The world's smallest dog, the Chihuahua, may be very popular especially in the United States since the media fell in love with The Taco Bell Chihuahua in the 1990s, but they do have many medical, genetic and behavioral problems.
Chihuahuas can suffer from a number of genetic and medical conditions. Before purchasing a Chihuahua trace the bloodline and buy your Chihuahua pup from a reputable breeder.
You must also be prepared to invest substantial amounts of money for your dog's veterinarian care.
Below is a partial list of genetic and medical problems:
Patellar Luxation - slipped knee caps.
Legg Perthes - is the disintegration of the hip bone, common to many small breeds of dogs especially Chihuahuas.
Pulmonic Stenosis - Heart problems.
Hypoglycemia - low blood sugar.
Tracheal Collapse - the tracheal or windpipe collapses. This happens when the rings of cartilage that joint muscle and ligament to form this air passageway flatten. Your Chihuahua will exhibit what is known as a backward or reverse sneeze; a sound made when the pharynx (back of the throat goes into spasms. Your Chihuahua can also honk, wheeze or snort.
Liver Shunts - Portosystemic shunts occurs from a congenital malformation of the portal vein which is responsible for the flow of blood to the liver. The function of the liver at that point is to cleanse the blood before circulation throughout the body. When this passageway is obstructed (shunted) and the blood is not cleansed, it has serious consequences. Poisonous toxins are released in the heart, brain, lungs and other important organs of the body.
Corneal Ulcers - resulting from KCS or dry eye. Chihuahuas contract dry eye because of abnormal tear secretion. Dry Eye can result from viral infections, inflammation, or other diseases of the immune system. Prolonged KCS can cause scarring on the cornea and blindness in extreme cases.
Congenital KCS - where Chihuahuas are born without tear producing (lacrimal) glands.
Problems with delivery - range from uterus infections, a need for cesarean section to possible death of mother and pups.
Eclampsia - hypocalcemia a condition of low than normal levels of calcium present in the lactating mother.
Chihuahua Temperament issues
Chihuahuas are very clannish animals, they like to be in the company of other Chihuahuas and show aggression towards other animals which can pose some problems in multi animal homes.
The Chihuahua is a breed that is not recommended for families with young children. Chihuahuas are so fragile that rough handling can easily break their bones. A startled Chihuahua can also nip or bite in retaliation.
Chihuahuas have a tendency to yap and bark frequently. This behavior tends to be quite annoying.
As much as Chihuahuas need to be socialized within your home and outdoors, they also tend to get lonely and bored. Chihuahuas can suffer from separation anxiety and cannot be left alone. These dogs will yap and bark, cry or chew things when left alone.
Chihuahuas need training to correct behavioral problems. Some Chihuahuas are easily trained while others are more stubborn.