The Chihuahua is small on the outside but has a big and strong-willed character inside. He is brave, alert, and lively. Once the owner has earned the love of a Chihuahua, he will find in him an extremely loyal companion – who would like to go with him through thick, thin, and every other place.
Normal-sized Chihuahuas are also strong, persistent, and robust. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the particularly small Mini or Teacup Chihuahuas.
Always on a journey of discovery, curiosity is also high on the list of character traits. Just like the will to be the center of attention.
Chihuahuas are alert and can develop a strong protective instinct. If they suspect threats, they often surpass themselves and then definitely take on big dogs.
This is exactly where there is a risk that can endanger the Chihuahua. Because they often feel threatened by other dogs if they are not sufficiently socialized, Chihuahuas can tend to bark and attack. This in turn can result in counterattacks from larger four-legged friends. Excessive barking, growling and the Chihuahua’s assertiveness should therefore be taken into account when training.
Chihuahua origin and history
The origin of the Chihuahua dogs
The Chihuahua is a breed of dog believed to have originated in Mexico.
The exact origin of the animals could not be clarified.
In the North American country there is a province of the same name, which is still populated by small, wild dogs.
These look deceptively similar to Chihuahua dogs. A well-known thesis is that the Chihuahuas are the descendants of the sacred Aztec dogs.
These were called Techichis and served the Aztecs as sacrificial dogs for ritual acts. There are also traditions that describe the Chihuahua as the companion dog of the Toltecs.
This people settled Mexico before the Aztecs. Their main god was the feathered serpent, which the Toltecs called Quetzalcoatl. Archaeologists found images of dogs with oversized ears on wall paintings, stones and potsherds in Toltec settlements.
It is therefore assumed that the breed of the Chihuahua or the Techichis is already over 2000 years old.
Interesting facts about the further history of the Chihuahua
According to another theory, Montezuma, the last ruler of the Aztecs, brought the Techichi to Chihuahua.
That should have been in 1520. The tradition that the Spaniards actually brought the animals with them when they conquered Mexico in the 15th century persists.
Regardless of the legends surrounding the Chihuahua, it is documented that travelers from the United States discovered the dogs roaming around Mexico in the late 19th century.
The vacationers were immediately impressed by the appearance of the dogs, their relatively large ears compared to the rest of the body and their interesting head.
Dubbed the “world’s smallest dogs,” tourists were soon taking the animals home with them. So they soon spread the dogs all over America and a little later also in Europe.
Why were the Chihuahuas bred?
After noticing the interest of American and European tourists in the small dogs, the Mexicans started breeding them.
You could make quick money with the little Chihuahuas. The Americans and the English were absolutely infatuated with the little dogs.
It is assumed that smaller animals were deliberately chosen for breeding in order to keep the offspring small.
The Chihuahuas were sold as souvenirs at the country’s markets. Most of the time, these Chihuahua dogs didn’t live long or got sick early. In reality, the dogs were very resilient and tough as life on the streets of Chihuahua was not easy.
Later, efforts were made in the USA and England to breed Chihuahua dogs.
The diversity of the breed made new crossings possible again and again. In addition to different ear shapes, the dogs have a different stature, size and several coat colors.
Famous people who have owned or own a Chihuahua
The Chihuahua soon became a real fashion dog. Wealthy people in particular sometimes kept a whole pack of Chihuahua dogs.
Famous personalities and well-known faces from the current world of stars and starlets have been spotted with a Chihuahua.
In addition to Madonna and Britney Spears, Paris Hilton also owns a Chihuahua. She uses him as a companion and pet and always carries him in her arms.
She is a role model for many young girls, as is her Chihuahua dog. The fans are hardly aware that the breed is not exactly cheap.
The fact that the Chihuahua is a pet that needs regular feeding and care is also often forgotten in the enthusiasm for Paris Hilton.
Are there interesting stories and anecdotes about the Chihuahua?
An amusing story about the Chihuahua is related to the American violinist Xavier Cugat. Between the 1930s and 1950s, he often played in the event rooms of the legendary Hotel “Waldorf-Astoria” in New York.
He always carried a Chihuahua in his jacket pocket.
In one hand he held a baton with which he conducted the Waldorf Orchestra. The other hand gripped a young girl.
His nocturnal escapades in the hotel are unique. After a midnight concert, for example, he had the hotel corridor converted into a bowling alley in order to bowl in Adams costume, much to the “joy” of the hotel manager and the other guests.
The Chihuahua in movies, on TV, and in books
Of course, the Chihuahua played a role in various film productions again and again. For example, in the well-known American cartoon “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”, the Chihuahua dog Chloe gets lost while on vacation in Mexico.
She tries everything to find her way back home to the life of luxury that she leads in Bevery Hills. On her way she gets to know numerous street dogs in Mexico and their hard life.
She has many adventures with her new friends and ends up arriving home happily.
In addition, for example, Paris Hilton, but also other charity ladies can be seen regularly with Chihuahua dogs in various tabloid programs. This constant media presence of Paris Hilton together with her dog has contributed significantly to the hype surrounding the Chihuahua.
The Chihuahua can also be found in literature. One example is Olga A. Krouk’s highly acclaimed current novel “Schattenseelen”.
This book is about a nurse who is whisked away into a world full of danger and dark adventures. One chapter of the book is about a boy who was bitten on the calf by a chihuahua. The boy has the nurse put on a new bandage in the clinic.
Karl May repeatedly described the Mexican province of Chihuahua in his travelogues.
Karl May is considered the author of famous adventure novels that took place in the “Wild West”.
For example, he mentioned the province of Chihuahua in the novel The Scout. The Wild West Tale is one of his most important novels. In it, the author describes Mexican history in the years 1888 and 1889 in a very somber way.
Chihuahua diseases and hereditary diseases
When should I take my Chihuahua to the doctor?
Of course, like any other dog, the Chihuahua should be taken to the vet regularly.
This is necessary for the necessary vaccinations and prior deworming.
However, this visit is also a good way to check.
Is the weight right? Are the teeth in a healthy condition? Are there misalignments or tartar? Are there lumps under the skin?
If you go to the vet at least once a year and have a thorough and comprehensive check-up carried out here, you are already taking an important step for the Chihuahua’s health.
But of course it can also happen that the Chihuahua gets sick. Then he should be taken to the vet as soon as possible. Even if it’s just a slight suspicion.
