Chihuahua First Aid and Travel Care!

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So you've decided to take a road trip and bring your best friend with you? Your dog will love you for it, however there are some very important guidelines you should follow to ensure a safe trip for you and your friend.

Riding in the Car:

Chihuahuas that enjoy car travel should be confined to a carrier or you may use a restraining harness (available at most pet-supply stores). Your friend should always be kept safely inside the car. Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by airborne debris or become ill from having cold air forced into their lungs. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck.

Stop frequently to allow your pet to drink, exercise, and eliminate. Never permit your pet to leave the car without a collar, ID tag, and leash.

Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car. On warm days, the temperature in your car can rise to 120 in a matter of minutes, even with the windows opened slightly. Furthermore, an animal left alone in a car is an invitation to pet thieves.

In addition, to keep your Chihuahua safe, there are several other items that should be included in your Chihuahua's travel bag:


Baby wipes


Poop disposal baggies



APARE - Lead, Leash and Harness

Current License and rabies tag

Just like us, Chihuahuas need an over night bag also. When you do take your Chihuahua out make sure they have their license and rabies tags on it just is a safe precaution. Carry a current photograph of your pet. If your pet is accidentally lost, having a current photograph will make the search easier.


Below you'll find a basic checklist of medications and first aid equipment you should have on hand to care for your Chihuahua. This should by no means take the place of the advice of a veterinarian. Please consult your vet about the proper use of any of the items on this list.

A good Digital Thermometer.

Clear Eyes, for irritated eyes

Aspirin. For minor aches and pains. Most Chihuahuas can tolerate aspirin but do not give any other human pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil. Buffered aspirin such as Bufferin is better than plain aspirin and Ascriptin is better than Bufferin. Remember that the dosage for aspirin, like most pain relief medication, is based primarily on body weight. A Chihuahua should never be given more than half of one tablet at a time or more frequently than every twelve hours. Some Chihuahuas are allergic to aspirin, so use with care.

Benadryl. Either capsule or liquid. Use this if the dog is stung by a bee or other insect, and for minor allergies.

Dosage: Benadryl = 1 mg per 1lb of dog weight up to 50 mg

Bag Balm. A good all purpose ointment for minor skin afflictions.

Also good for cleaning ears. Do not put in his eyes.

PeptoBismol. For minor stomach upset and diarrhea.

Dosage: Pepto Bismol = 1 tsp per 20lbs of dog weight every 4 hours (tends to be

more effective for diarrhea in dogs than strict anti diarrhea medications)

Kaopectate. For minor diarrhea.

Dosage: Kaopectate = 1 tsp for each 20lbs of dog every 4 hours

Desitin Use for minor skin irritations,and minor sunburn

Cough medicine (Triaminic) - Use to control cough and as expectorant

Dosage: Triaminic = 1 tsp per 20lbs of dog weight every 4-6 hours (short-term use only)

Anticoagulant (styptic powder) - Use to stop bleeding caused by cutting into the quick when trimming nails

Antibiotic ointment

Hydrogen peroxide - Use to induce vomiting or as a general antiseptic cleanser

Dosage: 1 tsp per 10lbs of dog weight, repeat once in 15 minutes if necessary (to induce vomiting)

Ophthalmic ointment (non-steroid)

Medicated powder such as Gold Bond

3 cc/ml Syringes without needles, for ORAL liquid medicines or treatments.

Q-tips. Use for applying medication and cleaning ears.

Cotton balls. Use for applying medication, for cleaning and to keep ears dry while bathing.

Soft bristle or rubber brush

shampoo - mild, no tears

Dog nail clippers or an electric grinder


The second best medical advice any one can give you is,Find a veterinarian who knows and likes Chihuahuas. This is one of the reasons why it's a good idea to join your local Chihuahua Meet up Group. The members can usually refer you to a veterinarian who is familiar with Chihuahuas and who likes them. Believe it or not - some veterinarians don't like Chihuahuas, and no matter how good a veterinarian is, he's not a good one for your Chihuahua.

