Excessive tearing or eye discharge points to a health issue
; however it is common for dogs to have a small amount of discharge that accumulates throughout the day or night. Many refer to this as "eye gook". It should be cleaned with a soft, damp cloth or canine eye wipes. Once this is cleared away, go over the area again with a dry cloth so that the fur does not remain damp, as moisture can lead to tear stains.
A Chihuahua can develop tear staining, which is a discoloration of fur around the eyes. Usually, this will be red or brown. The fur may also be hard and crusty.
Here are some tips for helping to clear up this area:
- Food particles and liquids can become stuck to facial hairs when a Chihuahua is eating. Wipe the face after meals, first with a damp cloth to clean away any debris and then with a soft dry cloth so that the fur does not remain wet. Using a raised eating area can also help eliminate this issue as the Chi does not have to extend his head deep into the bowl.
- Each day wipe and then dry the area around the eyes.
- Use stainless steel or ceramic bowls for both food and water. Deep, colored plastic bowls can slowly leak dyes which can discolor the fur.
- Tap water can contain many harsh chemicals and pollutants which can cause tear staining (and other issues). Unless you know that your tap water is safe for human consumption, (a level of quality that you will want to apply to your Chihuahua as well), the use of a water filtering device is recommended.
- Severe staining brought about by excessive tearing can develop due to a partially blocked tear duct, inverted eye lash or other issue.
- If health issues have been ruled out, look to an effective yet gentle product to remove the staining. We find Eye Envy to work exceptionally well. *** You may see all 3 recommended brands under 'Grooming' in the
Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe.
For most Chihuahua dogs, nail trimming will need to be done every three months. While walking can file down nails somewhat, it will do so at an uneven rate, leaving some slanted and some longer than others. Nails left to grow can cause several issues for a Chihuahua including:
- Ingrown nails
- Irregular gait that, over time can cause skeletal damage
Trimming a Chihuahua's nails can be intimidating for many owners who are afraid to hurt their dog by accidentally cutting too short and hitting the quick (a vein that runs down the center of each nail).
With other Chi's that are hyper and have a hard time sitting still, this can be quite an undertaking. Each owner will need to decide if this is a grooming task best left for a professional dog groomer.
While there is some cost to this, for some it is the best choice since a groomer can perform this very quickly, leaving both owner and dog with less stress. In addition, many groomers will also check anal glands during a visit and be able to express them or take care of any other grooming element.
If you decide to take care of your Chihuahua's nails at home, be sure to have quality tools and keep them clean.
Some Chi's do best with a grinder. While it does make some noise, it is often a fast method to file the nails down quickly. If using a standard clipper, it is suggested to have septic powder on hand, which is commonly used to stop bleeding, should the quick be accidentally nicked.
If you have never trimmed a dog's nails before, when you are searching for a proper nail trimming tool, make sure to read how each one works. If you are going to trim the nail yourself, be careful to trim a bit at a time.
Each nail has a vein that runs through the middle of it, this is called the "quick". If cut, it will bleed quite a bit. You may use a solution that helps to stop the bleeding.
To see recommended, top rated products, look to 'Grooming' in the
Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe
Some Chi's will have dew claws already removed while a newborn, long before going to their new home. However, in some cases, this procedure has not been done and it will be up to the owner to weigh the benefits of having them removed.
Dewclaws are the extra nails that are located very high on the side of a dog's paw. They are so high, that some describe them as being located on the dog's leg. With young puppies
, these are very small, soft nails. As a Chihuahua grows older, these slowly grow into what can be described as an extra thumb.
Most breeders have these removed at a very young age (during the first week) when it is a very simple procedure that causes little discomfort. Once a Chihuahua matures, the procedure becomes more and more complicated. For an adult Chi, the dewclaw is actually considered an appendage and removal is the equivalent to an amputation. For this reason, if a puppy still retains his dewclaws, owners should make decision to remove while the pup is still young.
Left intact, they can easily catch on fabrics, often tearing and causing quite a bit of discomfort. These types of injuries can take a lot of time to heal and there is also risk of infection.