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Complete Guide to Shih Tzu Eye Care and Health

by Scott Allen
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Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Scott Allen

Shih Tzu Eye Care, Eye Health, Shih Tzu Vision, Caring for Shih Tzu Eyes, Eye Conditions in Shih Tzus, Shih Tzu Eye Problems, Eye Health Tips for Shih Tzus

If you’re a proud owner of a Shih Tzu, you know how important it is to take care of your furry friend’s health. One of the areas that require special attention is their eyes. Shih Tzus are prone to certain eye problems, but with proper care and prevention, you can help keep their eyes healthy and bright.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with practical tips and information to ensure your Shih Tzu’s optimal eye care and overall health. From understanding common eye issues to grooming techniques and veterinary care, we’ve got you covered.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shih Tzus are prone to certain eye problems that require special attention.
  • Proper eye care and prevention are crucial to maintaining the health of your Shih Tzu’s eyes.
  • Grooming and nutrition play an essential role in promoting optimal eye health.
  • Early detection of eye problems is crucial for timely treatment and preventing potential complications.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups and practices can help preserve your Shih Tzu’s eye health in the long term.

Understanding Shih Tzu Eye Problems

If you own a Shih Tzu, it’s essential to understand the common eye problems and diseases that this breed is susceptible to. By recognizing the early signs and taking preventive measures, you can help protect your furry friend’s eye health.

Some of the most common eye problems in Shih Tzus include:

Eye Problem Description
Cherry Eye A prolapsed gland of the third eyelid that results in a visible red mass in the corner of the eye.
Corneal Ulcers An injury or scratch to the cornea that can lead to inflammation, pain, and vision problems.
Cataracts A cloudy film on the eye’s lens that can cause vision loss and blindness if left untreated.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) A genetic disorder that causes the retina to degenerate, leading to progressive vision loss.

If you notice any unusual symptoms, such as excessive tearing, redness, swelling, or discharge, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Preventing Common Shih Tzu Eye Problems

While some eye problems in Shih Tzus are genetic or age-related, there are steps you can take to prevent certain conditions from developing:

  • Keep your pet’s eyes clean and free from debris by wiping them with a damp cloth daily.
  • Trim the hair around the eyes to prevent irritation and tear stains.
  • Avoid exposing your pet to smoke, dust, and other irritants.
  • Upgrade your pet’s diet with essential nutrients that support eye health, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and lutein.
  • Take your pet for regular check-ups with a veterinarian to monitor their eye health and detect any potential problems early on.

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure your Shih Tzu’s eye health and happiness for years to come.

Proper Eye Care for Shih Tzus

Proper eye care is essential for maintaining the health of your furry companion. Here are some Shih Tzu eye care tips to keep in mind:

  • Regular cleaning: Shih Tzus are prone to tear staining, so it’s important to clean their eyes regularly to prevent infection and discomfort. Use a damp cloth or cotton ball to gently wipe away any discharge or debris.
  • Trimming hair around the eyes: Long hair around the eyes can irritate them and cause eye problems. Trim the hair around your Shih Tzu’s eyes using curved scissors or take them to a professional groomer.
  • Protecting their eyes: When exposed to irritants such as wind, dust, and pollen, Shih Tzu eyes can become inflamed and prone to infection. Consider using protective goggles or keeping them indoors during high pollen season.
  • Using a vet-approved eye drops: If your Shih Tzu’s eyes look irritated, red, or swollen, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. They may recommend a vet-approved eye drops to relieve the symptoms and promote healing.

By following these simple but important tips, you can ensure optimal eye care for your Shih Tzu and prevent future eye problems.

Preventing Eye Infections in Shih Tzus

Eye infections are common in the Shih Tzu breed and can cause discomfort and even lead to complications if left untreated. Fortunately, there are preventive measures you can take to protect your furry friend.

Tip: Regular eye checks with your veterinarian can help catch any issues before they become serious.

Causes of Eye Infections in Shih Tzus

Eye infections in Shih Tzus are typically caused by bacterial or viral infections, allergies, or environmental irritants.

Allergies to pollen, dust, or other irritants can cause eye discharge and itchiness in Shih Tzus, leading to the scratching of the eyes with paws, which can then cause or worsen an infection.

Environmental irritants like smoke, dust, and chemicals can also irritate your Shih Tzu’s eyes and lead to an infection. Protect your pet from these irritants as much as possible.

