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Q: Do Shih Tzu have a lot of health problems?

March 24, 2009 | By Robin H. | 8 answers | Expired: 1992 days ago

Robin H.

I want to adopt or purchase a shih tzu puppy, but I have been told so many different things about this particular breed. A maltese breeder told me last night that they have major ear problems. Someone else told me they have anal gland problems. I have also been told by some that they shed. Can anyone verify and disclaim stories that I have heard. I need a small dog that will not shed and is a health breed.

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Heatherzopff
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Mar 25, 2009

it doesnt matter what the breed is, you have to expect there to be at least one health problem. animals get sick, get cancer,abnormalities,birth defects ect. shihtzus are hypoallergenic, they have hair, shouldnt shed. if its a mix then it may shed. if i were you id go to a shelter. they always get purebred dogs and youd be saving a life. i always say,breed a dog,kill a dog. when breeders breed and sell they are taking a home away form a homeless dog in a shelter.

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Jen F.
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Mar 24, 2009

We have two Shih-Tzu's and have no issue with shedding at all. They have hair similar to people's hair in that it keeps growing. This of course means regular grooming is in order. To save costs I learned to do mine at home. Ours have not had any ear problems yet. One had some anal gland irritation, but that went away when I started grooming him at home. I agree with the comment about going through a very reputable breeder if you don't rescue one. Like any popular breed there are a lot of back yard breeders and puppy mills producing poor quality pups for the sake of making money.

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undine d.
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Mar 24, 2009

i only know there have fuzzy eyes

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Barbara B.
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Mar 24, 2009

ALOT OF PEOPLE IN MY FAMILY HAVE SHI TZUS. I HAVE NOT HEARD OF ANY PROBLEMS FROM MY AUNT ABOUT HER SHI TZU. SHE LOVES HIM AND HE DOES NOT BARK AT ALL. HE SOUNDS LIKE A PIG SOMETIMES BECAUSE I BELIEVE OF THE WAY THEIR FACE IS SHAPED/ BREATHING. BUT YOU REALLY HAVE TO BE ON TIME WITH GROOMING. I HAVE A MALTESE MIX AND SHE ALWAYS GETS EAR INFECTIONS. IT'S BECAUSE THEIR EARS ARE HANGING AND WATER COULD STAY IN THERE AND NO AIR IS ABLE TO GET TO THEIR EARS. MY VET HAS ME FOLD MY PUPPIES EARS BACK A FEW TIMES A DAY AND EVERYDAY I HAVE TO PULL OUT AS MUCH HAIR OUT OF HER EARS AS POSSIBLE. THAT IS ALSO WHAT CAUSES THE EAR INFECTIONS. I NEVER HEARD THAT ABOUT THE ANAL GLAND THING. BUT THE HAIR DOES NEED TO BE TRIMMED/ SHAVED BY THE BUTT SO NOTHING GETS STUCK IN THE HAIR. YOU ALSO JUST NEED TO FEED IT A GOOD QUALITY FOOD I RECOMMEND SCIENCE DIET AND THEY SHOULD BE HEALTHY. THAT IS ALSO WHAT MY AUNT FEEDS HER SHI TZU AS WELL I FEED MY MALTESE MIX. ALSO THEY NEED THEIR TEETH CLEANED. BRUSH DAILY! ALSO MY PUPPY LOVES HER RAWHIDES AND BONES AND ETC AND HER TEETH STAY CLEANED THAT WAY!

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Linda C.
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Mar 24, 2009

Any dog you get can have potential health problems - purebred or mixed. There are some things you can do to increase the chances that they won't, though. If you purchase a puppy or dog from a breeder, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!! Be sure it is a well bred dog, who was bred by an experiences, knowledgeable breeder for health, not looks. If you adopt, (my preference!) get as much history as you can, and keep you dog healthy by feeding high quality food, exercise and grooming properly, and having regular vet checks. Saving a life by adopting is always preferable in my book. A wonderful pet doesn't have to be any particular breed or have a fancy pedigree or name!

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Sarah H.
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Mar 24, 2009

All dogs shed, but some dogs shed less then others. Keeping dogs groomed and short can help. Your better off adopting a dog! Mutts generally have less health problems and better temperaments if conditioned properly. Also when adopting you know what your getting, staff can let you know the personality, grooming needs, or dietary needs of an "older" dog. a dog at 3 or 4 still has a lot of spunk, and MANY years ahead of them.

Shih tzu's have major grooming needs, and it will cost you monthly. As for ear infections and anal glands, it depends on how good the line they came from is and how well they were bred. I've known many who have no problems. A lot do have breathing issues due to the shape of the face, and more need their faces cleaned daily, ears for any dog should be cleaned weekly.

GOOD LUCK!

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Shelly  O.
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Mar 24, 2009

A shih tzu will get ear infections if you don't keep their ears clipped. The same with the anal glands. If you get them clipped regularly you shouldn't have any health issues. I had mine for 11 years and only had one ear infection because I missed a hair appointment and the hair got too long in her ears. They are a great family dog. Just keep them groomed properly and you won't have any problems.

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Dennis S.
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Mar 24, 2009

perhaps this site can be of assistance:

www.dog.com/Breeds/Default.aspx

Dennis

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