Last Updated on July 26, 2021 by Marco
Has your Chi taken to limping suddenly out of nowhere? Check out out Chihuahua Front Leg Problems Guide for vetted answers to your queries!
There’s little doubt that Chihuahuas make excellent pets. They’re loyal, lovable, and overall delightful. However, if thus far you’ve never had experience with toy dog breeds – there are some issues you need to be aware of. You see, the care and maintenance of Chis differs from other canines because they’re pretty small in stature. An adult Chihuahua’s weight clocks in at approximately 6 pounds as an adult – meaning they need delicate handling.
It’s remarkably easy for a Chihuahua to get hurt, and they’re quite prone to developing front leg concerns. However, before you get too ahead of yourself – relax. This article will not only walk you through some of the more common Chihuahua front leg problems but will also focus on what you should do if your pet suddenly starts limping.
What Does A Chihuahua Front Leg Problem Or Injury Mean
Before we get down to discussing the causes of front leg problems in Chis, let take a moment to discuss what a front leg problem is. An injury will classify as a front leg concern when you notice your pet is unwilling or unable to bear weight on its front legs. What’s more, such injuries can either develop over a period or occur suddenly.
If you notice your Chihuahua is limping or is exhibiting lameness in any of the forelimbs – the best course of action is to refer to your vet immediately. Remember, when it comes to your little Chi’s health, it’s best not to take any chances.
What Can Cause Chihuahua Front Leg Problems
Here’s the thing. A front leg problem isn’t always the easiest thing for Chi parents to understand because it can occur for several reasons. Nonetheless, if you read up on the topic and are aware of the related warning signs, you’ll be able to help your little pup all the better. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the usual culprits for Chihuahua leg injuries, and here’s what it looks like.
Chihuahua knee problems can be a common reason behind limping. And one of the more natural suspects for front leg problems in Chihuahuas is a luxating patella. That may sound like gibberish, but in reality, it’s the medical term for kneecap dislocation. The kneecap is located underneath a ligament referred to as the ‘patellar ligament.’ And it’s attached to thigh muscles near the front of the shin bone.
When your pet’s thigh muscles contract, it causes the force to travel to this ligament and can result in straightening or extending the knee. So, the patella is designed to move up and down in its place to keep the ligament in place during movement. In toy breeds, like Chihuahuas, the patella may dislocate because the patellar ligament attachment isn’t front and center of the shin bone. The irregular placement can cause your pet’s knee to be pulled sideways instead of sliding up and down.
When your pet’s knee dislocates, it may not be able to bear weight on the leg. But, the surprising bit is there are no vocal or visible signs of pain. Generally, you’ll see your pet trying to wiggle its leg, hoping for the knee to slide back in place. However, over time the condition can grow worse and may require surgery.
Torn Ligament Or Cruciate Ligament Injury
If you’ve been looking for answers to the question – why is my Chihuahua limping? The answer can be a torn ligament. A cruciate ligament injury isn’t uncommon in Chihuahuas because of the size. Even something as harmless as jumping and landing wrong can lead your Chi to develop a tear in its ligament. Once the tear occurs, your pet may experience lameness.
In fact, the onset of lameness is the first sign of a ligament injury, along with symptoms like discomfort. The treatment of a torn ligament will depend on the severity of the tear. If the injury is moderate, the vet may recommend cage rest, medication, and physical therapy. For the more severe cases, your pet may require surgery to repair the damage to the torn ligament.
Remember when we said sometimes a front leg problem might develop over time? Well, osteoarthritis (aka degenerative arthritis) is a painful joint condition that can cause front leg problems in your Chihuahua. The situation is painful and can cause your pet’s gait to change in an attempt to find relief.
There’s no cure for arthritis in canines, but don’t let that worry you too much. Thanks to the advancements in medicine and science, arthritis in dogs can be managed quite successfully. Additionally, while arthritis is more common in large dog breeds, older Chihuahuas are susceptible to the condition. If your pet is approaching its senior years and you notice a decline in its activity levels with an unwillingness to bear weight on a particular leg – a visit to the vet is necessary.
Even though elbow dysplasia is more common in large dog breeds, Chihuahuas may develop the condition. Elbow dysplasia can occur due to an abnormality of development. For instance, when the three bones of the elbow joint don’t fit together as they should. Canines that suffer from the condition will display signs like front limb lameness quite early on. However, some dogs are diagnosed with the condition even at 4 to 6 years of age.
Symptoms of the condition include lameness in one or both front legs and your pet refusing to move for long periods. Treatment of elbow dysplasia depends on how severe the abnormality is. For example, in cases with mild abnormality, the vet may not recommend surgery as a corrective measure.
Again, if you notice your pet struggling to put weight on its front legs or displaying a change of gait – book a visit to the veterinarian early on to get your pet the help it needs.
Summing Up Of Chihuahua Front Leg Problems
Being a pet parent is a full-time job, especially when you’re the primary caregiver of an adorable little Chihuahua. Your Chi can face front leg problems for several reasons. And, you don’t have to expect the worst every time. At times, your Chi’s limping may resolve itself over time. However, when it comes to your pet’s dainty little legs – we recommend a quick drive to the veterinarian to rule out other underlying concerns. Remember, early detection can help your pet get back to its routine quicker and can reduce recovery time.
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