shih tzu eye problems

Shih Tzu Eye Problems in 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve noticed some shih tzu eye problems, you’re not alone. Many owners face similar concerns, and there are steps to help.


As one of the most popular toy breeds, Shih Tzus are known for their adorable, fluffy appearance and affectionate personalities. Originally bred in China as a companion dog, Shih Tzus have gained popularity all over the world thanks to their friendly nature and charming looks. However, along with their undeniable cuteness comes a set of unique health concerns that require specific care.

Brief Overview of Shih Tzu Breed

Shih Tzus typically weigh between 9-16 pounds and have a lifespan of 10-16 years. They are recognized for their long, flowing coats which can come in a variety of colors such as black, white, gold or brown. Their flat faces give them an endearing look but also make them susceptible to certain health issues. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Shih Tzus are prone to respiratory problems such as snoring and snorting due to their short snouts. In addition, they can be prone to orthopedic issues such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Eye problems are also common in this breed.

Importance of Eye Care for Shih Tzu Dogs

Eye care is essential for all dogs but is particularly important for Shih Tzus due to their genetic predisposition towards eye problems. Some common eye conditions that affect this breed include entropion, cherry eye and dry eye syndrome. Entropion occurs when the eyelids roll inward causing the lashes to rub against the surface of the eye leading to irritation and discomfort. Cherry eye is when there is swelling in the third eyelid gland causing it to protrude from under the lower eyelid making it visible. Dry eye syndrome happens when there is insufficient tear production which leads to dryness and irritation of the eyes. Regular checkups with your veterinarian are important to catch any eye issues early on before they become severe. Owners should also be vigilant about observing their furry friends for any signs of discomfort such as redness, excessive tearing, squinting or rubbing of the eyes. By taking proper care of their eyes, Shih Tzu owners can help prevent common eye problems and ensure the overall health and well-being of their beloved pets.

Common Eye Problems in Shih Tzu Dogs

Shih Tzus are a popular breed of dog due to their friendly nature, affectionate behavior, and adorable appearance. However, like any other breed of dog, Shih Tzus are prone to certain health issues – one of which includes eye problems. Here are some common eye problems that Shih Tzu dogs may experience:


Entropion is a condition where the eyelid rolls inwards towards the eyeball. This causes the hair on the eyelid to rub against the surface of the eye, causing irritation and discomfort. Entropion can affect one or both eyes and is usually seen in young puppies or adult dogs. The symptoms of entropion include redness and swelling around the eyes, excessive tearing, discharge from the eyes and squinting. If you notice any of these symptoms in your Shih Tzu dog, it’s essential to seek veterinary care. Treatment options for entropion depend on its severity. Mild cases may be treated with lubricating ointments that help soothe irritation and prevent further damage to the cornea. In more severe cases where surgery may be needed, it involves tightening or loosening the muscles responsible for eyelid movement.

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye is another condition that can affect Shih Tzus. It occurs when a gland located under your dog’s third eyelid becomes inflamed or enlarged causing it to protrude outwards giving a cherry-like appearance. Symptoms of Cherry Eye include a noticeable bulge around your pet’s eye accompanied by excessive tearing or discharge. Treatment options vary based on severity but mainly involve surgical removal of affected tissue(ies), though sometimes medication may be used instead if caught early enough. It is important not to ignore this condition as it can lead to various complications like chronic eye infections, corneal ulcers and blindness.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition that develops when a Shih Tzu dog’s tear glands don’t produce enough tears to keep the eyes lubricated. Severe cases can cause vision loss or even blindness. Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include red, irritated eyes, discharge from the eyes, swelling around the eyes and squinting. Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome involves regular use of artificial tear drops/ointments or prescriptions such as Cyclosporine which stimulates tear production. Shih Tzus are lovely dogs that can suffer from eye problems if not taken care of properly. It is essential to pay attention to your pet’s eye health and seek veterinary care if you notice any symptoms mentioned above or any other abnormal behavior. Knowing these common issues and their treatment options will help you have a better understanding of how to take care of your furry friend’s eyes.

Preventative Measures for Shih Tzu Eye Care

Regular grooming practices to prevent eye irritation

Grooming your Shih Tzu regularly is essential for maintaining their eye health. Their long, luxurious hair can easily become tangled and matted, which can lead to eye irritation and infections. To avoid this, brush your dog’s hair daily with a soft-bristled brush or comb to prevent any tangles from forming near the eyes. Trimming the hair around the eyes can also help prevent irritation and infection. Furthermore, it’s important to keep your Shih Tzu’s face clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth regularly. This will remove any dirt or debris that may have gotten stuck in their fur and could lead to eye problems.

Proper nutrition to support eye health

A balanced diet that includes essential vitamins and nutrients is crucial for maintaining good overall health in your Shih Tzu—including their eyesight. Foods rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, C, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin can be particularly beneficial for eye health. Feeding your dog high-quality pet food that contains these nutrients is key. Also, consider supplementing their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes —both of which contain high levels of beta-carotene beneficial for vision.

