Common Problems Afflicted by Chihuahuas
Just like humans, every dog has different Chihuahua eye problems. Some are more common than others. A quick trip to your local veterinarian should help you figure out what the problem is for your pet. If it is not something serious, they can correct it or recommend treatment. Here is what you need to know about common Chihuahua eye problems:
Eye Infections: This is by far the most common issue with Chihuahuas. The large size of their eyes combined with the fact that they are low to the floor means that Chihuahuas will constantly have lots of road grit and irritants in their eyes. Their eyes often tear out in an attempt to eliminate the irritants. Treatment involves reducing the number of irritants and cleaning the eyes regularly.
Glaucoma: This is a condition where fluid builds up in the eye. It’s also known as “pink eye” in the United States. Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, blurry vision, and increased sensitivity to bright lights. Usually, treatment consists of reducing the fluids and getting the dog checked by an eye doctor. If it is caught early enough, Glaucoma can be eliminated.
Episcleritis: This is also called “pink eye” but is different. Symptoms include a red, tender, irritated eye. It also causes the whites of the eyes to turn pink. Treatment involves avoiding irritants, using prescribed eye drops, and reducing the eye strain through positive indoor air quality. If the infection is caught early enough, it can be treated without antibiotics.
Allergies: Allergies affect the immune system, and can be a sign of a serious condition.
These include such things as food allergies, pollen allergies, watery eyes, sinusitis, and more. Symptoms include itching, scratching, and watery eyes. Some dogs seem to react more often than others. Treatment may include antihistamines, and steroids if symptoms are severe.
Infections: The eye can become infected in many ways. Bacteria, viruses, or even fungal infections can occur. Symptoms include discharge, redness, swelling, or pain. Treatment includes antibiotics, ointments, and other topical medications.
Eye disorders: Eye problems can occur in one or both eyes. Some of these include problems with vision, double vision, floaters, puffy eyes, blindness, and vomiting. If an eye disorder is suspected, treatment will include symptom control and examination by an optometrist.
Discomfort: A feeling of discomfort in the eye area or difficulty opening the eye can signal an eye problem. Symptoms include watering, a burning sensation, or an itchy or swollen eye. Treatment may include antihistamines, and possibly an ointment. Other causes could be a defect in the tear ducts. Treatment includes medication, or surgery if symptoms are severe.
Dark Marks or Circles under the Eyes: Chihuahuas can develop “black eyes” due to a blood vessel disorder. It’s called capillary fragility. The condition is usually hereditary. Treatment includes oral medications or surgery.
Glaucoma: This condition causes permanent damage to the eye.
It’s called open-angle glaucoma. Symptoms include pain and sensitivity to light. Treatment includes high-pressure treatment or a laser. Some dogs with open-angle glaucoma may not get treatment because they’re too small. However, dogs with large, closed-angle glaucoma typically get treatment right away because they have a greater risk of blindness.
Other common Chihuahua eye problems include blind spots (myelination), cataracts, and progressive retinal degeneration.
Myelination refers to the loss of eye pigment. A cataract is when the eyeball becomes cloudy and reduces your vision. Progressive retinal degeneration causes the Chihuahua to lose nerve cells in the eye. And, any of these three conditions may be congenital, meaning they’re found in some dogs anyway.
Since these are all preventable problems, Chihuahuas should be lucky. They only need to make sure their parents take care of them and monitor them very closely. If your Chihuahua eye problems are severe, you may want to contact an experienced vet. Your vet may need to examine to determine the exact cause of the issue.