Common Health Issues For Shih Tzus
Purebred canines, like Shih Tzus, often grapple with health challenges. Over time, certain breeders have not given enough attention to genetics when breeding Shih Tzus, leading to problems that impact the entire Shih Tzu community. Generally, Shih Tzus are more prone to genetic health issues compared to other breeds.
Here are some prevalent health concerns for Shih Tzus:
- Brachycephalic airway syndrome (due to their flat faces)
- Dental problems (due to their small mouths)
- Eye issues (including cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy)
- Hip Dysplasia
- Ear infections (due to their floppy ears)
- Allergies (including skin allergies)
- Patellar luxation (knee joint dislocation)
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (Due To Their Flat Faces)
Brachycephalic airway syndrome is a common health concern for dogs with flat faces, such as bulldogs, pugs, and French bulldogs. These breeds often have shortened air passages, leading to breathing difficulties. Symptoms may include snoring, snorting, and labored breathing, especially in hot weather. Surgical intervention may be required in severe cases to alleviate airway obstruction and improve a dog’s quality of life.
According to the search results, the cost of surgical treatment for brachycephalic airway syndrome typically ranges from $1,500 to $4,000
Dental Problems (Due To Their Small Mouths)
Dental problems are prevalent among small dog breeds due to their tiny mouths and overcrowded teeth. This can result in issues like dental decay, gum disease, and tooth misalignment. Regular dental care, including brushing and professional cleanings, is essential to prevent dental problems and maintain a dog’s oral health.
According to the search results, the cost of dog teeth cleaning typically ranges from $250 to $700
Eye Issues (Including Cataracts And Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
Eye issues can affect dogs of all breeds, but certain small breeds are more susceptible to conditions like cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Cataracts involve the clouding of the eye’s lens, while PRA is a genetic disorder causing gradual vision loss. Regular eye exams by a veterinary ophthalmologist are crucial to detect and manage these conditions early, preserving a dog’s vision.
The cost of treatment for eye conditions in dogs can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year
Hip Dysplasia is a common orthopedic issue in dogs, affecting both large and small breeds. It occurs when the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to instability and eventual degeneration. Small dog breeds can also be affected, leading to pain, lameness, and reduced mobility. Treatment options, including medication and surgery, depend on the severity of the condition and aim to improve a dog’s comfort and mobility.
Surgery can cost anywhere from $1,700 to $6,000+ per hip
Ear Infections (Due To Their Floppy Ears)
Ear infections are a recurring problem for some small dog breeds with floppy ears, like Cocker Spaniels and Shih Tzus. Their ears provide a warm, moist environment ideal for bacterial or yeast overgrowth. Regular ear cleaning and maintenance are essential to prevent infections. If an infection does occur, prompt treatment with prescribed medications is necessary to avoid complications.
The cost of treatment for ear infections in dogs can range from $100 to $500
Allergies (Including Skin Allergies)
Allergies, including skin allergies, are relatively common in dogs of all sizes, but certain small breeds may be more predisposed. Allergies can manifest as itching, skin rashes, ear infections, and gastrointestinal upset. Identifying and managing allergens through dietary changes, medications, or allergen-specific immunotherapy can help improve a dog’s quality of life.
The cost of treatment for allergies in dogs can range from $500 to $1,500 per year
Patellar Luxation (Knee Joint Dislocation)
Patellar luxation, or knee joint dislocation, is another orthopedic concern that can affect small dog breeds. It occurs when the kneecap (patella) dislocates from its normal position. This condition can cause intermittent lameness and discomfort. Treatment options range from rest and physical therapy to corrective surgery, depending on the severity of the patellar luxation and the dog’s overall health. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor and manage these potential health issues in small breed dogs.
Unfortunately, dog luxating patella surgery costs can reach $5,000 per leg