5 Common Health Problems for Shih Tzu dogs

Tuesday March 22, 2022

Maltese and the much-loved Shih Tzu, are among the most popular smaller breedsof dogs. These dogs are known for their loyalty and gentle child-friendly demeanor. Shih Tzus are affectionate, lively, and devoted to their owners. This breed is ideal for raising alongside a family because of its small stature and friendly demeanour. Even though these lovely canines make wonderful lifelong companions, there are a few common health concerns and issues to be aware of:

Bad Knees

A common hereditary condition in Shih Tzus is patella luxation, or abnormal mobility or displacement of the kneecap. A luxating patella can harm one or both back legs if left untreated, increasing your dog’s risk of arthritis and other orthopaedic issues later in life. So keep an eye out for any symptoms of strain in your dog’s movement; it might be the early warning sign to retain your dog’s sprightly stride for years to come. A veterinarian can detect a luxating patella, as well as other knee problems such dislocation, via a physical examination and provide surgery or pharmaceutical treatment options.

Canine Dental Disease

Shih Tzus have relatively tiny mouths, which makes them more susceptible to dental disease. Malocclusion and tooth crowding are two of the most frequent dental problems for Shih Tzus. Tartar and plaque accumulation increase as these canines age, resulting in unhealthy roots and gums. Routine dental examinations by your veterinarian, as well as dental cleanings, are critical for ensuring your dog’s teeth stay strong and healthy for years to come.

Canine Ear Infections & Otitis Externa

Ear infections are frequently caused by ear mites or yeast/bacterial overgrowth. Due to their floppy ears and hair-filled ear canals, Shih Tzus are vulnerable to ear infections. Head shaking, rubbing of ears with paws or against objects, swollen ear pinna, and foul odour are all symptoms of ear infections. Your veterinarian can do an ear cytology, which involves taking a sample from within the ear canal using a cotton tipped swab and examining it under a microscope to diagnose the kind of infection present. Following that, suitable medicine can be administered, and an adequate ear cleaning routine established. 

Breathing Problems in Shih Tzus

Due to their small face, Shih Tzus are prone to a variety of health problems, including respiratory problems. On particularly hot and humid days, you must exercise additional caution as a Shih Tzu owner. Breathing becomes significantly more difficult for short-faced dog breeds in these conditions, which are prevalent across Australia, especially in Queensland’s subtropical environment. As a result, on muggy days, your Shih Tzu may get dehydrated and suffer from heatstroke; it’s critical to provide adequate fluids to your dog if they’re outside in these conditions. Call your veterinarian right immediately if you feel your dog is having problems breathing.

Shih Tzu Back Problems

Due to their comparatively lengthy backs, Shih Tzus are prone to back and neck disorders. Intervertebral disc disease is perhaps the most common of them. The intervertebral discs that cushion the spine move, bulge, or rupture, resulting in extreme discomfort and the possibility of nerve issues. Intervertebral disc disease, if not treated effectively, can lead to persistent weakening and paralysis.

While it’s likely your Shih Tzu will be in great condition their whole life, it’s useful to be able to recognise the signs of common diseases, so you can seek treatment straight away and keep your pooch in the best possible health.

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Further Reading:

Shih Tzu