Chihuahua Digestive System Diseases
What does the digestive system do?
The digestive tract starts in the mouth where food is mixed with saliva which contains digestive enzymes. In the mouth, food is chewed into smaller bits which are swallowed. The esophagus pushes the food towards the stomach where it is mixed with acids that contain proteïn-processing enzymes. In the stomach food is processed into even smaller bits of food that pass to the duodenum. In here enzymes from the pancreas and gal from the liver come together to start a process that breaks the food down to fats, sugars and proteins. These fats, sugars and proteins are absorbed in the intestine which passes these important building blocks for the body into the blood stream. In a final step faeces is excreted through the rectum.
If your Chihuahua shows following symptoms it might have a problem with its digestive tract:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss in weight
- Problems with swallowing
- Throwing up
- Swollen belly
In order to diagnose digestive tract problems you need to consult with your local vet. He has a number of tools which can help identify the problems your Chihuahua might be facing:
- A decreased level of enzymes in the saliva can indicate a problem with the intestines
- The vet can take a blood sample, the presence of certain bacterias and/or parasites might cause digestive tract problems
- The presence of blood, parasites and/or viruses in the stool can indicate a problem with the wall of the intestines
- In case the previous methods cannot determine the cause the vet might have to take an x-ray or an endoscopy of the affected area.
Depending on the underlying problems treatment for digestive tract problems can vary widely. In case of an infection the vet can prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs. In case the problem is located in the intestine, enzyme supplements can be prescribed in order to support digestion. Finally in case of parasites your Chi will have to take antiparasitic medication.
Types of Chihuahua Digestive System Diseases
In this paragraph we list the most common digestive system diseases:
|Craniomandibular osteopathy||Stiff jaws and intense pain, the dog has no intention to eat||X-ray||Anti-inflammatory drugs|
|Dental disorders||Swollen gums and/or presence of abscesses||X-ray||Infected tooth has to be removed|
|Tumors||Bumps around the gums, jaws and/or lips||X-ray||Most tumors in the gums are benign, other tumors need radiation therapy.|
|Oral mucocele||Increased saliva production, problems with eating and/or swolleness||Visual examination of the mouth||Antibiotics|
|Megaesophagus||Loss in weight, lots of drooling and throwing up food||Endoscopy||Softer food combined with medication that enhances the function of the esophagus|
|Swollen stomach||Unsuccesful attemps to throw up||X-ray||Operative procedure to remove gas and liquids that are stuck|
|Pyloric Gastropathy||Throwing up||Contrast fluid||Softer food combined with medication that enhances the function of the muscles|
|Stomach inflammation||Burping and/or throwing up||Blood sample||Smaller portions that are given more often|
|Pancreas inflammation||Pain in the belly||Blood sample||Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs|
|Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency||Diarrhea and/or loss of weight, often combined with continuous hunger||Blood sample||Low fat diet|
|Entirits||Diarrhea (with blood), pain in the stomach and/or loss of weight||Contrast fluid||Probiotic supplements|