Chihuahuas are small dogs who belong to the toy breed. They are the smallest dog breed in the world. They grow just 12 to 15 inches in height and weigh no more than 3.3 to 6.6 pounds. They are prone to a few health problems like allergies. Allergies occur after the dog's immune system reacts to some foreign substance called an allergen.
There are basically two categories of common allergies in this breed. These include internal allergies and external allergies. They lead to many unpleasant reactions that may sometimes prove to be fatal to the dog.
Internal allergy is a type of allergy that occurs when a dog ingests something. This may include a low-grade dog food, medications, etc. Your Chihuahua may be intolerant to certain foods like eggs, dairy products, corn, etc. found in dog foods. Sometimes, the chemical preservatives, food colors, and other flavoring agents can also act as allergens and lead to Chihuahua allergy. These dogs have very delicate digestive systems and it is common to see them develop unpleasant reactions to food.
External allergies occur due to a reaction to an element outside the body like pollen grains, dust, shampoos, detergents, flea bites, etc. These external allergies generally lead to many skin problems in Chihuahuas.
Types of Allergies
There are two types of allergies that may affect your pup. Given below are the allergies that affect a Chihuahua's health.
This falls under the internal allergy category. This is also one of the common allergies in long-haired Chihuahuas that leads to vomiting, diarrhea, and ear infections. This does not mean a short-haired Chihuahuas are less prone to developing food allergies. When the dog consumes something that causes allergies, it also leads to red and inflamed skin along with gastrointestinal problems. Food allergy causes the skin around the Chihuahuas' faces, ears, and legs to turn red and flaky. They develop a dull, dry coat and also experience hair loss. The common food allergies occur due to allergens in dog food. These common allergens include corn, wheat, beef, chicken, dairy, empty carbohydrates, and additives. The meal of your dog should contain 40% meat like turkey and fish, 50% veggies, and 10% carbohydrates. Do not go for food that contains animal byproducts or 100% human-grade ingredients.
One of the common short-haired Chihuahua allergies includes a skin reaction. This occurs due to the use of certain dog shampoos, food reactions, and flea bites. It may also occur if the dog is allergic to pollen grains, dust, and other environmental allergens. The reaction will cause your dog to scratch, lick, bite, and mutilate its own skin. This will cause the skin to crack and swell due to inflammation. In order to prevent this, you need to keep your dog away from the allergens. Keep the dog inside as much as possible, and change the dog shampoo if required. You may even have to give the dog flea treatment in order to get rid of the pests and allergens. Investigate if something in his/her surroundings is causing an allergy attack. Eliminate the allergens to prevent future attacks.
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the typical signs of allergy include biting and scratching of the skin. You will see the dog scratching a lot, which further causes skin cracks. Other symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, watery eyes, loss of hair, dull coat, etc.
You may have to visit the veterinarian if your dog experiences vomiting and diarrhea. He may give medications for the same. He may suggest ointments and creams for the skin allergy. Apart from that, you need to start feeding your dog with high-grade food. Change the brand if needed. You should start using allergy-free dog shampoo and use only allergy-free detergents to wash its bed sheets and blankets. Many times, the dog may be allergic to cigarette smoke or candle smoke. So, avoid lighting them up when your dog is around.
It is important that you spot the allergy signs soon, in order to avoid complications. If the allergy flares up, it can lead to the death of the dog. Speak to your veterinarian to learn more about it.