Home Shih Tzu Dog Problems Allergic to Shih Tzus? Manage Your Symptoms.

Allergic to Shih Tzus? Manage Your Symptoms.

by Scott Lipe
Being Allergic to a Shih Tzu

Despite the Shih Tzu breed being often labeled as hypoallergenic, allergies to this breed are possible. It’s even possible to have reactions to this breed while tolerating others well. In this article, we’ll explore why allergies to a Shih Tzu can happen and provide strategies to minimize allergic reactions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Allergies to Shih Tzus can occur, despite the breed being labeled as hypoallergenic.
  • It’s important to understand that dog allergies are primarily caused by allergens like dander, saliva, and urine, rather than fur.
  • Common symptoms of being allergic to a Shih Tzu include itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.
  • Before getting a Shih Tzu, it’s recommended to test your sensitivity through exposure or allergy testing.
  • Managing allergies to Shih Tzus involves grooming practices, environmental modifications, and medical treatments.

Why You Can Be Allergic to a Shih Tzu

Many people believe they won’t be allergic to a Shih Tzu due to its coat of hair, which sheds less than fur. However, the common assumption that dog allergies are caused primarily by fur is incorrect. While fur can visibly accumulate on surfaces and clothing, causing allergic reactions, it’s actually the allergens attached to the fur—like dander, saliva, and urine—that are the real culprits. Therefore, the concept of a hypoallergenic dog breed is a bit misleading, and the Shih Tzu is no exception. Despite its hair coat, it produces dander and has saliva and urine, all potential allergy triggers.

“While fur can visibly accumulate on surfaces and clothing, causing allergic reactions, it’s actually the allergens attached to the fur—like dander, saliva, and urine—that are the real culprits.”

When it comes to allergies, it’s not about the type of coat a dog has, but rather the presence of allergens that can trigger allergic reactions. Even though Shih Tzus have hair instead of fur, they still produce dander, saliva, and urine that can provoke allergic responses. These allergens can become airborne and settle on various surfaces, leading to discomfort and symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose.

Signs of Being Allergic to a Dog



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coping with shih tzu allergies

If you’re allergic to dogs, including the adorable Shih Tzu breed, there are several signs that may indicate an allergic reaction. Being aware of these symptoms can help you identify and manage your allergies effectively.

Common signs of being allergic to a dog, such as a Shih Tzu, include:

  • Itchy eyes: Your eyes may become red, watery, and itchy when exposed to dog allergens.
  • Runny nose: Allergies can cause your nose to produce excessive mucus, leading to a runny nose.
  • Nasal congestion: You may experience nasal congestion and difficulty breathing through your nose.
  • Sneezing: Frequent sneezing is a common symptom of dog allergies.
  • Itchy skin: Skin itching and irritation may occur if you come into contact with a Shih Tzu’s hair or dander.
  • Hives: Allergic reactions to a Shih Tzu can sometimes result in the development of hives on your skin.
  • Coughing: Persistent coughing, particularly after exposure to a Shih Tzu, can indicate an allergic response.
  • Wheezing: If you experience a whistling or rattling sound while breathing, it may be a sign of dog allergies.

If you notice any of these symptoms after interacting with a Shih Tzu or being in an environment where a Shih Tzu resides, it’s important to acknowledge and address your allergies.

While the above symptoms are common for individuals allergic to dogs, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional to ensure an accurate diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment.

Testing to See if You Are Allergic to a Shih Tzu Before Getting a New Puppy

Before bringing a Shih Tzu puppy home, especially if you’ve had allergic reactions before, it’s smart to test your sensitivity to the breed. This can be done by dog-sitting a Shih Tzu, visiting a shelter and spending time with a Shih Tzu, or having multiple visits with a puppy to check for allergic reactions. Allergy testing for the specific Shih Tzu breed can also be done by some allergists using a hair sample from a Shih Tzu.

Testing Methods Potential Outcomes
Dog-Sitting a Shih Tzu Allows for extended exposure to Shih Tzu allergens to determine if allergies occur.
Visiting a Shelter Provides an opportunity to interact with different individual Shih Tzus and observe any allergic reactions.
Multiple Visits with a Puppy Helps determine if allergic reactions occur after prolonged exposure over multiple visits.
Allergy Testing Specialized tests conducted by allergists using a Shih Tzu hair sample can confirm allergenicity to the breed.

