The Ears and Eyes Have It
Chihuahuas have large, protruding eyes, which make them more susceptible to injury. For this reason, Chi owners need to make sure that they regularly inspect their puppies' and dogs' eyes for injury or the presence of a foreign body.
Chihuahua's eyes tear regularly, so the presence of tears below your Chi's eyes is not unusual. If, however, you notice that your Chihuahua seems to be rubbing her eyes with her paws or trying to scratch them, this would call for a trip to the veterinarian. Even if the object that was in the eye is no longer present, it could have scratched or punctured the eye.
If you see that your Chihuahua's eyes are bloodshot, that tearing is excessive, or that they are producing a milky or thicker discharge, it could be that your Chi's eyes are infected. Take her to the veterinarian immediately for treatment.
Because the Chihuahua's eyes do tear, those Chis with white, cream, or light fawn-colored coats will develop a tear stain. This is a rust-colored discoloration of the coat beneath the eye. Though this tear stain does not hurt the Chihuahua in any way, it is noticeable and in some cases can be a bit unsightly.
To help keep tears from staining, regularly wipe beneath your dog's eyes with a cotton ball soaked in saline solution (the same as you would purchase for contact lenses). For stubborn stains, you can work on the stain with a saline-soaked cotton swab or place a warm rag with the solution over her eyes while she lies in your lap. The more care and attention you give to your Chihuahua's eyes, the less likely she will be to develop tear stains.
Chihuahuas are not a breed that has abnormal or excessive problems with ear infections. Because the breed's ears are erect and open, airflow is better to the ear canal. If an ear infection is brewing — due to an imbalance in the ear's natural yeast or bacteria content — the infection will not take off as quickly as it would in a drop-eared dog. That's the good news. The challenging news is that dogs with open ears are more susceptible to foreign bodies entering the ear, which can be the cause of an ear infection.
Regardless of the cause, as a dog owner you should be aware of the symptoms of an ear infection. These include scratching the ears, rubbing the ears on the floor, shaking the head, excessive waxy substance, holding the head at an odd angle, and in severe cases, loss of balance. In all cases, there will be noticeable redness from inflammation deep in the ear, possibly swelling, and a distinct, foul odor.
An ear infection calls for an immediate trip to the veterinarian. If your Chihuahua suffers from chronic ear infections, your veterinarian may suggest an ear wash that, if used weekly, can help ward off future infections by keeping the ear canal dry.
Basic Ear Cleaning
To keep the outer portion of your Chihuahua's ears clean, use a cotton ball dampened with saline solution. Wipe this on the inside of the dog's ears to remove dirt and oils. Never, however, use a cotton swab or any other object in an attempt to clean the inner workings of your Chihuahua's ears. If you suspect this area needs cleaning, it could be the onset of an ear infection, so back to the veterinarian's office you go.
Chihuahuas with allergies often suffer ear infections. If the allergies are seasonal, the ear infections will be seasonal, too.