Having had years of experience raising Chihuahuas, I have come across many common ailments that I now realize could have been taken care of at home. I could have saved a lot of money on vet bills had I known then what I know now. I hope these suggestions will save you money too.
- Bad Breath
Swelling can be caused by many things. Generally, it is caused by a bug, or spider bite or an allergy. When my first Chihuahua was just a pup, I noticed one day that he had a bump on the top of his head. That bump kept swelling bigger. Of course, I rushed him to the vet and he gave him Benadryl. Yep, that’s all it took. He apparently had been bitten by some insect.
As in the case with my dog, swelling can be caused by an allergic reaction to insect bites. Other causes are environmental allergies. Chihuahua’s world is very close to the ground. There are all kinds of allergens in our environment that we humans don’t even think about. No matter how clean your home is, allergens are brought in on the bottoms of our shoes and can get embedded in the carpet.
Veterinarians have prescribed Benedryl most often. Benedryl is an antihistamine and is generally well tolerated by dogs. It can also be used as a mild sedative for car sickness or stress during thunderstorms or fireworks.
Dosage for liquid Benedryl is 1 mg per pound. Most Benedryl tablets come in 25 mg. So if your dog is less than 25 pounds (that would be a BIG Chihuahua!) you should only give the liquid orally using a syringe.
If your dog has glaucoma or high blood pressure you should not use Benedryl without consulting your veterinarian. Often medications you buy over the counter contain other medications. Be sure that what you give your dog is Benedryl and that it has no other medication in it.
When Chico was little he used to vomit almost daily. I found out that it was because he was allergic to an ingredient that was in the dog food I was feeding him. Changing his diet was all it took.
Other causes besides what Chico’s was are often from ingesting plants, grass or unfamiliar foods, car sickness, even over-eating.
Pepto-Bismol should be given as 1 mg per pound. Give orally with a syringe three times a day. You can give 1/4 tablet of Pepcid for small dogs.
Vomiting may also be caused by more serious problems. If vomiting continues consult your veterinarian.
Knowing your dog is in pain can be very distressing. No one wants to see their dog suffer. There are some things that you can do from home.
Surgery or arthritis are the most common causes of pain in dogs. If your dog has had surgery then your veterinarian should have prescribed something for pain and discomfort. If not, call and ask for something. Another cause could be patella Luxation. This happened twice to my little Pebbles.
Once she got her foot caught in something. I have NO IDEA what. At the time our backyard was very small and we inspected it carefully and never found anything that she could have caught her foot in. She broke a toe. There is nothing the vet can do for a broken toe except relieve the pain.
If your dog is having pain for other reasons and you know that it isn’t a serious reason you can give him baby aspirin as a temporary relief. There are a number of treatments and pain relief products designed for a pet with arthritis. If they are having a particularly bad day you can give them baby aspirin in the dosage given below. Chico has arthritis and on wet, damp and or cold days you can tell that he is in more pain.
Dosage for baby aspirin is 5 mg per pound.
NEVER give your dog Tylenol or any other over the counter pain relief other than baby aspirin unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian. Baby aspirin is the only safe over the counter, made for humans pain relief that is safe for dogs.
Allergies can be hard to diagnose and that is a whole other post. If your dog has an allergy and you don’t know what is causing it. be sure to talk to your veterinarian.
As mentioned above, dogs live their lives close to the ground and come in contact with all kinds of allergens on a daily basis. They can have food allergies, environmental allergies. They can be allergic to various bug, spider bites or stings from insects.
This is where Benadryl comes in handy. I always keep it in the house for whenever it’s needed.
The dosage is the same as it is for swelling. 1 mg liquid per pound given orally with a syringe.
Some spider and insect bites can be poison or toxic to dogs. If your dog suddenly has allergy symptoms inspect him carefully for bites. It’s best to have it evaluated by a veterinarian. We live where brown spiders are prevalent. Brown spider bites are common here it can be serious if your dog is bitten by one.
Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar. This is more common in puppies and toy breed dogs, especially Chihuahuas. Most dogs grow out of it, but for some little ones, it’s a danger all their lives. My dogs have had it and believe me the symptoms are scary!
Hypoglycemia may be caused by blood loss or other medical conditions. The most common cause is the side effects of drugs that are being used to treat diabetes. However, it can be a genetic condition in some small breed dogs, especially in Chihuahuas.
If you notice the symptoms you should IMMEDIATELY administer some sugar or honey to your dog. It is a good idea to keep a syringe where you can get to it quickly. Fill the syringe with sugar water or honey and administer it orally.
There is no exact dosage. Continue giving sugar water or honey until there are no more symptoms.
This can be a deadly illness if not caught in time. The sugar water or honey only works if given immediately. If you don’t know exactly when symptoms began, take your dog immediately to a veterinarian or veterinary hospital. For more information and list of symptoms, click here >
This is another health problem that plagues small breed dogs more than their larger cousins. Why? Because compared to the larger breeds, small breed dog’s teeth are comparatively larger. That makes for a very crowded mouth. With all those large teeth in a small mouth, there are more crevices in which tartar can build up, leading to gum and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease causes bad breath.
When you have your routine veterinarian visits, make sure he or she does an oral exam to keep an eye on emerging problems. One thing you can do to help your dog and also save you money on veterinary bills is keeping their crowded mouth and teeth clean. That can eliminate some of these problems and slow the progress of others. Always have on hand dental chews, dental wipes, and water additives.
These are a few common ailments and they can be treated at home. However, keep in mind that any one of them can become more serious. If you have any doubts or concerns be sure to discuss them with your veterinarian.