Typical Diseases of Small Dog Breeds: The Current List

Small breeds of dogs are becoming more popular every day. This is due to their small size, attractive appearance and unpretentiousness in the conditions of detention.

But not all owners, acquiring such an animal, know about the specific diseases of its breed and are able to correctly recognize them. Therefore, it is important to get acquainted with the symptoms of the most common and most dangerous diseases in order to detect them in time and contact a veterinarian.

Diseases of the teeth and oral cavity

These diseases include:

  • Missing teeth;
  • Multiple teeth;
  • Malocclusion;
  • Untimely change of baby teeth;
  • Lack of tooth enamel;
  • Formation of Tartar due to food residues;
  • Periodontal disease.

They are common among small breeds of dogs, because Pets have a narrow jaw and a small gap between the teeth. Such diseases are manifested by restless behavior of the animal, refusal to eat, fever and bad breath. Self-treatment in such cases will only bring harm, worsen the problem and lose time.

Problems with the musculoskeletal system

Because of fragile bones, diseases of the paws, spine and pelvis are not uncommon for small dogs. Among them, the following are particularly common:

  • Perthes disease — inflammation and lesion of the femoral head;
  • Dislocation of the cervical vertebrae;
  • Dislocation of the patella. This disease can be not only acquired, but also congenital. In some dogs, it does not manifest itself immediately, but only after a certain time.


Symptoms of diseases of this classification are the apathetic state of the animal, refusal to eat or decrease in appetite, loud screeching or barking at any movement. In all cases, surgery is required.


Hydrocephalus is a serious congenital brain disease. It is the most common and most dangerous for small dogs. With hydrocephalus, the volume of fluid in the ventricles of the brain increases, which leads to an increase in the head compared to the entire trunk. The disease is also accompanied by neurological disorders.

Symptoms of hydrocephalus:

  • The Fontanelle on the animal’s head does not overgrow;
  • The dog suddenly begins to behave excitedly and also suddenly falls into apathy;
  • The pet’s visual acuity gradually decreases;
  • The head acquires a square shape.

Since hydrocephalus is a congenital disease, it may not manifest itself for a long time. But the older the dog gets, the more difficult it is to heal. Therefore, when the first symptoms appear, you need to urgently contact a veterinary clinic for the help of a doctor. Light stages of the disease are treated with medication, heavy — surgically.


Hypoglycemia is a condition of the animal’s body when the sugar level reaches a critical minimum. The disease is common among small dogs, because Pets have a small body weight and a fast metabolism. Therefore, any changes in the diet and the lack of even a small amount of glucose can lead to hypoglycemia.

This disease manifests itself unexpectedly and rapidly:

  1. The animal refuses to eat;
  2. There is an apathetic state, chills; the pet hides in dark places;
  3. With light forms, the dog walks, staggering and stumbling, with heavy ones — convulsions begin.

If you do not take your pet to the clinic in time, then a coma develops, and then death occurs. With hypoglycemia, every minute is important for the animal.

The collapse of the trachea

When a tracheal collapse occurs, the animal’s Airways are deformed. The most susceptible to this disease are Pekingese, Chihuahua, pygmy poodles, Spitz. The main cause of the disease is improper and unbalanced nutrition of Pets: owners overfeed their Pets.

This leads to the fact that fat presses on the trachea and bronchi, causing their deformation.


  • Occurrence of shortness of breath;
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks;
  • Changes in the color of the mucous membranes (they turn blue);
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Apathy;
  • Loss of consciousness.

Treatment of tracheal collapse is carried out strictly under the supervision of a veterinarian. It can be medicated or, in more complex stages, surgical.

Portosystemic shunt

Portosystemic shunt interferes with the action of the circulatory system. As a result of its occurrence in dogs, ammonia accumulates in the liver, and it is gradually destroyed. There may be several shunts.

Small dogs have a predisposition to extrahepatic shunts. They can appear as a result of injuries or be from birth. Of all small breeds, Yorkshire Terriers are the most susceptible to this disease.

Symptoms of a shunt are difficult to recognize, especially if it is congenital. Many signs of the disease can then worsen, then fade, without arousing the suspicion of the host. But there are a number of common symptoms that can indicate the presence of a shunt:

  • The appearance of a desire to eat inedible items;
  • Short-term vision loss;
  • The lowering of the head;
  • Vomiting, diarrhea;
  • Increased salivation;
  • Excess of the norm of ammonia in the urine more than twice.

The treatment is carried out only by surgery. The specialist puts a special ring on the shunt, as a result of which its blood supply decreases, and the shunt gradually disappears. After that, there is a rehabilitation period, which includes support with medication.


All diseases that dogs suffer from are dangerous. This may be a danger to life or to one particular organ. But, in any case, the pet’s life worsens.

A person who does not have a veterinary education will never be able to accurately identify any disease, because the initial symptoms of all diseases are similar. Home treatment not only does not give effect, but also worsens the health of the sick animal.

Therefore, in order to correctly recognize the disease, have time to cure it at an early stage, avoiding complications, and not lose precious time, it is worth contacting a veterinary clinic with professionals when the first suspicious symptoms are detected.

A sick dog is not a sentence. No matter what problem the pet has, it will still remain the best and most loyal friend for the owner. The most important thing is to be able to listen to your dog and give it attention and care. And then, she will return the favor.