The Chiweenie is a very popular designer dog, the offspring of Dachshund and Chihuahua parents. This is a feisty dog with a lot of energy, a very lovable breed that loves to stay close and cuddle with their owners. They exude pure big dog energy despite their tiny frame. Aside from being the stereotypical lapdog, a chiweenie pup is also a reliable watchdog.
However, pet owners should prepare themselves for their chiweenie baby’s advancing years and consider the health issues that affect this uber-cute breed. Here below are five of their most common ailments:
The Chiweenies are generally a healthy breed but may inherit some health issues from its parents such as diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination, loss of weight, and an increase or decrease in appetite. Early-onset 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 (acquired diabetes) don’t require insulin injections as their conditions may be managed by exercise, diet, and oral medications to control blood glucose.
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, foul odor from its mouth, 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 behavior that indicates your pup loves to bite 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 fur, a dull coat, shedding of fur, a dry scaly skin, weight gain, and reduced tolerance to cold or warm weather. Most dogs that develop hypothyroidism also develop skin infections, which can cause skin 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. The springy material that cushions shock between discs may be forcibly moved to the spinal cord area, causing severe pain, extreme nerve damage, and in severe cases, paralysis.
Early signs of IVDD include anxiety, pain when the neck or low back is touched, weakness of the hind legs, and hesitations and 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. However, a few pet owners shared on the I Love Chiweenies group on FaceBook their Chiweenie pups living to the ripe old age of 20 . . . one even living up to 22 years old!
You can help your pet avoid common illness and health problems by making sure they follow a regular exercise regimen, eat the right diet for its breed, and not shirking from vet visits. Understanding your dog’s parent breeds can also help you identify other health issues common to the adorable Chiweenie mixed breed.
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