What Is The Main Cause Of Death Of Shih Tzus?

Shih Tzus are a popular breed of dog known for their friendly temperament and distinctive appearance. While they are generally a healthy breed, they are prone to certain health issues that can impact their quality of life. Unfortunately, some of these health issues can also lead to their untimely death. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to the main cause of Shih Tzu death and what owners can do to keep their beloved pets healthy and happy.

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Understanding Shih Tzus: Their Breed and Characteristics

Shih Tzus are small dogs that were originally bred in China as companions for royalty. They have a long, silky coat and a distinct “smushed” face that makes them instantly recognizable. Despite their cute appearance, Shih Tzus are actually quite sturdy and can live up to 16 years with proper care. They are affectionate, personable, and playful, making them popular pets for families and individuals alike.

One interesting fact about Shih Tzus is that they were once considered sacred in Tibetan Buddhism. It was believed that they were reincarnated souls of lamas, or spiritual leaders, and were therefore highly revered. This belief led to the breeding of Shih Tzus in monasteries, where they were kept as pets and companions for the monks. Today, Shih Tzus are still considered to be loyal and loving companions, and their popularity as pets continues to grow.

Common Health Issues in Shih Tzus

Like all dogs, Shih Tzus are prone to certain health issues. Here are some of the most common health problems that Shih Tzus face:

  • Respiratory issues: Due to their flat faces, Shih Tzus can have trouble breathing and may develop respiratory problems like Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.
  • Orthopedic issues: Shih Tzus have short, bowed legs that can cause joint problems, such as arthritis and hip dysplasia.
  • Dental issues: Shih Tzus are prone to dental problems like tartar buildup and tooth decay.
  • Eye problems: Shih Tzus can develop eye-related issues such as cataracts and dry eye syndrome.
  • Allergies: Shih Tzus can be sensitive to environmental allergens, such as dust and pollen.
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It is important to note that Shih Tzus are also prone to skin issues. Their long, flowing coats can easily become matted and trap dirt and bacteria, leading to skin infections and hot spots. Regular grooming and bathing can help prevent these issues.

Leading Causes of Death in Shih Tzus

While Shih Tzus can live long and healthy lives, they are unfortunately prone to certain health issues that can lead to their untimely death. Here are some of the leading causes of death in Shih Tzus:

  • Cancer: Like all mammals, Shih Tzus are susceptible to cancer, which can impact their organs and tissues and ultimately lead to their death.
  • Old age: As mentioned earlier, Shih Tzus can live up to 16 years with proper care. However, as they age, they become more prone to health issues that can impact their quality of life and ultimately result in their death.
  • Heart disease: Shih Tzus can develop heart-related issues like congestive heart failure, which can cause fluid buildup in their lungs and ultimately lead to respiratory problems that can be fatal.
  • Kidney disease: Shih Tzus can develop kidney-related issues, which can lead to renal failure and ultimately impact other organs in their body.

It is important for Shih Tzu owners to be aware of these potential health issues and to take preventative measures to ensure their pet’s health and longevity. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian, a healthy diet, and exercise can all help to reduce the risk of these leading causes of death in Shih Tzus. Additionally, pet owners should be aware of any changes in their pet’s behavior or health and seek medical attention promptly if necessary.

The Role of Genetics in Shih Tzu Health

Like all living beings, genetics play a significant role in Shih Tzu health. Shih Tzu breeders should conduct genetic testing to ensure that their puppies are healthy and free from genetic disorders. Additionally, potential owners should ask for health clearance certificates from reputable breeders to ensure that they are adopting a healthy puppy.

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Preventative Measures: How to Keep Your Shih Tzu Healthy and Happy

There are several preventative measures that Shih Tzu owners can take to keep their beloved pets healthy and happy:

  • Regular veterinary checkups: Shih Tzus should have regular checkups with a veterinarian to ensure that they are in good health and to catch any potential health issues early.
  • Proper diet and exercise: A healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help prevent obesity and keep Shih Tzus at a healthy weight, which can reduce their risk of health issues.
  • Dental care: Shih Tzus should have a regular dental hygiene routine, including brushing their teeth and regular dental checkups to prevent dental issues.
  • Avoiding environmental toxins: Shih Tzus should be kept away from environmental toxins, such as cleaning chemicals and pesticides, which can negatively impact their health.

Identifying Symptoms of Potential Health Problems in Your Shih Tzu

It is important for Shih Tzu owners to be able to identify symptoms of potential health problems in their dogs. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy or lack of energy
  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Difficulty urinating or changes in urine color or odor
  • Changes in behavior, such as aggression or reluctance to play

Treatment Options for Common Shih Tzu Health Issues

There are several treatment options available for common Shih Tzu health issues. Here are some common treatments:

  • Medications: Medications can be prescribed to treat respiratory issues, heart disease, kidney disease, and other health issues.
  • Surgery: Orthopedic issues, such as hip dysplasia, can often be treated with surgery.
  • Dietary changes: A change in diet can help address issues like dental problems and allergies.
  • Lifestyle changes: In some cases, lifestyle changes like increased exercise can help address health issues.
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How to Choose a Reputable Breeder to Ensure Your Shih Tzu’s Health

Choosing a reputable breeder is important to ensure that your Shih Tzu is healthy and free from genetic disorders. Here are some things to look out for when choosing a breeder:

  • Reputable breeders should be willing to provide proof of health clearance certificates for their puppies and their parents.
  • Breeders should be willing to answer questions about their breeding practices and the health of their puppies and their parents.
  • Breeders should not have a history of breeding dogs with genetic disorders.
  • Breeders should have a clean and safe facility for their puppies and should not overcrowd their dogs.

Caring for an Aging or Terminally Ill Shih Tzu: What You Need to Know

Caring for an aging or terminally ill Shih Tzu can be emotionally challenging, but there are things that you can do to make them comfortable:

  • Work with a veterinarian to create a care plan that addresses their specific health issues.
  • Provide a comfortable environment, including a cozy bed and blankets.
  • Make sure that they have access to food and water and that they are eating and drinking regularly.
  • Spend time with them and provide plenty of affection and attention.

By taking preventative measures, keeping a close eye on your Shih Tzu’s health, and working with a veterinarian when issues arise, you can help ensure that your furry friend leads a long and happy life.

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