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Vaccinations for Your Chihuahua – Rabies

Vaccinations for Your Chihuahua – Rabies


There are a number of contagious respiratory infections that can afflict your Chihuahua and all fall under the commonly used term of “kennel cough”. 

This name came about because many cases start when your little one goes to a boarding kennel. 

The stress of kennel life and the increased exposure to other dogs increases the chances of any dog developing a respiratory infection.

Two of the most common forms of respiratory diseases are Parainfluenza and Bordetella.  Although the viruses are different both produce similar symptoms and for most owners a cough is a cough.  Hence the term kennel cough gets thrown around more than is necessary but it does describe the diseases quite well.

Symptoms of Contagious Respiratory Diseases

There are differences between Parainfluenza, Bordetella, and other respiratory infections that a veterinarian can determine.  For you as a Chihuahua owner, the symptoms will seem remarkably similar. 

Most respiratory infections involve a dry, hacking cough.  Your Chi may sound like they are choking or have something lodged in their throat.  This cough is usually non-productive, meaning that your Chi will not cough up any fluid.  This lack of spit or phlegm is what makes it seem that something is stuck in the throat.

Sometimes your Chi may develop a runny nose or eyes, and in more severe cases they may have difficulty breathing.  Thankfully Chihuahuas are not a flat-faced breed like Pugs where breathing issues become more of a problem just because of their squashed nasal passages.

If your Chi has “kennel cough” you may also notice that the cough gets worse when they become excited or physically active.  A fever may also be present but unless you usually take your Chi’s temperature at home you will be unlikely to notice this change.


After confirming that your Chi has developed a respiratory infection your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics.  This will depend on how bad the infection is.  If the infection seems mild you may be advised to keep your Chi away from other dogs but wait out the illness.  However, most of the time antibiotics are given.

Make sure to finish the entire course of the antibiotics, even if your Chi appears to be completely back to normal.  Just like with human medicine, completing a course of antibiotics is important to prevent the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

If your Chi’s cough is so severe that they have been vomiting they may become dehydrated.  Your vet may want you to increase how much water your Chi drinks or they may give fluids subcutaneously (under the skin) to help hydrate your pet.


Parainfluenza vaccination is often given as part of the Distemper/Parvo vaccine.  This combination vaccine is given three times to puppies and then annually after that.  The vaccination for Bordetella is given separately and can be injected or given intra-nasally (up the nose).

If you enjoy going to the dog park, or get together regularly with other Chi owners to show off the latest in Chihuahua clothing, or even if you are getting Chihuahua training tips in a doggy class it is important to make sure your Chi is vaccinated against respiratory infections.

Most of the time you can’t be certain which of the dogs your Chi comes in contact with are vaccinated.  The best course of action is to make sure you protect your Chi to the best of your ability with a regular vaccination schedule.


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