This is a medical condition that is rare in the Shih Tzu breed; however can occur. This diagnosis covers coat loss from hormonal imbalances, hypersensitivities or friction. Testing will be done by a veterinarian to determine the exact cause. Treatment may include steroids and/or vitamin E supplements.
Loss of coat is a common symptom when a dog has an allergy that manifests externally. Dog shampoo, conditioner, even the rug cleaner an owner may use is a possible culprit in causing this reaction to the Shih Tzu. Not only will the dog suffer from hair loss, there may be red blisters, sores or lesions on the skin as well. Fortunately, this can be quickly corrected once it is determined what is causing the Shih Tzu's reaction. A veterinarian should perform patch testing to find the cause and then the owner must eliminate that element. In moderate to severe cases, antihistamines and/or steroids may be prescribed to help the Shih Tzu recover.
- 10 to 20% of dogs suffer from some sort of allergy
This hair loss issue is as much of a mystery as is the often spontaneous recovery that a Shih Tzu will have. Theorized to perhaps be an autoimmune disorder, this will cause patches of hair loss on the dog. In most cases, unlike an allergic reaction, there will be no itching. This usually fixes itself once the dog's body gains enough antibodies to fend off its inside attacker and the coat will grow back.