Chihuahuas are typically very healthy dogs, but just like their human counterparts they aren’t immune to illness. Even the most fatal diseases start from the smallest symptoms so it is important to be able to distinguish right away if your Chihuahua is sick.
There are a lot of indicators of a sick chihuahua. Here are the most common ones:
- Running fever
- Lethargic or unwilling to move
- Loss of appetite or refusal to eat
- Nauseated and shows disorientation
- Coughing or wheezing
- Discharge from eyes or nose
- Weight Loss
- Difficulty Breathing
- Excessive Drooling
If your chihuahua displays any of these symptoms, then chances are, your chihuahua is sick.
One by one, this article will discuss the possible causes of the symptoms listed above along with the things you should do right away to prevent these symptoms from getting. Lastly, we will briefly discuss how to prevent your chihuahua from getting sick in the first place.
The first indicator of a Chihuahua being sick would be running fever, or their temperature being abnormally high. This is a sign of the immune response of your chihuahua which means something foreign is introduced into his system.
One of the most common reasons behind a fever in Chihuahuas is an infection. An infection happens when a foreign virus or bacterium enters your Chihuahuas system and causes a reaction.
Chihuahuas are very sensitive to infections and parasites due to them having a weaker immune system than most dog breeds. This does not mean that it will only happen on Chihuahuas, all dogs regardless of breed could be affected by an infection or parasite.
If you cannot find a point of entry such as wound in their body, then it might be something contagious. You should immediately take your chihuahua to the vet if you think he has an infection.
Lethargic or Unwilling to Move
Another sign that your chihuahua is sick is when he becomes lethargic or unwilling to move.
This is similar to the first indicator of a sick chihuahua, which is running fever. This also means that your chihuahua’s immune response has gone haywire and it needs to use all its energy in fighting against whatever foreign substance introduced into his system.
However, this might also be a symptom of dehydration. Chihuahuas are very small so they become dehydrated faster than any other dog breed. If your chihuahua is lethargic and unwilling to move, it might be because of dehydration so give him water right away. If this goes on for another day or two, then you should head to the vet immediately!
Loss of Appetite or Refusal To Eat
Another warning sign that your chihuahua is sick is when he loses his appetite or refuses to eat. Usually, Chihuahuas are very voracious eaters, they will eat anything put in front of them.
But if your chihuahua doesn’t eat and you’re quite sure that he was eating just fine before, then there might be something wrong with him. Chihuahuas are very sensitive so they will refuse to eat when they are sick.
This could also mean that something might be upsetting his stomach so try to recall as hard as you can what you fed your chihuahua earlier. Did you give him anything he might have thrown up? Did he possibly swallow something sharp or prickly that irritated his stomach?
If you cannot recall what happened to your chihuahua, try giving him small portions of food at a time. This way you will be able to see if the lack of appetite is just temporary or if it is serious.
If your chihuahua refuses to eat for another day or two and is lethargic, then take him to the vet immediately as this might be a sign of a serious illness.
Nauseated and Disorientation
When you see your chihuahua disoriented and feeling nauseous, it is very likely that his mental faculties have been affected.
The most common reasons behind these two symptoms in Chihuahuas are from ingesting something toxic from their surroundings. Chihuahuas are very inquisitive, curious and always on the prowl for dangerous items to chew on or ingest.
If your chihuahua displays signs of nausea, try giving him water to drink as this might also be a case of dehydration. If he refuses this time around, then you need to take him right away to the vet.
Diarrhea and Vomiting
A common and very obvious sign of a sick chihuahua is when he displays diarrhea and vomiting.
If your chihuahua displays these two symptoms in a short span of time, it means that his digestive system is not working properly. He has probably ingested something toxic or he might have swallowed something foreign which irritated his stomach.
One way to find out what might have happened is to try changing the food you feed your chihuahua. If the symptoms disappeared, then you were right in changing his food.
