problems that all dogs face from time to time. In this
category, I place issues such as external parasites
such as fleas, ticks and mites, and internal parasites
such as intestinal worms and heartworms, Fortunately
there is much information available today to make
every dog owner a literal expert on the subject. It is
also important to note that these problems can be
treated, but more importantly, prevented with proper
care. In addition, puppies can be vaccinated against
several diseases that used to kill in the past. There is
much controversy over the yearly shots that were once
considered mandatory and critical to the pet's well-
Will your new puppy be healthy? We give a written
health guarantee with each purchase, and your puppy
will be healthy when you get him. As with all pets, Shih
Tzu are prone to certain conditions and we would like
to make you aware of some of the more common
issues that affect Shih Tzu Dogs.
is easy to fix through regular dental health and tooth brushing.
Shih Tzu ears are prone to ear infections because they hang low, have hair that grows continuously in the
outer canal and creates a warm, moist environment for infections to thrive. Ear infections are generally
not serious if caught promptly and treated. Keeping the ear clean, dry and free of hair will help prevent
infections from starting in the first place.
Stenotic Nares are very small and narrow nasal passages. As you can imagine, not having enough air
entering the nose makes it difficult to breathe. As a result, the heart and lungs are put under more strain.
This particular Shih Tzu health problem is passed on genetically and in severe cases, surgery will be
required to open up the nostrils.
A genetically linked disease that often affects the Shih Tzu is Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or PRA. PRA is
basically the generation of the retina and retinal tissue over time and can lead to blindness at an early
age. If a dog is suspected of having PRA, veterinary care should be provided. As PRA is an inheritable
disease, dogs that suffer from the affliction should not be bred.
That long luxurous coat can become the problem of itching, scratching or infestation of fleas or other
parasites. These are all problems that can be either prevented or cured through basic veterinary
Another genetically linked disease that affects Shih tzu is Hip Dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is a degenerative
disease that affects the function of the ball-and-socket joint of the hip. This can be an extremely
debilitating disease and cannot always be corrected by surgery. Dogs suffering from Hip Dysplasia should
not be bred.
Renal Dysplasia is an inherited disease that affects normal kidney function which, in turn, affects the
overall health of the dog. Although Renal Dysplasia is more prevalent in older dogs, it can also affect
young puppies and in some cases, can be fatal. Dog with Renal Dysplasia should not be part of any
An umbilical hernia is a condition where there is a small opening in the abdomen wall area of the umbilicus
allowing the possibility of contents from the abdomen to protrude.
Although not a health concern, shih tzu owners are often startled by the sound and may assume the dog
is having a seizure. It is not technically a sneeze, but seems to have the same effect as a sneeze. Often
confused with seizing or gasping for air, reverse sneezing is usually a harmless event and very common in
brachycephalic dogs. REVERSE SNEEZING is a common name for pharyngeal gag reflex or paroxysmal
Just like other dogs, Shih Tzu are prone to a variety of ailments many that can be prevented through good
veterinary care. This list is in no way comprehensive so the advice of a good veterinarian should be