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SHIH TZU EYE CARE

Overview

Shih Tzu eye care is a very important element of keeping your dog happy and healthy. The large eyes of the Shih Tzu make this dog breed more susceptible to certain eye issues.

We will discuss:

  • Daily Needed Eye Care
  • Common Shih Tzu Eye Problems
  • Symptoms to Notice
  • Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Prevention Techniques
Daily Needed Eye Care for the Shih Tzu includes maybe wiping the dogs eyes with eye wipes and checking to make sure they look normal with no spots or scratches. A scratch left unattended can lead to much more serious problems including rupture of the eye or removal. Catch it early and a little bit of eye meds will go a long way!! 

If you own a Shih Tzu, you should set aside a specific time once per week to tend to your dog's eyes.  This will be for:
  • Cleaning
  • Looking for signs of any eye health issues with your dog
Cleaning

To perform this weekly cleaning, you will want to use a soft wash cloth, moist with warm water.  Gently wipe around each eye, paying special attention to any skin folds.   If your Shih Tzu does have any skin folds in this area, you will want to then use a cotton swab to wipe out any moisture once cleaning is done; if not bacteria can quickly grow...leading into a yeast or fungi infection.

Red Flags

As you go about your weekly eye cleaning with your Tzu, you will want to look for any signs of  an eye issue.  Details will be discussed below with the most common Shih Tzu eye issues...however keep a look out for:
  • Your dog avoiding bright lights
  • A cloudiness to the eye
  • An excessive discharge
  • Any swelling of the eye or around the dog's eye
  • Redness
  • Your Shih Tzu "pawing" at their eye or eyes
The Most Common Shih Tzu Eye Problems

There are 5 common eye problems which may occur with the Shih Tzu.  Early detection is a must to help your dog recover as quickly as possible.

Cataracts

This is usually a genetic health issue for dogs.  When genetic, this most commonly occurs with Shih Tzu from the age of 8 years However, a dog may also develop a cataract from an eye injury. When this develops, there is a "clouding" of the dog's eye lens. This does affect vision and without treatment, a dog can become blind.
and on. 

Surgery is usually performed to remove the dog's cataract and is most often very successful.  The operation eliminates the possibility of the dog becoming blind; however some scarring may form...and lead to a slight decrease in clear vision.  

Corneal Ulcers

As the name implies, this is a canine eye condition in which the cornea of the dog's eye will develop an ulcer.   This is most often caused by some type of injury to the eye of the Shih Tzu.  This can happen if the Tzu's eye is scratched by a foreign object.   Many times, the tear that happens is not visible.  You will suspect that your Shih Tzu has this if they close their eyes often, keep an eye half open, or has excessive tear drops.

Once taken to the veterinarian to have this diagnosed, most often treatment will be daily eye drops to lubricate the eye, decrease swelling and reduce pain until the tear is repaired naturally by the dog's body.

Infection

A Shih Tzu eye infection can happen to any dog, at any time.  If not treated, the dog's eye infection may keep coming back and will usually eventually interfere with sight.

The most common symptoms of this is a redness or swelling around the Shih Tzu dog's eye or eyes,  excess discharge and/or an aversion to bright lights.  Only an experienced veterinarian will be able to tell you if the symptoms point to allergies, a bacterial or a virus infection.  An antibacterial eye drop solution is usually the best course of action, if infection is found in your dog's eye/s.

Eyelash Issues

A Distichia is an eyelash that grows from an abnormal spot on the eyelid of a Shih Tzu &  Trichiasis is the term for ingrown eyelash on a dog.  Both can cause great discomfort for the dog until treatment is given.  How will you know if your Shih Tzu has this eye problem?  In many cases, you will actually be able to see the offending lash.  If not, you will notice that your dog constantly tries to "scratch" their eye or rubs their face against pillows, carpets, etc in an attempt to sooth the discomfort.  Because a lash can re grow, the most common treatment with the best results is electrolysis to remove the lash permanently.

Dog pink eye or Dog Conjunctivitis

The symptoms of this are usually easy to spot.  The eye of the Shih Tzu dog will literally become red or pink.  Discharge is usually apparent, swelling and signs of general discomfort.

Pink Eye in the Shih Tzu can be caused by several factors:
  • The bacterial form is spread by contact. This can occur from human to dog, dog to dog, etc.
  • The viral form is airborne and most commonly occurs during colder months with humidity
  • Allergies or foreign objects in the dog's eye can also cause this
Because these symptoms can also be signs of other eye issues with the Shih Tzu dog, it is very important to have your dog's veterinarian make the final diagnosis.  Treatment will vary, but will often include medication to reduce swelling and medication to fight off the bacteria infection.

Note: This is an overview of Shih Tzu eye problems.  To see how to easily have all of the details regarding all Tzu eye issues and more,.

Shih Tzu Eye Care Prevention

In many cases, you cannot prevent eye issues; but you can however notice signs early to help your dog receive care right away and thus begin treatment early.  Take note of any of the above symtoms not only as you perform the weekly cleaning, but each day, as well.

There are some theories that addding leafy green vegetables, parsley and/or carrots can help to keep a dog's eyes healthy.  In addtion, some studties have shown promising results by adding the supplements of Vitamin A, C and D to the dog's diet.

Bringing your Shih Tzu for regular veterinarian checkups and at the first signs of any issues, will be the best way to ensure healthy eyes for your dog.

 

Be sure to visit our store where you will find lots of great 

things for Shih tzu www.simplybepaws.com 

 

Pet water stand - Dog water stand

 

 

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Revised: November 29, 2012

 

 

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