This is important because Chihuahuas quickly become severely debilitated due to their small size and weight. The sooner illnesses are recognized and treated, the greater the chances of recovery.
Fortunately, the Chihuahua has a considerable life expectancy. This suggests that he is basically a very robust and not so disease-prone dog.
Chihuahua disease signs
A quick trip to the vet is always advisable if the Chihuahua:
- Looks very restless
- Is weak or apathetic
- Sleeps an unusual amount
- Drinks very much or very little
- food refused
- has diarrhea
- Not chewing properly or only on one side
- Lame or limp
- Excessive panting
- discharge from the anus, genitals, mouth, nose or eyes
- Hardening or lumps under the skin
- Persistently shaking
- Sneezes or coughs
- Noticeably scratches
- eyes narrowed
- avoids touch
- Suddenly aggressive
- Losing consciousness
- has obvious sores or discomfort
Of course, a veterinarian should also be consulted if there is a suspicion of poisoning. For example, because the Chihuahua chewed on plants or ingested something during a walk.
It is ideal if the name of the plant is known or parts of the swallowed substance are taken to the veterinarian. In the best case, the respective poison can be identified and an appropriate treatment can be carried out.
Common diseases in Chihuahuas
Even with the best care, the Chihuahua can occasionally suffer from the following diseases:
- ear infections
Due to the small body dimensions, caution is advised in the event of diarrhea and vomiting. Because the tiny dogs can quickly dehydrate.
There is also the risk of hypoglycaemia. What is initially no cause for concern for a 50 kg dog can quickly become a life-threatening situation for a Chihuahua.
Even if such digestive disorders only last for a short time, an immediate visit to the veterinarian is recommended.
Causes and treatment options for diarrhea and vomiting
Vomiting and diarrhea can be triggered by a variety of circumstances. These include:
- food intolerance
- excitement and fear
- Too much heat
- Too cold
- Spoiled or unsuitable feed
- Too quick a change of diet
- gastrointestinal infections
- side effects of medication
- parasites such as worms and giardia
Depending on the cause, the treatment must also be designed. A visit to the veterinarian is essential to get them trimmed properly.
Therapy options include the following:
- bland diet or change of diet
- Structure of the intestinal flora
- Antibiotic treatment of the infection
- administration of an antidote
If the Chihuahua shows severe vomiting or persistent diarrhea, it can lead to dehydration or hypoglycaemia even before you go to the doctor’s office.
Therefore, water or a light sugar solution should be offered immediately. Both should be neither too cold nor too warm, room temperature is ideal. If the Chihuahua does not want to drink but is still strong enough to swallow, a disposable syringe can be used.
Of course without a cannula. The syringe should be placed in the side of the mouth and emptied very slowly to avoid swallowing the liquid.
Tip: If you want to be prepared for such an emergency solution, it is best to have a veterinarian show you how to use it at an early stage.
Causes and treatment options for ear infections
Ear infections are not only painful for the Chihuahua and can have very serious consequences, including total hearing loss or a permanent loss of balance.
Timely recognition of the inflammation and initiation of treatment is therefore important.
Ear infections can be recognized by these symptoms, among others:
shaking his head
Scratching of head and ears
tilting of the head
The Chihuahua scratches its ears and then makes cries of pain
Red inside of ears
rash on the ears
discharge or contamination
Ear pain in Chihuahuas is triggered by:
Foreign objects such as seeds and awns
parasites such as mites
Impaired drainage of earwax due to an ear canal that is too narrow or too much fur
Excessive earwax production
water in the ear
Possible treatments for an ear infection include:
cleaning the ear
Removal of the foreign body or fur
combating the parasites
The form of therapy depends of course on the cause of the inflammation and must therefore be carried out by a veterinarian.
What are typical Chihuahua hereditary diseases?
Normal-sized Chihuahuas are hardy and long-lived. However, because Chihuahuas are seen by many as a fashion dog, many dubious breeders no longer make the right selection and breed selection.
As a result, some hereditary diseases are more common in this breed.
Possible diseases in Chihuahuas include:
- Tooth misalignment or premature tooth loss
- mitral regurgitation
- Backward sneezing / backward breathing
- patellar dislocation
- Fontanel not closed
- Teacup problem
- falls from the bed
- Progressive retinal atrophy
Dental problems in Chihuahuas
Some young Chihuahuas have the problem that some teeth do not fall out on their own during the change of teeth (persistent milk teeth). The subsequent teeth therefore grow in the wrong place and misalignments occur. Here the vet may have to help and surgically remove the milk teeth. Take your Chihuahua to a veterinarian around 6 months of age for a dental check.
Premature tooth loss can also occur in the breed. Many small breeds are affected by this problem. Regular check-ups and meticulous cleaning can prevent dental problems to a certain extent. Also, take a regular look into the dog’s mouth and go to the vet as soon as possible if you notice any abnormalities.
Mitral valve insufficiency is a heart disease that can at least be limited by serious breeding and checks by the vet. However, since it usually only becomes apparent at an advanced age, it is often passed on.
In the case of insufficiency, a heart valve no longer closes completely and there is a permanent backflow of blood. This causes a typical noise that the veterinarian can detect when listening to the Chihuahua. In order to make a statement about the severity of the disease, however, a cardiac ultrasound is necessary.
Symptoms of this heart problem can also be noticed by the owner. Poor performance, refusal to feed, listlessness can be the first indications, but are very unspecific.
If the disease is very severe, it can lead to an enlargement of the left atrium of the heart. Fluid builds up in the lungs, which can lead to coughing and shortness of breath.
Back sneezing is a spasm of loud rattling and frantic attempts to breathe, usually lasting no more than 30 seconds. The exact reason for this has not yet been clearly clarified. It is suspected that the soft palate is too long or that the trachea is temporarily stuck together. If the dog swallows, the seizure subsides quickly.
Because reverse sneezing often occurs when excited, calming the Chihuahua down and gently massaging the neck from head to body will help encourage the four-legged friend to swallow. Closing your nose for a short time also triggers the swallowing reflex.
While the rattle sounds frightening to the owner (especially at first sight), it is not dangerous. A veterinary examination should be carried out to rule out foreign bodies, inflammation and misalignments as reasons.
It can be hereditary or occur after an injury. A patellar dislocation is a dislocation of a kneecap (dislocation) that can cause limping and lameness. The Chihuahua may walk on three legs and try to put little to no weight on the affected leg. In some cases, an operation is necessary.
