1. Health Issues
Generally, health problems in dogs can be divided into two categories: genetic and general. When it comes to Shih Tzus, there are various illnesses and diseases pet parents should know about because early recognition is essential to a complete recovery. Below are some of the health conditions that are common among the Shih Tzu breed.
Genetic Health Problems
Over the years, multiple musculoskeletal problems have been reported in Shih Tzus. While bone and joint conditions like hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, or intervertebral disc disease aren’t life-threatening, the pain and discomfort associated with these conditions can have drastic consequences in your pet’s life.
Most of the conditions above are accompanied by symptoms such as reluctance to move, whining (as if in pain), difficulty in moving, lameness in hind legs, or in severe cases, paralysis.
If your pet is displaying one or more of these signs, it’s best not to delay and get them immediate medical help. The good news is that with proper treatment and care, most of these conditions can be managed and cured to an extent to ensure your pet continues to live a healthy and happy life.
Stenotic nares is when a Shih Tzu is born with narrow nostril passageways. This is another genetic disease/condition the breed is prone to and can reduce the amount of oxygen your dog’s body needs. The primary symptom of stenotic nares is noticeable difficulty in breathing.
If not diagnosed early, the condition will have a detrimental effect on the Shih Tzu’s body, leading to weakness and other concerns. Treatment for this condition involves surgery to widen the nasal passageways of a canine’s nostrils to allow it to breathe better.
Shih Tzus can be susceptible to several eye conditions, including cataracts, dry eye, etc. Cataracts affect the lens of your pet’s eyes and cause them to turn opaque (cloudy). The condition can be treated successfully in canines through surgery.
Dry eye reduces the amount of fluid your Shih Tzu’s tear glands produce, leading to adequate moisture in the eyes. That, in turn, can lead to your pet suffering from sore and dry eyes, and it can also encourage infections. Treatment of dry eyes includes ophthalmic solutions and ointments.