Shih Tzu Health Problems and How to Avoid Them

Shih Tzu Health Problems

Shih Tzu Health Problems

When we talk about Shih Tzu health problems that can affect the health of your puppy. Indeterminate dog diseases can lead to expensive treatments and it can ruin your feelings if you will not immediately incorporate it in the most effective way. Providing solutions to the dog’s health issue is humane but it is better to learn to stop them as it can make you happy if your Shih Tzu behavior improves from day to day.

Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your pet’s breed. There is a general consensus among canine genetic researchers and veterinarians that the conditions we described here have a significant rate of incidence and / or impact in this breed. This does not mean that your dog will have these problems; This simply means that he is at greater risk than other dogs. We will describe the most common issues seen in Shih Tzus to give you an idea of ​​what might happen in its future. Of course, we cannot cover every possibility here, so always check with us if you see any unusual signs or symptoms.

This guide contains important general health information for all dogs, as well as the most important genetic predisposition for Shih Tzus. This information helps you and us plan together for your pet’s unique medical needs. At the end of the article, we have also included a description of what you can do at home to give your Shih Tzu the best look and feel. You will know what to look for, and we all would love to know that we are taking all possible care of your friend.

General Health Problems for your Shihtzu

A Shih Tzu suffering from any health disorder cannot speak for himself. A human can always complain about anything like “I have a high fever” but a dog will only suffer quietly. You need to be familiar with your pooch behavior to know and identify the your shih tzu health problems. 

  • Dental disease

Dental disease is the most common chronic problem in pets, affecting up to 80% of all dogs by the age of two. Unfortunately, your Shih Tzu is more likely to have teeth problems than other dogs. Dental disease begins with the formation of tartar on the teeth and progresses to infection of gums and tooth roots. If we do not prevent or treat dental disease, your friend’s teeth may deteriorate and there is a risk of damage to his kidneys, liver, heart and joints. In fact, the life span of your Shih Tzu can be as short as one to three years! We will clean your dog’s teeth regularly and tell you what you can do to keep those whites clean at home.

Health Problems
  • Infections

Shih tzus are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections – the same as all dogs can get – such as parvos, rabies and distemper. Many of these infections can be prevented through vaccination, which we would recommend based on their age, diseases seen in our region, and other factors.

  • Obesity

Obesity can be a significant Shih Tzu health problem. It is a serious disease that can cause or worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain, and heart disease. While it is tempting to give food to your friend when she looks at you with those soulful eyes, you can “love her to death” with the food and dog treats of the survivors. Instead, hug her, brush her fur or teeth, play a game with her, or maybe take her for a walk. She will feel better, and you too!

  • Parasites

All kinds of insects and insects can attack your Shih Tzu’s body inside and out. Everything from fleas and ticks to ear mites can infect his skin and ears. Hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms can enter their systems in many ways: drinking unclean water, walking on contaminated soil, or bitten by an infected mosquito. Some of these parasites can be transmitted to you or a family member and this is a serious concern for everyone. For your dog friend, these parasites can cause pain, discomfort, and even death, so it is important that we test them regularly. We would also recommend the preventive medicine needed to keep him healthy.

  • Spay or Neuter

One of the best things you can do for your Shih Tzu is Spayde (Neutered for Males). In female, this means that we surgically remove the ovaries and usually the uterus, and in men, it means that we remove the testicles surgically. Spaying or neutering reduces the likelihood of certain types of cancer and eliminates the possibility of your pet becoming pregnant or giving birth to unwanted puppies. Performing this surgery also gives us an opportunity, while your pet is under anesthesia, to identify and address some diseases your dog is likely to develop. For example, if your pet needs to have a hip X-ray or a puppy’s teeth removed, this would be a good time – it’s more convenient for you and also easier for your friend. Routine blood tests before surgery also help us identify common problems and take precautions that increase anesthetic or surgical risk. Do not worry; When the time comes, we will discuss the specific problems we will be looking for.

Other Shih tzu Health Problems 

Your Shih Tzu is more likely to have a liver disorder called portosystemic shunt (PSS) than other dogs. Some of the blood supply that the liver must go through instead goes around it, depriving the liver of the blood flow that it needs to grow and function properly. If your friend has PSS, his liver cannot effectively remove toxins from his bloodstream. To investigate this problem, we will also perform a liver function test in addition to a standard pre-anesthetic panel each time we undergo anesthesia. If he develops symptoms such as stunted growth or seizures, we will test his blood and possibly do an ultrasound scan of his liver. Surgery may be required, but in some cases, we can treat with a special diet and medication.

