Like most other small dogs, the Maltese Shih Tzu has a long lifespan of 12 to 14 years. It tends to be a fairly healthy dog, but it can still inherit health problems prevalent in its parent breeds. Common Malshi health issues include the following:
This is a chronic skin disease that is associated with allergic reactions to substances such as mould spores, dust mites, and grass. Malshis usually signs of this condition between the ages of one to six. However, the symptoms can be mild during the dog’s first year, making them unnoticeable for a long time.
Symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis include scratching, rubbing, and licking in areas such as the ears, muzzle, armpits, groin, underbelly, and feet. Other signs of this disease are a yeasty smell, greasy skin, and redness of the skin.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent your Malshi from developing allergies. You may, however, get your dog tested for allergies before treatment. Your veterinarian will usually ask for a complete medical history and physical examination to determine the best types of treatments.
This is a common skeletal condition in many dogs, and the Malshi is no exception. It occurs when the ball and socket of the hips do not fit or develop properly. This results in the rubbing of the joints, causing deterioration and loss of function over time.
While hip dysplasia is usually hereditary in nature, it may also be caused by other factors such as obesity, poor nutrition, and too little or too much exercise. Signs of this condition include decreased activity and range of motion, reluctance to jump or climb up the stairs, lameness, hopping, and enlargement of the shoulder muscles.
Luckily, there are ways to reduce your Malshi’s risk of developing this condition. These include feeding your dog a balanced diet and providing it with appropriate levels of exercise while it is still young. You may also schedule a visit to your vet so that they can screen your dog for this disease.
This condition occurs when your Malshi’s thyroid is not producing enough hormones to properly regulate its metabolism. It is usually caused by lymphocytic thyroiditis, or when the dog’s immune system attacks its thyroid. It can also be caused by idiopathic atrophy, or when the canine’s thyroid tissue is replaced by fat.
If your Malshi is suffering from hypothyroidism, it may show symptoms of the following: unexplained weight gain, lack of energy, intolerance to cold, mental dullness, thinning fur, dark pigmentation of the skin, and recurring ear infections.
There is no way to prevent this condition, so if you suspect your dog to suffer from it, it is recommended that you visit your vet right so they can diagnose it right away. Vets will usually do a physical examination of the dog and run a series of blood tests. While there is no cure for hypothyroidism, it can be treated for life with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.