Pamela's Shihtzu Heaven

Health Issues

Spaying and neutering your puppy.   I suggest neutering by 5 1/2 months unless it is a very very tiny male (call me for personal suggestions on Imperial Miniatures) and spaying your female is controversial.  If she has access to a male then she should be fixed before her first heat (around 8 months) however she can come into heat at 6 months, so be careful.  You cannot keep a male from breeding her if they do not have solid walls between them and even then they can fool you, so send the male to grandma's house for a month until she can be fixed.  

After surgery: give your dog ckn broth by syringe, drop onto tongue and get the dog started licking as soon as you get it home from the vet.  try to get about a 1/2 cup of broth into your dog over the next 2 hours.  if dog will lick the broth on it's own that is great, let it do so, give it about 1/2 cup every 2 hours and carry it outside to PP about 5 minutes after drinking the broth.  I use a pillow, carry it outside set it down let it pp and walk just a bit, carry it back into the house and lay in it's bed, do this until YOUR bedtime, then let dog rest, get up about 2:00 a.m. and repeat broth if the puppy doesn't want it, that's fine, carry outside, then put back to bed, morning comes around 6:00 a.m. and puppy is ready to go outside, carry out, let walk slowly back in, no climbing, or jumping, give some chicken noodle soup, back to bed allow to rest for 2 hours, carry out, walk back in, let rest, by noon you should be able to give your dog their regular dog food with some broth in a bowl to the side at choice of the dog.  by evening meal, puppy should be able to walk out slowly (do not let the dew or moisture get to the incision for the next week, no baths).  food as usual, just make sure dog is eating and drinking well and make sure dog is ''pp'g" at least every 4 hours, push liquids for faster healing of your puppy dog.  broth is better than water for the first 24 hours, then allow water as desired.  Broth helps the stomach heal from the anesthesia.  Call me if assistance is needed.       

Your dog's diet.  As your puppy gets older, 1 out of 10 will have a reaction to something and start having skin issues. my research reveals this could possibly be from an allergy to chicken or chicken by products, simply change their diet to not have chicken in it, since Eukanuba does have ckn biproducts, I will refer you to something without chicken and a proven good food is the Blue Buffalo dog food.  Use a product called 'vetericyn' which is a spray on the skin medication to give your dog some relief til the ckn gets out of the system, once cleared up if your dog gets one tiny bite of ckn there will be a severe skin reaction in less than 2 hours. This could be a simple change for you that can make both of your lives much better.  Of course the special breakfast has ckn in it, so just stop using the ckn in it and your good to still give them the special recipe minus the ckn.    

LIVER SHUNT in your SHihtzu?  This does happen sometimes and vets will tell you it is a death sentence or very expensive surgery HOWEVER I have been told that you can treat this successfully by doing nothing else but changing the diet by removing proteins and feeding your dog: fruits & vegetables.  Cool huh?  you can find other pet owners dealing with this on the internet...check it out BEFORE you spend money or lose your companion.

 Over the past 30 years I have had NO diagnosed liver shunt cases....HOWEVER.... I have had customers that were told there was a liver shunt possibility only to find out it was a reaction to the anesthesia the dog received when having surgery such as spaying or neutering.  I will make recommendations to prevent this when you purchase your puppy such as the puppy's age being an important factor before spaying or neutering, size and age, has a big influence on this reaction.    If you are told by your vet that your dog has elevated blood count and they have just had surgery, this could be the reason.  OR if your puppy has recently had a vaccination of Bordatella or Rabies, never let your vet give more than one shot at a time to your shihtzu, reactions are VERY common, if there is a reaction you will know which shot it was.  They appear to have reactions to both of these vaccinations so I suggest they do not get these until they are over 5 months old, especially if they are tiny shihtzus.  

I have talked with many breeders and some dog owners that have had this happen and it appears that when there is an elevated level in their blood we should treat by removing all proteins from their diet, putting them on fruits and vegetables, yep, there are dog foods without protein in it also, you can check this out on line.  Empower yourself with knowledge about your puppy/ to your vet or listen to your vet but always check out all information given to you before you decide to spend a huge amount of money running tests and NEVER EVER let them put your pet down until you have obtained more information and consulted other professionals.  I am always willing to help you with information, I am not a vet but have been doing shihtzu health for 30 years and have a great medical consultation team to refer to.  If your dog is experiencing elevated levels, it appears that this corrects itself over the next 5 months, this actually is just a sign that the liver is in stress, removing proteins from the diet helps the liver not have to work so hard and allows it to get over the stress and get back to normal.    If you have not noticed any symptoms related to a liver shunt, then it may be something else or nothing but a reaction.        

So what is going on with the puppy/dog? through my 30 years of raising Shihtzus I have been involved in health care for the Shihtzu, many things can be treated by you, the owner, saving you a vet bill and some things can be prevented by you, the owner, just by your knowledge of certain symptoms.  I am not a veterinarian or a medical professional but I have a great passion for the shihtzu breed and study any thing I can to make their lives better and longer. I work closely with my vets to learn as much as I can to assist you in keeping your puppy/dog healthy.   

