Top Causes of Death in Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas are one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world. However, many people don’t realize that they have some specific health concerns that need to be taken into account. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top causes of death in Chihuahuas. We’ll also provide advice on how to prevent these conditions from affecting your pet.

What Are the Top Five Causes of Death in Chihuahuas?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the top five causes of death in chihuahuas are heart disease, cancer, respiratory problems, accidents and trauma, brain disorders, enteropathy (gut disease), and kidney disease with the top killer being heart disease (1).

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in chihuahuas. The most common type of heart disease in this breed is called mitral valve disease (MVD). MVD occurs when the valve that controls blood flow from the left chamber of the heart to the rest of the body doesn’t function properly. This can cause congestion and fluid buildup in the lungs, as well as other organs in the body.

There are a few things you can do to help prevent heart disease in chihuahuas:

  1. Feed them a healthy diet that is low in fat and cholesterol.
  2. Keep their weight under control. Overweight dogs are more prone to heart disease.
  3. Exercise them regularly. A sedentary lifestyle is bad for the heart.
  4. Have them checked by a veterinarian regularly and make sure they are taking all of the necessary medications prescribed by their doctor.


Unfortunately, cancer is relatively common in chihuahuas. The most common forms of cancer that affect this breed include lymphoma, leukemia and mast cell tumors.

There is no one surefire way to prevent cancer in chihuahuas, but there are definitely some things you can do to help reduce the risk.

First and foremost, be sure to keep your chihuahua well-exercised and active. obesity is a major risk factor for many types of cancer, so keeping your pup trim and fit is a great way to help protect him.

Additionally, feed him a high-quality diet that is low in processed foods and high in antioxidants.

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And finally, make sure he gets regular checkups and screenings from his veterinarian, as early detection is key when it comes to cancer.

Respiratory Problems

Chihuahuas are also prone to respiratory problems, such as tracheal collapse and bronchitis. These conditions can be caused by a number of things, including allergies, infection and obesity.

To help prevent respiratory problems in your chihuahua keep them away from secondhand smoke and other pollutants. Additionally, you can help keep your chihuahua’s airways clear by making sure they get plenty of exercise.

Accidents and Trauma

Sadly, many chihuahuas die each year due to accidents. The most common accidents that cause death in this breed include being hit by a car and falling from a height.

To help prevent accidents, it’s important to keep your chihuahua on a leash when they’re outside. You should also avoid letting them off the leash in areas where there is heavy traffic or where they could fall from a height. Additionally, you should make sure your home is safe for your chihuahua by removing any potential hazards.

Brain Disorders

Brain disorders are relatively rare in chihuahuas, but they can occur. The most common type of brain disorder that affects this breed is hydrocephalus, which is a condition that causes an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain.

There is no one definitive answer to this question as the cause of hydrocephalus in chihuahuas can be attributed to a number of factors such as genetics, infection, or injury. However, some ways to help prevent hydrocephalus in chihuahuas include ensuring they are properly vaccinated and kept free of parasites, keeping them from getting injured, and feeding them a healthy diet.

If your chihuahua does develop hydrocephalus, there are treatments available that may help improve their quality of life. Some common treatments include surgery to remove fluid from the brain, ventriculoperitoneal shunting (a procedure in which a tube is inserted into the brain to drain excess fluid), and physiotherapy.


Enteropathy is a term used to describe any disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract. The most common form of enteropathy in chihuahuas is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a condition that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, which can lead to weight loss, diarrhea and vomiting.

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The most important thing you can do to prevent IBD in chihuahuas is to feed them a high-quality diet.

IBD is thought to be caused by a combination of environmental and dietary factors, so it’s important to provide your chihuahua with a diet that is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. Some good sources of antioxidants include fruits and vegetables, while good sources of healthy fats include fish oils, olive oil, and coconut oil.

Additionally, you should avoid feeding your chihuahua processed foods or foods that are high in sugar. Processed foods are often loaded with unhealthy additives and chemicals that can damage the gut lining and contribute to IBD. And sugary foods can cause blood sugar

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is another cause of death in chihuahuas though more rare than the other causes listed above. Kidney disease can be caused by a number of things, including infection, cancer and age-related deterioration.

There are several things you can do to help prevent kidney disease in your Chihuahua. One of the most important is to ensure they drink plenty of water. This will help flush out their system and keep their kidneys healthy.

You should also provide them with top quality food that is low in toxins and rich in nutrients. And finally, be sure to keep their teeth clean and free of dental disease, as this can also lead to kidney problems.

You may even want to consider a pet water fountain to encourage them to drink more water. See our article and tests – “Do Dogs Like Water Fountains?“.