Why Does My Chihuahua Have Floppy Ears? [causes and what you can do about it]
If you get a Chihuahua at a young age, you may notice its ears either staying or becoming floppy. The ears of a Chihuahua puppy will be floppy as are all puppy ears. While there can be many causes of floppy ears some are just natural and should not be a concern. Other causes involve health issues that will need attention.
Since having ears in an upright position is a desirable trait for many Chihuahua owners it is important to learn as much as you can about them.
Below, we’re going to look at several reasons why your Chihuahua may have floppy ears, if you should be worried about it, and potential ways to fix them.
Why Do Dogs Have Floppy Ears?
Chihuahuas can have floppy ears for many reasons. Whether due to age, genetics, injury, or illness, you may find your Chihuahua having floppy ears at some point in his life.
Common Reasons for Floppy Ears in Chihuahuas
Age of Your Chihuahua
The cause of your Chihuahua’s floppy ears may be as simple as his age. Chihuahuas, like all other dog breeds, are born with floppy ears.
Chihuahuas that are still in the puppy stage will have floppy ears for several weeks of development until the cartilage in their ears becomes fully developed enough to perk them up.
When Do Chihuahua Ears Stand Up?
It is normal for your puppy’s ears to be floppy or semi-floppy until they are between five and eight months of age.
If your Chihuahua still has floppy ears after eight months, there may be a different reason causing your puppy’s floppy ears.
Monitor your Chihuahua and get a vet’s advice if your Chihuahua’s ears continue to flop long-term or if you have concerns.
Genetics of Your Chihuahua
Not all Chihuahuas are made the same. Some Chihuahuas have genetics that causes floppy ears naturally, the same way they might have long hair or short hair.
If you are wondering if your Chihuahua might have permanently floppy ears, take a look at its parents (if you can!).
Chihuahuas with at least one floppy-eared parent are more likely to have floppy ears themselves.
Plus, Chihuahuas who may be mixed with other floppy-eared breeds are more likely to have genetic caused traits such as floppy ears.
Your Chihuahua’s Diet
A dog’s diet is extremely important to give them the nutrients they need to stay happy and healthy.
Diet is even more important for puppies, who need enough nutrients to grow and develop at a normal and healthy rate.
Puppies that are fed an adult diet will grow faster than normal, resulting in bone and joint issues as adults.
If you are feeding your Chihuahua an improper diet, you may find your pup developing several health problems. One symptom of malnutrition in Chihuahuas is floppy ears.
If your Chihuahua is not getting enough protein or fatty acids in its diet, the muscles and cartilage that support its ears may weaken or not develop properly, leading to floppy ears.
Your Chihuahua Suffers an Injury
It is possible for an injury to cause your Chihuahua’s ears to flop.
Health Causes of Floppy Dog Ears
There are several health issues in Chihuahuas that may cause drooping ears.
The most common health conditions that lead to floppy ears in Chihuahuas are malnutrition, ear mites, anxiety, and the teething phase of life.
Please contact your veterinary office if you believe your dog may have any of these conditions to get your dog the proper treatment.
As previously mentioned, Chihuahuas that are not fed a proper diet may become malnourished.
Malnourishment may cause Chihuahua’s ears to be floppy as their muscles and cartilage may lose strength over time or not develop properly in the first place.
Chihuahuas on a poor diet may also be frequently exhausted, which may also lead to floppy ears.
This condition is a parasitic ear infection that can affect cats and dogs. Ear mites can result due to poor hygiene or direct exposure to another animal with ear mites.
They are a relatively common condition in household pets but can spread quickly and cause a bacterial infection so early treatment is key.
Chihuahuas with ear mites will have droopy ears and will frequently be scratching their ears to relieve itching caused by the mites.
Inflammation of the ear and dark debris in the ear are also signs your dog may need treatment for ear mites.
Ear infections from mites can be serious. If left untreated it can lead to pain and even loss of hearing in your Chihuahua.
Chihuahuas that are tired or anxious may have droopy ears at times.
Chihuahuas that are stressed or anxious may stop using energy on holding their ears up to focus on the source of their stress.
Chronic stress in your Chihuahua may lead to them drooping their ears continuously due to habit.
Related to age, sometimes Chihuahuas will display droopy ears during the teething stage as puppies.
Ears that were previously beginning to stand and become perky ears may droop over again once teething starts.
Because the teething process causes your Chihuahua to chew a lot, the muscles in your puppy’s head may get tired quickly, causing their ears to droop.
How to Fix Your Chihuahua’s Floppy Ears
There are several things you can do to fix your Chihuahua’s floppy ears as long as they aren’t genetic and you simply are just wanting your dog to have pointy ears.
