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Shih Tzu – 10 Vital Dog Breed Information – Petmoo

Firstly, some of the usual hereditary diseases in a Shih Tzu dog are: Hypothyroidism, Breathing Problems, Intervertebral disk disease, and Eye-related issues.

Some of the other diseases include the Portosystemic shunt of the liver, hip dysplasia, Ear Infections, epilepsy, and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia.

♥ Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is usually notable in middle-aged dogs and also across all breeds. This disease onsets when there is a decrease or lack of thyroid hormone, thyroxine, production, and even due to immunity disorders.

Symptoms

  • Hair loss
  • weight gain
  • recurrent skin problems
  • muscle loss
  • lethargy

Indeed, if this disease is unattended for a long time, it will result in cardiovascular diseases.

Treatment

Firstly Hypothyroidism is detected by taking blood tests. There are some effective medications involved to treat a Shih Tzu dog with hypothyroidism.

However, preventive methods are not currently identified. It’s soothing to know that this disease will not cause a significant threat to your dog’s quality of life.

The recommended dosage of medicines and their frequency of intake will differ, based on the disease stage.

Generally, the daily dosage of levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone sold in the market under brand names Soloxine or Thyroxine is recommended for treating Hypothyroidism. Generic drugs are also prescribed to treat hypothyroidism.

A dog with Hypothyroidism is commonly prescribed for a standard drug dosage that is compatible with its weight. Then, blood samples are checked at periodic intervals to know the dog’s response to the treatment.

After studying the nature of the response, the vet will bring the necessary changes in the drug dosage. Once a dog with hypothyroidism starts taking treatment, the dogs are to be under medication for a lifetime. The treated dogs are constantly monitored periodically.

Furthermore, some natural therapies like Kelp, Astragalus, Fenugreek, vitamin, and mineral supplements are also advocated to prevent and treat some hypothyroidism cases.

♥ Breathing Problems

shih-tzu-dog-breathing-problem

Shih Tzu dogs’ breathing issues can be due to Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome and Breathing Spasms – Reverse Sneezing.

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Symptoms

  • Fast breathing
  • Noisy breathing
  • Coughing
  • Trouble Eating
  • Snoring
  • Trouble eating
  • Incapacitated to exercise due to a breathing problem
  • Collapse

Treatment

Depending on the disease’s condition, the veterinary doctor will decide on whether to adopt non-surgical (medication) or surgical treatment.

However, Shih Tzu dogs in the initial and second stage of brachycephalic airway syndrome can be handled by weight loss treatment by giving needful exercises.

Things like avoiding stress for the dog, keeping it in an air-conditioned place, and avoiding hot conditions are also necessary.

The non-surgical (medications) methods are applying corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and oxygen therapy.

However, these can only act as a short-term reliever of respiratory problems and inflation suffered by the Shih Tzu dog. Any abnormal conditions in the anatomy cannot be definitely cured through the non-surgical method.

Generally, surgery is the most recommended treatment for dogs with abnormalities in the anatomy that hinder its normal breathing. Stenotic nares can be surgically corrected by removing a wedge of tissue from the nostrils where this will permit more airflow through the nostrils.

An elongated soft palate can also be reduced through the surgical method to the standard size. Ultimately, the surgical excision of everted laryngeal saccules can be valuable in removing the larynx’s obstruction.

Breathing Spasms – Reverse Sneezing

Symptoms:

  • Sudden and random attacks of repeated loud and fast breathing
  • Breathing cold air
  • Showing intense excitement while performing a regular mediocre exercise
  • Breathing some irritants like perfume or air freshener spray
  • Allergies can develop where it can lead to signs like wheezing
  • Itchy skin
  • Rashes
  • Watery eyes

Treatment:

Some treatments can be tried out at home before consulting a veterinary surgeon if the situation becomes serious.

Some useful tips:

Firstly, place a tiny dab of peanut butter onto the dog’s nose. It will induce the dog to put out its tongue wherein this will help it relax the throat and resurrect itself to normal breathing.