Before breeding, reputable breeders check whether their Chihuahuas have PL and, if so, how severe it is (X-ray image). With a hereditary predisposition, the dogs are not used for breeding.
Incorrect or inadequate nutrition in the first year of life can also promote patellar luxation. Older dogs, on the other hand, can develop PL through natural wear and tear.
Teacup Chihuahuas and Mini Chihuahuas
It can’t be small and cute enough for many. As if it weren’t enough that the Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world, some breed particularly tiny specimens that unfortunately often sell like hot cakes.
What many are not aware of: These so-called Teacup Chihuahuas often have many health problems and a drastically reduced life expectancy. A life without suffering is often not possible for these dogs.
Some of the problems these poor creatures have to contend with include:
- Increased risk of diabetes
- joint problems.
Frequent or permanent tremors due to low blood sugar (frequent feedings necessary)
Extremely small head often combined with a non-closed fontanel.
Headaches because the head is too small for the brain
Eye problems, as the large eyes protrude or the lid closure is insufficient. In the worst case, there is a risk of blindness.
The animals are very delicate and jumps or small falls can injure or kill them.
Supposedly mild illnesses such as diarrhea quickly lead to death, as rapid dehydration occurs.
Life expectancy is well under 10 years.
Only when the demand for these teacup dogs dries up will the suffering of the animals come to an end.
Progressive retinal atrophy
This is progressive retinal death. This leads to complete blindness in the Chihuahua. In the early stages, night blindness often occurs first and the dog can no longer find its way around well in twilight or at home in the dark.
This clinical picture is triggered by a genetic defect. There are now genetic tests to test for predisposition to PRA.
Due to their low weight, some Chihuahuas suffer from hypoglycaemia more or less quickly. This is especially true for tiny Chihuahua puppies, who for this reason should be fed more frequently than other puppies.
Heavy physical exertion or not drinking enough water can also lead to hypoglycaemia, which manifests itself in muscle tremors, falling over suddenly, or cramps and apathy.
This should be taken very seriously by the owner. Many owners always have some sugar solution or paste with them so that they can act quickly in an emergency. Such as glucose solution from a tube (e.g. Jubin). Honey, dextrose dissolved in water or a tube of nutrical are also used by keepers.
Incidentally, the risk of hypoglycaemia is also one of the reasons why puppies are often only handed over to their new owners at 12 weeks or even later.
Tips for a healthy Chihuahua dog life
Housing, grooming, and veterinary care play a crucial role in keeping the Chihuahua healthy.
If the following tips are followed, many diseases can be avoided or at least detected and treated early. This increases the life expectancy of your Chihuahua!
- Have regular deworming, vaccinations and check-ups at the veterinarian
- Clean your teeth regularly (preferably daily)
- Check ears weekly and feel the entire body for changes
- Pay attention to a species-appropriate diet, being overweight is just as unhealthy as being underweight
- Get enough exercise for Chihuahuas. Daily walks train the musculoskeletal system and keep you healthy.
- If possible, avoid climbing stairs and jumping off the sofa or bed: This puts a strain on the joints.
- Cut claws regularly and keep them short, claws that are too long impede walking and force the legs into a misaligned position.
- Lots of love and affection.
- Get actively involved in family life.
Why do I need a Chihuahua medicine cabinet?
Injuries, accidents, diseases, parasites – even with the greatest care, these can occur and make life difficult for the Chihuahua.
A medicine chest should therefore be available for first aid up to a visit to the vet or for quick treatment at home.
- Chihuahua-sized bandages
- wound cream
- Tick tweezers or tick card
- Dextrose or ready-made sugar solution, such as Jubin
- disposable syringes
- emergency drops
- Medication against diarrhea, for example Dia Tabs
- activated charcoal
- clinical thermometer
- Dextrose, glucose solution from the tube, etc. in case of hypoglycaemia
- muzzle / muzzle sling
- Elastic and self-adhesive bandages
- rescue blanket
What diseases can shorten my Chihuahua’s lifespan?
In principle, any disease can permanently reduce your dog’s life expectancy and quality of life if left untreated. Of course, it is okay to observe minor ailments and injuries first. At the latest, if there is no improvement after 1-2 days (or the symptoms worsen), a doctor should be consulted.
Your Chihuahua will certainly also thank you if he gets relief quickly and gets over an illness quickly.
Negative effects on life expectancy:
- Inferior nutrition
- Contaminated drinking water
- Too little exercise and employment
- hereditary diseases
- Social isolation (kennel/garden keeping) or no family connection
- cancer and other tumors
- Parasitic infestation that is not treated
- Poor/incorrect housing conditions
- age complaints
- Chronic diseases
- infectious diseases
How does my Chihuahua stay healthy and happy for a long time?
Of course, you will not be able to prevent every illness or accident. Nevertheless, you can help prevent your Chihuahua from getting sick by following these tips:
Puppy purchase only from a reputable breeder!
The Chihuahua should have a completed primary vaccination and then refresh its vaccinations at the specified intervals. Puppies are particularly threatened by infectious diseases. They are often much more severe in young dogs without a mature immune system and can be life-threatening.
Check your dog regularly for parasites and remove them if necessary. These pests are not acutely life-threatening, but an untreated infestation is unpleasant and can cause damage in the long term. In addition, some diseases are transmitted by ticks, fleas and the like.
Urine and feces say a lot about a dog’s health. So always keep a close eye on it when you go for a walk and go to the vet as soon as possible if there are any changes.
As your Chihuahua ages, the vet should keep a close eye on signs of old age, chronic illnesses, and genetic conditions. If detected early, signs of wear and tear or age-related ailments can be alleviated and the quality of life improved.
Groom your Chihuahua and pay attention to any changes in your dog.
Provide a dog-safe home.
The Chihuahua only travels in a vehicle with sufficient security.
Cancer is a problem in every dog breed. The older the four-legged friend, the more likely this danger is. Look for bumps and other skin changes.
How do I measure my Chihuahua’s fever?
Of course, you don’t have to grab a clinical thermometer for every sign of illness. However, if your Chihuahua has been weak for a long time, or you notice one of the following signs, it is better to check the body temperature:
Ears feel hot.
Bad general condition.
Seems tired and worn out.
Never measure your Chihuahua’s temperature with an ear thermometer. Hair in the ear can significantly distort the result. You may be measuring a lower temperature than your dog actually has and giving you a false sense of security.
