Marli's Chi's - AKC Longcoat Chihuahuas 

of San Jose, California

 

Chihuahuas and Dental Hygiene 

My experiences as a breeder and the books I have read on Chihuahuas have convinced me that the two problems most likely to shorten a Chihuahuas life expectancy (that we as owners can affect) are obesity and gum disease.  While proper diet and exercise will take care of obesity, dental care is trickier.  Some lines of Chis have hereditary dental problems such as:  premature loss of teeth, dirty teeth (they seem to gunk up as fast as you can clean them), or retained puppy teeth (especially the canines).  

Of these problems, premature tooth-loss, while distressing is, on its own, the least life/health threatening.  Smaller Chis and/or Chis with very short muzzles seem to be most prone to it, and the incisors are the teeth most often affected.  The problem is so common that most dog judges think nothing of a Chi with missing teeth and there are plenty of Champions with teeth missing.  I have seen nearly completely toothless Chis who appear perfectly happy and healthy. 

Retained puppy teeth are dangerous because they can make the adult teeth come in crooked, or the adult teeth can impact on them and cause a  serious infection.  If you have a puppy that is not shedding its puppy teeth in a timely fashion, have them pulled. The good part about this problem is that if you have the puppy teeth removed before the adult bite is ruined, the adult teeth will probably be in good and tight. 

The hereditary problem of dirty teeth is the most aggravating to deal with, and the most dangerous.  Why does one Chi, who is fed the same as the others and seems to chew just as much, always have such gunky teeth?  If you are dealing with this situation, it is frustrating, but itís not necessarily your fault.  But it does mean that you have to really keep those teeth clean! 

Dirty teeth or impacted teeth cause gum disease/infection.  The infection in the gums will attack the jawbone causing it to erode and allowing teeth to fall out.  I have seen too many Chis who not only have no teeth, but have no lower jaw.  Their little tongues literally hang straight down on their chests.  They canít close their mouths because they no longer have a mouth to close.  Itís not pretty.  And, while the life expectancy of a Chi is 12 to 20 years, the infection that causes these Chis mouths to decay will usually spread to one or more of the internal organs (usually the heart) and can cause them to die prematurely.  Feeding a properly balanced diet of fresh foods (instead of canned dog food or kibble) and encouraging your Chi to chew raw bones and/or rope toys may help, but usually wonít be enough.  You will need to clean your Chis teeth.  And, even dogs who seem to have perfectly healthy mouths will keep their mouths in excellent condition much longer if their teeth are cleaned regularly.  

Having your vet clean your Chiís teeth on a regular basis is a good idea, just as we regularly go to the dentist for cleanings and a check up.  I have not found brushing a Chis teeth to be too difficult, and I donít like having Chis anaesthetized too often, so I limit cleaning trips to the vet to when they are really needed.  

What I do to keep my Chisí mouths healthy between veterinary dental appointments is brush and scale my Chis teeth at home whenever it looks like they need it.  I get dental tools from pet supply catalogs. A scaler with a small slightly curved tip is the most useful.  I start by wrapping the Chi in a towel so only the head sticks out and then I hold the bundle on my lap with the head at my knees and apply slight pressure with my legs to keep the towel from coming loose.  Then I hold the muzzle closed and steady (with the flews pulled back) with one hand and hold the scaler in  the other.  I have used this technique on Chis as small as 2 1/2 lbs adult weight.  Concentrate on the area near the gumline.  If the gums  bleed a little, donít worry too much it just means the teeth REALLY need  cleaning and the gums are already infected.  If a tooth is really loose, please have a vet pull it out - it will just cause more infection. (Too often trying to save an infected tooth is doomed to failure and just ends up spreading the infection to neighboring teeth that are lost in turn. And pulling them is the quickest way to relieve the pain they are causing your baby.)  After scaling, use a battery operated toothbrush for kids (you can get them at the grocery or drug store) and a toothpaste designed for dogs. I use a dental gel produced by OxyFresh. Then use an antiseptic mouth rinse designed for dogs, such as Nolvadent.  

Brushing your Chiís teeth and using an antiseptic rinse on a daily or even weekly basis will really help to keep the gums healthy and help give him or her the healthiest life and longest life-expectancy possible.

