The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest breed of dog, weighing around 2 pounds (1 kg) and standing around 8 inches (20 cm) tall. The name comes from the state in Mexico where the breed originated, and it is thought to descend from dogs that were kept before the arrival of Europeans in the New World.
There are short- and longhaired varieties of Chihuahua, and their coats range from tan to black and white. These dogs are devoted to their owners and are often suspicious of strangers, and they can have difficulties interacting with children and other pets.
Chihuahua Health Concerns
Chihuahuas tend to be fairly healthy for toy dogs, often living more than 15 years, and are prone to relatively fewer congenital diseases than other purebreds. Still, they are known to suffer from a few health problems:
- Breathing Problems: these dogs’ short snouts can restrict airflow, and if the condition is severe enough surgery may be required to reconstruct the airway.
- Canine Hypoglycemia: low blood sugar can cause these dogs to become lethargic and have difficulty walking; they may even faint or suffer seizures. Consultation with a vet about proper nutrition can almost always prevent the condition from recurring, or control it quickly when it flares up.
- Patellar Luxation: the kneecap (patella) of some dogs may become dislodged, causing pain and restricted movement. In severe cases, surgery may be required to reposition the affected bone and connective tissue.
- Tracheal Collapse: this condition presents with a “honking” cough, and occurs when the rings of cartilage that make up the windpipe become weakened and collapse. Diagnosis is confirmed by fluoroscopy and radiography; treatment involves the administration of steroids to combat inflammation, and surgery may be required to reconstruct the trachea.
Pet Health Insurance for Chihuahua
Chances are, if you acquire a puppy from a reputable breeder and make regular visits to the vet, your Chihuahua will be a wonderful companion for many years.
Nevertheless, these and similar conditions may occur at any time; and keep in mind that these dogs, in particular, require frequent dental exams.
Since puppies run more than $1000, many owners make the decision to purchase a pet health insurance plan that will protect their pets, and their bank balances, for life.
For other types of dogs, check out our full list of dog breeds.