Common Diseases of the Shih Tzu Breed

The Shih Tzu are one of the favorite breeds among dog lovers because they are a breed of loyal, playful dogs who love to be in the company of their owners. It is a docile dog, extroverted, and because of its association with Buddhism, are dogs that do not have the habit of barking a lot, which makes the breed one of the favorites among the apartment dwellers, because of its calm temperament.

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In this article of the Perito Animal, we bring information about the most common diseases of the Shih Tzu breed , so that you can take care of your dog better and better, paying attention to the peculiarities of the breed.

It may also interest you: tosas types for shih tzu

Diseases that the Shih Tzu may have

Among some common problems among dogs, some breeds are predisposed to the development of certain problems in relation to others. Shih Tzus , in particular, may present:

  • Eye diseases
  • Skin diseases
  • Genetic diseases

See below for information that YourCatCareguide has prepared to keep you within the most common diseases within each theme.

Shih Tzus Eye Diseases

In general, the breed does not usually present many health problems, but because they have large eyes and long hair at eye level, eye problems are among the main diseases that affect dogs of the Shih Tzu breed.

Among the most common eye diseases we can have:

  • Constant tearing.
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

Constant tearing – It is normal for the breed to produce constant tears due to the conformation of the eyes, and this may harm the coat around the eyes, so it is important to hold the hairs so that they do not fall into the eyes and do not irritate the lacrimal glands, leading to greater production of tears.

Conjunctivitis – Canine conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the mucosa of the eyes, which can have several factors, including an associated secondary bacterial infection. Clinical signs may be purulent secretion, indicating bacterial infection, constant tearing, swollen eye, and increased sensitivity to light. Take your Shih Tzu to the vet because the treatment requires some extra care. To avoid this kind of problem do not keep your eyebrows stuck with a very tight elastic as this can prevent your dog from normally closing their eyes as the skin becomes more pulled up. Other precautions would be to keep the eye area always clean with specific products for this, and be careful with the dryness after bathing or on windy days. To learn more aboutCanine Conjunctivitis – Causes and Symptoms , YourCatCareguide has prepared this article for you.

Corneal Ulcer – The Shih Tzu is a breed of dog that has the most prominent and large eyes compared to other dogs. Therefore, it is a dog that is more predisposed to suffer from corneal ulcers, which can be caused in general by a trauma, such as hairs, branches, leaves or anything that can strike the eyes, injuring the cornea, that is, the membrane that covers the eyes. If you notice that your dog does not want to open his eyes, or that one of the eyes is swollen, because to identify the ulcer of the cornea is necessary the examination with a specific eye drops, to then start the treatment with a veterinarian ophthalmologist, since without care , it is possible that the dog is blind.

Progressive retinal atrophy – It is a congenital and hereditary problem that can lead to irreversible blindness. YourCatCareguide has prepared these tips on How to know if my dog ​​is blind .

Shih Tzu Skin Disease

The Shih Tzu breed has a very strong tendency to develop the so-called dermatitis, which are skin diseases caused by allergies. These allergies can be related from the environment, dust, ectoparasites or cleaning products, and even food.

To find out the true cause of dermatitis , veterinary advice is needed as the diagnosis can be time consuming, and if the dog is very itchy and red on the skin, medication may be needed to relieve the puppy’s suffering.

See this article by YourCatCareguide on Skin Diseases in dogs .

Tick ​​disease in Shih Tzu

The tick disease is a disease transmitted by a bacterium that infects ticks. When the tick bites the dog, it transmits that bacterium to the dog, and eventually causes the disease called Ehrlichiosis or Babesiosis , popularly known as Tick ​​Disease in dogs .

This disease does not only infect the Shih Tzus, because as they are transmitted by the tick, any dog ​​that has access to parks, streets and other public places frequently, and even to the backyard, is susceptible to contracting the disease. That is why it is important to always keep the yard well sanitized, to avoid ectoparasites in general, and the dog’s flea is always up to date.

Genetic diseases in Shih Tzu

Genetic diseases are usually associated with the neglect of amateur dog breeders, so it is always important to research well before buying a dog of breed and apply for veterinary certification of the parents of the puppy that one wishes to acquire. This prevents dogs with hereditary problems from being procreated by disseminating the most common diseases for the breed. The most common genetic diseases in Shih Tzu can be:

  • Excess brachycephaly: Brachycephalic dogs are the dog breeds that have the flattened muzzle, and the Shih Tzu is one of them. Excessive brachycephaly, ie, when the muzzle is flatter than normal, can lead to a number of respiratory problems such as heat stress, nostril stenosis and predisposing the dog to other problems such as elongated soft palate, brachycephalic syndrome and keratoconjunctivitis dry.
  • Atopic Dermatitis or Atopy : Atopy is a skin disease difficult to diagnose, and is associated with allergies.
  • Familial renal diseases: Kidney diseases of hereditary and congenital origin are caused by genetic malformations, where the baby can be born without kidney or renal tubercle malformations, which compromises the functioning of the kidneys, causing a series of problems in the puppy, which may be delayed by the guardian. The most common symptoms of a kidney disease are lack of appetite, increased water consumption, but the dog urinates less. The disease needs tests for the correct diagnosis and can be controlled if discovered at first, but without treatment, the dog may die.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles that are products of the Common Shih Tzu Diseases , we recommend that you enter our section on Hereditary Diseases .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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