Routine vet check-ups

Routine veterinary check-ups are essential for identifying potential issues before they become more severe problems—a rule of thumb being twice-yearly visits! Regular visits also allow vets to identify if there is any early signs of an eye problem developing such as cataracts or glaucoma so that treatment can be started immediately! During check-ups, vets will examine your dog’s eyes thoroughly – looking out for signs of infection or inflammation around the eyelids or surface of the eye. They will also check tear production to ensure there are no underlying issues like dry eye syndrome.

Avoid irritants

Avoiding irritants is another preventative measure to keep your Shih Tzu’s eyes healthy. This includes exposure to smoke, dust, and other airborne pollutants that can cause irritation and lead to infections or inflammation. If you live in a highly polluted area, consider investing in an air purifier for your home and avoid taking your dog out during peak pollution hours. If you need to use any cleaning products at home or have any smokers in the household, make sure that their use occurs in a well-ventilated area away from where your dog usually spends their time!

Care Tips for Shih Tzu Eye Health

As a responsible pet owner, you should prioritize your Shih Tzu’s eye care to prevent any potential eye problems. Here are some essential care tips for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s eye health:

Cleaning the Eyes Regularly with a Damp Cloth or Cotton Ball

Shih Tzus are prone to developing tear stains and other debris around their eyes, which could lead to eye infections. Therefore, it is imperative to clean their eyes regularly using a clean damp cloth or cotton ball. Gently wipe away any dirt or debris from sensitive areas around the eyes, moving from the inner corner towards the outer corner. If you notice any redness or discharge during cleaning, stop immediately and consult your veterinarian. They may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or suggest an alternative cleaning method.

Avoiding Irritants Such as Smoke or Dust

Shih Tzus have sensitive eyes that can easily become irritated by smoke, dust, and other irritants in the air. To avoid this problem, keep your home clean and well-ventilated by opening windows regularly. Avoid smoking in front of your dog as second-hand smoke can be harmful. If you live in an area with high levels of pollution or pollen allergens, consider investing in air purifiers with HEPA filters to reduce irritants in the air and keep your dog’s eyes healthy.

Watching Out for Signs of Discomfort or Pain

One of the easiest ways to maintain good eye health for your Shih Tzu is by monitoring their behavior closely. If they exhibit any signs of discomfort around their eyes such as redness, swelling or discharge after cleaning them often it signifies something deeper that requires medical attention. If your Shih Tzu is rubbing their eyes excessively, squinting or avoiding bright lights, it may be a sign of eye pain. In such cases, consult your veterinarian immediately for proper treatment.

Feeding Your Shih Tzu a Balanced Diet

Feeding your Shih Tzu a well-balanced diet that includes essential nutrients like Vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain healthy eyesight and prevent eye problems. These nutrients play an important role in keeping the cornea, retina, and other ocular structures healthy and functioning properly. Consult with your veterinarian on the best diet for your pet as they will suggest the right balance of protein, fat, carbs plus vitamins and minerals to ensure good overall health.


To prevent any potential eye problems in your Shih Tzu dog, remember to clean their eyes regularly with a damp cloth or cotton ball; avoid exposure to irritants such as smoke or dust; look out for signs of discomfort or pain around the eyes; and give them a well-balanced diet that supports good eye health. Proper care and attention can go a long way in maintaining healthy eyes for these lovable dogs!


Summary of Common Eye Problems in Shih Tzus and Preventative Measures

Shih Tzu dogs are prone to a number of eye problems. Entropion, cherry eye, and dry eye syndrome are among the most common issues faced by this breed. Entropion is characterized by the inward rolling of the eyelid, which can irritate and damage the cornea. Cherry eye occurs when a gland in the dog’s third eyelid becomes inflamed or displaced, leading to a bulging appearance on their lower eyelid. Dry eye syndrome occurs when there is insufficient tear production in the dog’s eyes. To prevent these problems from developing or worsening over time, regular grooming practices such as wiping around the eyes with a damp cloth or cotton ball can help reduce irritation and prevent infections. Providing your Shih Tzu with a healthy diet rich in vitamins A and C can also be beneficial for their overall eye health. It is important to take your Shih Tzu for routine check-ups with your vet to catch any potential problems early on before they become severe.

The Importance of Proper Care and Attention for Maintaining Healthy Eyes in Your Furry Friend!

As pet owners, it is our responsibility to provide proper care for our furry friends’ well-being. This includes paying attention to their eye health. Neglecting proper care can lead to serious consequences such as blindness or even loss of an eye. Proper preventative measures such as regular cleaning and grooming practices can help reduce the risk of developing common eye problems. Additionally, providing proper nutrition and routine check-ups with your vet are integral parts of maintaining good overall health for your furry friend. By taking these steps towards proper care, you will not only ensure that your Shih Tzu has healthy eyes but also strengthen the bond between you two through mutual trust and companionship. While Shih Tzu dogs are prone to eye problems, early detection and proper care can go a long way in maintaining their eye health and overall well-being. As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to take the necessary steps towards providing proper care for our furry friends. Remember to always pay attention to your pet’s behavior and seek professional help if you suspect any issues with their eyes. With proper care and attention, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu will live a happy, healthy life with clear vision as they navigate the world around them!

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