Preventive Measures

Here are some steps you can take to prevent eye infections in your Shih Tzu:

  • Regularly clean your Shih Tzu’s face with a damp cloth to remove tear stains and any discharge.
  • Trim the hair around your Shih Tzu’s eyes to prevent hair from poking or irritating the eyes, which can lead to infection.
  • Avoid exposing your Shih Tzu to smoke, chemical fumes, or other irritating substances.
  • Make sure your Shih Tzu’s environment is clean to minimize exposure to bacteria and other harmful agents.
  • Feed your Shih Tzu a balanced diet rich in nutrients to promote overall health and immunity.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

If you notice any of the following symptoms, seek veterinary care as soon as possible to prevent further complications:

  • Redness or swelling in or around the eye
  • Eye discharge or excessive tearing
  • Cloudy or opaque appearance of the eye
  • Squinting or rubbing of the eye
  • Loss of vision or changes in vision clarity

By following these preventive measures and seeking veterinary care when necessary, you can protect your Shih Tzu from the discomfort and dangers of eye infections.

Grooming for Shih Tzu Eye Health

Grooming your Shih Tzu regularly is crucial for maintaining their overall health and well-being, especially when it comes to their eyes. Here are some essential grooming techniques that can help you maintain your furry friend’s eye health:

Grooming Technique Description
Trimming Hair Around the Eyes Shih Tzus have long hair around their eyes, which can irritate the eyes and even cause infections. Trimming the hair around their eyes regularly can help prevent these issues. Use blunt-nosed scissors to trim the hair carefully, avoiding the eyes.
Cleaning Tear Stains Shih Tzus are prone to developing tear stains, which can be unsightly and uncomfortable for your pet. Clean their face using a warm washcloth daily, making sure to wipe away any excess tears and debris. There are also tear-stain removers available that can help eliminate tear stains effectively.
Bathing Your Shih Tzu Bathing your Shih Tzu regularly can help prevent eye infections caused by dirt and debris. Make sure to use a mild, tear-free shampoo, and avoid getting soap or water in their eyes. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo.

By implementing these grooming techniques, you can help maintain your Shih Tzu’s eye health and prevent eye-related problems from occurring. Remember to always be gentle and careful when grooming around their eyes to avoid any discomfort or injury.

Common Shih Tzu Health Issues

While Shih Tzus are generally healthy, there are some common health issues that are prevalent in this breed. By understanding and managing these issues, you can help maintain your Shih Tzu’s overall health, which includes eye health. Some of the most common health issues in Shih Tzus include:

  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome: Due to their short snouts, Shih Tzus are prone to breathing difficulties, which can lead to snoring, snorting, and even fainting.
  • Dental Problems: Small dogs like Shih Tzus are prone to dental issues, including gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Regular dental care is essential for maintaining their overall health.
  • Patellar Luxation: This is a condition where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position and can cause lameness or even arthritis.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease: Shih Tzus are susceptible to this condition, which involves the spinal discs rupturing or bulging and can cause pain or even paralysis.
  • Eye Problems: As discussed in Section 2, Shih Tzus are prone to certain eye problems such as cherry eye and cataracts, which can impact their vision and overall eye health.

If you suspect your Shih Tzu is suffering from any of these health issues, it is essential to seek veterinary care promptly. With proper management and treatment, many of these conditions can be controlled and even cured, allowing your furry friend to live a happy, healthy life.

Recognizing Early Signs of Eye Problems

Shih Tzus are susceptible to various eye problems and diseases. Prompt detection of these issues is critical to prevent discomfort and avoid potential complications. Keep a lookout for the following signs that indicate your Shih Tzu’s eyes may be experiencing trouble:

  • Excessive blinking or squinting
  • Redness or inflammation in and around the eye area
  • Discharge or tearing from the eyes
  • Cloudiness or opacity in the eyes
  • Bulging or sunken eyes

If you notice any of these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately. Delayed treatment can lead to permanent damage and vision loss.

Common Eye Diseases in Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are more prone to certain eye diseases than other breeds. Some of the most common eye diseases in Shih Tzus include:

Eye disease Symptoms
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (Dry Eye) Thick, yellow discharge and inflammation of the conjunctiva
Cataracts Cloudy appearance in one or both eyes
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Difficulty seeing in dim light or darkness
Corneal Ulceration Cloudiness, redness, and/or discharge
Entropion Excessive tearing, squinting, and sensitivity to light

If you suspect your Shih Tzu has any of these eye diseases, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the progression of the disease and improve your pet’s quality of life.

