Common Health Concerns for Chihuahuas: What Owners Need to Know

Chihuahuas are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are known for their small size, energetic personality, and loyal companionship. However, like any other breed, Chihuahuas can be prone to certain health issues that owners should be aware of. Chihuahua health is often overlooked. In this article, we will discuss four of the most common health concerns for Chihuahuas: dental problems, patellar luxation, heart disease, and hydrocephalus.


Dental Problems

Dental problems are one of the most common health concerns for Chihuahuas. Small breeds like Chihuahuas are more prone to dental issues because of their small jaws and teeth that are tightly packed together. Tartar buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease are common dental problems in Chihuahuas that can cause pain, discomfort, and even tooth loss.


To prevent dental problems, Chihuahua owners should brush their dog’s teeth regularly, feed them a balanced diet that is low in sugar, and provide them with plenty of chew toys to help keep their teeth clean. Regular dental checkups with a veterinarian are also important to catch any dental problems early.


We include some of our favorite chew toys in this article!


Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation, also known as a dislocated kneecap, is a common health concern in Chihuahuas. It occurs when the kneecap slips out of its normal position, causing pain, limping, and difficulty walking. Patellar luxation can be caused by genetics, obesity, or trauma.


To prevent patellar luxation, Chihuahua owners should maintain a healthy weight for their dogs, avoid over-exercising them, and provide them with a comfortable and supportive bed. Surgery may be necessary in severe cases of patellar luxation.


Heart Disease

Chihuahuas are also prone to heart disease, particularly mitral valve disease. This condition occurs when the heart’s mitral valve weakens and allows blood to leak back into the heart. Symptoms of heart disease in Chihuahuas include coughing, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.


To prevent heart disease, Chihuahua owners should provide their dogs with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary checkups. In some cases, medication may be necessary to manage the symptoms of heart disease.



Hydrocephalus, also known as “water on the brain,” is a condition where there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. This can cause pressure on the brain and lead to neurological problems. Chihuahuas are more prone to this condition because of their small size.


To prevent hydrocephalus, Chihuahua breeders should only breed dogs that do not have a history of the condition. Early detection and treatment are also important for managing the symptoms of hydrocephalus.


In conclusion, Chihuahuas are wonderful pets that bring joy and companionship to their owners. However, they are prone to certain health concerns that owners should be aware of. By providing their dogs with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and regular veterinary checkups, Chihuahua owners can help prevent and manage these health concerns.


Be sure to check out ourĀ full article on Chihuahua ownership for beginners here!