Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Does Your Shih Tzu Have Allergies?

Category: Animal Care)Does Your Shih Tzu Have Allergies?

by Connie Limon (Email: There are many things that both the Shih Tzu and the Shih Tzu owners could have in common. For example, both Shih Tzu and Shih Tzu owners could be prone to obesity if not regulating food intake and by not exercising. In addition, Shih Tzu and humans may also acquire diseases that results from improper dietary regimen like diabetes, heart diseases, etc. Moreover, the most amusing thing that both Shih Tzu and humans share is the fact that they are both vulnerable to allergies. Sounds impossible? Think again. Veterinary experts assert that Shih Tzu have allergies too. One of the primary signs of allergies is the itching of their skin. Their respiratory tract system can also be affected with allergies. Normally, Shih Tzu will manifest symptoms of respiratory tract allergies like sneezing, wheezing, and coughing. Their nose and their eyes may also manifest a discharge just like humans do whenever they have colds or flu. There are also allergies that may have an effect on their digestive system; hence, it may result as watery stools, diarrhea, or vomiting. Experts say that almost 20% of the Shih Tzu in the United States suffer from several types of allergy. So, for people who want to know more about the different allergies that Shih Tzu acquire, here is a list of the most common allergies: 1. Allergies with fleas It is a well-known fact that Shih Tzu are usually infected with fleas. However, what most people do not know is that they can get allergies through these fleas, too. Well, it is not the fleas that actually cause the allergic reactions in Shih Tzu but the flea's saliva. Hence, it is important for the Shih Tzu to undergo a skin allergy examination so as to determine if a particular dog is sensitive to flea saliva. In the event that the Shih Tzu is allergic to flea saliva, it would be better for the owner to implement a rigorous flea control or flea eradication treatment in order to lessen the allergic reactions. Though, it must be kept in mind that solutions that are used in flea control should be safe for the Shih Tzu. 2. Allergies pertaining to foods Like humans, Shih Tzu gets allergies from food as well. There are instances wherein Shih Tzu gets allergies from foods that their system cannot tolerate, such as wheat, soy products, pork, beef, whey, fish, eggs, milk, corn, artificial sweeteners, and chemical preservatives that are placed in their food. Moreover, Shih Tzu can get allergies in food that they have not tried before. The best way to combat this particular allergy problem is to feed the dog commercial dog foods more often instead of homemade products. Some signs of allergic reactions to food in Shih Tzu are shaking of the head, scratching the ears, irritated skin, biting and licking at the rear feet, inflammations in the ear, sneezing, behavioral changes, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. 3. Atopic Dermatitis Atopic dermatitis is a known allergic skin disease in dogs. This is usually caused by the hypersensitivity of the dog's immune system to ordinary substances that can be found in the environment like molds or dust mites. Usually, a Shih Tzu is said to be suffering from atopic dermatitis when the Shih Tzu begins to excessively lick and chew its paws, licking the abdomen and its rear feet. Atopic dermatitis can be seen as a saliva staining found in the armpits, between the toes of the paws, and in the groin. In light-colored canines, atopic dermatitis can be seen as a red-brown stain found on the same parts that were mentioned. 4. Allergies resulting from bacteria This is the most common cause of serious allergies in Shih Tzu. Generally, there are certain bacteria that thrive in the dog's skin. This is known as the species of Staphylococcus bacteria. In most cases, this does not cause allergies in Shih Tzu. However, there are certain types of dogs that develop an allergy to it. The most common symptom of this kind of allergy is hair loss along with the development of ringworm like marks in the Shih Tzu skin. The areas where these marks appear usually get infected, hence, it is important to treat them with antibiotics. Indeed, allergies are not for humans only. Allergies greatly affect almost 20% of the total population of dogs in the United States, and that is a pretty alarming number. Therefore, it is extremely important for dog owners to know these dog allergies in order to prevent them from further exposure.

Author: Connie Limon. I raise Shih Tzu puppies from top champion bloodlines in many different colors of blues, reds, chocolates, blacks. We have the small AKC standards, imperials and teacups at reasonable prices. We offer you educational material, dog bows and dog clothes. Visit us online at: and sign up for our FREE newsletter. We are the largest privately-owned Shih Tzu site on the World Wide Web.

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