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Common Shih Tzu Health Problems

Even a short list of possible Shih Tzu health issues is more extensive than the small dog’s legs. While most of the illnesses are there from birth, quick detection and help can make a difference in giving your dog a healthy life.

Here’s a small breakdown of a few of the more typical Shih Tzu health problems and what you can do about them.

IVD Disease

Invertebral Disease, or IVD, is typical with dog breeds who have short legs, like the Shih Tzu. IVD happens when the dog has a disc that slips back and exerts some pressure on the spinal cord. It can lead to spasms in muscles, limb weakness, and pain.

How do you treat the disease? Rest and medicine are the initial things your veterinarian will prescribe for your dog with its disease. If those don’t work to fix the problem, your dog might require surgery.

Patellar Luxation:

What is Patellar Luxation? This is one more of the Shih Tzu’s health issues that often just affects the smaller breeds out there. When this disease occurs, the kneecap, or patella, comes out of its groove.

Patellar luxation is very often seen at birth. In most costs, it can be caused from trauma. If your dog is a victim to patellar luxation, your dog could limp or event attempt to walk with just three legs so that he won’t have to put pressure on the hurt leg. He might even hold a leg up, as so he can show you that there’s an issue there too.

How do you treat it? Because the condition doesn’t go away of its own accord, surgery is usually required. Fortunately, however, the Shih Tzu’s chances for a complete recovery are extremely post-surgery.

Stenotic Nares

Steonitc Nares are one of the most typical Shih Tzu health issues., and it is clear from birth. This disease shows your dog’s nostrils to narrow too much, and it makes it very difficult for them to breathe well. It’s a condition that’s inherited, and it’s one that, if it goes untreated, can cause the trachea to collapse or chronic bronchitis.

How do you treat it? Surgical intervention early on is optimal. This can be a fatal condition, but if you do surgery early enough, the Shih Tzu will probably be able to breathe in the right away after it.

Harderian Grand Prolapse

This happens when the gland that’s responsible for producing tears comes out of its pocket. It’s the result of connective tissue that’s weak that doesn’t hold the gland in the right way. If your dog gets Harderian Grand Prolapse, then his eye will get irritated and swollen, and there will be some discharge that leaks out of the eye.

How do you treat it? If your dog doesn’t have the proper treatment for this illness, he can become blind. To fix the problem, your dog’s gland be put in its correct position through surgery that’s performed with anesthesia that’s local.


Hypothyroidism happens when some problems occur with the thyroid gland, and they don’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Without the full amount of this hormone, the dog won’t have the healthy metabolism that he needs. If your dog has hyperthyroidism, he will suffer from weight gain, muscle loss, fatigue, and hair loss.

How do you treat it? This is one of the simlest health issues to remedy. Fortunately, hypothyroidism can be easily managed with medicine.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrand’s Disease stems from a deficiency of the VIII antigen, and it is just like hemophilia in humans. Shih Tzus who have this illness bleed too much if they undergo some trauma.

How do you treat it? You might have to do blood transfursions to help treat this condition. There are a lot of dog health issues for your dog and you to deal with, and they can easily be treated, and this will leave your pet to have a happy and healthy life.

What is the best way to deal with this dog’s health issues?

Take your dog for routine checkups, and talk to your vet at any time you think there could be a potential issue. The healthier your dog is, the better of a companion he will be.

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