However, if your Chihuahua continues to display vomiting and diarrhea, see to it that he is hydrated at all times as excessive pooping and vomiting could lead to dehydration. Give him small portions of water every time he vomits or excretes fecal matter.
If this goes longer than two or three days then it is time to take your chihuahua to the vet as this might be a more serious underlying cause.
Coughing or Wheezing
If you notice that your Chihuahua is coughing or wheezing, it means that something is obstructing his respiratory tract.
This can be caused by a foreign body which could be in the form of an object, food or even a bug. The same goes for when he starts making rattling and crackly sounds. This means that something is obstructing or irritating his vocal cords.
However, this could also be a symptom of a larger problem such as bronchitis which occurs when the mucous membranes in your chihuahua’s respiratory tract become inflamed as well as his alveoli sacs.
Coughing can also indicate that his bronchial tubes are irritated and there is something obstructing the free flow of air. Bronchitis could also be a sign of other diseases such as heart disease and asthma. If your Chihuahua starts coughing like this, then you need to bring him to the vet right away!
Discharge from eyes or nose
If you notice that your chihuahua’s eyes or nose are giving off a weird discharge, chances are that your chihuahua is suffering from a sinus infection.
The usual reason why a chihuahua would have this symptom is from an inflammation in the mucous membranes of his eyes or nose. This could be caused by the changes in temperature which bring about allergies, inhalation of smoke or dust, or even contracting a viral infection through another animal.
If you notice that he is also producing thick yellow mucous, this means that there is something blocking his sinuses. This could either be a mucous membrane or an infection in his nasal cavity. In other cases, it could also happen when he has caught a cold or has contracted a respiratory infection.
All of these usually happens when his immune system is already weakened so seek immediate medical attention!
Weight loss is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. This usually happens when your Chihuahua is sick due to an underlying problem or condition.
However, weight loss can also happen when he suddenly stops eating for no apparent reason at all. This usually happens to older chihuahuas or to those who are suffering from some sort of condition.
If your Chihuahua is losing weight but there is no underlying cause for this, then you need to consult your vet right away because it may also indicate an illness which requires medication.
Difficulty breathing is another symptom that your Chihuahua might be trying to tell you. If he starts huffing and puffing for no apparent reason, it might mean that there is something wrong with his respiratory system.
It could be due to bronchitis, which is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the mucous membranes in your Chihuahua’s respiratory tract. This causes him difficulty when he breathes so this needs immediate attention from a vet!
Another possible cause of this could be asthma because when a dog has an allergic reaction, his airway becomes inflamed. This usually happens in response to environmental stimuli. The airway is also swollen so breathing would be difficult for your Chihuahua.
However, if you notice that he is making strange gasping or gulping sounds, then this means that there is an obstruction in his respiratory tract. This usually happens when a foreign body such as a bone gets stuck in the throat and blocks his ability to breathe. In this case, he needs immediate medical attention!
A chihuahua that is drooling excessively could be experiencing nausea or it might also mean that he has an inflammation of the mouth cavity.
If your Chihuahua is drooling excessively, it might be because of dental problems or infections in his mouth.
This could also be caused by food allergies which triggers the release of histamines that irritate his tissues and trigger inflammation of the salivary glands.
A worse case scenario is that your chihuahua might be suffering from rabies infection especially if there is white discharge on his mouth. If you haven’t gotten your chihuahua their shots yet, you should be worried and take your chihuahua to the vet immediately because this could indicates a life-threatening condition!
Get Your Chihuahua Their Shots!
Remember that it is crucial for you to get your chihuahua their shots because it could save his life! Most of diseases can be prevented by having their shots complete and up to date and would save you excessive amounts of money for a treatment. Prevention is better than cure!
All of the above-mentioned symptoms are just some of the common signs that your Chihuahua is sick. You need to take them immediately to a vet for a complete diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
When even one of these symptoms are present in your Chihuahua, then you need to bring him immediately to a vet. Sometimes it might be nothing but there is also a possibility that it could be something serious to life threatening! So stay vigilant and make sure that your Chihuahua is always in tip-top shape!