Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Health Issues - Urinary Tract Infections

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

If you are having a hard time house training your Shih Tzu puppy and she frequently urinates in the house, the problem may not be with your puppy’s ability to learn, but rather an underlying condition called urinary tract infection. The condition is more frequent in female dogs, but the occurrence in male dogs is on the rise.

Signs of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

The signs are not identical in all dogs, but if the majority of the following are present your dog may be suffering from UTI. 

  • Foul smelling urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or dark urine
  • Increased urination
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Low energy levels
  • Tender lower abdomen
  • Licking of the genitals

How does it occur?

There is a large amount of bacteria outside of the urinary opening. When the bacteria enter the urethra they multiply in the urine and eventually end up in the kidneys

 The dangers of urinary tract infections.

Frequent infections can cause scarring to the bladder and in more severe cases kidney failure. For this reason it is advisable to take your dog to the vet if you suspect UTI and especially if the condition is chronic.

 How to prevent Urinary Tract Infection

  • Make sure your dog have access to fresh water. The more often your dog drinks, the more often she will urinate. Urinary tract infection is more common in dogs that do not urinate enough, as it gives more time for the bacteria to multiply while sitting in the bladder.
  • Certain medication and diseases increase your dog’s risk to develop UTI. These include antibiotics, glucocorticoids; corticosteroids, urogenital diseases (such as epididymitis, or inflammation of testicles), diabetes and tumors. By eliminating the medicine or by treating the disease you can prevent urinary tract infection to recur in the future. 
  • Do not throw water or milk on your dog’s food and leave it outside for a long time. This will create an environment where the E Coli virus can multiply and you will increase your dog’s chances to contract UTI.
  • Always buy top quality commercial dog foods. Some experts are of the opinion that dog food is one of the major contributing factors to UTI due to bacteria in the foods.

Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection

  •  It is best to take your dog to the vet for a proper examination. In most cases the vet will prescribe antibiotics to treat the condition.
  • Change the dog’s diet. Homemade dog food is the first choice. If you cannot prepare homemade dog food canned food is the next best choice. UTI occur more often in alkaline urine than in acidic urine. You need to feed your dog foods that encourage acidic urine and this includes animal based protein sources. Stay away, as far as possible, from vegetarian type diets as they lead to alkaline urine.
  •  A pill or tablet containing cranberry extract is also a very cost effective way to treat or prevent UTI.
  • Give your dog 1000mg of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) twice daily.

For more information about shih tzu health problems or for advice how to make house training shih tzu puppies easier click the links in blue. You will also be able to subscribe to a free 13 day mini course where you can learn more about issues affecting the Shih Tzu.

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About Shih Tzu Health Problems

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

A dislocated kneecap, or patellar luxation, may be present at birth but not show up until the dog is older. This health problem will most likely present itself through the Shih Tzu limping or merely walking on three legs. Recommended treatment for this is surgery. If it is a mild case of patellar luxation or the dog is of a considerable age, then a pain drug such as Prednisone my be prescribed.

A repressed respiratory system is a result of the shortened face of a Shih Tzu. This is known as brachycephalic syndrome. Dogs with this health problem will suffer from some form of respiratory distress. Only extreme cases are treated with surgery.

Von Willibrand disease is a bleeding disorder found in small dogs. This results in a lack of proteins in the blood that are needed to clot properly. This can result in excessive bleeding in regards to surgery, traumatic events or injuries. Signs that a Shih Tzu has this disorder include: bleeding of the gum area, intestinal bleeding, nose bleeds and possible diarrhea.

Inadequate kidney function is a genetic condition that normally appears in a puppy at approximately 10-13 weeks old. The kidneys are too small to function properly resulting in infections or kidney stones. In extreme cases, it may result in convulsions, vomiting and overall weakened condition. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately.

Hypothyroidism is when the proper chemicals are not produced by the thyroid causing a metabolism imbalance. Occurring mostly in middle-aged dogs, symptoms include: lethargy, weight gain and muscle loss. This health problem can be controlled through drugs. The disease should be approached as soon as possible as leaving it untreated can result in heart problems.

These Shih Tzu health problems are very likely to appear at some point during your dog’s life. With proper preventative measures and regular veterinarian visits they can be caught quickly. This will allow for the treatments to be used at their utmost potential and give the Shih Tzu a longer, healthier life.

