24.7 C
New York
Friday, June 21, 2024

Shih Tzu Well being Issues and Points

The Shih Tzu is sort of the dynamic toy canine. They’ve one of many oldest lineages of all canine breeds in existence (and a historical past which is deeply rooted in Chinese language royalty) and but nonetheless stays just like even their earliest depictions. The precise title Shih Tzu interprets to ‘little lion’ which most certainly derives from the truth that they’ve ‘manes’ round their face.

They’re an cute breed full of spunk and power, and assume extraordinarily extremely of themselves. Nonetheless they’re not dignified to a fault and as a substitute of conceitedness, this little canine is solely comfortable and assured in their very own pores and skin. The Shih Tzu breed’s whole existence is to like and be cherished and make great companions for any dwelling.

Shih Tzu’s are recognized for his or her longevity as they reside on common wherever from 10-16 years. Despite the fact that they’re historically a fairly wholesome canine breed, Shih Tzu’s are inclined to a couple well being points. It is very important perceive these points in an effort to look out for signs and assist maintain your pup wholesome.


If there’s one widespread thread between the vary of Shih Tzu well being points, it’s that their eyes can fail. Keratitis is an irritation of the cornea which might ultimately lead to an ulcer. Within the case of a corneal ulcer, your Shih Tzu will usually have to bear surgical procedure. Sadly, Keratitis does certainly trigger blindness if the situation is extreme sufficient.

Proptosis shih tzu health issues

One other eye-related dysfunction, this happens when the eyeball truly dislodges from the socket and the eyelid shuts behind it. It’s extremely painful, usually time requires surgical procedure, and may certainly trigger blindness.

Typically the primary signs start with an irritation of the attention, and additional time you’ll be capable to discover the your canine’s eye start to maneuver ahead. Fortunately, there are surgical procedures out there for this situation.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

This illness happens when the photoreceptors at the back of the attention begins to fail. At first it begins with evening blindness. Your Shih Tzu may have a tough time navigating at midnight, and infrequently appear clumsy.

Because it progresses, it begins to have an effect on their daytime imaginative and prescient as properly. Usually, PRA will ultimately result in full blindness. Whereas there’s no remedy out there for this situation, veterinarians can diagnose it years earlier than blindness ensues, which allots an inexpensive period of time for the canine to adapt to the blindness.

With these three circumstances in thoughts, be sure you all the time be eager on the way in which your Shih Tzu’s eyes develop. In the event that they’re ever crimson or swollen or when you discover your canine itching them steadily, it’s finest you’re taking your pup to see a veterinarian to allow them to diagnose the issue. Many eye-related issues should be caught early so as to be totally repaired.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is likely one of the commonest circumstances that have an effect on canine basically. Normally it’s seen in greater canine that develop too rapidly into their our bodies, however it might additionally happen in smaller canines just like the Shih Tzu. 

Hip Dysplasia can happen in Shih Tzu’s as a result of they love to leap round, notably of their youth. Typically they overestimate their capabilities and land too onerous, inflicting an damage that develops into Hip Dysplasia years later.

It impacts the hip joint, and creates a displacement between the joint and thigh bone. Hip Dysplasia varies in levels of severity, and infrequently the canine will stroll with a little bit of an irregular gait and joint paint however reside a very wholesome life.

If it’s unhealthy sufficient, this difficulty can require surgical procedure. Signs of hip dysplasia embrace an irregular gait, lameness within the leg(s), problem strolling or shifting the leg, and at worst immobility.

Allergic reactions

A number of smaller canine may be affected by allergy symptoms. Allergic reactions within the canine world are fairly just like allergy symptoms that have an effect on the human anatomy.

Typically the allergy symptoms are food-based, and the issue is solved by enjoying a sport of elimination along with your canine’s eating regimen.

However your canine will also be allergic to sure merchandise like shampoo or flea powders. Whereas much less widespread, some Shih Tzu’s are allergic to airborne allergens like pollen or mud.

