Common Chiweenie Health Issues include obesity, intervertebral disc disease, luxating patella, glaucoma, and gum and tooth diseases. Because Chiweenies are a mixed designer dog breed they often inherit the health issues of both chihuahuas and dachshunds.
Both chihuahuas and dachshunds are more likely to be overweight or obese as they age or if they live a sedentary lifestyle. Chiweenies are no different. Obesity is a particularly worrisome health condition because it puts chiweenies at greater risk for a range of other health problems including heart conditions, diabetes, and even cancer.
Fortunately of all the possible chiweenie health issues, obesity is one of the most preventable. The most effective and straightforward way to keep your chiweenie from being overweight is through a healthy diet and regular exercise.
A well balanced dog food for chiweenies should contain a high ratio of protein and have low fat content, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Most premium dog foods should meet this requirement, but if you’re ever unsure if your chiweenie is getting the nutrition they need, contact your local vet.
A healthy adult chiweenie will need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Exercise can include active playtimes, long walks, and in some cases obedience training.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
Intervertebral Disc Disease is a common health problem for dachshunds because of their long body and short legs. In fact Dachshunds constitute anywhere from 40-75% of all IVDD cases, which means that chiweenies are also at risk for this disease.
When a chiweenie has IVDD it means that the discs in between the spinal vertebrae have hardened and are no longer able to act as the spinal cord’s shock absorbers. The discs begin to bulge and cause all kinds of discomfort as they begin pressing into a chiweenie’s nerves.
This discomfort can affect a chiweenie’s mobility, causing them limp or shake.
Severe cases of Intervertebral Disc Disease sometimes require surgery, as the hardened disc is removed. Early detection and treatment is one of the best ways to prevent IVDD. Keeping your chiweenie at a healthy weight will also help reduce the risk for this health condition and help increase their chances of a long and happy life.
A luxating patella is when a chiweenie’s kneecap pops out of place Toy dog breeds (chihuahuas and chiweenies included) are especially susceptible to this condition. Severe cases are treated with corrective surgery, and in most cases affected dogs are able to make a full recovery.
If your chiweenie excessively squints, has redness in the whites of their eyes, constantly has watery eyes or a milky film in their eye, then they have glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when a chiweenie’s optic nerve has been damaged by injury or poor blood circulation.
While Glaucoma can result in blindness if it isn’t treated, the good news is there are several corrective measures available for the disease. If your chiweenie has glaucoma your vet may prescribe medication or corrective surgery.
Dental disease (especially periodontal disease) is a common health problem among all dog breeds, not just chiweenies. Just as with humans the main culprits of dental disease in dogs are tartar and plaque build up. If left untreated, tartar and plaque can lead to inflamed gums, causing pain and discomfort for your chiweenie.
A daily tooth brushing with a toothpaste especially formulated for dogs will greatly reduce the risk of dental issues for chiweenies. Dental chews and teeth cleaning chew toys can also help prevent dental issues.