I Adopted a Shih Tzu --- have some questions...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Bleenie, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's


    Some of you may have seen the thread I posted about my Rottweiler girl, Scarlet, that I adopted/helped rescue early this month. Well Scarlet fell in love with our little dog, Abbey, but grumpy old Abbey doesn't wanna play with her.

    The last week I have been sorta keeping an eye & ear out for a little dog that was in need of a good home. I called about a little 6yr old Shih Tzu girl a few days ago on Craigslist and yesterday my sister met the owners and picked "Lucy" up for me. They said she had come from some kind of rescue/rescue situation & were re-homing Lucy because they didn't have the patience to house train her.

    She finally got to me this morning and to be honest I was pretty upset when I first saw her. She was very dirty-looking, half of her coat was stained with blood from her chewing herself and she had quite a few matts around her tail & ears and REALLY gunky eyes... certainly not what I was expecting after seeing the pictures of her on the ad.. all nice and pretty.

    I didn't wanna rattle her too much right away so i left her be to get used to her new home and sniff everyone out for a while. I am pretty happy with her personality, she's very laid back, doesn't bark(yet) & just kinda enjoys hanging out around the house and yard. She also did not have an accident at all today and listens pretty well.

    She got a bath tonight and was SO good! She also did well for the blow dryer and while I cut her hair. I removed all the matts, chopped most of the tail hair off & gave her neck, head, face and ears a good trimming. I did the best I could to cut away all the nasty hair by her eyes.

    -I understand the breathing problems with this breed, but what about eye problems?

    -I didn't see fleas on her when I bathed her, so maybe the skin issue is Allergies? Are Skin Problems common in this breed?

    Anything else you experienced owners want to tell me Please Do! I would love any advice or info on the breed. this little girl is adorable & Scarlet and I are glad we're able to give her a great home.


  2. Plucky Pullet

    Plucky Pullet Songster

    Aug 18, 2010
    Hi first off congrats on your new addition!
    as for your questions about heir health this will always depend on the dog itself. Right now it sounds like either she has allergies or hot spots on her skin. The vet can prescribe something that should take the itch away and combat future problems. Or you can have it checked now so the vet can take note and see how her skin is in few week after living in your environment and eating the food the you feed.
    About the eyes, yes there can be problem but they are not necessarily breed specific. They are "buggy eyed" dogs, so they can be prone to having their eye protrude from the socket. with all that hair near the eyes you should keep and eye out for infection and milky colored discharge BUT a clear discharge that makes it appear like they are crying can be common, and not always a health issue.
    Good luck with her, shes a cutie.
  3. mercedes

    mercedes Songster

    May 4, 2010
    Congrads on your new one,she is cute.My rottie also had a shih tzu and they where best friends for almost 10 years.Your girl does not seem to have the overly flat face so I don't think that she will have breathing problems.The hair around the eyes needs to be kept trimmed so that it will not irritate the eye and cause an infection.Artificial tears,an eye lubricant,will also help.When I got my shih tzu he also was completely matted and I had to shave him down and start over.If your lucy was chewing on her self because of the matts and probably some fleas ,that would certainly cause the skin irritation.Oatmeal shampoo or something medicated will help with that and of course a checkup by the vet and a good flea preventative.You have made a WONDERFUL choice,those little guys are sweet,loyal and very easygoing.In exchange for a good home,lucy will give you a tremendous amount of joy and happiness.Good luck and I wish you many happy years together [​IMG]
  4. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    Thank you guys very much for the info!

    It's pretty obvious to me that the people just didn't wanna bother with house training her before. She seemed very stressed out when I put her in the kennel last night so she ended up on the bed with me and ended up sleeping the entire night without accident.

    She has almost completely quit chewing after her bath last night but she's still itchy... the weird thing is that she seems to itch more when shes cold?? I thought that was a little strange but I put her little "Snuggie" on her and she seems a lot less itchy, lol. Her coat looks so much better now though and so does her face since the hair got all cleaned up. i missed a couple long ones on her eyebrow though so i have to trim those today so she doesnt look silly, lol.

    I am going to schedule her Vet appointment when I take Scarlet in for her check up on the 1st... our vet is a pretty nice guy so he may just give Lucy a look over while we're there. I plan on getting Revolution Flea Meds for both dogs while I am there. they're both still a little skinny and will also be wormed, but the Revolution treats a wide range of internal parasites also. Hopefully it'll help them both get back up to their healthy weight.