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Revel in Learning All about the Shih Tzu

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The dogs of the Shih Tzu breed are small sized, just from 8 inches up to 11 inches in height and weigh from 9 pounds up to 16 pounds. The Shih Tzu appear to be extremely beautiful dogs. The coat of this breeds’ dogs is double: on the inside they wear a soft and wooly fur protected on the outside by a long-haired, luxuriant coat. Because the lenght of the hair on their heads, that could cover their eyes, the owners must comb it into a top knot.

The Shih Tzu or the Small Lion (the Chinese meaning of its name), as it is popularly known, originates from Tibet. Because they were secretly breeded at a monastry in Tibet, there are no available information, at least in english, about this breed’s origins and ancestors or about its’ history in the tibetan mountains, the first known documents mentioning only they were the favorite pets of the Manchu Dynasty Emperors of China, where the breed flourished around the 19th century. They reached China as gifts from Tibetan monks to the emperors of that time. Due to the fact their were resembling to little lions because of their long-haired luxuriant brown coat, these dogs were named by chinese the Tibetan Shih Tzu, meaning in english the Tibetan Lions. At the end of the World War II, these dogs were brought to the United States by American soldiers, via the Great Britain, where the breed had been imported around 1930. Beeing so beautiful and having a friendly attitude, these dogs were instantly accepted by both En glish and American people.

What Do People Love about the Shih Tzu?

The Shih Tzu dogs are popular all over the world. They love to be with people and around people. When they were left alone for a too long time, they can become cranky or act distructively. They are dogs to go along with everybody, either people or animals, and their temperament is calm and sweet. However, adults need to supervise small children when playing with these dogs in order that neither of them to be harmed.

The Shih Tzu puppies and adult dogs need a lot of grooming since it has two coats of hair - one short undercoat and one sweepingly long. The hair has to be combed daily to keep it from tangling and matting. Though they need frequent baths, they must not be exposed to humid environment as they can fall easily sick. Their teeth need special attention since they have a tendency of falling when the dog crosses into middle age (9 years old and onwards).

They breathe with a wheezing sound and snor loudly because of theirs’ short and flat faces. Shih Tzu dogs tend to get obese so owners must not overfeed them. Owners should not spoil them because they won’t listen to him anymore.

The Shih Tzu breed is basically stubborn and hence they could be difficult to train. It is hard to train them at home. Patience and not harshness makes efficient training.

As indoor dogs, they don’t need more than an apartment to live. And there is no need of much exercise. But as many possible games, both into the house and outdoors. In order to understand this breed better, you will need to know as much about the Shih Tzu as possible. A good place to then start is with the history and origin of the Shih Tzu.

Resource Box

The Shih Tzu breed originates in Tibet, but was first documented at the Imperial Court in China, in the 19th century, during the Manchu Dynasty. They are small dogs, up to 11 inches in height and 16 pounds in weight and have two coats, one long-haired luxuriant coat covering the soft and wooly fur. Shih Tzu are indoors dogs, they can be hold in apartments and need little outdoors exercise, but a lot of game playing.

The Shih Tzu: Common Health Issues

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Although disease affects all different breeds of dog, certain breeds are more prone to certain ailments than others, due to their particular anatomical structure, genetic make-up, or other factors. In this article, we will briefly describe some of the most common ailments that affect the Shih Tzu.

Eyes and Ears: Because of the anatomical structure of the Shih Tzu’s head, their eyes are especially vulnerable to being injured. This can be caused by collisions with foreign objects, encounters with other animals, rough play, etc. Eye injuries are probably the most avoidable of all ailments that affect the Shih Tzu and can be prevented to a large degree by providing a safe environment for the dog to play in, with special care taken to removal of potentially injurious objects. Shih Tzu should always be supervised when interacting with other animals and should discouraged from rough play. Another important preventive measure is to keep the eyes and eye area as clean as possible. Avoid allowing crustiness or dirt to accumulate. When grooming, it is recommended that the hair covering the eye area be left at a reasonable length as it protects the eyes from dirt and debris.

A genetically linked disease that often affects the Shih Tzu is Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or PRA. PRA is basically the de 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.

