chihuahua breed information

common health issues

The retina is responsible for transmitting light to the brain where it is interpreted as an image. PRA causes deterioration of retinal cells and causes blindness. It can affect puppies as young as a few weeks old, or may appear later in life. There is no treatment or cure, but blind dogs usually can lead quite happy lives.
Demodex canis mites live on all healthy dogs. In the vast majority of cases they never cause a problem. However, some breeds can pass on an immune defect to their offspring that can result in a generalized proliferation of Demodex mites. The most common signs of demodectic mange are hair loss, scaling and irritation of the affected skin.
Pulmonic stenosis is an obstruction to blood flow from the right ventricle of the heart to the pulmonary artery, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood to the lungs. Severe valve thickening can cause thickening of the heart muscle and lead to congestive heart failure. Both medical management and surgical treatment options exist.
A luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its groove � sometimes referred to as a "trick knee". It is usually caused by several inherited factors including a shallow patella groove. In individuals with moderate or severe disease, surgical correction in often recommended to prevent a progression that includes severe lameness, chronic pain and thickening of the knee.
Color Dilution Alopecia is seen in dogs with a fawn or blue coat color. Affected dogs may start to show signs of hair loss and itchy skin within six months of age. The condition results in a poor, patchy hair coat and can progress to widespread hair loss. Affected dogs can lead a normal life with periodic symptomatic treatment.

Chihuahuas may get their name from the Mexican State with the same name, but the origin of the Chihuahua is highly debated, with speculation ranging from Mexico to Egypt to the Aztecs. We do know that because they were considered holy, they were used in religious ceremonies and were generally pets of the upper class.

These highly intelligent dogs come in two types – smooth coat and long coat. They are generally confident and self-reliant and can make excellent family dogs. What they lack in size, they make up for in spunk with an attitude the size of a Great Dane. They are a popular choice for city-dwelling pet parents due to their smaller stature and limited grooming requirements.


While this spunky breed makes a great companion, Chihuahuas are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Chihuahuas are prone to include knee issues such as medial patellar luxation; skin and coat conditions such as color dilution alopecia and demodicosis; eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy; and heart problems such as pulmonic stenosis.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your spunky Chihuahua inherits more than just his dad’s attitude or his mom’s self-reliance, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)