Chihuahua Eye Problems
Part of what makes your Chihuahua so adorable is the large, protruding eyes. Their sweet little faces with the overly large eyes seem to express so much emotion they are irresistible. However, those same eyes are prone to infection or injury and you should be careful to treat your Chi’s eyes with care and attention.
The large size of the eyes coupled with the fact that the dog is low to the ground means that Chihuahuas are likely to get a lot of road dust and grit in their eyes. Their eyes tend to tear a lot in an effort to get rid of the irritants. Light coloured coats of both short and long haired Chihuahuas can become stained under the eyes from this tearing.
Using a saline wash to gently wipe the eyes one to two times per week will help to keep the staining to a minimum. If this is not effective there are specially formulated solutions that your veterinarian can provide to help clean the area under the eye. These solutions also provide a barrier to prevent future tear staining.
Some of the irritants that plague Chihuahua’s eyes can lead to infection. Watch for increased tearing or watering or a change in the type of discharge. Any time your Chi has greenish discharge from the eye it is time to seek veterinary care.
Infections can come from injury or irritation and often lead to the area around the eye becoming inflamed. The inflammation will go away once the infection has been taken care of. Treatment is usually by using eye drops to fight the infection.
Your Chi is especially prone to injury if they spend time in the woods. Running through the bushes exposes them to injury by sticks or branches. Many dogs that are low to the ground have poked their eye causing serious damage that can only be corrected by surgery. Specialists in ophthalmology usually handle these types of injuries.
Cats also cause many injuries to Chihuahua’s eyes every year. If you own a cat be very careful when your cat and your Chihuahua first meet. Being so low to the ground, your Chi is a very easy target for a quick swat from your cat’s paw. A scratch on the cornea can lead to ulceration which can also lead to infection.
Protecting your Chi from injury is the best course of action but if injury occurs make sure to see a veterinarian. Use a buster collar to prevent your Chi from scratching at their injured or infected eye and making the condition worse. Sometimes your veterinarian will place a human contact lens on the eye for further protection.
Another less common injury is caused by owners themselves. Be careful that you never grab your Chi by the scruff of the neck. Holding a Chi this way and pulling the skin tight can lead the eyes to protrude too far and be unable to retract. The only way to correct this type of trauma is through surgery and suturing the eye closed until it heals. This type of scruffing occurs most frequently when trying to restrain a Chi from aggression. If you need alternate Chihuahua training tips seek help from an expert.
Chihuahua’s eyes are beautiful and expressive and are one of the unique features of these feisty little dogs. Taking care to keep them clean and free from injury is essential to overall care for your pet.