The very best advice is to know your Chihuahua. Check the entire dog daily. Know if he isn't eating, if he isn't playing, if he doesn't seem quite right. Know immediately if something is wrong so you can take appropriate action.

There are several minor ailments you can treat at home. Remember that if a home remedy doesn't cure the problem in two days, it's time to take the dog to the veterinarian. Do not keep trying various methods of home medication.


The easiest way to give a liquid medication is with a syringe. You can get them from your veterinarian or most drug stores. You want at least a 3cc size. Discard the needle. Pull the proper amount of liquid into the syringe, open the dog's mouth and shoot the liquid onto the back of his tongue.


Open the dog's mouth, push the pill or capsule as far down his throat as possible, then hold his mouth shut and stroke his throat until he swallows. This has been known to work. Or wrap the pill or capsule in a bit of ground beef, lunchmeat or Velveeta cheese and feed it to the dog.

This usually works.


For minor upset stomach Pepto Bismol or a similar medicine works best. Dose is according to the dog's weight. If there is hard vomiting or if the upset lasts more than 24 hours, take the dog to your veterinarian.


Kaopectate is most usually prescribed for minor diarrhea. Dose amount depends on the dog's weight. If the diarrhea continues longer than 24 hours or if there is Blood or Mucus in the stool, take the dog to the veterinarian.


These are red, weepy, itchy spots. No one seems to really know what causes them. It could be fleas, food, allergies, etc. Clean the area thoroughly. You can wash with shampoo, rinse and dry. Or clean with Baby Wipes with lanolin and aloe. Or wash with Bigeloil. Then apply a medications such as Panalog, Bag Balm, Sulfadene, Schreiner's Healing Liniment (from a feed store) or 1% cortisone cream (you may need to get this from your own doctor). Clean and apply medication daily. You should see improvement by the second day, if not, take the dog to the veterinarian.


These are somewhat like hot spots, but they are not weepy. Be sure you clean away all the scabby material. Wash the area and treat with Panalog, Keflex, or any good anti-fungal ointment. You can use Demorex shampoo or a sulfur based soap for the washing.


Dust, wind, pollen, the things that make your eyes burn and water have the same effect on your Chihuahua. You can rinse the eyes out with a solution such as Clear Eyes. If the eyes are badly irritated, use a contact lens ointment such as Bausch and Lomb Duolube. For any other eye ailment, take the dog to your veterinarian.


You take his temperature just as you take a small baby's - rectally. Use a good digital thermometer, lubricate generously with Vaseline, insert gently, hold onto the thermometer dogs have been known to suck them in!, wait until it beeps, pull out and read. Normal temperature for most dogs is from 100.5 to 101.


Remember that you should only perform artificial respiration if your Chihuahua has stopped breathing. To do this look at your Chihuahua's gums. If they are pink, you can be relatively certain that oxygen is present in the bloodstream. If the gums appear blue or white, he is not getting enough oxygen and artificial respiration may be needed.

To give your Chihuahua artificial respiration, follow these steps:

1. Lay your Chihuahua on his side and make sure there is no debris in his nose and mouth.

2. Gently pull his tongue forward.

3. Close his mouth and adjust his head so that his neck and head are in a straight line.

4. Place your mouth over his nose and blow - you should see his chest expand.

5. Remove your mouth. Your Chihuahua's lungs should deflate.

Repeat this process 10 to 20 times per minute until he begins breathing on his own.

Get emergency veterinary assistance as soon as you can!


Chihuahuas are very inquistive and they tend shove thier faces into the things they investigate. This leaves them susceptible to a bee or wasp sting. A single bee sting is generally not too serious (aside from the pain it will cause), but being stung multiple times can be deadly. However if the single sting is in the mouth or around the nose, there is much more danger.