Note: It’s important to remember that individual sensitivities may vary. Testing should be done in consultation with a healthcare professional.

11 Things to Do if You Are Allergic to Your Shih Tzu

shih tzu allergy-friendly breeds

If you’re allergic to your Shih Tzu but still want to enjoy their company, there are several measures you can take to manage your allergies effectively. By implementing these practices, you can create a more allergy-friendly environment for both you and your furry friend.

  1. Keep their coat clipped short: Regularly grooming your Shih Tzu and keeping their coat clipped short can help reduce the amount of allergens they produce.
  2. Bathe them weekly: Give your Shih Tzu regular baths to remove allergens from their skin and coat, helping to minimize allergic reactions.
  3. Brush and spritz often: Brushing your Shih Tzu’s coat and spritzing it with hypoallergenic products can help to control shedding and minimize allergen accumulation.
  4. Wipe them down daily: Use pet-friendly wipes to wipe down your Shih Tzu daily, helping to remove allergens from their fur.
  5. Cover furniture: Use washable covers or blankets to protect your furniture from allergen buildup caused by your Shih Tzu’s presence.
  6. Limit their access to certain areas: Designate specific areas of your home as off-limits to your Shih Tzu to reduce their allergen spread.
  7. Create a designated area for them: Set up a designated area for your Shih Tzu, such as a crate or dog bed, to contain allergens and minimize their spread in your home.
  8. Choose appropriate flooring: Opt for hard flooring instead of carpeting, as it is easier to clean and doesn’t trap as many allergens.
  9. Limit contact with them: Minimize physical contact with your Shih Tzu, such as avoiding cuddling or letting them sleep in your bed.
  10. Wash hands regularly: Thoroughly wash your hands after interacting with your Shih Tzu to remove any allergens that may be on your skin.
  11. Clean the air using air purifiers or filters: Use air purifiers or filters to remove allergens from the air in your home, creating a cleaner and healthier environment.

By following these practices, you can significantly reduce your exposure to allergens and enjoy a harmonious relationship with your Shih Tzu, even if you have allergies.

Treatment for Dog Allergies

If the above measures do not provide sufficient relief for allergies to a Shih Tzu, it is recommended to consult a doctor or allergist. They will be able to provide additional guidance and prescribe appropriate treatments to manage your symptoms. Below are some treatment options that may be recommended:

  1. Over-the-counter medications: These can include antihistamines, such as loratadine or cetirizine, which help reduce allergic reactions and relieve symptoms like sneezing and itching.
  2. Prescription nasal sprays: Nasal corticosteroid sprays, like fluticasone or mometasone, can help reduce nasal congestion and inflammation caused by allergies.
  3. Eye drops: If you experience itchy or irritated eyes, your doctor may prescribe antihistamine eye drops or other allergy eye drops to alleviate symptoms.
  4. Oral antihistamines: Prescription-strength oral antihistamines, such as fexofenadine or desloratadine, may be recommended to provide more significant relief from allergy symptoms.
  5. Immunotherapy (allergy shots): In some cases, your doctor may suggest immunotherapy as a long-term treatment option. This involves receiving regular injections of small amounts of the allergen to build tolerance over time. Immunotherapy has shown to be effective in reducing allergic reactions in many individuals, including those with allergies to dogs like Shih Tzus. Results from immunotherapy can typically be seen within 12 months of starting treatment.

Always consult with a medical professional

It’s important to remember that everyone’s allergies and medical needs are unique. The treatments mentioned above should be discussed with a doctor or allergist who can evaluate your specific situation and recommend the most appropriate option for managing your Shih Tzu allergy. They can also provide additional tips and strategies to help you live comfortably with your furry friend.

Shih Tzu Allergies: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

shih-tzu-allergies

While many people may suffer from allergies caused by Shih Tzus, it’s important to note that the dogs themselves can also experience various allergies. Shih Tzus can develop skin allergies, food allergies, ear allergies, and eye allergies. These allergies can cause a range of symptoms, including itching, hair loss, red or irritated skin, chronic ear infections, and eye problems.

Managing these allergies is crucial for the well-being of your Shih Tzu. Treatment options may involve removing the allergen from their environment, using medications prescribed by a veterinarian, and implementing preventive measures to minimize allergic reactions.