Signs embrace itching, redness within the eyes, rashes, an upset abdomen, and a lack of urge for food. Very not often are allergy symptoms life threatening, however they usually make your canine fairly uncomfortable.

Ear Infectionsshih tzu illnesses

The construction of the Shih Tzu’s ears makes them vulnerable to ear infections. The floppy ears give option to a heat lengthy canal, which might typically be the stomping grounds for micro organism.

One of many telltale indicators of an ear an infection is odor, or in case your Shih Tzu is abnormally jumpy or frantic within the wake of loud noises.

There are therapies and antibiotics out there for this situation and it’s best to deliver your canine to the vet.

Collapsing Trachea

This situation is extra usually present in little canine, as a result of construction of their faces. The trachea (also called the windpipe) consists of cartilage. If the cartilage weakens, the construction will flatten, and respiration turns into a troublesome and painful course of in your little canine.

This may be corrected through surgical procedure if extreme sufficient, however at instances your canine will modify to the collapsed trachea (so lengthy that isn’t impairing airflow).

Intervertebral Disk Illness

Intervertebral Disk Illness usually happens in canine with shorter legs however a big again, as this construct may be structurally risky for the backbone. It happens when a disk slips out and presses towards the spinal twine. The signs embrace muscle spasms, weak spot within the limb(s), problem strolling, and excessive sensitivity to the touch.

Sadly, as IVD progresses, it’s doable that the canine experiences full paralysis. There are therapies, drugs, and surgical procedure out there to assist appropriate (or a minimum of mitigate) the signs of IVD.

Patellar Luxation

You’ll see this in loads of canine breeds throughout the board. It happens when there’s a separation within the canine’s kneecap, inflicting it to dislocate at random instances. The severity fluctuates drastically, as patellar luxation may be as miniscule as your canine having a limp for a pair days within the yr, all the way in which to the necessity of corrective surgical procedure.

Much like the aforementioned Hip Dysplasia, the signs of Patellar Luxation embrace an irregular gait, ache within the limbs, problem strolling, lameness within the limb(s), and at worse immobility. Nonetheless, there are tons of various therapies for this situation, and it’s not often an issue that can not be mounted.

Stenotic Nares

This situation happens when a Shih Tzu is born with passageways within the nostrils which can be too slender. Resulting from their abnormally small dimension, Shih Tzu’s have problem acquiring the right quantity of oxygen they wants to control their physique. The preliminary symptom is in fact problem respiration, and that is usually seen instantly by the proprietor.

As time goes on, if the issue persists (or worsens), then the canine’s physique can start to fail. Nonetheless, the surgical procedure out there for this situation is sort of all the time profitable. Surgeons will navigate into the nostrils and widen the passageways to permit for a bigger quantity of airflow.  

Hypothyroidismhealth problems of shih tzus

This situation instantly impacts a canine’s thyroid, and it’s not as widespread in smaller canine. Nonetheless, there are some stories of Shih Tzus affected by this.

It happens when the thyroid doesn’t perform correctly, which implies they’ll regulate their metabolism.

Signs embrace excessive fatigue, hair loss, an irregular urge for food, an extreme have to urinate, and weight achieve.

If this situation goes on too lengthy with out remedy then a canine can fall right into a coma. But whereas this can be a critical difficulty, it might usually be handled with the right drugs.

Ideas To Hold Your Shih Tzu Wholesome

The circumstances listed above are merely the well being points which have an effect on this breed most, and it doesn’t essentially imply your canine will expertise any of those circumstances. Shih Tzus are recognized to be a wholesome breed with a robust bloodline. However, because the proprietor it’s your duty to make sure that you do every part doable to verify your canine lives a wholesome life. Listed below are some ideas to take action.

Take Them To The Vet

Taking your Shih Tzu to the vet recurrently is the one most essential issues you are able to do to maintain your canine wholesome. With a purpose to keep on prime of any sickness or situation that will come up, it’s essential to take your canine in for routine checkups. Be certain your canine will get his yearly examinations and has all of the photographs he must reside an extended wholesome life.