YOUR Dog has worms?  where did they come from?   WELL unfortunately worm eggs are everywhere in soil, the dogs extract them up through their feet when they step where another dog has urinated or pooped that had worms.  DOG PARKS are deadly places, if you could see the
soil from those place you wouldn't even be out there yourself.  Now you can also carry in eggs on your shoes when you have stepped where a dog or cat has relieved themselves.  SO!? what do 
you do well if your dog goes outside of your yard, it needs to be wormed on a regular basis, ask me about this problem personally and I can advise you.  Always watch the puppies poop, it will tell you of anything going on in your dogs body, dark poop could mean blood, white specs or long stringy things are worms.    

GRIEVING:  a BIG thing with a Shihtzu.  They can grieve the loss of a pack member, human or animal to the point of being really sick. Even relocating to a new home.   Make sure your grieving shihtzu is eating and drinking.  I can work with you based on a 'one on one' situation just call me.  We have to introduce smell, taste and licking to get the shihtzu through the grief.  

WEATHER STRESS:  YOUR shihtzu can experience stress from changes in the weather, such as rain, snow, heat, cold, etc.  NEVER let your shihtzu stay out in the snow any longer than you can stay out there barefooted.  Even though they love it and it is fun for them, they chill very quickly and can become very very sick.    Never REACT to storms, it will scare your shihtzu to death, literally, turn on a radio, leave on the lights  in the room (you can cover their cage) and keep calm energy in the house, do not speak of fear or concern where dog can hear it and they can hear you at the neighbors house so don't think they aren't listening all the time.   

Give some chicken noodle soup to your dog wait about 12 hours and give some more, this will relieve the stress and heal the nerves.   

DO NOT FEED YOUR DOG 'Greenies'!  I have been advised by several vets this causes a problem in their intestines that can be fatal.
RAWHIDE Chews can be deadly to a shihtzu as well, it seems that little pieces come off and puncture the puppies throat, it cannot eat, & there has been situations where the shihtzu has had to be euthenized. PIG EARS, although they love them and they are farely safe, causes them to be aggressive to other dogs and humans.  For this reason I do not recommend them.    

Cats and Cat products: Having your puppy coexist with a cat is possible however the cat must be declawed to prevent damage to your puppies' eyes.

Cat products and their poop must be kept away from your Shihtzu.  Dogs cannot eat cat food and/or their poop, it is not digestable for them because of it's ingredients being not acceptable for dogs.  Symptoms will usually be throwing up and/or bloody stool.  can be fatal if products are not removed.   I suggest removing any cat poop from your yard and your litter box/cat food being placed up high so the puppy cannot reach it.   Treatment: call me. 

Humans sick or undergoing treatments; illnesses can be passed on to your little companion.  Germs are germs and the puppy can catch them by touching it's eyes and nose with contaminated hands, lips or tongue or infected tissues. Colds, viruses, etc. can be passed on to your little dog. 

Caution:If you are sick with a cold or virus, do not allow your pet to kiss you, lick you or be around anything that could be contaminated.   Do not EVER touch a puppy that has not had any shots in it's face area, we carry a virus on our hands that is deadly to a young puppy with decreased immunity.  The rule here is no touching until the puppy has had it's 1st shot by anyone but Meemaw.  I have to take great precautions. Most of the time we won't touch until after 2nd shot because of your need to kiss the puppy in the face and touch it's nose.

CHEMO/Radiation:   Recently I underwent all these treatments.  During that year I had several of my dogs abort their babies, I learned I had to stay away from their direct contact when I was undergoing these treatments.  In the chemo unit they told us to flush the stool twice & becareful around small children.  Since that time I have discovered other people undergoing these treatments that have had trouble with their pets.  I am currently studying this condition/symptoms and treatments personally in my home but here is what I have found so far:

Chemo or radiation gives off a chemical from our bodies that is poisonous and very very powerful.  It makes us nauseated and many many other symptoms, I believe that our little animals also get these symptoms and I have many factors to back this up.  

A Shihtzu puppy purchased for the family as mom started chemo then radiation, the dog became so ill over the course of these treatments that she was finally unable to eat anything, black diahrea, aches and pains were obvious by her slow movements and inability to act like a young dog, no social interest to play.  a 1/2 baby aspirin given would cause her to become a new dog for about 6 hours and she would play and eat. She would only eat warm food from my hand.   After several months of coming off the effects of the treatments she is eating, playing running freely and fetching a toy, jumping on the couch.  Her hair has started to grow again and taking on a new shine. Yes, it effected all these things just like it did the human.   Food for thought!  

If your dog is experiencing unexplained symptoms and someone in your home has had chemo/radiation then consider this contamination as your cause and treat accordingly.  I DO NOT recommend euthenizing the dog as some vets will, contact me and I will help you any way I can to save your precious friend.

