September 12

by Milo and Helen

Chiweenie Health Issues

Chiweenies are mixed breed dogs between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund. They are small-breed companion dogs and are likely to be healthier and present with fewer health issues than their full purebred parents. They are loyal and fearless and will take on any challenge that comes their way but will also be happy and content to be by your side. 

There are health issues common to both parent breeds, and the likelihood that these health issues being passed onto the Chiweenie offspring is relatively high. 

There are also health problems that are only present in one purebred parent that may pose less of a risk but will not be entirely eliminated for your Chiweenie as there is a chance of that gene being inherited.

The Dachshund is well known for having a long body and short legs and having skeletal issues associated with this shape. Although Chiweenie should be an overall shorter dog, they could still have back problems passed on from their Dachshund parent breed. 

Health problems of the Chiweenie

Dental Disease

Dental disease is suffered by all dogs and is an inherited issue with Chiweenie, especially as the Chihuahua has a small mouth. Your Chiweenie may have tooth overcrowding that can lead to gum infection, tooth loss, and jawbone degeneration. Brush your Chiweenie’s teeth twice a week. If you notice a build-up of tartar, then have their teeth checked and cleaned by your Veterinarian.

Back Issues

Intervertebral Disc Disease is a common degenerative disc problem for dogs with short and curved limbs. It is inherited from the Dachshund and affects the back and the neck. 

Symptoms include pain in the neck and back, inability to jump or use back legs, reluctance to move, shivering, loss of bladder function, and even paralysis. Using a ramp or steps at an early age and weight control will help not to put any stress on the back, making it less prone to herniate. 

Hopefully, your Chiweenie will not be as prone to this condition as the Dachshund or the symptoms as severe if they do show signs of the condition.

Knee Problems

Patella Luxation is common to both the Chihuahua and Dachshund; therefore, it could possibly be passed on to your Chiweenie. The kneecap dislocates and will make your Chiweenie skip, hop, or pick up the back legs and then kick the leg out, hoping to pop the kneecap back in place. This can lead to a lot of pain, and surgery might be the answer in some cases.


Diabetes is common in Dachshunds and could be passed onto your Chiweenie. Increased or decreased appetite with weight loss, excessive thirst, and frequency of urination are common symptoms of diabetes.


Hypothyroidism is a common medical issue relating to the thyroid gland that both the Chihuahua and Dachshund are prone to. Signs would be weight gain due to reduced activity, abnormal hair loss, and thinning of the coat. In addition, increased itching as their skin can become dry and inflamed, and they will be more susceptible to skin infections.

Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia. Chiweenie tends to have low blood sugar. This is passed on from the Chihuahua parent. Signs are shivering, weakness, and seizures due to the sugar depletion in the bloodstream. It can become a serious medical condition if left untreated.

Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA) 

The Dachshund and Chihuahuas can be affected by a form of CDA. The hair and coat are affected, leading to hair loss and infected skin. It is an uncommon condition but nonetheless can be passed on to your Chiweenie if either breed parent has the gene and variants.


Hydrocephalus is a congenital condition associated with increased fluid build-up in the skull, putting pressure on the brain. As a result, the head will be dome-shaped, larger than expected, and have prominent bulging eyes. The Chihuahua can pass on this gene to the Chiweenie and, if not treated, can cause brain damage and even death.


Chiweenie can inherit neurological problems from both their parent breeds and are due to abnormal activity in the brain. Symptoms include confusion, uncontrollable muscle movements, tremors, weakness, excessive sleeping, and bowel and urine issues. 


Chiweenie may suffer from allergies as it would be an inherited gene from the Chihuahua. Licking, scratching, and chewing the skin are common signs that your dog will have an allergy, and if your Chiweenie is prone, there will be a high risk of infection. The solution is finding and removing the allergen from the environment or food, which is easier said than done. 

Awareness of the above conditions passed on to your Chiweenie from their parent breeds is essential. Having said this, it does not mean that even though these conditions are in your dog’s genetic pool, your dog will inherit one or more of these conditions. However, there will be a better outcome by being aware of the problem and spotting it sooner, and the correct treatment can be given earlier to manage the problem.

To Conclude

The Chiweenie is overall a healthy breed of cross-breed dog. The major health problem that sticks out is the back problems associated with Dachshund. The Chiweenie should not be as affected by this problem as its elongated parent, but you should always be mindful that they are still delicate dogs in that area. If you have any concerns about the health of your Chiweenie, it is better to talk to your Vetinerarian for a complete assessment.

The Chiweenie, as a cross breed dog is not eligible for registration with American Kennel Club but you can register with the International Designer Canine Registry and they are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid ClubThe Designer Breed Registry and The Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America.

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