Health Problems : LUSENET : Shih-Tzu Talkshop : One Thread

Jenny suggested a thread for `health problems`. Great idea! I know I have an on-going problem with Tino who is suffering with skin problems. Started when he was about two years old, and my vet thinks it is an allergy to `something`. Although it fades now an then, it comes back just as quickly with a vengence. It breaks my heart, he is such a wonderful soppy boy, anyone who has seen him flat on his back on the grooming table will know what I mean. He is a poppet, and it frustrates me so much that I can`t get this problem sorted out.

Also, of my six dogs, two of them seem to have recurring ear problems - the others don`t have any problems with their ears at all!

I hope that this thread will be innundated with useful tips!(:o)

-- Anonymous, September 08, 2000


have you ever thougth of Cushing D..This is what happend with my show shih tzu.She had cushing,something we never thought of until i was in Las Vegas and talk to a vet in an animal hospital.We test her and bingo that was it.Non of my vets every thought about it but no that this exist in some breeds. Does your vet has any idear where to look at? I have my bitch on dogfood that is out of Fish and Potato,this work well for Skin problems. Ito recognisze that some shih tzu i have to groom show allergic reaction to minkoil.

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2000

Hi Brigitte - I had never thought of Cushing`s desease - are skin complaints a sympton? I do have Tino on a hypoallegernic(sp?) diet, but it still seems to come and go at will. I am reaching the stage where I feel I may have to have him allergy tested - not much fun for him I`m afraid.

Mink oil - I don`t use it. I find that I react badly to it, therefore, I have always assumed that it can`t be good for my dogs! (:o)

I am due a visit to the vet as I am running out of the special shampoo I have for him - I`ll let you know what she thinks.(:o)

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2000

Lets give you information. My english is basicly not that good enough to write you a whole discribtion. My two favorite sites are (go down the page and it answer all your question)

From my expirience with my bitch,i would never put her again on a long term use of Prednisolon.This has distroyed the kidneys of my bitch and i had to put her to sleep.All because my first vet treated her wrong and i was happy to see with cortison change of the skin.Just for the eyes no catch of the main reason.The best results can be made with Anypryl for human. I think the shampoo you might have gotten is made of wheaten.This in our case shows only a short time help,but does not prevent from scratching. Hope this help.

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2000

Thanks for the information Brigitte. I am bathing my dog for a show tomorrow, but I will have a very good look at it when I get back. (:o)

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2000

Cross my fingers for you for both the show and to find what cause this problem.

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2000

Hi, I do not believe that a test to allergie is helping. I had all this procedure done with one dog. Ok, you might find out severel things your dog is allergic to but it can change any time and also there is not 100% test to food allergie expect you try to feed you dog only duck and potatoes and after 6 weeks you add something else and so on. But how you want to do that if you have more than just one dog. I know it is very difficult because I have tried it. I do not know how the skin of your dog looks like but I had very good results by feeding no dry food (because of the mites in it) and then giving my dog 3 weeks antibiotics and bath him 2 a week with a shampoo called Etiderm from the company Virbac. After 3 weeks the skin looked good again (she had a bacterial infection, which is coming very often a sign of allergie) Now I use the shampoo every forth week and inbetween I use only products from Pure Pet for her. Which work on her well. Maybe you can get the book from Dr. Stefanie Peters "Skin and Hair of dogs" or the book from Dr. Ackermann, Skin and Haircoat Problems in Dogs which I also find very informativ. Elisabeth

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2000

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for the advice. I shall look for those two books, they sound as though they could be very helpful.

The more I talk to people, the more I am finding that `skin problems` seem to be very common in the Shih-Tzu. I am wondering whether some sort of survey needs to be done to find out just how big a problem this is. It is something that can affect the quality of life in a dog, and cause huge amounts of anxiety and expense in the owner.

When was the last time we did a big health survey in the breed? I`m talking about say a questionnaire (returned annonymously).(:o)

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2000

I think the last one i remember was done by the ASTC ,short before they started the K.D.Marker.Did you remember all the page,we had to fill out. I know so far that from my Club(V.K.e.V) there has been none since years.A point to think of.

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2000

That`s exactly the sort of thing I am talking about Brigitte. And yes I do remember the pages and pages of questions. But I could really see it being of great benefit to the breed if All breed clubs did a survey of a similar sort say, once ever ten years. My vet was very interested when I was telling her that I had received the survey form from the ASTC, and in fact, I filled it in with her, as there were actually a couple of technical points I wasn`t too sure of. She thought that the questionnaire was very well thought out, and and she was totally impressed with their efforts.

Actually, my vet is becoming a bit of an expert on Shih-Tzus(;o)

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2000

We are going to have a club meeting on 23.9.00 with election etc. and i will see if i could bring this point up.You know this is always something that you ahve to discribe the officers and basicly they see no need for it. At least we could made copies and give it to the people at shows and does not involve a club.I got the expirence that they stated no need for this. I agree that the question,hit the point.Sad to say that my vet is not a toydog person,she is more into Cocker Spaniels.But she is one of the best i have since years.

