When we talk about the various Shih poo health problems , it seems wise to bifurcate these issues into major and minor concerns. Through this article, we shall guide you through the various health risks that your Shih poo is prone to develop at some point in time, and whether or not it classifies as a minor or major concern.
Things to know about Shih Poo!
Before jumping straight to the health concerns, here are a few things that you need to be made aware of. If you own a Shih poo, you must make note of the following, because unfavorable variances could mean that your Shih-poo needs to see a vet:
- Average Size of a Female Dog – Height: 8-13 inches; Weight: 13-20 pounds
- Average Size of a Male Dog – Height: 8-13 inches; Weight: 13-20 pounds
- Eye Color – Amber
- Coat Length – Medium to long
- Nose Colors – Black and brown
- Coat Colors – Gray, black, brown and white
- Activity level – Medium
- Coat Texture – Wavy
- Walk mileage per week – 8 miles
- Coat Density – Normal to dense
- Activity per day – 40 minutes
- Brushing frequency – Daily
- Daily food consumption – 1 cup
The whole point of listing down these appearances, maintenance and activity requirements is to ensure that the various shih poo health problems can be effectively avoided. If you are taking good care of your dog, you may never have to admit it in to a pet clinic for treatment for one of the many health issues listed in the paragraphs that follow.
Shih Poo Health Concerns
This crossbreed is vulnerable to health issues that it may have inherited from the two breeds that its parents belong to. The most common health risks associated with this designer dog have been listed below:
Brachycephalic airway syndrome
This syndrome is an amalgamation of anatomic defects that feature contracted nostrils, disintegrating trachea, and a protracted soft palate. All of these lead to airflow blockage, thereby creating breathing problems. This is a most common occurrence if the Shih poo is undergoing conditions that involve stress or excitement. In case of severity of the issues, you must bring your pet to a doctor, without delay!
Shih-poos are also vulnerable to dental diseases and these comprise of dental jamming, tartar build-up, and periodontal disease. All of these may be commonly diagnosed in young Shih-poos of around 6-7 months old. Since these dogs are prone to the dental problem, make sure your pet’s oral hygiene is maintained and that it brushes every day, even twice in a day if necessary.
This developmental disorder may be caused in either or both of the hip joints of your Shihpoo. Hip dysplasia is a common occurrence in these designed dogs and may even lead to limping and walking disabilities in your dog. Consult your vet as soon as you diagnose this!
Intervertebral disc disease
This disease causes degeneration of shock-absorbing discs in the spinal area of your Shih poodle mix. This degeneration may lead to condensation of the nerve and severe pain that is commonplace amongst older dogs. In order to treat this condition, anti-inflammatory treatments are recommended but surgery is also an option for critical cases.
When tear glands in the eyelids are wrecked, tear production is reduced, causing ‘dry eye,’ which is another name for this disease. The eye is then vulnerable to irritation, inflammation, and surface scarring. Topical medications can help to treat such as condition.
This condition deals with periodic hind limb lameness and limping which is a direct result of slight displacement of the dog’s knee cap. Surgery for this condition may be the only choice to prevent arthritis and to fix limping.
Radical retinal atrophy
This disease is common in Poodle hybrids and is hence inherited by the Shih poo. This is basically a regressive disorder related to the nerve that can eventually lead to loss of vision and night blindness. You must have the parent tested prior to breeding. The condition may be diagnosed and treated with immediate action.
This inflammatory skin disorder occurs due to swollen sebum-producingskin glands that may eventually cause loss of hair, skin irritation, and other skin-related infections. Doctors usually recommend elemental anti-inflammatories and medically-treated shampoos to comb at such a condition in Shihpoos.
von Willebrand’s disease
This is another one of the inherited diseases, one that occurs due to worsening of the platelet activity and debilitatedclot formation. If you have noticed continuous bleeding in your Shihpoo, you need to have it undergo a surgical procedure known as neutering.
Health Concerns – Major or Minor?
Now that we have identified a list of health problems that are common in Shihpoos, let’s segregate each one as being minor or major so that an appropriate and timely action may be prompted as and when needed.
- Vision-related problems
- Addison’s disease
- Brachycephalic syndrome
- Invertebral disc disease
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Corneal dystrophy
- Otitis externa
As you must have noticed, the minor issues have not been mentioned in detail as the major ones have in the preceding paragraphs. This is primarily because the minor issues are commonplace and will not lead to long-term damage to the health of your Shihpoo.
Lastly, it is important to visit your vet for occasional tests and treatments to ensure a healthy puppy. These various tests may include blood and urine screening, full body examination, eye and ear checkups, and occasional chest x-rays.
If kept healthy and happy, your Shihpoo will most likely live up to 10 to 15 years, which is essentially its average life expectancy. Just make sure to have his regular checkup in place to avoid any detrimental health risks and diseases. Also, time its meals, give it food as per the doctor’s recommendations to avoid obesity, and ensure sufficient activity on a daily basis. These are a few tips that will help you keep your puppy healthy, happy and energetic.