The Chiweenie is a hybrid designer dog breed made by combining the genes of a Dachshund and a Chihuahua. This is a feisty dog with a lot of energy. This is a loveable breed that will love to be with their owners and is a good watchdog. However, pet owners should consider a few health issues that affect the cute Chiweenie; here are five of the most common:
The Chiweenies are generally a healthy breed but may inherit some health issues from its parents’ such diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination, loss of weight, and an increase or decrease in appetite. Early-onset of blindness due to cataracts is another common sign. Vets will diagnose diabetes with a simple blood sugar test.
Dogs with diabetes type 1 may require insulin injections and may need a special diet. Those with type 2 diabetes do not require insulin injections as their conditions may be managed by exercise, diet, and taking oral drugs.
Small dogs like the Chiweenie are prone to tooth loss at an early age. To avoid these, prevent the buildup of plaque by brushing daily and by rewarding your pet with a dental treat every week. Signs of advanced gum disease include the presence of blood on your pet’s chew toy, sneezing, and nasal discharges. A dog that chews only on one side of its mouth may also indicate dental problems.
Taking your feisty Chiweenie to the vet and the dentist regularly is a must. Give your pet soft chew toys and discourage biting hard objects.
Hypothyroidism is a condition wherein the thyroid glands begin to malfunction, leading to poor health and reduced activity. Common signs of hypothyroidism in dogs are thinning of the fur, a dull coat, shedding of fur, scaling of the skin, weight gain, and reduced tolerance to cold or warm weather. Most dogs affected with this condition develop skin infections, which can cause sores that are itchy and inflamed.
Hypothyroidism is managed by taking hormone supplements for the remainder of your pet’s life. Regular checkups are necessary to monitor the effects of the medication.
Intervertebral degenerative disc disease
IVDD is a condition of the spine where the discs found between the two vertebrae of the spine burst or bulge. This material may move to the spinal cord area, and this causes severe pain, extreme nerve damage, and in severe cases, paralysis.
Early signs of IVDD include anxiety, pain when the area is touched, weakness of the hind legs, and the unwillingness to jump. Stages II and III of the condition can be treated by giving anti-inflammatory medications, pain relief-medications, and restriction of exercise and physical activity.
Luxating patella is when the kneecap moves from its normal position. When a dog skips a step or suddenly walks on three legs and then back to walking on four, then this could be a sign of a luxating patella.
Surgery may not be needed, and most small dog breeds like Chiweenies can live with this condition. A vet may recommend bracing or using physical manipulation to treat stage 1 and 2 luxating patella. But in some cases, a luxating patella can lead to inflammation, pain, cartilage damage, and tears in the knee ligaments. In advanced cases, surgery is always the best option.
Chiweenies can live 12 to 15 years old. You can help your pet prevent sickness and many health problems by exercising daily, eating the right diet for its breed, and by regular vet visits. Understanding its parent breeds can also help you identify other health issues common to this mixed breed.