This is how fever measurement in the dog works correctly:
Be calm and relaxed, this will transfer to the dog.
As a precaution, tie up nervous Chihuahuas or have someone else hold them.
If necessary, put on a sling or a muzzle.
Use a flexible-tipped thermometer.
Use petroleum jelly or another grease for better lubricity.
The measurement should always be taken rectally.
Hold the tail up and insert the thermometer.
Read the result after the beep.
If you practice taking the temperature of puppies from time to time and don’t skimp on treats, you’ll have a relaxed dog in an emergency that won’t resist the procedure.
When does my Chihuahua have a fever?
Every dog’s normal temperature is different. It is best to measure a few times when your Chihuahua is healthy, calm and not agitated. You should make a note of this temperature.
It is also important to know that puppies have a normal body temperature of around 39.5°C. Adult dogs, on the other hand, are between 37.5 – 39°C.
Normal temperature: up to 39°C (in puppies up to 39.5°C)
Slightly elevated temperature: 39-40°C (but also possible after heavy stress/exertion)
Fever: from 40°C
High fever: from 41°C (very dangerous if the fever lasts for a long time!)
Acute danger to life: From 42°C
How do I recognize poisoning in my Chihuahua?
When they think of poisoning, many people immediately think of the poisoned bait used by dog haters. But there are also a number of dangers lurking in your own home that many are not even aware of. Even an unsuitable diet can gradually lead to poisoning in the dog.
There are many signs that your Chihuahua has eaten something dangerous or ingested it through its skin. The fatal thing about poisoning: Symptoms do not have to appear immediately after contact with the poison, but can also appear with a time delay. Sometimes it is immediately apparent that poison has been ingested, other times poisoning may not even be suspected.
The following signs can occur in the event of poisoning:
- gagging and/or vomiting
- Stomach or muscle cramps
- muscle tremors
- Strong salivation
- Pale gums (circulatory failure!)
- Bloody urine
- blood in the vomit
- Strong panting
- Difficulty breathing / shortness of breath
- Rapid pulse
What is the right way to react if my Chihuahua is poisoned?
Regardless of whether you only suspect the poisoning or have seen the ingestion of poison: the top rule is always “go to a veterinarian as quickly as possible!”
You can also do the following:
Stay calm and don’t panic!
For oral poisons, activated charcoal can be used as a first aid measure. Check with the vet for the exact dose well in advance of an emergency.
Keep the Chihuahua warm on the way to the vet.
Take a poison sample with you. You can also collect some vomit or feces to have the animal lab examine it. Wear gloves or collect samples with a poop bag.
Don’t use a muzzle sling. The dog can then no longer vomit and there is a risk of death.
Please do not induce vomiting if your dog does not vomit. This can do more harm than good.
Does surgery or health insurance make sense?
The Chihuahua is the longest-lived dog breed in the world. 15 to 20 years are not uncommon. Illnesses or accidents can of course always occur, but aches and pains, signs of wear and tear and other problems are more common in old age.
Veterinary bills are often very expensive when owning a dog, unless it is for vaccinations, an ointment or wormer. Long-term chronic illnesses, long-term medication or operations are particularly expensive.
A cushion on the account can therefore never hurt. If you like, you can also set aside a monthly fixed amount for the Chihuahua. This accumulates a nice sum until the dog gets old.
If you don’t have any reserves or just want to be on the safe side, you should think about insurance for the Chihuahua. This allows you to sleep more peacefully at night.
A simple surgery insurance is often very cheap and protects the owner if the Chihuahua has to go under the knife. Surgery insurance really only pays if a surgical procedure is necessary. Other treatment methods are not covered unless they are directly related to the surgery.
More extensive, but also very expensive, is comprehensive health insurance for the Chihuahua. It covers almost all veterinary costs incurred and sometimes even pays for castrations, medication, vaccinations or other routine treatments. However, you should carefully question the full scope of services and you should always read the small print.
Why should I vaccinate my Chihuahua?
Vaccinations can protect the Chihuahua from dangerous diseases. The transmission routes of many diseases are usually very simple, so that contact with an infected animal almost always leads to an infection. The other dog doesn’t even have to look sick. There is often a risk of infection long before the first symptoms appear.
Disease can also occur indirectly through contact with faeces, contaminated water (puddles), toys, food bowls, floors, places to sleep and other objects.
An infection with distemper, parvo and co is very painful and often fatal. While strong adult animals occasionally (and by no means always) recover from such diseases, puppies, old dogs and immunocompromised four-legged friends are often hit particularly hard. These Chihuahuas often die from an infection or are permanently damaged.
Although vaccinations have been tried and tested for many decades and have proven their effectiveness, there are still many skeptics and opponents of vaccination who consistently reject this protection. The probability of getting a serious infection is much higher than suffering serious side effects from a vaccination. Diseases such as rabies were successfully suppressed in many parts of Europe and other serious infections were only rarely found in the dog population. However, some diseases are on the rise again. This is partly due to the vaccination fatigue of many dog owners.
A vaccination does not only protect your own four-legged friend, but other pets (and sometimes people too) at the same time. If a sufficient number of animals are vaccinated, there is protection of the herd and dogs and puppies with a weak immune system (which cannot be vaccinated) also fall ill much less frequently.
In addition, veterinarians have long distanced themselves from the old vaccination practice and no longer stubbornly vaccinate animals every year. The vaccination intervals have been adjusted and the motto is: As much as necessary, as little as possible.
Are vaccinations compulsory?
No. Every dog owner is free to decide whether to have their animal vaccinated or not. In Germany there is no compulsory vaccination for four-legged friends. However, the situation is different if you want to take the Chihuahua with you on vacation and leave Germany in the process.
At border crossings, a valid rabies vaccination is compulsory. Those caught without them face severe fines. In addition, onward travel could be refused or the dog could be confiscated and quarantined. In the worst case, the Chihuahua could also be euthanized.
It is therefore essential to check the rabies status before the trip and have it refreshed if necessary. In addition to rabies, some countries require additional vaccinations or parasitic treatments.
This is how your Chihuahua stays fit and healthy: the most important vaccinations
When it comes to vaccinations for dogs, a distinction is made between mandatory vaccinations (core vaccinations) and recommended or possible vaccinations (non-core vaccinations).
Core vaccinations protect the Chihuahua from highly contagious diseases and are required by law, for example when traveling abroad.
It is therefore imperative that you keep to the check-up appointments given by the veterinarian.
