Fajita Friends Chihuahuas

AKC and CKC Registered Chihuahuas

I thought that I would add a page describing some health concerns in small breeds. It always helps if you have information available.


When you decide it is time to bring a Chihuahua into your family, you are going to need to know what to expect in the way of common Chihuahua health problems so you know what to look out for and what symptoms to look for. Some problems the Chihuahua is born with and others are developed over time. But you should never hesitate to get your Chihuahua to the Vet if you think something may be wrong or if you think emergency medical care for your Chihuahua is necessary.




The Chihuahua's molera (fontanel) is considered a breed characteristic and not a defect. Most Chihuahuas (80 percent to 90 percent) have a molera — a soft spot on the top of their head similar to a human baby's soft spot. But unlike babies, most Chihuahuas don't outgrow it. Although it usually shrinks as the dog matures and ends up between nickel- and dime-sized, the molera won't be a problem as long as you're gentle when petting or handling his head.

In rare cases, the molera remains quite large and can be a sign of a serious problem called hydrocephalus (see the next section). Hydrocephalus has several other signs besides a larger-than-usual molera.



Hydrocephalus is the mulfunction of drainage system of the brain responsible for evacuating the cerebrospinal fluid from the brain into the circulatory system. In hydrocephalus condition the fluid builds up in the two large interconnecting chambers, and the brain and skull become enlarged because of the accumulation of the fluid. Hydrocephalus may be an acquired or congenital (present at birth) condition and may be caused by birth defects of the brain's drainage system, head injuries, tumors, parasitic or other infections. In young dogs, the presense of a dome-shaped head and/or non-closing, or persistent fontanel (also called fontanella) may indicate the development of hydrocephalus. Fontanel is a small gap between the incompletely formed cranial bones. Several such spots are usually present at birth and in most cases close usually by 3 or 4 months of age. In Chihuahua, the frontal fontanel, or molera, remains unclosed and this does not harm the dog.

Signs of Hydrocephalus include depression, severe loss of movement coordination, eye abnormalities, seizures, vision problems, and skull enlargement. Young affected puppies offen show unthriftiness - slow growth as compared to their littermates.

Mitral Valve Disease

This term encompasses many heart diseases envolving degenerative thickening and progressive deformity of one or more heart valves - mitral valve disease, mitral valve degeneration, mitral valve insufficiency etc. Mitral valve disease is a serious heart condition caused by the abnormal function of the valve that separates the upper and lower chamber of the left side of the heart. This disease is usually associated with heart murmur that can be heard with a stethoscope. It commonly affects Miniature Schnauzers, Chihuahuas, Fox terriers, Cocker spaniels, Cairn terriers, miniature poodles, Bull terriers, Boston terriers, King Charles spaniels, Miniature pinschers, Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers and Shetland sheepdogs. Males are 50 percent more likely than females to be affected.

The diseases may result from congenital defect of the valve, defects in the muscles and tendons that operate the valve, or inflammation of the heart. The disease usually occurs in older dogs, however it is seen in young dogs and may result in premature death. Symptoms may include exercise intolerance, weakness, syncope (passing out), coughing at night or at rest because of a build-up of fluid in the lungs, shortness of breath, and lethargy.

Mildly affected dogs can have a good quality of life for years. It all depends on when the diagnosis is made and when therapy is applied. There are many dogs with degenerative mitral disease that never progress to heart failure. While the prognosis for dogs with mitral valve disease at advanced stage is poor, some dogs may be managed with medications and low-sodium diet for a period that varies from case to case. There is no prevention for mitral valve disease. Early detection and appropriate treatment of the disease may improve the prognosis.


Hemophilia is a genetically inherited bleeding disorder caused by a deficiency of the blood clotting factors VIII (hemophilia A) or IX (hemophilia B). Classical hemophilia, hemophilia A, is the most common coagulation disorder in dogs.

Signs of Severe Hemophilia

Signs of severe hemophilia usually include excessive bleeding from the gums, when getting adult teeth, and areas of bleeding under the skin in the regions of hindlegs, the knee joint as well as the chest or abdomen (part of the body that encloses the stomach, intestines, liver and pancreas), forehead andthe shoulder area, cough and lameness. Treatment may include periodic blood transfusions.

The prognosis for dogs with severe hemophilia is poor since it usually results in lethal complications of the bleeding in the central nervous system. Dogs with a mild to moderate deficiency of the blood clotting factor, may survive to adulthood without showing signs severe enough to require veterinary attention.



Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar and is a common problem in young Toy breed puppies, although most of them grow out of it before they are old enough to leave the breeder. But for a few, it's a danger throughout their lives.

Symptoms of low blood sugar are a staggering gait, glassy eyes, and sometimes either limpness or rigidity. If the dog doesn't receive immediate help, he can suffer seizures, unconsciousness, and finally, death. Treatment involves putting some sugar in your dog's mouth, calling your veterinarian, and heading for the clinic. Once you know your dog has a tendency toward hypoglycemia, you can prevent further attacks by changing his feeding schedule to small amounts several times a day and avoiding sugary treats (check the ingredients before buying dog treats).

If you get your Chi used to taking liquid from an eyedropper, administering liquid medication becomes a cinch. Occasionally melt a teaspoon of vanilla ice cream, put it in an eyedropper and give it to her just as if it was medicine.