Shih Tzu Eyes: Ten Things You Should Know

Your Shih Tzu’s eyes are the windows to her soul and will not only tell you what mood she is in, but can also act as an early warning signal of illness or disease. You may also want to know about grooming the eye area and if you want to own a show dog, what the breed standard says about the eyes.

  1. If you are looking for a show dog, very little white should show in the eye. Too much white in the eye is considered a fault in the show ring.
  2. A show dog’s eyes should be dark brown in color. The only exceptions are blue colored Shih Tzu dogs where blue eyes are acceptable, and liver colored dogs where light brown eyes are acceptable.
  3. A Shih Tzu’s eyes should be big, round and set wide apart. It must create an impression of warmth and friendliness.
  4. A Shih Tzu has bulging eyes. It is important to keep this in mind when you have cats, as a cat’s claws can cause a lot of damage to a Shih Tzu’s eyes.
  5. Your dog’s eyes should be cleaned at least once a week, as running eyes will quickly give your dog a dirty appearance. Warm water on a cotton ball or a washcloth will do the trick.
  6. The hairs around the eye area should be cut on a regular basis; otherwise it can touch the eyeballs, causing irritation and infections. Always use a round nose scissor to do the cutting, as it will not hurt your dog if she suddenly moves. A high table or cutting platform is advised as your dog is less likely to jump from a high area and it is also easier for you to work.
  7. The Shih Tzu run a bigger risk than the average dog to get inflammation of the cornea. Due to the Shih Tzu’s skull formation they have short noses and shallow eye sockets; this can lead to eye lids that do not close properly.
  8. Another condition the Shih Tzu is prone to is Proptosis. This happens when the eyeball pop out of the socket and the eyelids get stuck behind the eyeball.
    This leads to restricted blood flow and blindness can follow within a very short period of time – as little as twenty minutes. For this reason it is important to take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice any signs of this.
  9. If your dog has a permanent green or yellow discharge running from the eyes or long-lasting eye infections, he may be suffering from a condition commonly known as dry eye. This happens when there is a shortage of tear production by the eye glands, leading to less lubrication of the eye and eventually a dry cornea.
    It is best to consult a veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms as it may lead to corneal damage and eventually blindness.
  10. A Shih Tzu puppy’s eyes open twelve to fifteen days after birth. For the first few days it may appear as if the eyes do not focus properly. This is normal and you should not be concerned, as the eyes normally only focus properly three weeks after birth.

P.S.
Perhaps you want to know a bit more about a specific problem. Let’s say your Shih Tzu’s eyes tear the whole time. If this is the case, please subscibe to my minicourse by using the opt in box on this page. In my course I discuss more  Shih Tzu Health and other issues.

Also see : Shih Tzu Eye Problems