Primary vaccination and booster vaccination: what’s the difference?
So that your Chihuahua is protected against contagious diseases, it is first given basic immunization.
For this purpose, he is vaccinated one or more times so that the body can build up stable immune protection.
Some vaccinations only have a temporary effect, which means that the immune protection has to be refreshed after a certain period of time by repeat vaccinations. If this period passes without a booster, a new complete basic immunization is necessary in most cases.
What your Chihuahua needs to be vaccinated against (mandatory or core vaccinations):
The distemper virus is widespread. Puppies and young dogs in particular are at risk of becoming infected with the highly contagious pathogen. But older dogs can also get distemper, especially if the vaccination or immunization has not been carried out sufficiently.
The basic immunization takes place with three vaccinations in puppies in the 8th, 12th and 16th week of life. Annual revaccination is recommended, after three years at the latest it is mandatory.
Canine hepatitis (HCC)
Similar to distemper, hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) is a dangerous and highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects young dogs.
The basic immunization is also carried out with three vaccinations in the 8th, 12th and 16th week; Booster vaccinations are required every three years.
This bacterial infection is also known as the “Stuttgarter dog disease”.
It is transmitted not only through direct contact, but also through external infection, such as drinking from puddles.
Surviving dogs often suffer severe kidney damage for the rest of their lives.
The basic immunization includes a vaccination in the 8th and 12th week of life; the vaccination should then be repeated at annual intervals.
The parvovirus is transmitted via feces, where it survives for a long time and can quickly lead to death due to extreme dehydration of the dog’s body.
This disease is also known under the name “cat disease”.
For the basic immunization, your Chihuahua puppy will be given a vaccination in the 8th, 12th and 16th week of life; You have to have repeat vaccinations every three years.
Rabies vaccination is one of the most important vaccinations of all, since the disease affects not only animals but also humans.
Dogs that are not protected against rabies, are already ill or may be ill must not be treated and must be euthanized immediately.
Vaccinations in the 12th and 16th week of life are sufficient for the basic immunization of your Chihuahua; Refreshers must be carried out after three further years at the latest.
What your Chihuahua can be vaccinated against (possible or non-core vaccinations):
Pregnant bitches in particular should be protected against the herpes virus. The bitch herself is hardly affected by the infection, the virus can lead to death in the puppies (sudden pup deaths after birth!).
The first vaccination should be carried out as soon as possible after mating, as the antibodies against the virus only develop slowly.
The second vaccination is recommended 10 days to two weeks before the birth. The puppies are already supplied with the serum via their mother’s milk. However, infection cannot be completely ruled out.
Although kennel cough has fatal consequences in the rarest of cases, the disease is annoying and lengthy.
Your dog’s windpipe and bronchi become inflamed and can lead to pneumonia.
If kennel cough is left untreated, it can permanently damage the respiratory system. The basic immunization takes place in the 8th and 12th week of life of the Chihuahua puppy and should then be repeated annually.
Babesiosis is also called canine malaria because of its similar symptoms. It is triggered by transmission of the pathogen (Babesia) by the so-called Auwald tick, which is spreading more and more in Germany and Europe.
The vaccine, which cannot rule out the disease but can reduce the symptoms, is currently only sold in Switzerland, France and Austria.
For the basic immunization, your Chihuahua will receive two vaccinations about three to six weeks apart; a refresher course is necessary after a further six months.
The babesiosis vaccination should not be given at the same time as the other vaccinations; an interval of at least two months is advisable.
Borrelia are also transmitted by tick bites; the effectiveness of the planned vaccine is currently still controversial.
As with babesiosis, post-infection disease cannot be completely ruled out.
As with the babesiosis vaccination, a basic immunization is carried out with two vaccinations at an interval of three to a maximum of six weeks; Refreshers should be carried out at least every three years.
How does a vaccination work?
Vaccination is training for emergencies. The vaccine serum contains dead or very weakened pathogens that are recognized and fought by the immune system. The body reacts exactly as it would react with the real pathogen (wild type). However, he has more time with the immune response since the vaccine cannot actually make him sick. Whereas the wild-type might overwhelm the immune system if the immune response isn’t fast enough, as is often the case in puppies, for example. Because their immune system is not mature enough.
If the invader has been successfully combated, antibodies and memory cells circulate in the blood and can start fighting efficiently and quickly when they come into contact with the real pathogen. Viruses and co have no chance and the disease is nipped in the bud before it can break out.
What should be considered before vaccination?
The Chihuahua should be healthy when a vaccination appointment is due. In sick or debilitated animals, the vaccination may not work properly because the immune system is already fully occupied with the other disease. The vet will therefore briefly examine the Chihuahua before the poke and only vaccinate a healthy animal.
Parasites can also weaken the dog’s immune system. Most doctors therefore recommend a flea and worm treatment about 1-2 weeks before the vaccination date. Of course, you can only administer the flea cure if the Chihuahua has an actual infestation. If, on the other hand, you do not want to give a worm treatment on suspicion, you can submit a collective faecal sample to the veterinary laboratory and have it checked.
What does nest protection mean?
The Chihuahua is born with antibodies that it received from its mother. He also absorbs antibodies through his mother’s milk. In this way, mother nature is intended to ensure that the dog children are protected in the first few weeks of life and do not fall victim to any disease. This natural immunity is called nest protection.
The maternal antibodies in the puppy’s blood sometimes prevent a vaccine from working properly. For this reason, the nest protection should have expired as far as possible when the basic immunization is started. Unfortunately, the point in time is not the same for all puppies. The effect can last for several weeks to months.
The time window between nest protection and loss of nest protection is referred to as the “immunological gap”. During this time, the puppies are particularly unprotected against infections, which is why this window should be kept as small as possible.
During the basic immunization, the puppies are therefore vaccinated two or even three times to ensure that the maternal immune cells no longer dominate and that the immunological gap is kept as small as possible.
Are all vaccinations really necessary? criticism of vaccinations
This question certainly cannot be answered in a single sentence.
However, the book “Dogs would live longer if…: Black Book Veterinarian” deals in detail with the topic of vaccinations, treatments, and nutrition of dogs.
It was written by veterinarian Dr. medical vet Jutta Ziegler.
She ruthlessly reveals the connections between specialist shops, veterinary practices and the animal feed and pharmaceutical industries.
