shih tzu eye infection

The Eyes Have It in 2023: Guide To Shih Tzu Eye Infections

Shih tzu eye infection can be painful for your pet. Know the signs, treatments, and preventive measures to help your furry friend.


Shih Tzus are a popular small breed of dog that originated in China. They are known for their affectionate and playful nature, as well as their distinctive long hair and round face.

However, like all dogs, Shih Tzus can experience health problems. One issue that is particularly common in this breed is eye infections.

Eye infections can be painful for dogs and if left untreated, they may worsen and lead to vision loss or more severe health problems. As such, it is essential for pet owners to understand the symptoms and causes of Shih Tzu eye infections so that they can seek appropriate treatment.

Brief overview of the Shih Tzu breed

Shih Tzus are small dogs that generally weigh between 9-16 pounds and stand about 8-11 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a distinctive appearance with long hair that comes in a variety of colors such as gold, white, black or a combination of these colors. Their round faces are characterized by large brown eyes with an appealing expression.

In addition to being friendly pets, Shih Tzus are also known for being relatively low-energy dogs which makes them suitable for apartment living. However, they do require regular grooming to maintain their long beautiful coats.

Importance of maintaining eye health in dogs

Maintaining good eye health is crucial for all dogs as their eyes play an essential role in their daily activities such as navigating through different environments or playing with toys. Regularly cleaning your dog’s eyes helps prevent infections from developing by removing debris or dirt that may collect on the surface.

Additionally, certain breeds may be more prone to developing eye conditions due to genetic factors or physical characteristics such as shallow eye sockets which lead some breeds to be more susceptible to trauma or injuries. As such, it is important to maintain overall eye health and seek veterinary care if any symptoms arise.

Purpose of the article: to provide information on Shih Tzu eye infections

This article aims to educate pet owners about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of Shih Tzu eye infections. By learning about these topics, pet owners can recognize when their dog may be experiencing an eye infection and seek appropriate veterinary care. Ultimately this article seeks to help pet owners keep their beloved Shih Tzus healthy and happy for years to come.

Symptoms of Shih Tzu Eye Infection

Shih Tzus have large, round eyes that are prone to infections and other eye-related problems. Eye infections can cause significant discomfort for your furry friend and may even lead to vision loss if left untreated. Therefore, it is important for Shih Tzu owners to be aware of the symptoms of eye infection and seek prompt veterinary care.

Redness and swelling around the eye area

One of the most noticeable symptoms of a Shih Tzu eye infection is redness and swelling around the eye area. This happens due to inflammation caused by an irritant or infectious agent in the dog’s eye. It can be accompanied by itching, burning, or pain which can cause your dog discomfort or a desire to scratch at their eyes constantly.

If you notice any redness or swelling around your dog’s eyes, you should bring them into a veterinarian as soon as possible. Prompt treatment can help alleviate their discomfort and prevent any complications that could lead to further damage.

Discharge from the eyes, which may be clear or cloudy

An infected Shih Tzu’s eyes will produce an unusual discharge that might come out as clean or cloudy depending on what type of infection they have contracted. The discharge could be watery like tears or thicker with pus-like consistency.

If you see any discharge coming out from your dog’s eyes, make sure to wipe it away gently with a damp cloth but be careful not to spread it further across their face. Consult with your veterinarian about proper cleaning methods and medication needed for treating this symptom.

Itching or rubbing of the eyes by the dog

A common sign that your Shih Tzu may have an eye infection is excessive rubbing or scratching of their eyes. This can be a result of the itching and irritation caused by the presence of an infection. The frequent rubbing can worsen the infection and even cause abrasions on the surface of the eyes, making an already bad situation worse.

You may need to supervise your dog closely so they don’t cause any further damage to their inflamed eyes. Your veterinarian may prescribe medications or recommend special cleaning methods to help soothe your dog’s discomfort and prevent further infections.

Squinting or sensitivity to light

If your Shih Tzu is suffering from an eye infection, they may squint more often than usual or become sensitive to bright lights. This can be due to the inflammation that causes pain in their eyes when exposed to intense light sources.

While it’s normal for dogs to squint when exposed to bright sunlight, if this behavior is more prevalent than usual, you should contact your vet as soon as possible. They will be able to determine what type of eye infection your Shih Tzu has contracted and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Shih Tzu owners should always keep an eye out for symptoms such as redness and swelling around the eye area, discharge from the eyes (clear or cloudy), itching/rubbing of the eyes by their dog, and squinting or sensitivity towards bright lights which could indicate a potential eye infection. Seeking prompt medical care can help prevent complications leading up vision loss while also ensuring that our furry companions stay healthy and comfortable in all conditions.

Causes of Shih Tzu Eye Infection

Bacterial or Viral Infections such as Conjunctivitis or Keratitis

One of the most common causes of eye infections in Shih Tzus is bacteria or viruses that cause conjunctivitis or keratitis. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, occurs when the conjunctiva, a thin layer of tissue that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid, becomes inflamed.

This inflammation results in redness, swelling, and discharge from the eyes. Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, which is the clear outer layer covering the iris and pupil.

This condition causes pain, redness, and possible discharge from one or both eyes. Bacteria can enter a dog’s eyes through various ways—by coming into contact with contaminated objects such as toys or bowls used by other dogs with an infection; through dirt and debris; or when a dog scratches its face with unclean paws.

Viral infections are often contracted by being in close proximity to infected dogs’ bodily fluids like saliva. It is important to note that bacterial infections can be contagious among dogs but are not transmissible to humans.

