Do you have a Shih Tzu with or have recently developed a lazy eye?
Below we discuss the development of this condition, what it means if your dog has this disorder, and the preemptive measures you can take to prevent later occurrences for your Shih Tzu.
Are Shih Tzu Lazy Eyed?
Strabismus, or “lazy eye” is a common occurrence for the Shih Tzu breed. Typically developed at birth, Shih Tzu’s are prone to this condition due to the size and structure of their facial features. However, Shih Tzu’s can lead a relatively normal and long life with this birth defect, and puppies will likely experience an adjustment to the correct position over time.
What Is Lazy Eye in a Shih Tzu?
“Lazy eye,” or Strabismus, refers to the abnormal position of your dog’s eyes. This condition typically affects one eye and can be different for each Shih Tzu. When your dog moves their eyes together, you will see them move from left, right, up, and down with a deviation in the direction of the eye.
Is This the Same as Cross Eyed?
While lazy eye and cross eyed may seem similar, they are different. A lazy eye promotes a lack of focus in eyes and will appear to be looking in different directions. In a cross-eyed dog, you will see one or both eyes turned inward.
Do All Shih Tzus Have Lazy Eyes?
Shih Tzus are adherently susceptible to developing a lazy eye. While not all Shih Tzus may develop this condition, it is important to know they are prone to defects and weakening of their eye muscles at birth.
Is it Normal for a Shih Tzu to Have a Lazy Eye?
Yes, absolutely. Lazy eye in Shih Tzu’s is a common occurrence. All toy sized dog breeds, including Shih Tzus, are susceptible to this condition.
Is It Normal for Puppies to Have a Lazy Eye?
It is possible for your puppy to have inherited/congenital development of lazy eye at birth. Shih Tzu’s are susceptible to inherit the weak muscles causing the traveling eye and may develop them at birth.
Why Does My Dog Suddenly Have a Lazy Eye?
If your dog suddenly develops a lazy eye, it is likely due to an injury caused to your dog’s eyes or head. Typically, you will notice this after a head injury, trauma to the eye(s), a harmful fall, or a destructive accident such as a car crash.
Why are Shih Tzus more Likely to Develop Lazy Eye than Other Breeds?
Development of lazy eye is Shih Tzus’s come down to the heredity of this breed. Like other Brachycephalic breeds, Shih Tzus’s small head frame provides an eye socket too shallow for the properly sized eye. This abnormal positioning promotes the underlying issues of lazy eyes and can lead to the weakening of their eye muscles.
Causes of Lazy Eye in Shih Tzu?
Lazy eye is typically developed at birth or after an experienced trauma. However, this condition may also develop from inner ear infections, antibiotic side effects, thyroid problems, and brain conditions. Depending on the stage of development, your veterinarian may want to perform a physical examination to determine the cause of your dog’s lazy eye.
Can Lazy Eye Be Prevented?
While the condition may develop from birth, you can avoid later onset for dogs who have not experienced a progression of lazy eye. Circumvention of this issue includes ensuring frequent meals to prevent seizures from hypoglycemia, keeping your dog regularly worked and up to date on their veterinarian visits, eliminating stressful experiences, and being careful to prevent heady injury or trauma from a fall.
Can You Fix a Dog’s Lazy Eyed with Medication, Therapy, or Surgery?
If your dog was born with this condition, lazy eyes will generally adjust to the correct position over time and do not need surgery or medication. If the development occurred from trauma, you should speak with your veterinarian immediately to compile a plan for corrective surgery and/or therapy as needed.
Does A Lazy Go Away?
Shih Tzu puppies typically adjust their eyes to the correct position over time. If lazy eye is due to hypoglycemia, the condition will likely remain. However, with proper care and timely check-ups, your dog can continue to live a long life with this condition.
What to Do If Your Shih Tzu has a Lazy Eye?
Do not be alarmed if your Shih Tzu has a lazy eye. You should speak with your veterinarian if the occurrence has developed after birth or is due to a recent injury. Typically, puppies born with this birth defect will regulate their eye position over time.
Do Lazy Eyes Affect Vision?
While lazy eye will likely not promote pain or discomfort, you may notice your dog’s eyes are unable to trace objects together. Consequently, there will be a lack of focus in your dog’s eyes and a deviation of direction in the eye.
Do Lazy Eyes Affect Life Expectation?
The lazy eye does not typically affect life expectations for your Shih Tzu and can often live long and energetic lives with this condition. It is of course important to discuss options with your veterinarian if the condition onset is due to shock, seizure, or injury. In these cases, the underlying cause will need to be treated and carefully managed to ensure your dog is healthy.