Most dog breeds have specific health issues to be aware of. In the case of Chihuahuas, owners should always check for changes in their dogs’ ears, since they tend to be very delicate. Since dogs can’t talk, we have to be on top of them to spot any changes in their bodies or their behavior. These changes could indicate there is something unusual or wrong going on, and if we realize that early, we can solve the problem easier and faster. The good thing about ear problems is that they are very easy to spot for dog owners. There is normally a visible physical change, and some unusual behavior following.
Chihuahua owners should pay attention to things like too much scratching, bad odor or any discharge coming from the ear, changes in ear color or texture of the fur, swelling, tilting of the head, or even some crankiness. Any of this could be a symptom of an ear problem. Here are some common ear problems that Chihuahuas face, along with their solutions.
Some Chihuahua puppy owners worry when they see their dog’s ears becoming floppy for no apparent reason. Chihuahua puppies have erect ears, but for many of them, at the age of 4-6 months, the ears start bending from the middle. However, this is nothing to worry about. This ear issue is related to teething. When dogs are teething, they tend to spend a big chunk of time during the day biting toys and treats. Sometimes even biting other stuff they are not allowed to bite. Jaw muscles are linked to the muscles at the base of the ear. With all this jaw muscle activity going on, ear muscles also tend to get tired. Therefore, the ears lose their perkiness. The good news is that this only lasts for a while. As soon as the Chihuahua puppies are through with the teething phase, their ears return to their normal upright position.
Black or “Leather” Ears
It is very common for Chihuahuas to develop a black rim around their ears. This condition is also called “leather ears” because the affected part of the ear loses the fur, and it has a leather texture. In some cases, the problem is just chapped skin, and it might be solved by applying some moisturizer. However, in other cases, the causes are different, and they can be very varied. Therefore, the best way to deal with this, is to take your dog to the vet to get some tests done. These tests can rule out fungi, seborrhea or parasites. In case the cause is one of these, the vet can prescribe the right medication. Sometimes, it is even necessary to do a biopsy if the other tests are not conclusive, but this is something the vet would evaluate.
The most common ear problem for Chihuahuas and other dogs is an ear infection. Regular symptoms include redness, swelling, itchiness, and pain. Chihuahuas are very small dogs who are very close to the floor most of the time. Particles of dust and parasites can enter their ears and make the dog prone to scratching. In addition, some food and environmental allergies can result in itchy ears. When the dog scratches too much it might tear a little bit the skin inside the ears, which can cause some bacteria to enter the tissue. As a result of this, the dog will get an ear infection. It is at this point when the symptoms might be visible for us to detect. If this occurs, the vet will provide the right treatment for the infection. Something that should be done quickly to avoid complications. However, ear infections are easy to prevent. First of all, buy an ear cleaner liquid from the pet store and clean your dog’s ears regularly. Try to do this as gently as possible, so the eardrum stays safe. Moreover, be aware of their behavior to see if there is any type of allergy bothering your pet. In that case, you might want to switch to another food brand or source to see if that was the problem.
If we keep an eye on our Chihuahuas, they will be less likely to have any of these ear problems. Similarly, if you spot anything unusual, it is always better to ask a vet to try to solve the problem as fast as possible to spare our beloved companions a great deal of discomfort.