Strange if your shih tzu starts behaving differently than usual. Just like us, shih tzus change their behavior when they are experiencing a health problem. As verbal communication is not the same, they need to use sign language to communicate to their caregivers what they are going through.
To know what can indicate a health problem, see what are the main behaviors of shih tzus that deserve attention and care!
1 – Shake your head
When the shih tzu moves his head from side to side insistently, don’t think he’s acting up. Even more so if you are whining, it is a typical sign that your shih tzu is suffering from ear infections, a common ear infection of shih tzus.
In addition, a shih tzu who has ear infections may start scratching his head too much. Canine otitis affects the ear canal, so the shih tzu produces a greater amount of wax, which gains a different color than normal. Other symptoms of the disease are a bad smell in the shih tzu’s ears, which are swollen and red, and the shih tzu may want to scratch itself by rubbing them on the furniture in the house.
If the case is more serious, he may lose his hearing and appetite, and pus may come out of his ears.
2 – Be less active
If your shih tzu is always moving, playing, and is very active, it will be strange if he suddenly becomes more still and discouraged. This change can be a sign that he is suffering from back pain or even suffering from osteoarthritis, a degenerative and chronic disease that wears down the cartilage of the bones, limiting his movements.
Even if older shih tzus are the ones most likely to develop the problem, shih tzu puppies can be attacked as well.
In addition to being quieter, other symptoms of the disease are limping, especially when the day is cold, sleeping more than usual, and running with the hind legs together.
Although it is not definitive, dogs that are obese, that are sedentary, and that have joint injuries can develop canine osteoarthritis more easily.
3 – Look for hot spots
Another behavior of shih tzu that deserves our attention is when they are always looking for a warm corner to settle in, even when it’s not too cold.
In this case, he may have hypothyroidism, caused by reduced production of thyroid hormones.
The disease causes the shih tzu’s metabolism to slow down, so their body temperature drops and cold is more common.
Another sign that your shih tzu may have this problem is if he is spending more time than usual under the sun.
4 – If you scratch too much
It’s normal for shih tzu to itch, but if you notice that the itching is exaggerated, there are good reasons you have to take him to the vet. The causes of itching are varied, such as canine otitis, but it can also indicate food allergy, in which case, the most common is that the shih tzu scratches itself in different parts of the body.
If it’s a food allergy, other symptoms are the redness that appears on the body and the fact that the dog licks its own paws too much. Wounds, hair loss, and a bad smell are symptoms that can accompany the problem.
Canine seborrhea is another disease that causes a lot of itching in the dog, and in this case, the problem is associated with the production of sebum and keratin. As a result, they can scratch themselves too much on their face, paws, armpits, abdomen, neck, ear, and genital areas.
5 – Rub the paw on the face
You may think he’s charming, but rubbing his paw on his face insistently could be a sign that your shih tzu is in pain. He may have the so-called dry eye disease, caused by lack of lubrication, or even conjunctivitis.
Rubbing your face can also indicate gum pain, caused by excess tartar and even possible fractures in the teeth.
6 – Excessive coughing
When the dog coughs it may not seem like much, however, be aware if the cough is very constant. In this case, he may have canine flu or bronchitis, in the first case it is more common in shih tzu who live with other animals and in the second the causes are genetic.
7 – Not eating
This is possibly the behavior change that most attracts the attention of anyone who has a shih tzu. However, this change in behavior can indicate several problems and it is best to seek the help of a specialized professional.
Watch out for other signs as well:
- a lot of crying
- wheezing when standing still
- drink a lot of water
- seems to be scared
Shih tzu can also have diseases such as anemia, worms, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, among others. So don’t delay in diagnosing your shih tzu’s problem and offering him the appropriate treatment.
Keep an eye on these behaviors and you’ll know when your shih tzu needs help!