Medication, a change of diet, and even cosmetic surgery with implants there are solutions for floppy ears that may be suitable for your situation.
But remember, if your Chihuahua just happens to naturally have floppy ears you should just leave them alone and enjoy your pup!
Consult with your vet and have them determine if the cause of your dog’s ears not standing up is medical in nature.
Your vet can possibly prescribe medication that may help as in the case of ear mites.
As discussed above, if your dog does not have a well-balanced diet that could be the cause of your Chihuahua not having upright ears.
Again, consult your veterinarian and use their guidance to develop and implicate a good diet for your dog.
Note that most dog professionals and vets will advise against any type of cosmetic surgery on your dog where the only purpose is to make your Chihuahua’s ears stand up. This is considered unethical.
However, there may be some situations your vet decides that surgery is an option such as an injury.
There are ear implants that are placed in your dog’s ears that make them straight ears again. These types of ear implants are available for dogs and cats. Ask your vet for more information.
Things to Look Out For
Chihuahuas that are out of the puppy and teething phases but still have floppy ears should be assessed for health issues such as ear mites or anxiety.
If health issues are ruled out, genetic factors may be causing your puppy’s floppy ears.
Even if a canine DNA test reveals your Chihuahua is purebred, their floppy ears may be caused by either a genetic mutation or malformation in development.
If your dog’s ears turn out to be naturally floppy, always make sure you check his ears for wax or other debris that may get trapped under his ear folds.
Care for your Chihuahua’s ears should be given regularly to prevent bad hygiene or infection.
Conditions Where Floppy Ears Can’t Be Fixed
In some cases, floppy ears can’t be fixed in your Chihuahua. This may be because of genetics or other health factors.
Chihuahua Age & Genetic Lineage
Though these causes of floppy ears cannot be fixed, you will still want to assess your Chihuahua to see if these are the cause.
Luckily, your Chihuahua can still be perfectly healthy if these are the causes of their floppy ears.
Embracing Floppy Ears
Having floppy ears isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
Sure, most people hope for a Chihuahua with erect ears but if yours has naturally floppy ears, embrace the fact that you still have an adorable and unique furry friend that loves you.
Though they may not fit the physical breed standard, your Chihuahua will still have the same brave and bright personality as any other Chihuahua pup!
Can Purebred Chihuahuas Have Floppy Ears?
Yes, it is possible for a purebred Chihuahua to have floppy ears although it is rare.
Purchasing your Chihuahua puppy from reputable breeders and not puppy mills will increase your chances of getting a healthy puppy and that includes having a dog with erect ears.
Can a Calcium Supplement Make My Dogs Ears Stand Up?
While most vets will agree that a lack of calcium is not a good thing for your dog there is no scientific evidence that a calcium supplement or feeding your dog calcium-rich foods will make their ears stand up.
However, it is still good practice to you have your vet measure your puppy’s calcium levels as this is important for having a healthy dog and aids in the development of their teeth.
So it appears that giving calcium to your dog to fix their floppy ears is just a myth.
How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?
According to the American Kennel Club, Chihuahuas can live between 15-17 years. This is definitely something to consider before taking a puppy home with you!
What Health Conditions are Common in Chihuahuas?
Common health conditions that can affect Chihuahuas are patellar luxation, dental disease, hypoglycemia, heart murmurs, and hip dysplasia.
If you think your Chihuahua may have any of these conditions, reach out to your veterinarian for examination, testing, and proper treatment.
What are Good Toys for Chihuahuas?
Chihuahuas like toys that are interesting and will withstand chewing for a long time. Toys like squeakers, treat toys, and rubber bones make excellent toys for Chihuahuas.
How Have Chihuahuas Changed Over Time?
Chihuahuas, like all other dog breeds, evolved over time from a shared ancestor between them and grey wolves.
Over time, two breeds of Chihuahuas have come forth: short-haired and long-haired.
What Colors Can Chihuahuas Come In?
There are six different coat colors Chihuahuas can have: black, white, fawn, chocolate, cream, and gold. They can also have a mix of these colors in some cases.
What are Chihuahuas Best Known For?
Chihuahuas are known for their small size, large eyes, and striking attitude. Though they can fit on your lap, they are known for being confident and brave in their interactions with others.
Are There Any Famous Chihuahuas?
Yes! Two of the most popular Chihuahuas include Gidget, the Taco Bell dog, and Tinkerbelle, Paris Hilton’s beloved pooch.
All Chihuahua owners should take the extra effort to monitor their dogs on a daily basis for any odd behavior, such as having droopy ears or signs of illness.
If your Chihuahua ever develops floppy ears, consider the above information to make the best possible decisions for you and your pet.
But remember, floppy-eared Chihuahuas are still Chihuahuas and should be cherished.