Internal allergies are a bit easier to diagnosis; however finding the exact cause sometimes takes quite a while. The main symptom will be:
- Followed by the secondary symptom of diarrhea
If not treated, this can worsen to:
- Severe weight loss
- Loss of muscle tissue
If your dog vomits, your first action must be to make sure your Shih Tzu did not ingest any poison. If that is not a possibility, this may be due to an intolerance of food. While a dog can be allergic to an actual food such as dairy products, wheat, eggs, corn or soy, far many more are actually allergic to chemical ingredients found in manufactured brands such as artificial coloring, artificial flavoring and preservatives. While these are found in varying amounts in just about all commercial kibble and treats, typically brightly colored food is the worst culprit.
If a Shih Tzu has an intolerance to a food
or additives, choices are to switch to a hypoallergenic brand formulated for toy breeds or to home cook, which eliminates all of these possible allergic triggers and gives you complete control over what your puppy or dog is ingesting.
When the trigger is removed it usually takes 2 weeks for symptoms to subside. If an allergic reaction has caused quite a bit of upset stomach issues, it's best to offer a very bland diet for several weeks to give the body a rest.
Most Shih Tzu do very well with lamb and some sweet potato; be sure to not season this or add anything such as butter. After the 2 week period, other ingredients can be added. One new item should be introduced every 2 weeks; it can take this long for an allergic reaction to manifest, especially if it involves skin and coat issues. This can include healthy foods that most dogs tolerate very well such as baby carrots, sweet peas, green beans, rice, blueberries, raspberries, a touch of banana and a dollop of whole white yogurt. As you add new foods, you will be able to determine if one of them is causing the problem.