Which diets and vaccinations really make sense and which treatment suggestions you can safely ignore – this work provides information about this: Clearly, directly and written in such a way that you, as a non-veterinarian, can also understand how you can give your Chihuahua the best care and treatment.
How much does a vaccination at the vet cost?
Veterinary practices must adhere to the scale of fees for veterinarians. This specifies what treatment may be requested for which purpose. However, physicians are free to charge the single, double or triple rate. In large cities or modern veterinary clinics, the highest rate is usually charged, while it is often cheaper in the country or in smaller private practices. It can be worth calling the practices and asking about the prices beforehand.
Primary immunization costs
The basic immunization represents the highest cost factor. The breeder starts with the first vaccinations from the 8th week of life and will also have the dog children chipped and an EU pet passport issued. The transponder number is entered in the ID card and makes it possible to identify the little Chihuahua with immediate effect. The puppies are usually also dewormed at this appointment.
The costs for a microchip, vaccination (still without rabies), pet passport, a general examination and deworming amount to just over 100 euros.
The next vaccination takes place in the 12th week and now the combination vaccine also contains the rabies serum. Depending on the delivery date of the puppy, the breeder or the new owner will take care of this vaccination date.
This is followed by a vaccination in the 16th week of life and one at 15 months. After that, the basic immunization is considered complete and only the boosters have to be made.
Cost of booster vaccinations
Leptospirosis still needs to be boosted every 12 months. For all other vaccines, an interval of 3 years usually applies. In order to avoid an unnecessarily large number of vaccination appointments, combination vaccines are administered. Either SHPPiLT or SHPLT (without kennel cough/parainfluenza). The booster vaccination costs around 60 euros.
If you prefer individual appointments for each vaccination, you have to reckon with higher costs.
What else do I have to watch out for if I want to travel with my Chihuahua?
If you are planning a trip to the UK, Ireland, Finland or Malta, the card must also show data on antiparasitic treatments, for example against tapeworms. The UK has all but lifted strict quarantine rules for incoming dogs.
In return, however, you must prove that your Chihuahua is healthy and does not bring any parasites into the country.
Any veterinarian can answer further questions about the EU pet passport.
As a registered veterinarian, he will also issue you with this ID card, provided he has official permission to do so.
Are there risks?
Yes. Vaccination has risks. Just like a flea cure, an ointment, a painkiller or an anesthetic during castration. All medicines and medicinal substances can cause side effects. Strictly speaking, anyone who wants to rule out any side effects as a person should no longer even take a headache pill. Because even these can entail serious risks or even death. If someone would take the trouble to read the leaflet carefully.
However, the risk of serious complications from vaccination is very low. The experience with vaccine serums is very good and the substances on the market have been tried and tested for decades.
Nevertheless, many dogs have mild side effects directly or shortly after vaccination:
The injection site is red or swollen.
She feels warm.
The dog develops a slight fever.
The Chihuahua appears sleepy or exhausted.
The puncture site is sensitive to touch.
These disappear after a short time and only affect the dog for a day or two.
What are possible complications of vaccination?
Minor side effects are short-lived and quickly forgotten. A real complication is much more serious. Thankfully, they’re extremely rare, and few dogs really react badly to a poke. Nevertheless, such risks should be briefly explained here.
The Chihuahua is injected with a faulty vaccine serum, which contains the completely intact pathogen instead of the dead pathogen. This is only possible due to a production error. However, the probability of this happening is zero. The requirements and controls in the production facilities are far too strict.
well? Why is my Chihuahua getting sick when he is vaccinated and should be protected against this very infection?
The following causes are possible:
Unfortunately, your Chihuahua already had contact with the wild type before the vaccination.
The puppy was too young to be vaccinated and still had plenty of maternal antibodies.
The dog has parasites that were not detected or treated before the vaccination appointment.
At the time of vaccination, the Chi was sick and its immune system was already working at full capacity.
Some diseases are caused by various types of pathogens. However, vaccinations sometimes only protect against a few variations.
This is an allergic reaction that often shows up shortly after the injection at the vet’s office, or a while later at home. The general condition of the dog is deteriorating rapidly and prompt action by a veterinarian is necessary. Organ problems or abscesses also fall into this category.
Chihuahua parasites – fleas, ticks, worms, dewormers, mites
The Chihuahua – which parasites do you have to reckon with?
Parasites do not stop at any dog or other pet, which is why the Chihuahua is also exposed to this danger.
Especially when the Chihuahua is in the wild, i.e. in the field, in the forest or on meadows, he is exposed to the risk of catching a parasite.
A parasite in particular lurks when you are in the forest: the tick. She hides in the bushes along the way and lies in wait.
The most common parasites seen in Chihuahuas are:
The ticks are mainly transmitted in forests and meadows, i.e. exactly where the Chihuahua can move relatively freely. Usually when the dog approaches or is in the undergrowth.
Parasites: Dangerous not only for the Chihuahua
There are some parasites that can migrate to humans as well. Fortunately, this often only happens under extreme conditions. For example, if the dog is very heavily infested with fleas. Then they change to masters and mistresses and cause itching. The little pests often leave a “flea road” behind. The parasite will often bite three or four times in a straight line, forming what looks like a small street.
Humans can also become infected with worms and this can even be very dangerous. Dogs and other pets should therefore be dewormed regularly. Every three months is considered ideal. If babies, small children, old people and people with weak immune systems live in the household, even more frequent deworming can make sense. It is best to discuss this with your doctor and veterinarian alike.
Everyone in the house should always wash their hands regularly after cuddling and petting the Chihuahua. In addition, it should be taboo for the four-legged friend to lick the hands or even the face of its humans. Make sure that children do not kiss the four-legged friend and the Chihuahua should not share the bed with the little ones.
The Chihuahua and the Fleas
Fleas in particular are relatively common in Chihuahuas, as in all dog breeds. If your dog is infested with fleas, it is imperative that you treat it immediately.
It’s quite difficult to spot fleas as they only grow to between 1.5 to 4.5mm in size. Fleas are insects, although they don’t have wings. However, they have an enormous jumping power that catapults them up to 1.5 meters away.
There are about 70 species of fleas in Europe. It should be noted that fleas that infest dogs do not usually infect humans. This only happens when the infestation is very advanced.
The flea feeds on the blood of its host by stinging it and inserting its proboscis into the wound. When grooming, you can recognize a flea infestation by the fact that there are excretions in the dog’s fur.
These are small dark particles. Flea eggs are similar in size, but different in color, they are white.