Shih Tzu are also very susceptible to ear infections. Ear infections are generally not serious and can be treated easily by a veterinarian. Some preventive methods include keeping the inside of the ears immaculately clean and free of hair and other debris.

Bones, Joints, and Internal Organs: Another genetically linked disease that affects ShihTzu 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 breeding program.

Other Concerns: Just as in humans, some Shih Tzu suffer from abnormal thyroid function. This can be treated with medication prescribed by a veterinarian, although the dog may have need of the medication for the entirety of their lives.

Shih Tzu also seem to be prone to certain types of allergies including food allergies, flea allergies, and hypersensitivity to environmental substances. This can lead to any number of secondary ailments, such as irritated skin, hair loss, and overall poor health. Allergy testing can be performed by a veterinarian and can be treated with medication.

Learn more about Dogs and Puppies on Don Krnel’s site

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What causes shih tzu to invertly sneeze?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

My lil shih tzu does this every so often and i cry i get so upset watching her what causes it to happen and is there anything i can do to calm her when it happens? Thanx in advance :)

No need to get so upset — it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. Reverse sneezing is usually caused by some irritation in the nasal passage, such as allergies or nasal inflammation, but soft palate abnormalities and other issues could also be the cause. To be certain, have her checked out by your vet.

Health Questions To Ask Your Shih Tzu Breeder

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

If you are considering the addition of a Shih Tzu to your family, there are a few facts that you will want to know to help you care for your dog. Like any breed, there are Shih Tzu health problems that are specific to this type of dog, and learning what these problems are can help you to select a pet that is healthy. It is also important to prepare for the arrival of your Shih Tzu puppy by selecting a veterinarian and learning about emergency pet care in case a situation might arise where you would need that information.

There are a number of health problems that plague the Shih Tzu breed, including eye problems and kidney issues. By educating yourself about the common Shih Tzu health problems, you can prevent many of them by looking for a line of dogs that does not have a history of issues. You can also select a vet that both you and your dog are comfortable with and learn how to handle common emergency situations with dogs.

There are two Shih Tzu health problems that affect the eyes and are seen somewhat frequently. The first is keratoconjunctivitis sicca, which is also known as dry eye. This condition occurs when there is not a sufficient production of the aqueous portion of tears in the eye, which can lead to cornea damage and even blindness if no treatment is offered. A brachiocephalic skull can also lead to eye problems for the Shih Tzu, since the skull is structured in a way that the eyes of the dog protrude more than with other breeds. This additional exposure of the eye can lead to a variety of eye problems that will need to be addressed and treated.

Renal dysplasia is the name for a potentially serious Shih Tzu health problem that affects the kidneys. Unfortunately, severe cases of this condition can lead to the death of a very young dog. It is also difficult for a breeder to know if his lines of dogs might carry this disorder, since it can go undetected for generations.

Once you have learned about the potential Shih Tzu health problems that you will need to keep an eye out for, you can begin the selection process of a qualified veterinarian that will care for you dog. Choosing a vet is an important step in good Shih Tzu care, so take your time and do your research so that you find a doctor that you are completely comfortable working with.

Responsible pet owners also understand the importance of preparing for possible emergencies that might arise with a sick or inured pet. You will want to have a few supplies at home that will come in handy for treating your dog in the event of an emergency, such as bandages, antibiotic ointment or hydrogen peroxide and a rectal thermometer. Some dog owners also keep a muzzle handy so that they can safely treat their pet when it is injured. Doing your homework in regards to Shih Tzu care will mean a happy healthy relationship between you and your pet.

Rebecca Simpson has raised many dogs and the Shih Tzu is one of her favorite breeds. If you are thinking of adding a dog to your family, it is very important for you to learn all you can about Shih Tzu care to ensure that you have the healthiest dog possible. Articles like this will teach you about potential health issues for the breed, how to choose a veterinarian and proper techniques for emergency care for your Shih Tzu.

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Shih Tzu Puppies for Adoption - Why Adopting from a Shelter is a Good Move

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

It shouldn’t be that hard to look for Shih Tzu puppies for adoption - simply look up the contact info and address of the various animal rescue groups near your area. You will not be talking to a breeder, who will know the bloodline of the puppies, but instead to the shelter’s staff who may not be always provided with that info, since they rarely discriminate between breeds. Sometimes, owners who take their Shih Tzu puppies to the shelter for adoption also leave behind the puppies’ documentation pertaining to breeding and other health matters - but that’s rare.