Many different musculoskeletal problems have been reported as Shih Tzu Health Problems. While this may seem overwhelming, each condition can be diagnosed and treated to prevent undue pain and suffering. With careful observation at home and knowledge of diseases affecting your friend’s bones, joints or muscles, you will be able to take great care of him throughout his life.

A lot of things are not as dramatically affected by the quality of your dog’s life as the proper functioning of his eyes. Unfortunately, Shih Tzus can inherit or develop many different eye conditions, some of which can cause blindness if not treated immediately, and most of which can be extremely painful! We will evaluate his eyes in every examination to look for any signs of anxiety.

  • Kidney disease

Glomerulonephropathy is an inherited disease that gradually damages the kidneys of your Shih Tzu, often causing them to fail at an early age. Because damaged kidneys leak protein, we may be able to diagnose the disease by annually testing your pet’s urine for excessive protein. Early detection makes for a happier pet and an easier, more economical treatment plan. We can also recommend a special diet as part of their therapy.

  • Bladder or kidney stones

Some different types of stones can form in the kidney or bladder, and Shih Tzus are more likely to develop them than other breeds. We will periodically test their urine for telltale signs indicating the presence of kidney and bladder stones, which in addition are very painful! If your friend has blood in his urine, is not able to urinate, or is pressurizing to urinate, then it is a medical emergency. Call us immediately!

  • Hyperdrenocorticism (Cushing)

Cushing’s disease is a malfunction of the adrenal glands that causes them to produce too much steroid hormone. This is a common problem in dogs, and your Shih Tzu is more likely to be affected than other dogs. The condition usually develops slowly, and the initial symptoms are easily missed. Symptoms include drinking more than usual and urinating, increased appetite, and decreased activity levels, later abdominal cramps, thin skin, and hair loss. Treatment usually involves oral medications and requires close coordination with us to ensure the correct dosage.

Cancer is a major cause of death in older dogs. Your Shih Tzu will live longer than many other breeds and therefore have a higher risk of getting cancer in its golden years. Many cancers are cured with surgical removal, and some types are curable with chemotherapy. Early detection is important! When we examine your pet we will periodically conduct diagnostic tests and look for lumps and bumps.

  • Allergies

In humans, people allergic to pollen, mold, or dust sneezes. In dogs, instead of sneezing, allergies cause itching on their skin. We call this skin allergy “atopy”, and it often occurs in Shih Tzus. Legs, abdomen, skin folds and ears are the most affected. Symptoms usually begin between the ages of one and three years and may get worse each year. Licking toes, rubbing the face and frequent ear infections are the most common symptoms of allergies. The good news is that there are many treatment options available for these conditions.

Dogs have several types of hereditary bleeding disorders. They range in severity from very mild to very severe. Many times a pet seems normal until a serious injury or surgery occurs, and then severe bleeding can occur. Von Willebrand’s disease is a blood clotting disorder often found in Shih Tzus. We will perform diagnostic tests for blood clotting times or a specific DNA blood test for von Willebrand disease and other similar disorders to check for this problem before performing surgery.

  • Heart disease

Shih Tzus suffers from several types of heart disease, which can occur both early and later in life. When we examine your pet we will hear heart murmurs and abnormal heart rhythms. When prompted, we will perform an annual heart health checkup based on your dog’s risk factors, which may include an X-ray, an ECG, or an echocardiogram. Early detection of heart disease often allows us to treat with medication that can extend the life of your pet for many years. Veterinary dental care and weight control also go a long way in preventing heart disease.

  • Respiratory distress syndrome

Respiratory distress syndrome, also known as brachycephalic syndrome, affects dogs with small noses like your Shih Tzu. Dogs with short noses have the same amount of tissue in their nose and throat as dogs with long noses, but have less space. As a result, the soft palate is too long behind the roof of the mouth and may hang in the airway. The nostrils of these dogs are often very small, and sometimes the trachea, or trachea, is narrow and of small size. All these differences can lead to a narrow and obstructed airway such that many of these dogs can barely breathe! Watch for exercise intolerance, loud breathing, cough, blue gums or fainting. With her small nose, your pet is also more likely to develop other problems, such as flatulence due to excessive air intake, pneumonia from ambitious meals, and heat stroke. In severe cases, surgical correction may be recommended to reduce airway obstruction.

  • Dental abnormalities

Dental abnormalities are often genetically induced and relatively common in dogs, especially in purebred dogs such as your Shih Tzu. Overbite or underbite is called maloclusion or bad byte. Oligodontia is a condition in which only a few teeth are present. Misaligned teeth can also occur and cause a lot of problems, but can usually be corrected with braces or extracts. (Yes, dogs can get braces!) We want to keep your friend’s teeth healthy, so we’ll take a closer look at her developing teeth.

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