Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

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Though its name means “Lion Dog” in Chinese, the Shih Tzu is a toy breed, weighing 10 to 15 pounds (5 to 7 kg), that is distinguished by its long, silky fur and underbite.

Shih Tzus seem to have originated in Tibet and China, where they were bred to be active and people-loving, and they make great family pets, though they need lots of attention and near-daily brushing. These little bundles of fur are favorites of apartment dwellers for obvious reasons.

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FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!

Common Shih Tzu Health Problems

Shih Tzus can live over 15 years, but they are at risk for several medical problems:

  • Breathing Problems: these dogs’ short snouts can restrict airflow, and if the condition is severe enough surgery may be required to reconstruct the airway.
  • Cataracts: the eyes of Shih Tzus tend to overproduce fluid, which may trap foreign objects and scratch the corneas. Surgery may be required to restore a dog’s sight.
  • Hypothyroidism: this condition occurs when the dog’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, resulting in a lack of the necessary hormones that the thyroid produces. Symptoms include hair loss, skin problems, weight gain, and lethargy. Blood analysis is used to confirm the presence of the disease; treatment involves daily administration of an artificial hormone to replace what the thyroid no longer produces.
  • Portosystemic Shunt: this congenital condition, which afflicts smaller breeds, in particular, occurs when a blood vessel misdirects blood so that it bypasses flowing through the liver. Toxic compounds may, therefore, form accretions in the kidneys and/or circulatory system. Affected dogs may be lethargic and eat and drink abnormally. Treatment includes medication and special diets.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

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Pet Health Insurance for Shih Tzu

Conditions like these can cost a great deal to treat; in particular, drugs that are required for the life of a dog can add up to a big yearly bill. The right pet health care plan can help defray the ongoing expense of providing your dog with the right medicines and drug therapies.

For other types of dogs, check out our full list of dog breeds.

 

Other articles you may find helpful: 

Is Exotic Pet Insurance Necessary? 

The Best Pet Insurance By State 

What Is Pet Insurance?

Fun Facts, Dog FAQ, And Unsolicited Dog Advice

5 Training Commands to Save Your Dog’s Life

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

Dog Health Problems

Dog Breeds

CAT FAQ

Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds

 

How do you choose a dog breed? There are so many awesome options! We have compiled a complete database about all the dog breeds, their mannerisms, care, and who they do best with. Statistically, some purebreds experience more health issues than mixed breeds. There are many pet insurance companies out there and we have put together a great article about the best puppy and dog pet insurance companies in the US

 

You may be interested in one of these dog breeds:

 

Akita Pet Insurance

Beagle Pet Insurance

Bernese Mountain Dog Pet Insurance

Bichon Frise

Bloodhound Pet Insurance

Border Collie Pet Insurance

Boston Terrier Pet Insurance

Boxer Dog Breed Information

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Pet Insurance

Chihuahua Pet Insurance

Chinese Crested

Chow Chow Pet Insurance

Cocker Spaniel Breed Information

Dachshund Pet Insurance

Doberman Pet Insurance

English Setter Pet Insurance

Fox Terrier

French Bulldog Breed Information

German Shepherd Breed Information

German Shorthaired Pointer Pet Insurance

Golden Retriever Breed Information

Great Dane Pet Insurance

Havanese Dogs | Average Cost and Care

Irish Water Spaniel

Italian Greyhound

Jack Russell Terrier Pet Insurance

Kerry Blue Terrier

Komondor

Labradoodle Breed Info

Labrador Retriever Breed Information

Maltese Pet Insurance

Miniature Schnauzer Pet Insurance

Newfoundland Pet Insurance

Pit Bull Pet Insurance

Pomeranian Pet Insurance

Poodle Dog Breed Information

Portuguese Water Dog

Pug Pet Insurance

Rhodesian Ridgeback Pet Insurance

Shar-Pei Pet Insurance

Shetland Sheepdog Pet Insurance

Shih Tzu Pet Insurance

Siberian Husky Pet Insurance

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

St. Bernard Pet Insurance

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Pet Insurance

Vizsla Pet Insurance

Weimaraner Pet Insurance