Respiratory colds and breathing trouble are common concerns with schnauzer/shih tzu mixes, or schnau-tzus. They can also be affected by hernias, renal dysplasia and a variety of health problems that result from being overweight. Despite these risks, schnauzer/shih tzu mixes are generally healthy dogs.
Schnauzer/shih tzu mixes can be affected by common health conditions of either schnauzers or shih tzus. Although these hybrids are less likely to experience the illnesses associated with purebred dogs, choosing a reputable breeder is still important. The most common health concerns for schnauzers are the result of high fat levels. For shih tzus, breathing difficulty and problems in high temperatures are common.
Schnauzer/shih tzu mixes are generally well suited for life in apartments but need regular exercise to avoid becoming overweight. They gain weight easily, which can cause additional health concerns for the breed. Obesity can add to the breathing difficulties that are already common in schnauzer and shih tzu dogs. This mix is also associated with heart disease, joint damage and an increased risk of cancer.
The breathing difficulties that affect schnauzer/shih tzu mixes are a result of their short snub noses. Many dogs of this breed wheeze and snuffle even when healthy. The American Veterinary Medical Association explains that short-nosed dogs, including shih tzus, don't breathe as efficiently as longer-nosed dogs.