It is very difficult to recognize the flea infestation, which is often transmitted by other animals or even when walking in the forest, but the symptoms are much stronger.
You can tell if the Chihuahua has a flea infestation because it has increased itching, which over time leads to the dog biting itself, which can lead to hair loss and skin injuries. Subsequent inflammation of these areas cannot be ruled out.
Another consequence of flea infestation could be infection with tapeworms, allergies and skin problems.
Getting rid of fleas on dogs
You can brush out the pests with a fine-toothed flea comb. The adult animals get stuck in the comb. Sometimes, however, there are no adult animals on the dog and instead you will only comb out a crumbly secretion. Pat the comb out on a damp paper towel. If this turns slightly red, it is undigested blood in the flea faeces. An infestation is thus ensured.
They are very effective and help with both prevention and mild to moderate infestations. Not all Chihuahuas appreciate this type of flea treatment, however. With some products, the exposure time is very long and not every four-legged friend has the patience for it. In the case of a very strong colonization with fleas, you may also have to bathe the dog several times or you may resort to another means.
Helps with a light infestation. The powder must be massaged in well and applied to the skin. If possible, the Chihuahua should not lick itself afterwards so as not to ingest the drug orally.
Keeps the pests away very well. However, it must remain on the dog permanently, which is not entirely harmless due to the toxins it contains. Especially if children live in the household, it is better to refrain from doing so.
A spot-on from the vet unfolds its effect for several weeks and not only eliminates fleas, but also a whole range of other pests such as mites or ticks. The Spot-On is a dropper filled with anti-parasitic agent. The contents are dripped down the Chihuahua’s neck and should get on the skin. With the long-haired Chihahua, you may have to part the hair a little. The application in the neck is important so that your dog cannot lick the liquid away.
During the first 24 hours, the Spot-On will kill almost all adult fleas on the pet. Since the effect lasts, the rest that still strays onto the dog in the next few weeks (e.g. via berths) is also eliminated.
Fighting fleas: Not just on dogs!
Most fleas do not sit on the four-legged friend, but in its immediate vicinity. The adult animals, but also eggs and larvae, prefer to be found on the sleeping places but also in other textiles such as curtains or on the sofa. Think twice before letting your Chihuahua sleep in your bed. Not so nice to think that fleas and their offspring also make themselves comfortable there.
Also, it should be noted that getting rid of fleas can be damn hard. If the infestation is very advanced, certain hygiene measures must be strictly followed. For several weeks.
Vacuum floors once or twice a day.
Wash or replace vacuum cleaner bags promptly.
Clean the dog’s bowl after every meal.
Wash all home textiles particularly often until the plague is over.
Thoroughly vacuum upholstered furniture, mattresses, and carpets.
The dog basket or dog bed should be machine washable and easy to maintain.
Stuffed animals, home textiles and the like that are not allowed in the washing machine should be placed in the freezer for at least one night.
There are good environmental sprays that can be sprayed on sleeping places and especially hard-to-reach places. Such as cracks, wicker baskets, joints, etc.
A steam cleaner, on the other hand, does not require any chemicals and can also be used for cleaning.
Don’t forget the car (if you have one). If the Chihuahua has its permanent place there or is transported in the dog box, all of this should also be dealt with.
The infestation is out of control or you just can’t get rid of all the fleas completely? Call an exterminator. This one will tackle the freeloaders with foggers. These are very effective and the effect lasts for a few weeks after the treatment. However, you and your family will have to leave your home for a while.
The number one pathogen: ticks
Ticks represent a major risk that dogs are exposed to. Ticks usually reside in bushes or grass in the undergrowth, from where they also infest the dog.
Ticks can transmit serious diseases such as TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) or Lyme disease.
For this reason alone, precautionary measures must be taken. However, ticks in the form of the brown dog tick or au-tick can also be dangerous for the dog.
These two carry the causative agent of babediosis, which can be fatal for the dog.
To counteract such diseases, you should always check your dog for ticks after a walk and remove them as soon as possible.
How do I remove a tick?
Ticks are very small parasites that you can hardly see at first. If they suck themselves, however, they multiply their body size many times over in a short time. After a few days, when full, they fall off easily. However, female animals can leave eggs. This can be recognized by a ring of small ticks around the mother animal.
The best way to remove a tick is to pull it out. You should use special tick tweezers for this and be careful to pull the tick out by the head and not squeeze the upper body. If you are unlucky and squeeze your upper body, bacteria from the tick can get straight into the dog’s bloodstream.
To remove, slowly slide the pliers under the upper body of the tick. Then slowly but firmly pull it out. If a piece of the head gets stuck, that’s not a problem. This falls off after a while. The site should be disinfected afterwards with medicinal alcohol. If there is redness at the site or a ring or you notice an inflammation, let the doctor examine the site.
Prevent ticks but how?
The very best and chemical-free way to prevent ticks is to check your dog’s coat every day. The small arachnids are often clearly visible to the naked eye, especially in the short-haired Chihuahua. Ticks crawling around can therefore be removed quickly and easily with tweezers. There are tick hooks, loops or tick cards for stuck parasites.
In specialist shops there are also powders and sprays that are intended to prevent infestation with ticks. The application must be repeated regularly and the effect often does not last that long. You also have to be very careful that the Chihuahua doesn’t lick itself, which is very difficult with some dogs.
The effect of a spot-on, on the other hand, lasts for several weeks. However, the tick can still get lost on the dog and bite it. However, she dies during her blood meal and then falls off.
As already mentioned, the tick collar is controversial because it constantly releases toxins. Some owners use it anyway, but only in areas with a lot of ticks or when it’s high season for the arachnids.
Caution: Some owners swear by garlic products (powder) in their dog’s food to prevent ticks. However, garlic is also considered toxic to dogs and the Chihuahua is a flyweight that could be dangerous even in small quantities. Also, there is no study to show that garlic actually helps repel ticks.
How do I recognize an infestation with mites?
Mites are also arachnids and cause unbearable itching. What’s more, mites can cause diseases such as mange or demodicosis. Depending on the species, these parasites prefer different places for colonization. Some like to colonize the spaces between the toes or the ears, while others make themselves comfortable on the stomach or the inside of the thighs. In addition to itching, many species also have coat and skin problems.