Now, gently massage the throat area with soft downward strokes wherein this will make the throat of the dog feel relaxed. Then, prompt the Shih Tzu to have a small snack or drink

Intervertebral disk disease

Symptoms

  • Pain and feeling of weakness in the rear legs
  • Crying out due to intolerable pain
  • Anxiety
  • Lower Appetite and Activity Level
  • Muscle spasms over the back or neck
  • Hunched back or neck with tense muscles
  • Reluctance to jump
  • Loss of bladder and/or bowel control

Treatment

After careful reading of the IVDD disease condition of the Shih Tzu dog, the vet doctor can recommend for either medication-based or surgical treatment. The therapeutic requirements will be based on the severity of the disease.

Doctors generally recommend muscle relaxants, glucocorticoids, corticosteroids for pain, and inflammation alleviation. However, careful handling of these drugs is required to avoid problems like gastrointestinal discomfort and irritation that might lead to intestinal rupture.

♥ Eye-related Issues

shih-tzu-dog-eye-related-issues

There are eight different eye-related diseases that Shih Tzu dogs usually face, namely:

  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Progressive retinal atrophy,
  • Entropion
  • Trichiasis
  • Cherry Eye
  • Pink Eye
  • Red Eye

Symptoms

When there is a cataract, the light is no longer transmitted to the retina, where it usually is processed and converted to signals transmitted to the brain. Therefore the dog becomes blind. Diabetes and inflammation are the most noted symptoms of Shih Tzu puppies with this condition.

When the condition is glaucoma, the eye’s redness is noted; high pressure of the eye can be felt by touching the eyelids. It is challenging for dogs to bear this condition because the fluids inside its eyes do not drain out, resulting in sudden heavy accumulation, thereby causing glaucoma. Glaucoma is also a genetic disease.

By the way, progressive retinal atrophy is a hereditary disease where the retina, the part inside the eye that helps enable a dog’s vision, is subjected to gradual damage. However, this degeneration has no cure really and is most notable in dogs. Dogs with this condition have permanent blindness which

Entropion is a condition where the eyelids fold inwards and make eyelashes rub the eye! As a result, the eyelash hairs pierce the eyelids and cause irritations to the dogs. This is also one of the hereditary diseases a Shih Tzu dog faces.

Trichiasis is an eye-related disease where eyelashes are abnormally pointing towards the misdirecting eyeball. This causes permanent irritation.

Red-eye is when the white matter of the eye appears red in color because of the enlargement of the blood vessels. This condition is quite dangerous. This condition occurs when the blood vessels irritate the eye membrane by becoming visible.

Pink eye or conjunctivitis is the disease where the eye is infected by bacteria. This condition is also known as inflammation of the conjunctiva.

The symptoms can also be noted by swelling in eyelids and heavy water discharge leading to dry eyes. The Shih Tzu puppies will have a dimmed vision.

Cherry Eye is another eye disorder where there is a problem with the inner eyelids.

Treatment

With cytological tests, the condition can be clearly understood. Doctors suggest surgeries in many cases but when the condition is because of heredity, the only alleviation of the condition is possible instead of a complete cure.

In non-hereditary diseases like red-eye, cherry eye, Trichiasis, and cataract, surgery can be an effective treatment but subject to the disease stage.

♥ the portosystemic shunt of the liver

Symptoms

  • Neurobehavioral abnormalities which include low balance, lack of appetite
  • Intermittent gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea etc.
  • Vomiting
  • Hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar levels
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Drug intolerance
  • Stunted growth
  • Seizures

Treatment

A Portosystemic liver shunt is handled well by vets by managing and correcting the imbalances in fluid, glucose, and electrolyte; it is highly recommended by the veterinary doctors to ensure that the dog’s diet remains unaffected by this condition.

The dog’s liver functioning much be checked properly. The dog should be fed with a diet that has minimal protein content. Such conditions can also give rise to bacterial infections. Doctors can also prescribe neomycin to treat bacterial infections.

If the dogs suffering from PSS (Portosystemic shunt) liver are given the right medications, dogs will gradually improve in health. Doctors opt for surgeries only when the medications don’t help.

♥ Hip dysplasia

Symptoms

Shih Tzu dogs with hip dysplasia suffer from:

  • Difficulty to walk or run with an altered gait
  • Avoiding the extension of the rear legs
  • Stiffness and pain in rear legs.
  • Difficulty in climbing the stairs
  • Lack of interest and struggle to walk.
  • Reluctance in walking

Treatment

Since this disease is of a genetic nature, surgical treatment might not guarantee a complete cure; instead, it can alleviate the effect.