For the most part, most of the animals found in shelters are already adults ones; but don’t despair, sometimes a liter of pups is brought in, most of them healthy - the shelter will need to nurse them back to health if they’ve been unfed for a few days. So be prepared to be briefed by the staff on the importance of not neglecting the feeding schedule of Shih Tzu puppies for adoption. Add to that the fact that many puppy mills have the incentive to breed and cross-breed without regard for the puppies’ health.

What’s recommended is to adopt an adult dog from a Shih Tzu rescue. Animal rescue groups are predominantly small organizations with limited funding and limited physical resources. Foster homes are often used to augment resources - these homes serve to take care of some of the orphaned dogs until the shelter can find new and responsible owners for them. You essentially allow more dogs to be helped by the shelter when you adopt from them, since you provide a good home for one of theirs and they can take in more abandoned dogs. That’s why adopting from them is good for you (you get a new companion), the dog (which gets a new home), and the shelter (which can help more dogs).

Supposing you bring home a liter of healthy puppies the staff nursed and took care of before finding for them a good home, you may want to talk to the staff who took care of them. The staff can walk you through what you need to do and what you need to avoid doing when it comes to taking care of the puppies. Is it your first time to bring home such puppies? Then the staff can be of great help.

Keep in mind that adoption is a good option if you’re not particularly attached to a Shih Tzu breed, and if you’re fortunate enough to stumble upon a shelter with Shih Tzu puppies ready for adoption. A Shih Tzu can live as long as 18 years, and so if you’re up for a companion dog that’s loving, loyal, and lovable, then you made the right choice in adopting a Shih Tzu.

It’s good that you’re looking for Shih Tzu puppies for adoption, because that means you’re likely to get in touch with animal shelters and rescue organizations. You can usually find Shih Tzu puppies for adoption from these concerned groups, and have staff that know exactly what these pups need to be grow healthy. You want to talk to the staff who may be able to provide a breeding and health background of the puppies.

Why a Shih Tzu Is Worth Treating Like a Celebrity

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

If you’re thinking of getting a Shih Tzu, you’ve opted for a popular but possibly difficult to take care off breed. This dignified presence, or the way this breed carries itself, is one reason it’s also called the Imperial Shih Tzu. As a companion pet, however, it is a superb one.

The tests to restore the original function of different dog breeds

Over the years, there’s been much discussion about holding tests to see if various dog breeds live up to original expectations. There are specific tests for herding dogs, hunting dogs, lure tests for sight hounds, grounds tests for terriers, stamina tests, and water and draft tests. Dogs that pass the tests assigned to the breed they belong to were judged adequate to expectations associated with their breed.

These tests of performance, appropriate they may be for some breeds, is not need for the toy dog breed, a breed which has a different set of expectations associated with them. Many toy dog breeds perform well in the job they are expected to do, namely, be great companions, lively pets, and healthy company.

The personality - treat it like a king

This breed is often outgoing and friendly, but it’s got a brat persona that wants only to be spoiled. It has a great sense of self, which is probably why many owners notice this breed is not good with other pets and little kids around. But if the other kids love to comb the Shih Tzu’s long, fine coat of hair, that dog will love that kid.

This breed make for reliable watchdogs, being alert to people around them and their owners. Be careful though, as poorly bred and trained one can be noisy and snappy. A smart dog, the Shih Tzu can be trained, although not as easily as other dogs. You need to be persistent when training it, as it can be stubborn. Be careful with punishing it, since it can shut down and do the opposite of what you want to train it to not do.

A short list of health problems

Renal dysplasia (a kidney disease), slipped stifles or kneecaps, and large eyes that are prone to injury - that’s a quick glance at the Shih Tzu’s health problems. It also has a slight wheezing problem with its short muzzle. Other than these, everything else is connected with his coat maintenance - poor grooming results in tangles, hot spots, painful mats, skin infections, and to some extent maggot infestation. You have to establish a grooming schedule - groom your Shih Tzu everyday to prevent coat problems. If you can’t do that you need to choose another breed.

To be sure that the Shih Tzu a breeder may be offering for sale is a genuine one, you need to the check the breeding standard. It’s not surprise that puppy mills abound, what given the popularity of the Imperial Shih Tzu and the demand for both puppies and adults of this breed. You want to get in touch with reputable breeders that are connected with breeding clubs before you seriously consider buying a Shih Tzu.