Veterinary Care for Shih Tzu Eye Health

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s overall health, including their eyes. During these visits, the vet will perform various tests and examinations to detect any eye problems and provide the necessary treatment.

If you notice any signs of eye problems in your Shih Tzu, such as redness, discharge, or squinting, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care promptly. Delaying treatment may result in further complications and potentially compromise your furry friend’s vision.

Common Treatments for Shih Tzu Eye Problems

Depending on the type and severity of the eye problem, the vet may recommend various treatments, such as:

Treatment Description
Eye Drops or Ointments Prescription medications that help treat infections, inflammation, and other eye conditions. Your vet will guide you on how frequently to administer them and how to apply them safely.
Surgery In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to address issues such as corneal ulcers, cataracts, or glaucoma. Your vet will discuss the risks and benefits of surgery and what to expect during the recovery period.
Lifestyle Changes In some cases, lifestyle changes may help manage eye problems, such as reducing exposure to allergens, keeping the eye area clean and dry, or adjusting your Shih Tzu’s diet. Your vet will provide you with specific recommendations tailored to your pet’s needs.

Remember, preventing eye problems in Shih Tzus is always better than having to treat them. By providing your furry friend with regular veterinary care and following proper eye care techniques, you can help maintain their eye health and overall well-being.

Proper Nutrition for Shih Tzu Eye Health

Proper nutrition is vital for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s overall health, including their eye health. A balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals can help prevent Shih Tzu health issues, such as obesity and diabetes, which can indirectly affect their eyesight.

Here are some dietary considerations to promote optimal Shih Tzu eye health:

1. Protein-rich diet

Protein is essential for maintaining healthy eyesight in dogs. Your Shih Tzu’s diet should include a variety of high-quality protein sources, such as chicken, turkey, fish, and beef. These proteins contain essential amino acids that support eye function and help prevent eye-related health issues.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help prevent certain eye diseases in Shih Tzus. Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, and mackerel, as well as flaxseeds and chia seeds, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is one of the most crucial vitamins for maintaining healthy eyes in dogs. It supports the production of pigments that aid low-light vision and prevents dry eye syndrome. Feed your Shih Tzu vitamin A-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and liver, in moderation.

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps protect your Shih Tzu’s eyes from oxidative damage and supports blood vessels’ health. Citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens are excellent natural sources of vitamin C.

5. Proper Portion Control

Overfeeding your Shih Tzu with high-calorie treats and snacks can lead to obesity and related health problems, including diabetes. Diabetes can cause permanent damage to the eyes, eventually leading to blindness. Opt for healthy, low-calorie treats, and establish an appropriate portion control regimen to keep your Shih Tzu healthy and happy.

Providing your Shih Tzu with the proper nutrition is a crucial step in maintaining excellent eye health. Consider incorporating some of the above dietary considerations into their daily diet and consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable diet for your furry friend’s individual needs.

Environmental Factors Affecting Shih Tzu Eye Health

Shih Tzus are susceptible to eye problems caused by environmental factors such as allergens and irritants. These elements can cause discomfort and even lead to eye infections if not addressed promptly.

The following are some of the most common environmental factors affecting Shih Tzu eye health:

Environmental Factors How It Affects Shih Tzu Eye Health Preventive Measures
Allergens Shih Tzus are prone to allergic reactions, which can cause dryness, itching, and inflammation of the eyes. Minimize contact with known allergens, such as pollen, dust, and mold. Keep your Shih Tzu’s bedding and living area clean and free of dust, and avoid exposing them to cigarette smoke or perfumes. A veterinarian may also recommend antihistamines or other medications to alleviate allergies.
Irritants Irritants such as dirt, sand, and chemicals can cause eye irritation, redness, and infection. Avoid exposing your Shih Tzu to harmful chemicals, including cleaning agents and pesticides. Keep their living area clean and regularly groom their fur and facial hair to prevent irritants from entering their eyes. If your Shih Tzu is frequently exposed to irritants, consider using protective goggles or shields.

By minimizing your Shih Tzu’s exposure to environmental factors and taking preventive measures, you can help maintain their eye health and prevent potential eye problems.

Maintaining Shih Tzu Eye Health: Essential Tips

Proper eye care is key to promoting the health and well-being of your beloved Shih Tzu. By incorporating these essential eye care techniques into your routine, you can help prevent future eye problems and ensure your furry friend’s bright and healthy eyes for years to come.

Regular Cleaning

Cleaning your Shih Tzu’s eyes daily is essential to prevent the accumulation of dirt, dust, and debris, which can cause various eye problems. Use a clean, damp cloth or eye wipes specifically made for dogs to clean the area around the eyes softly.

Trimming Hair Around the Eyes

Shih Tzu’s long hair around their eyes can lead to various eye problems, including infections and eye irritation. Use scissors or clippers to trim the hair around their eyes regularly. If you’re unsure, seek professional grooming help or read guides on how to trim your Shih Tzu’s hair safely.

Protecting Their Eyes from Irritants

Environmental factors, such as dust, smoke, and chemicals, can cause various eye problems in Shih Tzus. Make sure to keep your furry friend away from irritants and pollutants as much as possible. If they are exposed to these factors, thoroughly rinse their eyes with warm water and observe them closely for any signs of irritation or redness.

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

Regular visits to the veterinarian are essential to maintaining your Shih Tzu’s eye health. During these appointments, your veterinarian will perform a thorough eye examination and detect any early signs of eye problems. They will also recommend treatments and provide you with practical tips on how to take care of your furry friend’s eyes.

Proper Nutrition

A healthy diet plays a crucial role in promoting your Shih Tzu’s overall health and well-being, including their eye health. Make sure to provide your furry friend with a balanced diet that includes essential nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations on the best diet for your Shih Tzu’s specific needs.

Monitor Changes

Observing your Shih Tzu’s eyes regularly is crucial to detect any changes or abnormalities. Keep an eye on their eye color, discharge, redness, or swelling. If you notice any of these signs, promptly seek veterinary care to diagnose and treat the underlying problem.

By following these essential tips, you can maintain your Shih Tzu’s eye health and ensure a happy and healthy life for your furry friend.


In conclusion, taking care of your Shih Tzu’s eyes is essential to their overall health and wellbeing. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can help prevent common eye problems and ensure that your furry friend’s eyes are bright and healthy for years to come.

Be Vigilant

Remember to stay vigilant and watch for any signs of eye problems. If you notice any unusual behavior or signs of discomfort, seek veterinary care immediately. Early detection and treatment are crucial for preventing more serious eye issues.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also important for your Shih Tzu’s eye health. Make sure they are getting proper nutrition, regular exercise, and plenty of rest. Avoid exposing them to environmental factors that could irritate their eyes, such as cigarette smoke or harsh chemicals.

Show Your Love

Your Shih Tzu depends on you for their care and wellbeing. By showing them love, attention, and proper care, you can ensure that they live a happy and healthy life. Remember to be patient and gentle during grooming and eye care, and always make sure they feel safe and comfortable in your presence.

Thank you for reading this guide. We hope it has been helpful in providing you with the information you need to keep your Shih Tzu’s eyes healthy and bright.


What are the common eye problems in Shih Tzus?

Shih Tzus are prone to certain eye problems, including dry eye, cataracts, and corneal ulcers.

How can I ensure proper eye care for my Shih Tzu?

Proper eye care for Shih Tzus involves regular cleaning, protecting their eyes from irritants, and monitoring for any signs of infection or discomfort.

How can I prevent eye infections in my Shih Tzu?

To prevent eye infections in your Shih Tzu, it’s important to keep their eyes clean, avoid exposing them to irritants, and seek veterinary care if you notice any signs of infection.

How do I groom my Shih Tzu’s eyes?

Grooming your Shih Tzu’s eyes involves trimming the hair around their eyes, cleaning tear stains, and keeping the area free from dirt and debris.

What are some common health issues in Shih Tzus that can affect their eyes?

Shih Tzus are prone to certain health issues, such as allergies and respiratory problems, which can indirectly affect their eye health.

How can I recognize early signs of eye problems in my Shih Tzu?

Early signs of eye problems in Shih Tzus include redness, discharge, excessive tearing, squinting, and changes in behavior or vision.

How often should I take my Shih Tzu to the vet for eye health check-ups?

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are recommended for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s eye health. The frequency may vary, but typically once or twice a year is sufficient.

How does nutrition affect my Shih Tzu’s eye health?

Proper nutrition is crucial for overall health, including eye health. A balanced diet with essential nutrients can support your Shih Tzu’s eye health and prevent certain eye problems.

What environmental factors can affect my Shih Tzu’s eyes?

Environmental factors such as dust, pollen, pollutants, and irritants can impact the eye health of Shih Tzus. Minimizing exposure to these factors can help prevent eye issues.

How can I maintain long-term eye health for my Shih Tzu?

To maintain long-term eye health for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to follow proper eye care techniques, seek regular veterinary care, and ensure their overall health through proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

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