ChihuahuaChihuahuas are among the smallest of breeds but their diminutive size does not keep them from exhibiting high levels of energy and intelligence. Because they are so small,Chihuahuasrequire little space and daily exercise which makes them the perfect pet for small houses and apartments. Though they require minimal grooming and maintenance, this breed is easily spoiled and requires consistent discipline to reinforce good behavior.Chihuahuasare extremely active, alert and excitable so they make excellent guard dogs but they are prone to excessive barking.

Chihuahuasmay have congenital conditions, such as patellar luxation and heart problems, in addition to other health concerns like hypoglycemia and eye problems.  Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.

Patellar Luxation
This condition is one in which the patella, or knee cap, slips out of its normal position. Around 10% of Chihuahuasare affected with this condition which can lead to pain, difficulty moving and lameness. Surgery is the most effective treatment for this condition and it generally costs between $1,200 and $4,000 per leg.

Heart Problems
Chihuahuasare prone to developing several heart problems, including heart disease and mitral valve disease. One of the most common inherited heart diseases in Chihuahuasis patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA, which prevents blood from travelling properly through the heart and lungs. This condition can be treated surgically for between $2,500 and $5,000 or medically managed with medications costing between $30 and $100 per month.

Mitral valve disease involves the thickening of the heart muscle which prevents proper cardiac function and may lead to weakness, shortness of breath and fluid build-up in the lungs. Surgical repairs for this condition are considered to be cost-prohibitive but it can be managed with medications.

Other Health Concerns
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which a dog burns more calories than it takes in and it can result in low blood sugar. If glucose levels drop too low, Chihuahuasmay exhibit symptoms such as shivering, disorientation, listlessness, even seizures or coma. Treatment for this condition typically involves regular veterinary check-ups and special dietary accommodations which can cost between $30 and $100 per month.

Because Chihuahuashave such large, protruding eyes they often face eye problems like glaucoma, corneal dryness and eye infections. These problems can generally be treated by a veterinarian but if the glaucoma becomes advanced or infections become severe, surgery may be necessary. Glaucoma surgery generally costs between $2,000 and $4,000 and other minor repairs may cost upwards of $1,000.

Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.