Chihuahuas can live for more than 15 years and when compared to other breeds they have far fewer genetic defects but with their popularity increasing so is poor breeding. To make sure you have a healthy puppy are you able to answer these questions?
- Is the area clean?
- How are the puppies/mother with humans?
- Does the mother look healthy?
- How old are the puppies?- they should be eight weeks or older when leaving their mother
- Do the puppies look healthy- make sure they do not have dandruffy coats, runny eyes or noses, signs of coughing, diarrhoea or hair loss
Here are a few problems found in chihuahuas;
- Hydrocephalus- this is an extremely painful condition where the head is unusually large compared to the size of the dogs body. This enlarged head is caused by swelling on the brain, dogs who have this have a lot of visible white showing in their eyes which are typically east-west facing (like the opposite of crossed eyes), they also have an unsteady walk, are prone to falling and have seizures.
- Hypoglycemia- low blood sugar. Most puppies will grow out of this when it is time for them to leave their mum but some will never grow out of it. Dogs suffering from this have an unsteady walk, glassy eyes, limpness and without treatment seizures and death. This is easily treated once diagnosed by simply having a feeding schedule and avoiding sugary treats.
- Delicate areas- chihuahuas, very much like babies, have a soft spot on the top of their heads which they will not grow out of, don't worry though most will shrink as the dog grows. Around 90% of chihuahuas have this molera so opt away from petting their heads and be careful when handling their head.