Understanding all of this info: if there is a chemo patient in your home or family please be careful.  Small children and pets are very much suceptible to reactions....throwing up, headaches, lethargic, loss of shine to hair, etc.  I had to replace my stool in my bathroom after my chemo, it would not come clean and stunk horribly.  FYI              

Stress:  yes many dogs get sick from stress, good and bad stress.  Just like when you go on vacation and your food and water and schedule changes you often experience diarhea, stomach cramps, headaches and just plan jet lag. So does your puppy.  Try to keep you puppies water the same, no matter what, distilled water is the best choice because it won't have chemicals in it for humans.  Don't change your puppy/dogs food just because and never abruptly..ease them into 1/2 and 1/2 then the change.  I believe a Shihtzu has allergies from the wrong foods becareful in choice, only use foods recommended by a shihtzu owner/breeder.  I recommend Eukanuba Small Breed puppy food for LIFE and don't know why anyone would use anything else unless allergies are presenting.  Eukanuba is great for a shihtzu and they do Well on it, even my working dogs eat it and their puppies eat it also as soon as they can crawl to the bowl.
 HOWEVER.....if your dog is having allergies, talk to me about it or change them to Blue Buffalo dog food, it does not have chicken in it and this could be the problem.  Also Bil Jac dry  "select" is a good food for a shihtzu.

stress from loud noises :  your Shihtzu WILL react to loud noises such as a party in their home, a thunderstorm, crashing thunder/lightening, excitement (good and bad) from family members, definitely fireworks.  This all confuses your SHihtzu and causes it's stomach and whole body to wrench with fear for it's life.  Now if you have ever had a moment in which you feared for your life you know what I am talking about when I tell you that the dog's bodily functions will change at that moment and last for the next 3 to 5 days without treatment.  remove the dog from any situation that it cannot understand and is not having a good know the difference.  Pepto Bismol can be used for the diarhea that will now occur within 24 hours. The best fix is to not put your dog in that situation. I have been told by humans that their dog did fine during the 4th of July only to find out a week later the dog is sick sick.  Fireworks and dogs to NOT go together EVER! nor shooting of guns or any other loud popping noises.  We have fourth of July at my daughters so my puppies are not subjected to the fireworks.   I also play a radio for them at all times so they do not react to outside noises such as thunderstorms, rain, wind, etc. and NEVER EVER let them see you upset about a storm or domestic problems, they will react like a small child, very upset and fearing for their lives.  

Never change your Shihtzu's schedule all of a sudden, any schedule, never lock them into a room with the door shut, they panic just like you would! PLEASE DO NOT LOCK YOUR SHIHTZU IN THE BATHROOM or UTILITY ROOM!  Playyards in the home are very practical now and use a child gate in your doors leaving the solid door open.   Never leave your SHihtzu in a cage or small enclosure longer than 4 hours, exception at night when it is dark.  Prepare your SHihtzu for what change is getting ready to happen in it's life, need suggestions, I can help.              

ALLERGIES: last but not LEAST:  The Shihtzu is very susceptible to allergies, however, my dogs do not have any allergies and they run out in the yard, they roll in the grass, they play in the rain.  So what is different?

I believe a Shihtzu reacts to what it eats and what we as humans put on it or release in our homes which the SHihtzu is then exposed to. (for instance: burning of candles is a no no).

I recommend Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy dry food for the life of your Shihtzu.  Now I do moisten it with water and leave freely for the puppy then use the dry morsels for training rewards, I DO NOT USE TREATS!  this alone can cause an allergy in your Shihtzu. 

I recommend the use of NO CHEMICALS on your SHihtzu. Especially the topical chemicals for ticks and fleas.  This attacks the nervous system of the tick and flea, that is how it works, so do you not think it is attacking the same thing on your dog?  Over the years it will definitely effect your dog's health in many many ways and I believe it will effect your families' health as well.  I am recommending CEDAR OIL SPRAY, LAVENDER OIL & CITRUS, or just straight alcohol, it is a natural flea and tick products.  I am really starting to question the pill form of flea/tick products as many of my customers are reporting sick dogs after giving them the pill... be careful if you choose to use the pill, if it makes your dog sick, cease use immediately and do not ever administer the pill to your dog again.  Symptoms appear to be like food poisoning.  Intervention from your vet will be necessary to stop the throwing up and diarhea. 

I bath my Shihtzus in Dawn "original" in the cloudy blue color, dishwashing liquid, left on for 15 minutes it will kill fleas, it will make your puppies hair shine, no other products are necessary.  I do use Pantene Shampoo (not conditioner) as the smell good only putting a couple of drops into my hand and applying to the hair on the back bone then rinsing out immediately.  THis make your dog smell good without getting it in it's face or on its skin which can cause itching and burning of the eyes.  Don't use all that other stuff on your Shihtzu or you and the dog will pay greatly.

EYES:  Use liquid drops, never clean their eyes with an object like tips, cotton, kleenex, etc.  Dogs have an inner eyelid that traps little particles you insert into the eye and causes irritation, if you have questions about the eyes consult your vet or breeder, do not mess with this you can mess up royally without the right products. I personally use 'Eye Pro' it works very well and stops tearing within 24 hours of first use.   Even applying drops before the bath has a procedure.  I will be glad to help you with this.    

HOPE this information helps you care for your SHihtzu.