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2000

hello every one ist so nice to see people talking about the one think we have in common shih tzu,s.a survay sounds a great idear.

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2000

Hi Jenny! I think I shall contact the ASTC and see if they can let me have a copy of their survey - I know that some of it will have to be re-worded to cover the Shih-Tzu scene in the UK. But I do think it would be worth the effort.

In order to make it really comprehensive, perhaps the membership lists of all the Shih-Tzu Clubs could be sent to an `administrator`, because I know not everyone belongs to every club. Perhaps an advert could go into the Breed column of the dog papers for Shih-Tzu people who don`t belong to any club could apply for a copy of the survey, and be given the opportunity to participate.

If each Country did the same thing, maybe it would be possible to identify problems that are in the breed worldwide? Grand plan, riddled with possible pitfalls, but maybe worth discussing with the breed clubs - what do you think?(:o)

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2000

What about changing the survey to each indidual country's and handed them to people at dogsshows and collect that later. I was thinking of this short after they had the survey.I think it has been on their webpage,too. I will sit down and think of it. I am off work the next three weeks so alot of time to think of it.

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2000

Iwould like to make a couple of points regarding a breed health survey.Firstly Padgett's Control Of Canine Genetic Diseases lists the genetic diseases affecting Shih Tzus.We already know what the problems are.If you want to know the carrier rate or likely mode of inheritance you will need to have the survey formulated and interpreted by a geneticist.If you suspect new conditions not previously believed present in Shih Tzus again the best course of action would be to talk to a geneticist first. Secondly there is already a lot of info. available.For example The Northern Counties Shih Tzu Club has had Prof.Peter Bedford conducting eye clinics at their open shows for quite a few years.Val Stockman was collating a survey on Umbilical Hernias in Shih Tzu about 3 or 4 years ago and The Swedish Kennel Club publish a list of all Shih Tzu affected with Renal Dysplasia. I suspect that a lot of the questions you would like answers to are Immune System related.Lots of research has been done and there is a lot more going on.The information is available if you search for it. I would suggest that a breed health survey is only of use if you know which questions to ask and are qualified to interpret the answers.

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2000

Hi Sue - and welcome!

All very valid points you raised. I totally agree about needing professional help to forumulate and interpret the necessary questions. I also agree that there is already much information out there, but not all of it is that easy to find, especially if you are new to the breed and don`t really know what you are looking for.

I guess there are three things which I hope a well constructed and thoroughly broad based survey may achieve.

Firstly, a comprehensive and current picture of the problems arising in today`s Shih-Tzu`s. From the rate of incidence of major hereditary desease, to the more mundane but worrying problems. If say for example, a particular hereditary problem appears to be on the rise, or more prevalent than previously thought, the Breed Clubs could then decide what action could/should be taken to protect the breed. I`m thinking along the lines of the sterling work done by the Irish Setter Breed Clubs regarding PRA and CLAD.

Secondly, and this I think is the really difficult part, a kind of centralised database for this information which could be available to the Breed Clubs worldwide, with perhaps a designated `health issues` co-ordinator on the committee of each club. I believe some clubs already designate such a person already.

Thirdly, I hope it would encourage, for want of a better word, more `transparncy` with regard to problems. This would be particularly useful if for example we could include the findings of the ASTC into the database, or surveys from other countries. The worldwide boundries are gradually falling away, and the possibility of widening the genepool must be good for the breed, but I for one, am cautious in the extreme, and would welcome anything that would help me personally make a more informed decision, and to minimise the risks to the breed in general.

None of the foregoing is meant to belittle or underestimate the work that has been done already by some very dedicated Shih-Tzu people or, of course, the work that has been undertaken by the professionals. Nor am I suggesting that any such survey should be carried out in any way other than under the auspices of the recognized Breed Clubs. It also possibly illustrates my own lack of knowlege about just how much the Breed Clubs do already.(:o)

Here, of course, money also raises its ugly head! Such an undertaking would not be cheap, but I am sure that if it was felt to be a worthwhile enterprise, then we would find enough enthusiastic fundraisers to get it going.

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2000

Further ramblings.......with apologies for spellings and grammar as I am really tired!

I was also wondering what information, other than health issues would be useful to the Breed Clubs. For instance, what the members are happy with, what other problems they would like to see addressed, what they like/dislike about the Club policies, are there any changes that members would like to see or are they quite happy with the way things are done. Is there anything the Clubs could do that would make the members more pro-active? I`m not being a revolutionary here, I am just wondering what other information might be useful or enlightening to the various clubs. Are there any issues that might come to light which our Breed Clubs should be taking up with the KC?

I know this is a whole new can of worms, and probably one which should have a separate thread - but my mind started wandering! Seems to happen a lot these days. (:o) Time for bed I think!

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