The Xoloitzcuintli, often referred to as the Mexican hairless dog, is a breed with a rich history and unique characteristics. One of the most intriguing aspects of this breed is its tendency to lose teeth, particularly in the hairless variety. This article will delve into the reasons behind this phenomenon.
The Xoloitzcuintli Breed
The Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo for short, is an ancient breed that has been around for at least 3,000 years1. The breed’s name derives from the Aztec god of fire and lightning, Xolotl, and “itzcuintli,” the Aztec word for dog1. These dogs were considered sacred by the Aztecs and were believed to possess mystical healing abilities1.
Xolos come in three distinct sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. They are also known for their large bat-like ears and tough, thick skin. While they are typically hairless, there is also a coated variety.
Tooth Loss in Xoloitzcuintlis
Interestingly, hairless Xoloitzcuintlis may be missing teeth. This is not due to any disease or poor dental hygiene, but rather a genetic trait linked to their hairlessness. The same gene that causes the Xolo to be hairless also affects tooth development, leading to missing teeth.
It’s important to note that this tooth loss is unlikely to cause health problems for the Xolo. They are still able to eat and live normally, despite having fewer teeth than other dog breeds.
The Xoloitzcuintli is a fascinating breed with a rich history and unique characteristics. Their tendency to lose teeth is just one of the many traits that make them stand out. Despite this, they are healthy, happy dogs that form strong bonds with their human families. Whether hairless or coated, Xolos are a testament to the diversity and adaptability of the canine species.