You Make The Diagnosis: Common Shih Tzu Health Problems

Pictured below is a lovely little Shih Tzu named Suki.  As a veterinarian, I think of this breed as a love sponge, wanting to soak up every bit of attention they can from their family.  Unfortuantely, Shih Tzu’s are also prone to a host of health problems.  Name the common health problems found in this breed.



    1.  Luxating patella’s – a condition common in toy breeds where the knee cap pops out of joint.

    2.  Hereditary renal dysplasia.

    3.  Dental abnormalities including missing teeth, unerrupted teeth that sometimes form dentigerous cysts, malpositioned teeth leading to interference and retained deciduous teeth.

    4.  Allergies.

    5.  Ear diasease.

    6.  Epiphora-a condition where tears spill from the inner aspect of the lower eyelid causing a dark stain on their fur.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.