What Are Some Possible Shih Tzu Health Problems?

Shih Tzus are more susceptible to heatstroke and intervertebral disk disease than other breeds, according to Pedigree dog foods. Eye problems, including infections, ulcers, and cataracts, are also prevalent in Shih Tzus.

As Shih Tzus have shortened faces, they have difficulty breathing in warmer or more humid climates, Pedigree elaborates. When this breed is unable to pant properly and cool its body temperature, it can suffer from heatstroke.

Eye issues are also caused by the breed's shortened facial structure, reports Pedigree. The shallow sockets of Shih Tzus allow for air and foreign objects to enter the eye socket easily, resulting in infections or irritation. If enough irritation occurs, corneal ulcers can result in this breed. Cataracts cause loss of transparency in the eye and lead to blindness in the affected eye. Shih Tzus' eyelids can turn inward, irritating the eye. This condition is known as entropion. Shih Tzus also commonly suffer from improper drainage of tear ducts, resulting in wet streaks on the dog's face.

Due to their long backs, Shih Tzus are more susceptible to back injuries or problems than other dog breeds, according to Pedigree. Intervertebral disk disease is a common condition in Shih Tzus caused by spinal disks pushing on nerves, causing pain, weakness and possible paralysis.