Knowing what to do if your Chihuahua is stung by a bee or wasp is very important.

Also in the southeastern United States, fire ants can pose a similar risk. If your Chihuahua disturbs a colony of these ants, it is possible that she will suffer a large number of bites to the face. The danger of swelling and airway obstruction is very real.

What do I do immediately?

If it is a bee sting and the stinger is visible, remove it carefully with a tweezers. If you notice the bulb (venom sac) still attached, be careful not to put pressure on it as you may force more venom into your Chihuahua.

Many vets recommend applying a paste of baking soda and water to the sting and surrounding area.

Use an ice pack to relieve swelling and pain.

Give an oral or injectable antihistamine (as directed by your vet). Many owners have benadryl tablets on hand for these emergencies. The benadryl dosage is 1 mg per 1lb of dog weight up to 50mg. Standard caplets of benadryl are 25mg. Read the label carefully to be sure.

Keep an eye on your Chihuahua. If the swelling becomes extreme within 10 minutes or so, or if your Chihuahua is having problems swallowing and/or breathing, get to the vet immediately.

As dog owners it is our responsibility to assure that we protect

our dogs from ingesting harmful household chemicals. Below we have

provided a table listing many of the more common poisons, where they come

from, the symptoms of ingestion, and the immediate action to take should

your dog ingest these poisons. The information provided is for educational

purposes and for your convenience only.

Under no circumstance should this information replace the advice of your veterinarian.

Posion Source Symptoms Immediate Action
Alkaline cleaners laundry detergents, ammonia

If swallowed - pawing at mouth, drooling, abdominal pain

Skin contact - rolling, licking

Do not induce vomiting. Rinse mouth with milk or water. Rinse skin with cool water
Solvents or paint thinner paint thinner, etc Vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers on the tongue Do not induce vomiting. Wash skin and coat. Seek veterinary help immediately if ingested.
Antifreeze garage spills, leaks Problems with balance, collapse, convulsions If just eaten, induce vomiting and get to the vet!
Aspirin found in in the house, incorrectly given for pain Loss of appetite, vomiting (may contain blood), convulsions Induce vomiting and get to the vet immediately!
Anti-depressants (sedatives) found in the home or incorrectly given by owner Staggering, loss of coordination, coma If just eaten, induce vomiting and get to the vet!
Cannabis (marijuana) found in the home Dilated pupils, agitation, loss of coordination Confine to a quiet, dimly lit area. Contact your vet possible medication.
Carbon monoxide car exhaust, gas leak Loss of coordination, unconsciousness, bright red gums Fresh air, give artificial respiration if necessary
Chlorine water treament equipment Red eyes and mouth Flush eyes well with water. Flush mouth with water or milk.
Liquid detergents cleaning solutions Foaming/frothing from the mouth Wash the mouth thoroughly with clean water.
Flea repellents flea treatments Twitching, restlessness, excessive salivation, convulsions Seek veterinary help immediately.
Kerosene oil heating or cleaning fluids Stomach discomfort Do not induce vomiting. Seek veterinary advice immediately.
Lead paint, batteries, lubricants Vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, whining, light sensitivity If just eaten, induce vomiting and get to the vet!
Phenol wood preservatives, disinfectants, fungicides staggering, twitching, depression, coma Do not induce vomiting. Give milk and vegetable oil. Get to the vet!
Slug and snail bait may be eaten by dog tremors, excessive salivation, convulsions, coma - may be fatal If just eaten, induce vomiting and get to the vet!
Strychnine pesticides anxiety, tension, stiffness, leading to seizures, convulsions, then death Induce vomiting and get to the vet immediately!
Tobacco cigarettes, cigars, pipes causes vomiting if swallowed Charcoal tablets can be used to sooth irritation.
Warfarin rodent bait, dead rodent bruising, bleeding gums, possibly fatal in small dogs If just eaten, induce vomiting and get to the vet!