Keeping of the Shih Tzu is not an easy task, as the representatives of this breed require constant care, attention and attendance. This means regular hygienic procedures and good nutrition. Wrong hair and skin care can cause very serious skin problems. The skin of dogs and its condition reflects the state of the animals and their inner being.
Skin Diseases in Shi Tzu
Skin diseases of Shih Tzu are generally divided into itchy and non-itchy. The dog actively scratches itself when it is bothered by itching. It often results in skin damage. Itching can be caused by various reasons. The cause of irritation can be both external (fleas and ticks) and internal (worms) parasites. Itching can be also caused by allotopia, scab and food allergy. Such diseases as demodicosis, dermatophytosis, endocrinopathy proceed without itching.
Skin Problems and the Remedies
1. ABSCESS. There is always a danger that under Shih Tzu thick coat an abscess will not be seen at an early stage. An abscess is very painful, and should be carefully washed in hot salted water. This procedure will make the pus content rise to the head, and then the pus will pour out, and empty the abscess.
However, washing should continue after the opening of the abscess because it must be emptied completely, and so you should not allow the skin to heal in this place too quickly. If the abscess was not opened, you should consult a veterinarian. Abscesses can appear anywhere including near the anus. One of the most common reasons for the formation of an abscess is a fight with another dog, after which unnoticed issues remain on the skin.
2. YEAST. Dogs that like lying on the wet grass or in other damp places, often catch microscopic yeast that is manifested in the form of small black spots. Typically, these spots appear around the nipples, or where there is no hair. They can cause irritation. To cure a dog you can rub the spots with a solution made of one part of chloroform and the two parts of alcohol.
3. DANDRUFF. Dandruff or dry skin is a condition when a dog feels very uncomfortable. Sometimes if no attention is paid to the dandruff and dry skin, hair loss problem can appear. Dandruff can be cured by the addition of a small amount of oil to the everyday diet of Shih Tzu. Try to add some vegetable oil to each dish. However, if the dandruff remains, you should seek the advice of your veterinarian, because the reason can be a disease of the lower skin that should be treated professionally.
4. WARTS. In most cases warts in dogs are benign and do not require removal. Removal of warts can cause the dog stress and cause the appearance of new ones in the near future. If you decide to remove warts from your dog’s skin, you should apply to a specialist.
Proper Care for Shih Tzu
To avoid skin problems it is important to provide correct care for the dog.
1. Brushing. Coat of Shih Tzu, is long and thick. Therefore, it should be cared for properly. It is recommended to brush the dog once a week. Brushing too often removes the natural oils that are released from the skin to protect the coat and make it silky and bright. And it can also lead to dry skin. When skin is dry you shouldn’t brush and comb your dog. It is recommended to lubricate your pet’s skin with a special hydrating cream for dogs.
2. Bathing. The water temperature should be slightly higher than the dog’s body temperature (about 39°C). Shampoo containing insecticides is recommended only if there are fleas. The shampoo must be washed out very carefully; otherwise the remaining lye can cause skin irritation. It is recommended to wash Shih Tzu with a mild shampoo for dry hair. After washing the dog should be wrapped in a towel, you should not rub the coat. Then dry the dog with a hairdryer, but do not “dry up” the skin and hair.
3. Feeding. Feed your dog only with fresh natural products. Make sure that the food you give your dog does not contain chemical additives, preservative and coloring agents. It is not recommended to feed Shih Tzu with allergenic foods, such as chicken, sausages, sweets, soybeans, etc.
The most important thing for the good health of your pet, regardless of its size, age, character and sex is competent care. Every the dog owner taking responsibility for the life and health of an animal should do his or her best to make the life of the pet long and happy.