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Shih Tzu Grooming - What Prospective Owners Should Know About

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

The long-haired Shih Tzu, if you didn’t know, actually has two coats. The long coat that many pet owners love to brush for hours is the outer coat. It also has an inner coat, that’s usually wooly. Despite a lack of patience with an attention-demanding and high maintenance pet, some people want to own a Shih Tzu.

A word of caution - if you can’t groom a Shih Tzu every day, don’t get one; if you cannot devote enough time and money to attend to its needs, don’t get one. You need to know that a Shih Tzu has a lifespan of about twenty years, which is good if you can learn to be responsible and disciplined enough to take care of such a loyal companion dog. So you need to be sure you can do this if you want to have a health Shih Tzu.

Impulse buying or adopting is not going to be a good decision, if it’s a decision at all - just because you spend some time watching a dog show or combing a friend’s Shih Tzu, doesn’t mean you can take care of it. There are conformation standards, strict ones, that dog show entrants must pass. The reason those pets look gorgeous is because their owners spent a lot of time grooming them and training them - that’s not something many owner can do. Shih Tzu grooming is a habit a good pet owner should develop, but that some, unfortunately, don’t.

It’s not news to anyone that some people purchase or adopt this breed, and then, after experiencing first hand just how demanding it is to keep one, they give up - they give it up for adoption. Still, some feel they cannot pour their time everyday spending long hours of it grooming their dog. Grooming their beloved Shih Tzu is an activity some people love. They’re great pets, especially for the elderly, since they are made to feel wanted because the dogs crave to be loved.

There is one way to reduce the need to keep grooming that hair, and that’s to consult a specialist, a dog stylist. You could have your Shih Tzu’s hair cut stylishly, so that your dog remains cute, only with less hair to worry about grooming. Although you may want to consider this, but you might have to put up your dog for adoption.

Again, if Shih Tzu grooming is an everyday habit you cannot establish and stick to, please reconsider getting a Shih Tzu. At its worst, inconsistent grooming leans to health problems; at the least, you inconvenience your dog by leaving its coat dirty, tangled up, and matted. The last thing you want is for you Shih Tzu’s hair to mat, tangle up, be the home to various parasites that lead to skin lesions and other diseases.

Shih Tzu grooming should become a daily ritual for owners of this toy dog breed. That’s because a Shih Tzu may develop problems with its coat if not care for, or groomed at least every other day. If you find that you may not have time for Shih Tzu grooming because of your work schedule or other concerns, you may want to choose another breed of dog, as this breed demands constant grooming to avoid health problems.

Common Health Issues You Need to Know For Your Shih Tzu

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Shih tzu are sturdy dogs and can live a fairly long and healthy life, up to 15 years with proper diet and care. Just like human, our dear furry friend may encounter some health issues during their life. It is therefore important to understand these common health symptoms and take preventive measures.

Shortness of Breath - it is not uncommon for Shih Tzu to have breathing issues because of its short face and snort. However, in some cases, the dog may have a sudden case of “asthma” or shortness of breath out of nowhere. The dog will sound as if it has choked on something and can’t breath properly. This could be caused by excitement on the part of the dog during play or other activities. Owners are advised to minimize strenuous activities especially if the dog is getting older.

In such situation, try to calm your dog down by massaging and patting its chest in a downward stroke manner. The massage may help to calm down those tense muscles and gets the dog to relax.

Ears - if you found some pus in your pet Shih Tzu and its ear is looking red (instead of the white healthy pink), it may be caused either by some infection or it could simply be irritation due to dust and dirt. Try cleaning the ears with some dog ear cleaner and observe. if it persists for 2 days or more, bring the dog to the vet.

Eyes - Shih tzu has big eyes and tends to get infection on their eyes. At times, the dog may accidentally scratch their eyes while scratching near their muzzle or ears. In such situation, you can notice that their eye will be closed most of the time due to the intense pain. Immediately bring the dog to the vet, where they will check for ulcers.

Kim is a dog lover and has a Shih Tzu. You can also check out her latest website on walk behind lawn mowers which reviews and lists the best walk behind lawn mowers for your mowing needs at

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