Home

jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 jordan retro 7 beats by dre retro jordans jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet retro jordans retro jordans jordan retro 11 jordan retro 7 canada goose outlet retro jordans canada goose canada goose outlet jordan 7 retro jordans Michael Kors outlet jordan 7 louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap nike free run nike air max nike air max sac louis vuitton sac louis vuitton nike free run jordan retro 12 louis vuitton sac coach outlet moncler jackets coach outlet louis vuitton nike air max coach outlet nike air max louis vuitton outlet coach outlet moncler jackets retro jordans canada goose outlet canada goose Michael Kors outlet retro jordans beats by dre cheap beats by dre cheap beats by dre retro jordans coach factory legend blue 11s air jordans jordan retro 11 nike nike jordan retro 7 beats by dre beats by dre cheap nike Michael Kors outlet moncler jackets uggs outlet coach outlet louis vuitton outlet moncler jackets nike air max louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap moncler jackets moncler jackets beats by dre cheap coach outlet uggs nike air max jordan retro 12 jordan 12 nike air max louis vuitton outlet Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet Michael Kors outlet jordan 7 coach factory retro jordans legend blue 11s canada goose outlet jordan retro 7 legend blue 11s coach outlet jordan retro 7 jordan retro 11 canada goose outlet canada goose outlet Michael Kors outlet beats by dre beats by dre cheap Michael Kors outlet canada goose louis vuitton coach outlet moncler jackets coach outlet moncler jackets nike air max uggs nike air max coach outlet beats by dre cheap jordan retro 12 beats by dre cheap moncler jackets coach outlet jordan retro 12 moncler jackets uggs outlet louis vuitton sac nike air max nike free run jordan 4 jordan retro 11 jordan 11 jordan retro 11 michael kors outlet uggs outlet jordan 7 french blue uggs outlet canada goose sale red cements 10s jordan retro 4 michael kors outlet jordan retro 4 jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 jordan 10 red cements jordan retro 13 jordan 4 jordan 11 jordan 11 michael kors outlet air jordan 4 air jordan 4 canada goose outlet jordan 11 legend blue michael kors outlet jordan 11 jordan retro 4 jordan retro 11 michael kors outlet jordan 13 michael kors outlet air jordan 4 michael kors outlet michael kors outlet jordan 13 jordan 10 red cements michael kors outlet uggs outlet uggs outlet michael kors outlet jordan retro 13 air jordan 4 michael kors outlet jordan 10 red cements louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 4 jordan 10 red cements jordan retro 13 jordan retro 11 jordan retro 11 oreo 4s jordan retro 4 legend blue 11s uggs outlet jordan 11 jordan 11 air jordan 4 jordan 11 french blue 7s air jordan 4 jordan retro 4 jordan retro 11 jordan retro 11 air jordan 4 michael kors outlet michael kors outlet michael kors outlet michael kors outlet michael kors outlet michael kors outlet michael kors outlet jordan retro 7 jordan retro 4 michael kors outlet michael kors outlet michael kors outlet uggs outlet air jordans jordan 11 legend blue jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet jordan 4 legend blue 11s jordan retro 11 red cements 10s jordan retro 13 michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 jordan 4 Legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet air jordans jordan retro 11 jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet french blue 7s legend blue 11s jordan retro 11 air jordan 4 jordan 11 legend blue michael kors outlet retro jordans air jordan 4 louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 11 jordan retro 11 air jordan 11 jordan retro 11 red cements 10s canada goose outlet air jordans jordan 4 oreo canada goose outlet louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet legend blue 11s jordan 4 jordan 11 jordan 11 michael kors outlet michael kors outlet jordan retro 11 Legend blue 11s air jordan 11 oreo 4s jordan 4 michael kors outlet jordan 11 jordan retro 11 louis vuitton jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet air jordans retro jordans uggs outlet michael kors outlet jordan retro 4 jordan retro 4 jordan 4 louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 4 jordan retro 4 uggs outlet louis vuitton louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet french blue 7s jordan 11 michael kors outlet jordan retro 4 jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet french blue 7s jordan retro 4 Legend blue 11s jordan retro 11 jordan 11 louis vuitton pas cher jordan retro 11 air jordan 4 jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet oreo 4s jordan 4 oreo 4s michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet jordan 11 legend blue Legend blue 11s jordan retro 4 jordan 11 canada goose outlet uggs outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan 13 michael kors outlet air jordan 4 jordan retro 11 jordan 10 red cements louis vuitton outlet canada goose sale jordan 4 oreo jordan 10 red cements jordan retro 11 jordan 4 jordan 11 legend blue uggs outlet air jordans canada goose outlet