The most effective steps recommended by a vet doctor are: providing the dog with a perfectly nutritious diet, exercises, and Winston’s Joint System (a combination of three natural whole food supplements) can only allay the development of this hereditary joint disease.

However, vets recommend some orthopedic beds for comforting the dog from pain. The Canine Cooler bed with smooth, soft technology can be a source of considerable relief for the dog.

♥ Ear Infections

shih-tzu-dog-ear-infections

Symptoms Of Ear Infection

  • Ear wax discharge
  • Odor
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Hair Loss
  • Crusty Skin

Treatment

Organic products recommended by a vet like the Eco Ears – Dog Ear Infection Formula & Cleaner can be used by Shih Tzu dog owners for clearing the ear infections.

Doctors would be interested to find the source of infection and treat it. If the infections get severe and get worse, even surgeries might need to cure the dogs.

In many cases, the doctors can also look for the presence of any foreign particles which might have harmed the eardrums.

Vets use the otoscope to view the ear canal looking out for any suspected ear infection. If your Shih Tzu dog has unbearable pain, doctors may administer anesthesia to make the examination more comfortable for your pet.

A cytology test could also be done by the veterinarian removes a sample from the ear canal and examines it under a microscope.

This way, the veterinarian can determine the type of organism causing the infection and prescribe the most effective medication for your pet. Vets generally prescribe antibiotics in the case of bacterial infection.

♥ Epilepsy

Symptoms

A Shih Tzu dog suffering from epilepsy can show signs dependent on the length, frequency, and broad exposure to this disease.

The commonly seen symptoms:

  • Trembling
  • Twitching
  • Paddling of limbs
  • Salivation
  • Urination
  • Defecation
  • Changes in consciousness.

Treatment

There is a general view that epilepsy is an incurable disease, but it can be managed well-using drugs for an extended period. Medications will help the dog to become highly resistant to the abnormal electrical impulses that can induce epilepsy.

Usually, Phenobarbital, a popular medication recommended by the WHO, is given to epileptic dogs. However, chronic therapy is deployed by a vet if this drug generates severe side effects or continual seizures.

Shih Tzu puppies with severe epilepsy conditions could be advocated for treatment in a hospital to manage more severe episodes.

In respect of the long period of seizures, even after treatment in a hospital, there is a high possibility that the Shih Tzu can even face death. For Shih Tzu puppies, which experience seizures occasionally, there is no need for treatment.

♥ Immune-mediated Hemolytic Anemia

shih-tzu-dog-immune-mediated-hemolytic-anemia

Symptoms

The symptoms of immune-related hemolytic anemia could be in a stage of mild to severe. Another thing is that in some instances, the dogs may not show any signs. However, it is necessary to go to a veterinarian when there is:

  • Discoloration of the skin or mucous membranes
  • Swelling of the face or jaw
  • Pale gums
  • Paleness in the eyes or ears
  • Weakness, tiredness, or depression
  • Lack of appetite or weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fast pulse
  • Black Stools
  • Ingesting dirt
  • Hypothermia

Treatment

Based on the severity of anemia and multiple tests, the doctors would decide for any of the following treatments:

  • Intravenous fluids
  • Antibiotics, when the anemia is caused by a bacterial infection
  • Change of medications in case of anemia occurrence
  • Bone marrow transfusion
  • Blood transfusion during acute conditions like the risk to life
  • Gastrointestinal medications
  • Immunosuppressive drugs when there is [AIHA or IMHA]
  • Potassium phosphate supplements
  • Parasite or deworming medications

♥ Tick Bite Fever

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Lethargy
  • A runny nose and eyes
  • Nosebleeds
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint Pain
  • Stiff Neck
  • Epilepsy

Causes

A dog gets tick fever because of an infected tick’s bite. The transmission of a virus from the tick’s body to the dog happens due to this bite. The dog will show the symptoms, as mentioned earlier, after that.

Treatment

Treatments are based on the severity of the fever. Dogs with intense bleeding are administered with IV fluids and blood transfusion.

Generally, Doxycycline and Tetracycline are the prescribed drugs for dogs with tick fever. If you detect the tick fever at an early stage, then the regaining of health is quicker.

However, dogs in the moderate to the critical stage will take a couple of months or more (2 or 3 months) to show signs of gradual recovery from tick fever.

Read More: How To Kill Ticks?

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