Most common in dogs are:
hair follicle mites
Depending on the type of mite, different symptoms can appear. These include, for example:
dandruff in the fur
Hair loss (widespread or localized)
Frequent scratching creates wounds that can become infected
Frequent shaking of the head
Crusting on the edges of the ears (sarcoptic mange)
Licking paws and legs
Chihuahuas and mites can often live in peaceful coexistence and there is no sign of the lodgers. However, if the dog becomes ill and its immune system is weakened as a result, the mites can often multiply explosively and the infestation becomes apparent.
Ear mites in Chihuahuas
They are easy to spot because the Chihuahua shows very clear signs of colonization:
scratching of the ears
Lots of earwax
Crumbly dark brown discharge in ears
Redness and sores in the ears (from scratching)
shaking his head
Coordination and balance problems / the Chihuahua sways and does not walk straight
Aside from the terrible itching, an untreated ear mite infection can lead to a painful middle ear infection or even deafness. If you have symptoms, always go to the vet as soon as possible. Due to the frequent shaking of the head, some Chihuahuas also develop a blood ear, which is very lengthy and difficult to treat.
Ear mites are always a case for the vet
Please do not use home remedies to combat ear mites. Always go to the practice and let the professionals do it. He will clean, disinfect and provide medication for the ear. If secondary infections have developed, such as scratching sores, the vet may prescribe an ointment or antibiotic. Cortisone is also sometimes used to relieve the itching.
Treatment is often continued at home for a while. The vet usually prescribes an ointment that is massaged into the Chihuahua’s ear. Such ear cleaners are also available for care and prevention in specialist shops. Please also wash the Chihuahua’s sleeping places so that mites that are there are also removed.
Signs of worm infestation
A worm infestation is hardly noticeable at the beginning. Only when the colonization has progressed further do the first signs appear. Which symptoms finally appear depends on the one hand on the type of worm and on the other hand on the state of health of the Chihuahua.
The following signs indicate a worm infestation:
Turn over and lick the anal region.
“Sledging”. The Chihuahua tries to relieve itching by rubbing its hindquarters on the ground.
Gagging and vomiting (Caution: If worms are visible in the vomit, the infestation is very advanced and immediate action is required).
Skin and coat problems (caused by nutrient deprivation)
Puppies often have a very bloated stomach.
Worm eggs or worm segments are visible in the faeces (here, too, colonization is very advanced)
Cabbage steam and constant hunger, although they are fed the same as usual.
Strong and above all inexplicable weight loss
How Does My Chihuahua Get Worms?
Sniffing the feces of animals that have worms. The pile no longer has to be visible as such. It is often enough if there has been a heap of feces on the spot.
If the Chihuahua eats carrion or small rodents, there is also a risk of infection.
In rare cases, BARF (raw meat) can transmit tapeworms.
Don’t let the Chihuahua eat feces from fellow dogs or wild animals.
Fleas can infect the dog with tapeworms.
The Chihuahua gets infected as a puppy from its mother.
Be careful when vacationing in the Mediterranean. Mosquitoes can transmit the dangerous heart tapeworm here.
Worm eggs can be ingested orally by licking the fur. So the Chihuahua can re-infect itself (by licking its anus region) or get worm eggs from other dogs while playing with them.
Worms can even get into dogs through their skin. This is the case, for example, with hookworm larvae.
You can also be the cause of a worm infestation in your Chihuahua. Namely by carrying larvae and eggs into the house with your shoes or clothing.
How often to deworm the Chihuahua?
Veterinarians often recommend having your Chihuahua dewormed every three months. However, the administered worm treatment only helps against an acute infestation and not prophylactically. The Chihuahua can become infected again shortly after the cure. Therefore, some owners prefer to treat the dog with the chemical club only in a confirmed case. For this purpose, a collective faecal sample (small amounts of faeces from three consecutive days) is given to the veterinary laboratory every three months. If worms are discovered, the cure takes place. Otherwise, you have to wait another 3 months.
However, this method has disadvantages. This is because the Chihuahua could be infected with worm eggs long before any of them show up in their stool sample. However, if we deworm in principle every 12 weeks, the life cycle of the worms is interrupted and the ingested eggs do not even make it to the adult stage.
More frequent deworming can be useful for babies, children and old or immunocompromised people in the household. Ask your vet for advice on this.
Multi-dog owners should always have all animals dewormed together. If there is a house tiger in addition to the Chi, it should also be treated.
Dewormers are often given to puppies as a paste. In adult dogs, however, in tablet form. To trick the Chihuahua into swallowing the pill, you can press the pill into a small piece of cheese or smear it with liverwurst.
Why do puppies need deworming?
Unborn Chihuahua babies can be infected with roundworms or hookworms in the womb. After birth, however, there is a risk when nursing. Worms can also get into small dog children through mother’s milk.
Puppies are particularly at risk from an infestation with the parasites, since their immune system is not yet fully developed and the parasites also quickly lead to rapid weight loss and thus emaciation.
After the birth, the mother receives regular worming treatments together with the litter. 14 days after the whelping date, deworming takes place every two weeks up to the 12th week of life.
Giardia, more dangerous than you think
Giardia can be found in the intestinal tract, just like the classic worms.
However, this type of parasite is all too often underestimated, so that they are not combated preventively. In addition, a diagnosis in this regard is also more difficult, since there are only very unspecific symptoms for Giardia.
Occasionally, bloody diarrhea can be a sign of Giardia. However, in order to be able to determine this precisely, a thorough examination of the feces in a laboratory is required.
Giardia is transmitted through feces, carrion, contaminated water or other dogs. Transmission of Giardia to humans is quite possible. Giardia primarily damage and attach themselves to the intestinal wall. They take their food from the contents of their intestines.
If the infestation is there, strict attention must be paid to hygiene and veterinary care must be initiated.
Symptoms of Giardia
Feces streaked with fat
Bloody admixtures in the faeces
The diarrhea is very watery
The liquid diarrhea comes back regularly and is very persistent
Slimy feces (coated or streaky)
gagging / vomiting
Feces look yellowish
Giardia are treated with a special wormer. The cure sometimes has to be repeated, since the flagellates can temporarily withdraw into the bile. It is treated until the Chihuahua is free of symptoms and complaints again. However, this does not mean at the same time that there are absolutely no Giardia left.
Frequent bathing of the dog and cleaning of the surrounding area is a must when infested with Giardia. Because the cysts of the Giardia are excreted with the faeces and like to get stuck in the fur (anal region). Good hygiene prevents permanent reinfection with flagellates.