Common Types of Shih Tzu Allergies

  1. Skin allergies: Shih Tzus can develop skin allergies due to exposure to irritants such as pollen, dust mites, or certain grooming products. These allergies can manifest as itching, redness, and irritated skin.
  2. Food allergies: Some Shih Tzus may experience allergic reactions to certain ingredients in their food, such as grains or proteins. Common symptoms include gastrointestinal issues, itching, and skin problems.
  3. Ear allergies: Shih Tzus are prone to ear infections, which can cause discomfort and irritation. Allergies to certain substances, such as pollen or grass, can contribute to the development of ear allergies.
  4. Eye allergies: Shih Tzus can also develop allergic reactions in their eyes, leading to redness, itchiness, and discharge. Environmental allergens like dust or pollen can trigger these allergies.

To effectively manage Shih Tzu allergies and provide relief for your furry companion, it’s essential to identify the specific allergen causing the reaction. This can be achieved through allergen testing conducted by a veterinarian. Once the allergen is identified, steps can be taken to prevent exposure, administer appropriate medications, and ensure a comfortable living environment.

Remember, consulting with a veterinarian is crucial in diagnosing and treating your Shih Tzu’s allergies. They can provide personalized recommendations and medication options tailored to your pet’s specific needs.

To know more about other aspects of living with Shih Tzus and managing allergies related to this breed, continue reading the following sections.

Treatment Options Advantages Disadvantages
Removing allergens from the environment – Reduces exposure to allergens
– Can alleviate symptoms
– Not always feasible to eliminate all allergens
– Requires ongoing effort
Medications prescribed by a vet – Provides symptom relief
– Can manage allergic reactions
– May have side effects
– Requires careful administration
Implementing preventive measures – Minimizes allergen exposure
– Reduces the frequency of allergic reactions
– Requires consistent adherence
– May not completely eliminate allergies

By understanding and addressing the various types of allergies Shih Tzus can experience, you can ensure your beloved companion remains healthy and comfortable. Remember to consult with a veterinarian for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment options to alleviate your Shih Tzu’s allergies.

Conclusion

In conclusion, managing allergies to Shih Tzus requires a combination of grooming practices, environmental modifications, and medical treatments. By following these strategies, you can minimize the symptoms of allergies to Shih Tzus and live comfortably with your furry companion.

It is crucial to work closely with a veterinarian to properly diagnose and treat any allergies in your Shih Tzu. They can provide valuable guidance and recommend appropriate medications or therapies to alleviate symptoms and improve your pet’s quality of life.

Remember, even if you are allergic to Shih Tzus, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on having one as your pet. With the right approach and support, you can create a safe and allergen-controlled environment that allows you to enjoy the company of your beloved Shih Tzu while managing your allergies effectively.

FAQ

Q: Are Shih Tzus hypoallergenic?

A: Despite the common belief that Shih Tzus are hypoallergenic, allergies to this breed are possible. While their hair coat may shed less than fur, it’s actually the allergens, like dander, saliva, and urine, that can trigger allergic reactions.

Q: What are the symptoms of being allergic to a Shih Tzu?

A: Allergic reactions to a Shih Tzu can include itchy eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy skin, hives, coughing, and wheezing.

Q: How can I test if I am allergic to a Shih Tzu before getting a new puppy?

A: Sensitivity to the breed can be tested by dog-sitting a Shih Tzu, spending time with one at a shelter, having multiple visits with a puppy, or allergy testing using a hair sample from a Shih Tzu.

Q: What can I do if I am allergic to my Shih Tzu?

A: To manage allergies to a Shih Tzu, you can keep their coat clipped short, bathe them weekly, brush and spritz often, wipe them down daily, cover furniture, limit their access to certain areas, choose appropriate flooring, limit contact with them, wash hands regularly, and clean the air using air purifiers or filters.

Q: What treatments are available for dog allergies?

A: If the above measures do not provide sufficient relief, you can consult a doctor or allergist who may prescribe over-the-counter medications, prescription nasal sprays, eye drops, oral antihistamines, or immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Q: What are the different types of allergies that Shih Tzus can experience?

A: Shih Tzus can also experience skin allergies, food allergies, ear allergies, and eye allergies, which can cause symptoms such as itching, hair loss, red or irritated skin, chronic ear infections, and eye problems.

Q: How can I manage allergies to Shih Tzus?

A: Allergies to Shih Tzus can be managed by implementing various strategies, such as grooming practices, environmental modifications, and medical treatments. It’s important to work with a veterinarian to properly diagnose and treat any allergies in your Shih Tzu.

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