Common Breed Diseases In Shih Tzus


Shih Tzus make wonderful pets because of their friendly personalities. Their name comes from the Chinese word for "lion dog", as the breed resembled the lion depicted in traditional oriental art. They have silky long hair and usually weigh between 11 and 15 kilograms.

However, Shih Tzus are prone to certain diseases, so it is important to carefully monitor your pet's daily routine. Any significant changes in this routine are grounds for veterinary inspection.

A Sensitive Kidney

Shih Tzus can develop kidney disease (renal dysplasia) at an early age, which increases the importance of annual routine examinations. The first symptoms of this disease are subtle and consist only of a slight increase in thirst and urination. Because of its subtle nature, it's a good idea to calculate how much water you put in your pet's bowl each day. This problem is diagnosed with a blood test and urinalysis. 

Bladder Stones

Shih Tzus are genetically predisposed to many different types of bladder stones; calcium oxalate, urate, struvite calcium phosphate and silica crystals. These problems are diagnosed based on fresh urine samples and are usually treated with medication and dietary changes. 

Eye Trouble

Shih Tzus are particularly prone to eye problems because of their large, dark eyes that affect the eyelids, cornea and retina. Specially; entropion, where the eyelid folds towards the eye and the eyelashes scratch the eyeball. They may develop dry eyes, in which their eyes do not produce enough tears. Any signs of squinting, eye redness, discharge, cherry eye, or clouding warrant an examination. After the previous examination, we can even examine the eyes of an ophthalmologist. 

Droopy, Sensitive Ears

Shih Tzus are also prone to ear infections. Thus, plucking the hair from the ear canals and regular cleaning and inspection of the ears will help to avoid this painful problem. Like most small breed dogs, dental disease is particularly common. 

Stomach Issues

Male Shih Tzus often suffer from a stomach muscle disease called antralpyloric hypertrophy. As a result of this disease, production is reduced and this results in a reserve of swallowing in the stomach. Abdominal pain and vomiting are typical signs of this problem. X-rays and ultrasound are used for diagnosis. 

Back Problems

Shih Tzus are also genetically prone to back problems, intervertebral disc disease. When this happens, they have back pain, loss of coordination in their hind legs, and can even become paralyzed. 

Breathing Troubles

Shih Tzus can have breathing problems related to their nasal passages and face shape. This is called brachycephalic syndrome. They may have a soft palate that is too long, a trachea (trachea) that is too small, and nostrils that are smaller than normal. At the Shih Tzu's age, they can also have tracheal collapse. The cartilaginous rings of the trachea weaken and flatten. They may have a "goose hum" when they get excited. Some surgeries may be performed if your pet has a severe snoring, snoring or fainting problem. 

Their beautiful long, floor-length, silky coat requires daily brushing and regular grooming, and if your pet is uncomfortable in summer or has skin problems, it should be cut short for comfort. 


Shih Tzus are somewhat hypoallergenic compared to other breeds. They don't lose as much, but only lose a small amount of hair when bathing or brushing. Remember that dog dander and saliva cause the most allergic reactions in humans. Always keep hair out of their eyes. Allergies also affect the Shih Tzu as evidenced by hair loss, itching and licking. Allergy symptoms can mimic other skin conditions, which can have completely different causes. For example, hypothyroidism, which can be a genetic problem in the Shih Tzu, causes hair loss, weight gain, muscle loss and lethargy. Therefore, it is imperative that we diagnose this problem in time and implement a long-term treatment program that will benefit your pet.

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