Dogs are the most friendly companions to the human being. They are a symbol of loyalty which even we all cannot inculcate in our daily life. Here in this article, we are going to see about the health issues faced by Shih Tzu breed.

This breed is a small dog with a short muzzle and large dark eyes. They are soft and do have a long double coat. It will not have very long hair but then short and curly hairs. ( Shih Tzu health issues )

These are the health issues faced by Shih Tzu breed: 

1) Dental

2) Hair loss

3) Shredding Issues

4) Eye Issues

5) Skin Issues

6) Breathing Issues

health issues faced by Shih Tzu Breed

1) Dental Issues 

The significance of dog dental care has been faded away over the past 20 years.

There are proofs that a dog will keep its teeth clean by munching on the bones but then over a period of time due to adulteration lots of dogs succumbed to death because of infection which actually started in the mouth and spread all over the body. ( Shih Tzu health issues )

Such sudden deaths had happened earlier but the dog owners were not aware of the reason behind the death was because of poor oral hygiene.

Most of the Shih Tzu actually felt the difficulty in consuming foods because of dental issues apart from that being an animal who actually cannot communicate their problems.

Nowadays dental care is actually coming into the picture with regular brushing of teeth to avoid such dental problems.

2) Hair Loss 

Alopecia is nothing but hair loss which can be a troubleshooting condition. Its coat is termed as hair as opposed to fur which prevents natural hair-fall but it actually makes coat loss issues very common. ( Shih Tzu health issues )

There are no possibilities of drastically shedding the thickness of the coat, on an ongoing basis the breed lose some amount of hair. At times the coat loss can occur rapidly over a period of time.

Let us see some of the main reasons for hair loss :

Acanthosis Nigricans:

No, every Shih Tzu breed gets this health condition. This infection is because of hypersensitivities, hormonal imbalances or friction.

Allergic Dermatitis :

This is a severe allergy which can affect both skin and coat. The hair follicles will fall out because of the excessively dry and irritated skin which leads to coat shedding.

At times the allergy can cause hairs to get dry and brittle which leads to breaking off. These allergies can be caused by good, environment or through contact with any chemicals. There are other issues like itching, runny nose, watery eyes, coughing and or upset stomach.

Alopecia X:

This means hair loss and the cause is not known that is why it is called Alopecia X. There are symptoms like skin issues, itching, with some dark spots. There are a few cases which are linked to a hormonal or an autoimmune disorder.

Cushing’s Disease:

This is a dog condition which produces lots of stress hormones called cortisol. Sometimes this is triggered by an adrenal tumor. You can find some dark skin spots or white scaly patches. ( Shih Tzu health issues )


In this rare disorder, hair loss occurs with a side effect of sunlight or UV rays.  There is no reason behind this disease.

health issues faced by Shih Tzu Breed

3) Shedding issues 

This breed is considered a less shedder and the most spread rumor is that Shih Tzu does not shed at all. They do shed in a different way then what is perceived in other breeds.

The length of the hair grows longer than the fur and it reaches the floor when compared to other breeds. The fur is thicker than the hair strands. This difference actually prevents shedding to a small extent but does not remove it completely. ( Shih Tzu health issues )

Coat Growth and Fall Cycle

The coat gets rejuvenated continuously and the coat grows in three stages:

Anagen Phase: This is called the growth stage. More than 85% of the coat is growing at a particular point in time. If they are in good condition then the strands will not have split ends but rather will grow to the floor length. ( Shih Tzu health issues )

Telogen Phase: In the resting stage the hairs are safe and secure.

Catagen Phase: This is the final shedding stage which happens with this breed. Blood supply is cut off to such hair follicles which actually makes them fall out.

These 3 stages must be proper enough for a healthy lifestyle of Shih Tzu.

There are other types like Normal, Pregnancy and Abnormal Sheddings.

health issues faced by Shih Tzu Breed

4) Eye Issue 

These five eye problems can occur to Shih Tzu and it must be detected quickly.

1) Cataracts

This issue is a genetic disorder. Most of the dogs get it at the age of 8. It is possible for the dog to get a cataract from an eye injury. The eye lends of the dog is not clear. The vision is blurred and without treatment, a dog can go blind.

2) Corneal Ulcers

In this condition, the cornea of the eye is affected by an ulcer. This is caused by an injury to the Shih Tzu’s eye and is caused if a foreign object scratches the eye. This is not clearly visible.

3) Infection

There are lots of environmental factors and bacterial issues which leads to swelling of the eyes throughout the day, which will affect the vision in the long run?

4) Eyelash Issues

It affects the eyelid of the dog and is an abnormal spot with an ingrown eyelash. This will be painful for the dog if not treated well.

5) Skin Issue 

Let us see some of the common skin issues:

Rash: Tiny bumps or patches of red skin

Dry skin: Skin will lack moisture which leads to flaky skin.

Poor Hair Condition: If the skin is not in good condition it will lead to poor coat health with hairline thinning or even balding in some spots.

Itching: As a result of such skin issues the affected areas will tend to itch a lot.

 6) Breathing Issues 

This breed has breathing issues as per their genetics. There are various issues related to the trachea, collapsed larynx, enlarged soft palate, stenotic nares etc. Let us see some of the common symptoms seen with Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome:

  • Snoring
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Coughing
  • Trouble eating
  • Exercise Intolerance
  • Noisy breathing
  • Collapse, fainting