Senior chihuahua health: Illnesses to watch out for
Continuing our articles on senior chihuahua health we looked at some of the issues that our older chihuahuas will face and how to help them to have a happy full life.
Sadly, like people, getting older can make your chihuahua vulnerable to illnesses like liver disease and cancer. Here is a list of what to look out for and what you should be testing for as your chihuahua reaches middle age.
- Arthritis: and other joint issues such as Luxating Patella. Discuss Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulphate supplements with your vet. These may help his joints.
- Weight gain: Is he getting less exercise? This could also be a sign of other issues.
- Weight loss: Possible dental problems or liver disease.
- Diabetes: He may have look for sweet smelling breath, he may urinate more often and drink a lot more water than normal.
- Liver disease: Look for smelly breath, weight loss and vomiting.
- Senility: Canine Cognitive Dysfunction which is like Alzheimer’s in humans.
- Incontinence: (This could be be caused by either a physical or mental issue)
- Heart condition: Which can be an enlarged heart in chihuahuas.
- Sight & Hearing problems: Both can diminish with age. We have a full article on hearing and following soon.
Cancers in dogs
All dogs can get cancer and the trick to beating it is being vigilant and acting quickly. If you notice any of the following, then a trip to the vet is essential:
- Unusual odours from his mouth or back end.
- Vomiting or Diarrhoea.
- Bumps or lumps under the skin and around the nipples.
- Unexplained sores.
- Pale gums.
- Weight loss.
- Loss of Appetite.
- Changes in his behaviour which may indicate he is in pain.
Minimise the risk of cancer in your senior chihuahua
Cancer is reported to be the leading cause of death in dogs over 10 years, but more than 50% of them can be treated if caught in time.
According to Healthypets.mercola.com, taking these measures can help reduce the risk of your chihuahua getting cancer.
Do not allow your dog to get overweight
Make sure you are not overfeeding your chi. they are so small just a tiny amount of extra food can pile on the weight.
Feed an anti-inflammatory diet:
Avoid spaying or neutering your dog
The risks of spaying your chihuahua are often not mentioned and we are all encouraged to spay dogs as soon as we can. But there is now a school of thought that suggests that total de-sexing your dog can have detrimental effects on your dog’s long term health. Read: We Need To Talk About Spaying
Cut down on the toxins your dog is subjected to
Take regular breaks from tick and flea treatments or take a more natural approach to flea and worm control.
Refuse unnecessary vaccinations
Over vaccinating dogs is recognised as harmful. Yearly boosters are not necessary and do not afford any additional protection to your chihuahua. Read: Are We Over Vaccinating our Dogs. Like spaying, the yearly booster is something we just do because we are advised to by our vets. It is purely driven by profit.
We love to get your feedback, what ideas do you have to improve senior chihuahua health?