As you go about your daily eye cleaning with your dog, you will want to look for any signs of an eye issue. Details will be discussed below with the most common Shih Tzu eye issues, however keep a look out for:
- Your dog avoiding bright lights
- A cloudiness to the eye
- An excessive discharge
- Any swelling of the eye or around the dog's eye
- Your Shih Tzu "pawing" at his eyes
The Most Common Shih Tzu Eye Problems
There are 5 common eye problems which may occur with the Shih Tzu. Early detection is a must to help your dog recover as quickly as possible.
This is usually a genetic health issue for dogs. When genetic, this most commonly occurs with Shih Tzu from the age of 8 years. However, a dog may also develop a cataract from an eye injury. When this develops, there is a "clouding" of the dog's eye lens. This does affect vision and without treatment, a dog can become blind.
Surgery is usually performed to remove the dog's cataract and is most often very successful. The operation eliminates the possibility of the dog becoming blind; however some scarring may form...and lead to a slight decrease in clear vision.
As the name implies, this is a canine eye condition in which the cornea of the dog's eye will develop an ulcer. This is most often caused by some type of injury to the eye of the Shih Tzu. This can happen if the Tzu's eye is scratched by a foreign object. Many times, the tear that happens is not visible. You will suspect that your Shih Tzu has this if they close their eyes often, keep an eye half open, or has excessive tear drops.
Once taken to the veterinarian to have this diagnosed, most often treatment will be daily eye drops to lubricate the eye, decrease swelling and reduce pain until the tear is repaired naturally by the dog's body.
An eye infection can happen to any Shih Tzu, at any time due to the many environmental factors and bacteria that can touch the slightly protruding eyes throughout the day. If not treated, an infection may keep coming back and will usually eventually interfere with sight.
The most common symptoms of this is a redness or swelling around the Shih Tzu dog's eye or eyes, excess discharge and/or an aversion to bright lights. Only an experienced veterinarian will be able to tell you if the symptoms point to allergies, a bacterial or a virus infection. An antibacterial eye drop solution is usually the best course of action, if infection is found in your dog's eye/s.
A Distichia is an eyelash that grows from an abnormal spot on the eyelid of a dog & Trichiasis is the term for ingrown eyelash on a dog. Both can cause great discomfort for a dog until treatment is given. How will you know if your Shih Tzu has this eye problem? In many cases, you will actually be able to see the offending lash. If not, you will notice that your dog tries to "scratch" his eye or rubs his face against pillows, carpets, etc in an attempt to sooth the discomfort. Because a lash can regrow, the most common treatment with the best results is electrolysis to remove the lash permanently.