Allergies That Cause Irritation and Inflammation in The Eyes

Another cause of Shih Tzu eye infections is allergies that lead to irritation and inflammation in their eyes. Allergic reactions may be caused by pollen, dust mites, mold spores, food allergens, perfumes/colognes/cleaning products used around them at home etc. The symptoms include redness around an eye(s), itchiness (scratching), swelling around an eye(s), watery discharge from one/both eyes along with sneezing etc., indicating that it could lead to a more severe problem if left untreated.

Foreign Objects That Get into Their Eyes Such as Dirt, Dust, or Grass Seeds

Shih Tzus are more likely to have eye problems due to their long hair and frequent contact with dirt and dust. Foreign objects such as grass seeds, small insects, sand, and dust can easily get into their eyes while playing outside or during walks. These foreign objects can cause irritation and inflammation of the eyes if not removed promptly.

If left unattended, it could lead to bacterial infections in severe cases. To prevent foreign objects from getting lodged in the eyes of your Shih Tzu during outdoor activities such as playing fetch or going for walks; you can consider using protective gear like goggles for dogs that are specially designed to protect their eyes.

The Importance of Regular Eye Checkups for Shih Tzus

It is important for dog owners to conduct regular eye exams on their pets every 6-12 months because early detection of issues could prevent the need for more aggressive treatments later on. A veterinarian will be able to detect any signs that may require attention before they become an issue; by examining the inside of your dog’s eye with an ophthalmoscope, checking intraocular pressure among other things. Some preventative measures include keeping your pet’s face clean by wiping around their eyes regularly with a damp cloth; avoiding irritants such as cigarette smoke and certain cleaning chemicals; providing regular access to fresh water thereby promoting hydration which can help keep your dog’s eyes moistened thus reducing dryness-induced irritation etc., all contribute towards maintaining good eye health in Shih Tzus.

Treatment for Shih Tzu Eye Infection

If you suspect that your Shih Tzu has an eye infection, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and determine the appropriate treatment based on the type of infection and its severity. The treatment may involve antibiotic eye drops, anti-inflammatory medication, flushing out foreign objects with saline solution, or home remedies.

Antibiotic Eye Drops Prescribed by a Veterinarian for Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections are common in dogs and can be easily treated with antibiotic eye drops. Your veterinarian will prescribe eye drops that are specifically formulated to target the bacteria causing the infection.

It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully when administering these drops as incorrect usage could worsen the condition or cause additional complications. To apply the drops correctly, clean your dog’s eyes with a warm damp cloth to remove any discharge or debris.

Hold your dog’s head steady and gently pull down on their lower eyelid to create a small pocket between the lid and eyeball. Apply one drop of medication into this pocket and release their eyelid slowly so that the medication can seep into their eye.

Repeat this process for the other eye if needed. Make sure you wash your hands before and after administering medication.

Anti-Inflammatory Medication for Allergic Reactions

If your Shih Tzu has an allergic reaction that causes inflammation in their eyes, your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling, itching, and redness in their eyes. Common medications used for allergic reactions include corticosteroids such as prednisone or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications can be administered orally or topically depending on the severity of symptoms.

It is essential to follow your veterinarian’s instructions when giving these medications as chronic use can lead to adverse side effects. Your veterinarian may prescribe a specific dosage regimen that will gradually reduce the dosage over time based on your dog’s response.

Flushing Out Foreign Objects with Saline Solution

If your Shih Tzu has a foreign object in their eye, flushing it out with saline solution can help remove it and reduce irritation. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water and stir until dissolved.

Use a dropper or syringe to apply the solution into your dog’s eye, holding their head still so they don’t shake or rub their eyes. Gently massage the area around their eye to help loosen any debris and encourage drainage.

After flushing out the foreign object, monitor your dog’s condition for any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or discharge from the eyes. If these symptoms persist or worsen, seek veterinary care immediately.

Home Remedies Such as Chamomile Tea Bags and Warm Compresses

In addition to prescribed medications and saline solution, home remedies can also help treat mild cases of Shih Tzu eye infections. Chamomile tea bags are a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can soothe irritated eyes due to allergies or bacterial infections. Brew one chamomile tea bag in boiling water for five minutes then allow it to cool down until lukewarm before using it on your dog’s eyes.

Warm compresses are also an effective way to reduce inflammation and relieve itching caused by allergic reactions. Dip a clean cloth in warm water then wring out excess water before applying it over your dog’s eyes for about 5-10 minutes several times per day.

However, it is essential not to rely solely on home remedies if you suspect an infection as they may not be enough alone and could worsen the condition if not used correctly. Consult with your veterinarian before trying any home remedy treatment on your Shih Tzu.


After reviewing the symptoms, causes, and treatment options of Shih Tzu eye infections, it is clear that maintaining eye health is extremely important for this breed. As owners of these adorable dogs, it is our responsibility to take care of their eyes and seek veterinary care when necessary.

Symptoms of a Shih Tzu eye infection include redness and swelling around the eye area, discharge from the eyes, itching or rubbing of the eyes by the dog, squinting or sensitivity to light. Causes can range from bacterial or viral infections such as conjunctivitis or keratitis to allergies that cause irritation and inflammation in the eyes.

Treatment options may include antibiotic eye drops prescribed by a veterinarian for bacterial infections, anti-inflammatory medication for allergic reactions, flushing out foreign objects with saline solution or home remedies such as chamomile tea bags and warm compresses. It is worth noting that seeking veterinary care early on can prevent further complications that may lead to permanent damage or vision loss in your beloved Shih Tzu.

Observe any changes in your dog’s behavior and appearance around their eyes closely and seek immediate medical attention if you notice anything unusual. As responsible pet owners we must prioritize our furry friend’s well-being so they can live healthy happy lives with us.

With proper care we can avoid common issues like eye infections which although not life-threatening are painful and uncomfortable for our pets. Seeking veterinary care early can alleviate symptoms quickly so both you and your dog can get back to enjoying life together!

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