Grooming is a positive option to be sure you’re protecting tabs on the well being of your canine. Grooming doesn’t simply embrace caring for their coats. It is also the maintenance of their hygiene.

All canine ought to have their enamel brushed 2-3 instances per week, their nails clipped month-to-month, and a full physique inspection accomplished each couple weeks. With Shih Tzus, it’s notably essential that you simply swab their ears and clear them out weekly.

Their ears can harbor micro organism fairly simply, they usually’re vulnerable to ear infections. Not solely their ears needs to be examined, however their whole physique too.

health issues of shih tzus

Test their coats, nostril, ears, eyes, mouths, and paws for something suspicious. This implies irritation, redness, rashes, parasites, infections, and something that appears in any respect irregular.

By grooming your canine persistently, you retain them cleaner and fewer vulnerable to an infection, and also you stay conscious of their bodily state, which means you possibly can catch one thing early if it comes.


Your Shih Tzu isn’t a giant canine, nor have they got any ‘hunt’ or working-class traits of their blood. They’re regal, assured little dwelling our bodies, however that doesn’t imply they need to by no means get off the sofa.

A Shih Tzu wants their train to control their physique and to remain in form. Whereas these canine aren’t essentially vulnerable to weight problems they’ll definitely be lazy. Make certain that they’re experiencing a balanced and steady train routine.

Weight loss plan

Ensure that not solely are you feeding your Shih Tzu wholesome and high quality meals, however that you simply’re monitoring weight achieve. We all know it may be onerous to withstand feeding them their favourite maple bacon canine biscuits, however be sure you apply moderation when giving your Shih Tzu any treats. Do word that this breed could be a bit fickle about meals selection, thus there’s a bit of labor to be accomplished earlier than you’ve ironed out a meal plan that sticks. Feed them properly and in the event that they begin to achieve weight create a stability between meals proportions and the quantity of train they obtain.

Select A Respected Breeder

Seeing because the Shih Tzu is a well-liked canine, there’s a better propensity that irresponsible breeders are on the market producing amount over high quality. Should you purchase a Shih Tzu that was bred poorly, there’s a a lot greater likelihood that he’ll have well being and behavioral issues sooner or later.

That’s why it’s extremely essential to analysis your breeder completely and meet the mother and father of your canine. Make sure that the breeder can present well being clearances for each mother and father and that every one the paperwork is so as.

The Shih Tzu is a implausible canine that sits within the prime 20 of the AKC’s hottest record of canine breeds. They’re lovable to no finish, spunky and contagious, and make a tremendous pet for any family. Naturally resilient, they’ve lengthy life expectations and aren’t vulnerable to inheriting illness or falling sick.

As long as the mandatory steps are taken so as to guarantee a Shih Tzu’s well being and life-style, then there’s no cause why they shouldn’t reside properly into their older ages.


  1. “Shih Tzu Canine Breed Data, Footage, Traits & Info.” Dogtime, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017.  www.dogtime.com/dog-breeds/shih-tzu#/slide/1.
  2. “Shih Tzu Canine Breed Data.” Vetstreet, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017. www.vetstreet.com/canine/shih-tzu.
  3. “5 Necessary Well being Ideas for Shih Tzus.” Animal Planet, 2 Mar. 2015, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017. www.animalplanet.com/pets/5-important-health-tips-for-shih-tzus/.
  4. Leviticus, Jill. “Shih Tzu Canines Well being Issues | Cuteness.” Cuteness, 9 Feb. 2017, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017.  www.cuteness.com/article/shih-tzu-dogs-health-problems.
  5. Kriss, Randa. “Shih Tzu Canine Breed Data.” American Kennel Membership, 6 Nov. 2017, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017. www.akc.org/dog-breeds/shih-tzu/.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles