Shih Tzu Well being Issues and Points


The Shih Tzu is kind 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 almost certainly derives from the truth that they’ve ‘manes’ round their face.

They’re an lovely breed crammed with spunk and vitality, and assume extraordinarily extremely of themselves. Nonetheless they’re not dignified to a fault and as an alternative of vanity, this little canine is just pleased and assured in their very own pores and skin. The Shih Tzu breed’s whole existence is to like and be liked and make fantastic companions for any residence.

Shih Tzu’s are recognized for his or her longevity as they reside on common wherever from 10-16 years. Regardless that they’re historically a fairly wholesome canine breed, Shih Tzu’s are susceptible to some well being points. You will need to perceive these points as a way to look out for signs and assist hold 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 may ultimately end in an ulcer. Within the case of a corneal ulcer, your Shih Tzu will typically must 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, typically time requires surgical procedure, and may certainly trigger blindness.

Usually 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 night time blindness. Your Shih Tzu may have a tough time navigating at nighttime, and sometimes appear clumsy.

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

With these three situations in thoughts, make sure you at all times be eager on the best way your Shih Tzu’s eyes develop. In the event that they’re ever purple or swollen or if you happen to 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 need to be caught early as a way to be totally repaired.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is among the commonest situations that have an effect on canine generally. Normally it’s seen in greater canine that develop too shortly into their our bodies, however it will possibly 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. Usually they overestimate their capabilities and land too laborious, inflicting an harm 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 sometimes 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 concern can require surgical procedure. Signs of hip dysplasia embody an irregular gait, lameness within the leg(s), problem strolling or transferring the leg, and at worst immobility.

Allergy symptoms

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

Usually the allergy symptoms are food-based, and the issue is solved by taking part in a recreation of elimination together with your canine’s weight-reduction plan.

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 embody itching, redness within the eyes, rashes, an upset abdomen, and a lack of urge for food. Very hardly ever are allergy symptoms life threatening, however they typically make your canine fairly uncomfortable.

Ear Infectionsshih tzu illnesses

The construction of the Shih Tzu’s ears makes them liable to ear infections. The floppy ears give technique to a heat lengthy canal, which may 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 convey your canine to the vet.

Collapsing Trachea

This situation is extra typically present in little canine, because of the 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 to your little canine.

This may be corrected by way of surgical procedure if extreme sufficient, however at occasions your canine will regulate to the collapsed trachea (so lengthy that’s not impairing airflow).

Intervertebral Disk Illness

Intervertebral Disk Illness typically 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 wire. The signs embody muscle spasms, weak spot within the limb(s), problem strolling, and excessive sensitivity to the touch.

Sadly, as IVD progresses, it’s attainable that the canine experiences full paralysis. There are therapies, drugs, and surgical procedure out there to assist right (or not less than 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 occasions. The severity fluctuates drastically, as patellar luxation may be as miniscule as your canine having a limp for a pair days within the 12 months, all the best way to the necessity of corrective surgical procedure.

Much like the aforementioned Hip Dysplasia, the signs of Patellar Luxation embody 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 hardly ever an issue that can’t be mounted.

Stenotic Nares

This situation happens when a Shih Tzu is born with passageways within the nostrils which might be too slim. As a consequence of their abnormally small dimension, Shih Tzu’s have problem acquiring the correct quantity of oxygen they wants to manage their physique. The preliminary symptom is after all problem respiration, and that is typically observed 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 almost at all times 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 immediately impacts a canine’s thyroid, and it’s not as widespread in smaller canine. Nonetheless, there are some studies of Shih Tzus affected by this.

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

Signs embody excessive fatigue, hair loss, an irregular urge for food, an extreme must urinate, and weight acquire.

If this situation goes on too lengthy with out therapy then a canine can fall right into a coma. But whereas this can be a severe concern, it will possibly typically be handled with the correct drugs.

Suggestions To Preserve Your Shih Tzu Wholesome

The situations 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 situations. Shih Tzus are recognized to be a wholesome breed with a powerful bloodline. However, because the proprietor it’s your duty to make sure that you do every thing attainable to ensure your canine lives a wholesome life. Listed below are some suggestions to take action.

Take Them To The Vet

Taking your Shih Tzu to the vet usually is the one most vital issues you are able to do to maintain your canine wholesome. So as to keep on high of any sickness or situation which will come up, it’s vital to take your canine in for routine checkups. Make certain your canine will get his yearly examinations and has all of the pictures he must reside an extended wholesome life.


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

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

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

health issues of shih tzus

Examine 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 liable to an infection, and also you stay conscious of their bodily state, which means you may catch one thing early if it comes.


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

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

Food regimen

Make it possible for not solely are you feeding your Shih Tzu wholesome and high quality meals, however that you simply’re monitoring weight acquire. We all know it may be laborious to withstand feeding them their favourite maple bacon canine biscuits, however make sure you observe moderation when giving your Shih Tzu any treats. Do observe that this breed generally is a bit fickle about meals alternative, thus there’s a bit of labor to be performed earlier than you’ve ironed out a meal plan that sticks. Feed them effectively and in the event that they begin to acquire weight create a steadiness 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 the next propensity that irresponsible breeders are on the market producing amount over high quality. If you happen to 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 vital to analysis your breeder totally and meet the mother and father of your canine. Be certain that the breeder can present well being clearances for each mother and father and that each one the paperwork is so as.

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

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


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  2. “Shih Tzu Canine Breed Info.” Vetstreet, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017.
  3. “5 Vital Well being Suggestions for Shih Tzus.” Animal Planet, 2 Mar. 2015, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017.
  4. Leviticus, Jill. “Shih Tzu Canine Well being Issues | Cuteness.” Cuteness, 9 Feb. 2017, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017.
  5. Kriss, Randa. “Shih Tzu Canine Breed Info.” American Kennel Membership, 6 Nov. 2017, Accessed 4 Aug. 2017.


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