The Shih Tzu is one of the oldest breeds of dogs, originating in ancient China. Although this breed of dog is not noted for its intelligence, it is considered one of the more friendly types of canines.
With proper pet health care, Shih Tzus can live to be 16 years old. Shih Tzus are subject to the following pet health problems:
- Portosystemic shunt or liver shunt. Dogs with this disorder do not have a functioning liver. For this reason, waste that the liver generally expels from the body is still present, posing a potentially serious problem. Usually, surgery is necessary to treat a liver shunt; however, surgery doesn't work for some dogs. In this case, medications are given; and in either case, the procedures can be expensive. With pet insurance, you will be able to know that you can afford to maintain your pet's health even in the face of a serious disorder.
- Problems arising from small stature. Because the Shih Tzu is a small dog, it's likely that it will have many problems unique to dogs of short stature. Knee problems that require surgery, breathing disorders that will need to be treated with surgery, and severe back problems are among these conditions. Many of these disorders have serious consequences if they are not treated. For instance, they may lead to movement issues for the Shih Tzu. Owners need to care for this aspect of Shih Tzu pet health immediately to prevent further complications.
- Thyroid problems. Shih Tzus can develop thyroid problems that cause lost weight, tiredness, and eventually heart problems. Drugs are needed to treat thyroid disorders, which often hit when Shih Tzus are in their middle age.