    Another thing with Lucy that I noticed is that she's obviously had puppies in the past... I imagine more than a few litters. her little nipples are pretty large and her tummy is saggy. She still isn't spayed either. She is quite timid also, she gets a little scared about being touched or hands coming at her too quickly or where she can't see them coming. she is pretty jumpy about unexpected touches but so far she hasn't bitten or tried to at all.... makes me sad to think of how she may have been treated before but I am definitely glad she's here now.
  5. I have a Shih-tzu. His name is Onyx, and we think he is about 5-6 years old. He was a rescue and beautiful when I got him, and then his fur fell out in mats. Took him to the vet three times, spent well over $100 and nothing. So, I sat down (after Winter rolled around and his fur came back in fine!!) and thought and thought about what he ate and what I used on him for fleas . . .I used a good dry hi-protein dog food, but mixed a can of Ole' Roy in it for the wet . . .thought maybe that was it. . .and then it hit me maybe was allergic to the Frontline . . . so changed both and he is fine. He still has an itchy spell occasionally, but his fur is fine and he is so much happier. I would give her a little time to adjust and just watch and see what happens. What you feed her and use on her might be the trick to bring that fur back around. I order a tea tree shampoo from Melaleuca, and it smells wonderful and I am getting ready to try it on them this week. I had pure tea tree oil and mixed a few drops in water and rinsed him in it when I bathed him (don't get carried away with baths either, they tend to dry their skin and make a bad situation worse) and just left it on and toweled dried him. DH and I both noticed that seem to be the turning point, but it could have just been a coincidence also . . .just timing not the tea tree oil. But, the healing qualities in tea tree oil is absolutely miraculous so it sure can't hurt.

    Good luck, she is a sweetie and their personalities are just so cute and funny and she will love you to the death too, when she becomes your "little girl." Onyx is my boy and wants to go everywhere with me . . .
  6. equine623

    equine623 Songster

    Mar 17, 2009
    NE PA
    Allergies (environmental like smoke or dust or grass and/or food) can present as the itchy skin you are describing. Or flea bite dermatitis, even if there aren't any fleas on her right now it can be the reaction from the saliva from the flea, some dogs are highly sensitive to that. Other causes could be mange, mites, etc.
    When you bathe her, use lukewarm water not overly hot and rinse rinse rinse. If the itching isn't an intense problem I would try to stay away from steroids, because they may stop the itch but cause a lot more problems in the long run. Better to try and treat the root cause. Good food, clean house and clean dog will probably help a lot.

    As far as the eyes go, between the extra tearing from being more exposed because of the shape of the face, small dogs also commonly have blocked tear ducts. So instead of the fluid running down to the nose like its supposed to, the tear duct is clogged and the eyes run instead of the nose. Not dangerous, important thing is to keep the skin under her eyes clean and wiped off so no irritation builds up. Just also keep in mind that with the brachycephalic face, its easy for these guys (and any breed with this face) to get eye ulcers/injuries. That would be a more noticeable squinting, excessive tearing, painful eye though, not just a weepy one.

    Good luck, she's a cutie [​IMG]
  7. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    For her skin issues, it might have been that she was on a poor quality dog food, especially if she had been in a puppy mill situation. I feed Taste of the Wild, it is a grain free feed, and my Komondor does very well on it. He had hot spots until I got him on a grain free diet. If you can't afford it, then look for a food that doesn't have corn or wheat. Those grains are the most common allergies. Congratulations on your new addition. She is adorable.

  8. HarlansHollowFarms

    HarlansHollowFarms bana-bhuidseach anns gára

    Jan 16, 2009
    Quote:Aww what a sweetie,,,
    My little rescue shih tzu was a rescue and had training issues, after 2 years you would never know it. H e rules the house, and puts the big dogs in their place. GOOD LUCK, it is worth it!

    My Yodi
  9. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    Does anyone know of a way to get the discoloration out of her "beard"/face hair? She's cleaned up so well now but her poor little face just looks so dirty still [​IMG]
  10. HarlansHollowFarms

    HarlansHollowFarms bana-bhuidseach anns gára

    Jan 16, 2009
    Quote:It may not come out right away, just keep her clean and her beard will eventually be the proper colour. Even if it has to grow out, she will be a happy pup with lots of love!

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