Shih Tzu eye problems are very common because of the breeding issues!
Overview of common Shih Tzu eye infections, and disorders
Shih Tzu breed can suffer from many different eye issues.
These are quite common, they can be due to
- Infections or
All eye affections must be considered serious as they may reflect another underlying health problem, pet owners should immediately consult a veterinarian if eye disorders occur, before any complication may occur. It is always recommended to look for issues in eyes or other areas when you groom, also a simple trim around the eyes with a pair of dog clippers can prevent some eye issues! If you are looking to groom other breeds than Shih Tzu, then here is a list of clippers that will suit almost any breed of dog.
Types of eye disorders
Eye disorders include a wide range of diseases, that can affect different parts of the eye, there are diseases that are related to the
- some others are a consequence of a general disease,
- some other diseases are caused by some types of bacteria.
- Vitamin A and vitamin E deficiency is another cause of eye disorders, for instance, vitamin A is required for the good vision and tear production.
How do I know that my Shih Tzu has an eye problem?
These eye issues may cause the puppy to display any of these following symptoms:
- Eye swelling,
- Eye popping,
- Blood in the eyes,
- Eyelid swelling,
- Permanent closed eyes,
- Eye discharge,
- Dry eyes.
Here is a list of the most common eye problems that occur in the Shih Tzu :
Is a general term used to describe eye conditions in which the white part of the eye becomes red. There are many conditions of the eye responsible for red eyes. Like conjunctivitis, Episcleritis, blepharitis, glaucoma …etc.These result in the enlargement of the tiny blood vessel in the eye superficial membranes. Normally invisible, these blood vessels become visible and give the redness of the eye.
Red eye is a serious eye condition
that needs to be checked up by your veterinarian. Causes range from benign to vision threatening, it is important to figure out the cause behind red eye in order to get appropriate treatment. Red eye in Shih Tzu dogs and the 3 Critical things you should know about complications and Treatments
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
Is a common eye disorder that is usually caused by bacteria. It is known as the inflammation of the conjunctiva, a transparent, thin layer of tissue called membrane that covers the eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelid. Conjunctivitis is characterized by a reddish color of the eye, a swelling in eyelids and abundant eye discharge, dry eyes. The puppy sometimes becomes unable to see correctly.Find more about conjunctivitis in Shih Tzu and why a cytologic test might save the life of you dog https://shihtzuexpert.com/dog-pink-eye-conjunctivitis-infection/
Is another common eye disorder which happens quite frequently in Shih Tzu as well as some other dog breeds. This is an affection that happens to the internal eyelids of the puppy, the internal eyelid is different from the upper eyelid and the lower one. It is the third eyelid that is underneath those, just adherent to the eye, this is also called the nictitating membrane. It plays a role in keeping the eye moist and protects it.cherry eye is a disorder where the third eyelid gland pops out, this affection can be treated only with surgery.
Find more about cherry eye in Shih Tzu and how to prevent serious issues of infection! https://shihtzuexpert.com/cherry-eye-dogs
Ingrowth of Eyelashes (Trichiasis)
Is another common issue of the eye in dogs and cats. This is an eye condition where the eyelashes are abnormally pointing towards the eyeball, a sort of misdirection. This causes a permanent irritation to the eye and must be treated. Trichiasis may cause cornea ulcers and Pink Eye (conjunctivitis). It is better treated with eyelid surgery,
Find more about treatment options for Trichiasis in Shih Tzu
Inverted eye lid (Entropion)
Is a condition where an eyelid is folded inwards and makes eyelashes rub the surface of the eye!. This causes eyelash hair to irritate the eye and may result in other eye problems. This is a genetic condition and is therefore hereditary. The condition may be controlled by surgery.
Find out how to control this genetic disease! Entropion in Shih Tzu
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Is a genetic condition in which the retina, the structure responsible for vision within the eye is being progressively damaged.This process is known as degeneration, through which the retina tissue is irreversibly deteriorated. Unfortunately, this condition is quite common in dogs. If it is generalized PRA, then permanent blindness may occur. Find more about Progressive retinal atrophy in Shih Tzu https://shihtzuexpert.com/progressive-retinal-atrophy-in-dogs/
Signs include poor vision, especially during the night, and may lead to total blindness!!!. There is no efficient treatment for this condition, but dogs certainly can live with this.
Is an eye condition where the crystalline lens inside the eye goes opaque. The crystalline is a transparent structure inside the eye and has a role in the accuracy of the vision.
When cataract happens, the light is no longer transmitted to the retina where it is normally processed and converted to signals transmitted to the brain, therefore the dog becomes blind.Cataract is an inherited disorder that affects commonly, some breeds, some risk factors may contribute to this condition, like diabetes, inflammation of the eye.
Cataract may be treated with surgery, another technique called phacoemulsification has widely been used, it is less invasive to the eye and has shown good results.
Find more about cataract in Shih Tzu and why not using surgery is dangerous! https://shihtzuexpert.com/shih-tzu-cataract/
GlaucomaIs a disease in which the pressure of liquids inside the eye raises abnormally. This is a painful condition that may lead to more consequent problems if not early controlled. This genetic condition is dangerous for eyes!!! Find out the options https://shihtzuexpert.com/shih-tzu-glaucoma/
Glaucoma has two types of onset,
- An acute onset and
- A chronic condition.In this condition redness of the eye is noted, high pressure of the eye can be felt by touching the eyelids.
Dogs can’t afford it! This condition is due to the lack of drainage of fluids inside the eye which lead to their sudden accumulation and causes Glaucoma.
If you are using Eye drops for your pup, then here is a pro tip from our vet.
1. When you use it for the first time make sure that it is at your body temperature so that the pup does not get itchy eyes from having cold or even freezing eye drops put in his eyes! Just hold the bottle in your palm and feel the temperature and wait until it gets warm to the touch and does not feel cold anymore.
2. After the first use, usually you need to keep the eye drops in the fridge, so when you use it the next time MAKE SURE to follow step 1 above and heat it up to avoid discomfort for both you and your pup.
It’s not a pleasant experience when you try to put cold eye drops in and trying to control the dog at the same time, get’s even worse the next time you try it when the dog is absolute terrified of the process and the discomfort.
Warning: Always seek your Vet’s advice before following the above!
Appropriate treatment for eye disorders are dependent on the disease. For each condition, specific treatment is indicated depending on the initial cause. Some diseases are cured with some specific drugs, some other conditions need surgery to repair the damage.In some cases, severe eye affections or injuries have no treatment, for these cases, the puppy can live with the condition. In some other cases, eye removal may be the best solution to save the puppy. All these conditions are better discussed with the vet.
PreventionFor eye conditions where no prevention measures can be taken, the only way before adopting a new pet, is to educate yourself. it is important to know the breed common problems and ask about his parents. Figure out whether they have genetic disorders or not, to stop the transmission of the condition over the kids.
Adult pets having genetic conditions should be spayed.
Pet nutrition is also an important element to consider in order to avoid vitamin deficiencies that may contribute to eye problems.The medical advice contained in this series of articles about Shih Tzu eye problems comes from a fully qualified, Experienced, and a Trained veterinarian.
If your dog has any medical issue, please consult your own veterinarian for treatment and further advice!