You might have heard that the eyes are a window to the soul. And when you look into Shih Tzu’s eyes, no doubt you will see love, as they are quite loving dogs. But more often than not, you notice that something is not right with their eyes. That’s because eye problems are pretty common in Shih Tzu.
Shih Tzu dogs have cute short noses along with bulging eyes, which make them more vulnerable to various eye problems. These problems result in vision loss and discomfort in severe conditions. However, you can identify symptoms before the problem becomes serious through care and attention.
If you are interested in knowing some common Shih Tzu eye problems, you are in the right place. Also, you will learn how to care for your pet’s eyes. So, let’s jump into it.
Symptoms of Eye Problems in Shih Tzu
The large, bulging eyes make Shih Tzu look cute but can be problematic for them as well. This is because their eyes are prone to irritation because of dust and dirt. Moreover, pollen can also irritate their eyes if your dog has seasonal allergies. Besides, external injuries can affect their eyes as well.
Some of the symptoms that alarm you about your pet’s eyes include:
- Cloudiness in the eye
- Discharge of green color in excess from eye
- Eye sensitivity to bright lights
- Swelling around eye
- Dry or permanently closed eyes
Any of these symptoms might get worse in a short time, causing severe eye damage. So, these symptoms are quite alarming.
Common Shih Tzu Eye Problems
Some of the eye problems that are common in Shih Tzu are listed below:
In this eye condition, the white part of the Shih Tzu eye turns red. This is because the tiny blood vessels become visible and enlarge on the outer eye membranes. As a result, this leads to eye redness.
Different eye issues, like glaucoma and eye irritation, can be the causes. This eye problem can become serious for your pet. You need to take him to a vet. You should know the true cause of this problem to get appropriate treatment for your pup.
Another common eye problem is the Cherry Eye where prolapse of the third eyelid gland occurs. Simply put, the eye gland that makes tear film gets displaced from the eyelid. The gland appears as a pink lump at the inner eye corner due to ligament breakage.
In this condition, the eye of your puppy becomes dry, making it easier to get infected. Although it is not harmful to the eye itself, you should bring your pet to a vet. Its treatment involves placing the gland back surgically.
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
Well, your pup’s eye turns pink in this condition, as the name suggests. In this case, your Shih Tzu gets uneasy because of swelling and extra discharge from the eye. How this happens to him is that bacterial infection gets into the eye via allergen or any other object and might spread between dogs. Some medications, including antibiotics, are usually effective for this problem.
Ingrowth of Eyelashes (Trichiasis)
Let me tell you about another eye problem common in your Shih Tzu that is an ingrowth of eyelashes. It might cause severe eye irritation, resulting in impaired vision as it damages the lens. You can see the offending hair that indicates if your dog has an ingrown eyelash.
Alongside, your pup’s eye produces extra discharge to get rid of the irritant and is in a struggle with lens protection. It’s better to treat trichiasis with antibiotics. Because plucking the ingrown eyelash will grow it again at the same location.
About cataracts, it’s a cloudy film that forms across the eye lens. Gradually, it covers the whole eye, causing blurred vision and blindness. Being a genetic problem, it appears after Shih Tzu turns eight.
Moreover, an eye injury can also cause this eye problem. Surgically removing the cataract from the eye lens is quite helpful in this regard. However, some scarring can be left behind in the eye lens, resulting in decreased vision. Unfortunately, it leads to your dog blindness if left untreated.
Glaucoma is a condition that occurs when liquids in the eye don’t drain away well. It leads to an increase in eye pressure, which is painful for Shih Tzu. Eye swelling and blindness can also occur if left untreated. Besides, pupils can also get dilated.
Any eye infection or disease can also result in this condition. In this case, medication can be effective to some extent. But in cases of complete blindness, it’s better to remove the affected eye to reduce further swelling and pain.
Treatment of Eye Problems in Shih Tzu
The suitable treatments for eye problems depend on the disease. Depending on the initial cause of the problem, your puppy is treated differently in each case. Some diseases need specific medications for a cure. While others require surgery to repair the damage.
It might be possible in some situations that Shih Tzu lives with severe eye infections that can’t be treated throughout their life. However, you can save them through eye removal, which is the best solution. It’s better to discuss all these situations with your vet.
Prevention of Eye Problems in Shih Tzu
Cleaning around your pup’s eyes is an effective way to prevent eye problems in Shih Tzu. Always keep the fur around his eyes clean, even if it doesn’t look dirty. Although most of these eye problems cannot be prevented, you can prevent them from becoming severe health problems.
Keeping an eye on their adorable eyes and visiting your vet once you observe any symptoms can save your Shih Tzu’s vision.
Home Care for Shih Tzus with Eye Problems
Caring for a Shih Tzu with eye problems requires a gentle touch, patience, and an understanding of the special needs these conditions create. Here’s a guide to managing your furry friend’s condition at home, which is crucial for their overall well-being and comfort.
Maintaining Cleanliness Around the Eye Area
- Regular Cleaning: Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe away any discharge or crust that may form around the eyes. Do this gently to avoid irritating the eyes.
- Proper Technique: Always wipe from the inner corner of the eye outward and use a separate area of the cloth for each eye to prevent cross-contamination.
- Eye Drops and Ointments: Your vet may prescribe eye drops or ointments for your Shih Tzu. To apply them, carefully tilt your dog’s head back, gently pull down the lower eyelid, and place the medication inside. Allow your pet to blink, which helps spread the medication over the surface of the eye.
- Consistency Is Key: Always follow the prescribed schedule for eye medications. Consistency helps prevent flare-ups and controls symptoms more effectively.
Creating a Safe Environment
- Remove Hazards: Ensure your home is free of low-lying sharp corners or objects that could injure your Shih Tzu’s eyes, especially if their vision is impaired.
- Stable Setup: Keep your home layout consistent so your Shih Tzu can navigate easily without bumping into things.
- Eye Protection: Consider protective eyewear designed for dogs to protect your Shih Tzu’s eyes from dust, debris, and bright light.
- Restful Areas: Provide your dog with a comfortable, quiet place to rest. Eye problems can be stressful, and a peaceful environment helps reduce this stress.
Regular Veterinary Visits
- Routine Checks: Regular check-ups are crucial. Your vet can monitor the progression of eye issues and adjust treatment as needed.
- Professional Cleaning: Sometimes, professional cleaning by a vet is necessary, especially if your Shih Tzu is prone to tear stains or has trouble with regular eye maintenance.
Monitoring for Changes
- Be Vigilant: Watch for changes in your dog’s eyes, such as increased redness, swelling, or changes in discharge. These could indicate that a visit to the vet is necessary.
- Comfort Monitoring: Also, pay attention to your dog’s behavior. Increased pawing at the eyes or signs of discomfort should be addressed promptly.
By providing diligent home care, you can play a significant role in managing your Shih Tzu’s eye health. While some conditions may not be preventable, your efforts can greatly enhance your pet’s quality of life and help maintain their vision for as long as possible.
The large, bulging eyes of Shih Tzu are adorable but harmful for them as well. That’s because they are more prone to eye infections and irritations. Their eyes turn red and watery and become sensitive to light.
It might be possible sometimes that your pup turns blind because of these issues. So, removing the eye can be the best solution. Additionally, it’s important to seek veterinary help if the situation gets worse.
Keep your Shih Tzu face and eyes clean to avoid dust, pollen, or other small particles causing eye irritation. Your pup may not suffer from these problems if you take proper care including vet visits. To avoid vitamin deficiencies that can cause eye problems, pet nutrition is an essential element to consider.