your veterinarian.
Another point to consider is that Chihuahuas often have breech births. You will need immediate access to the veterinarian or have one available to guide you through the process of delivering (whelping) the pups in worst case scenarios.
Chihuahuas suffer from other medical complications such as a ruptured uterus, or infection of the uterus (acute metritis). The bacteria in the uterus from the infection can cause the death of both the mother and her pups if not treated in time. If you notice pus mixed with a blood discharge before or after delivery it may very well be acute metritis and you will need to get your pet to a veterinarian immediately. Other warning signs of acute metritis include excessive urination, vomiting, or the mother’s refusal to nurse or eat.
Your Chihuahua mother may suffer from hypoglycemia... where her blood sugar drops so low that she can go into shock, seizures and possible death. Her pups may suffer from hypoglycemia as well.
Shortly after whelping (giving birth) the brood bitch may suffer from Eclampsia also known as hypocalcemia, or canine milk fever. The common signs of this disease include: in coordination, panting, twitching of the eye, and severe muscles spasms. When this happens it is imperative that your dog been seen by the veterinarian.
If you are not sure of the health and history of both the stud and female Chihuahua (brood bitch), it is highly recommended that you leave the breeding up to a professional breeder, or purchase your Chihuahua from reputable seller, local rescue group or animal shelter.