Shih tzus can live for up to 10 to 18 years but the range can vary depending on their health condition, activities and how they are being cared for. Some factors that can contribute to their health’s deterioration are health issues. These health issues include:
Stenotic Nares. This diease is common among dogs considered to be brachycephalic such as Shih Tzus. Brachycephalic dogs, also called snub-nosed dogs are dogs with short wide head and narrow nostrils. This physical attribute causes increased resistance to airflow through the mouth, nose and larynx and can later lead to respiratory difficulty and enlargement of the heart.
Luxating Patella. Smaller breed of dogs such as shih tzus are at risk of having this health problem. Luxating patella occurs when the kneecap, which is usually located at the center of the knee point, slides out of its grove. Although luxating patella is a congenital disease, the disease is sometimes acquired through trauma. Signs of this disease include lameness in the affected legs (rear), walking on three legs, holding affected leg up or extending it backward.
Read the rest of this entry »