Because Shih Tzu have short noses, large eyes, and long hair, they are very susceptible to eye problems. It is therefore very important for owners to care for their Shih Tzu’s eyes. Proper shih tzu eye care and prevention is the best way to avoid numerous trips to the vet.
Shih Tzu Eye Care Tips:
You should look at your dog’s eyes once a day for signs of irritation, dirt, or scratches. I usually have to wipe goop (tear discharge) from Twilight’s eyes every couple of days. If I don’t remove it, the goop can harden into painful balls of dirt in his hair. After the inspection, I give Twilight a treat for sitting still while I touch his face.
Once a week, I wash Twilight’s face with a warm, moist washcloth. This wipe prevents discharge build-up and usually gets rid of any “stink” from the tears. Luckily, Twilight has no skin folds. If your dog has skin folds, make sure to properly dry off under the folds to prevent bacterial growth.
Your dog’s eyes can reveal many signs of infection. Green or yellow goop, redness, keeping eyes closed, or excess tear discharge are signs of an infection. Infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or allergies and will need to be treated by the vet. I recently learned that you should also pay attention to your dog’s pupil sizes. Pupils are the “dark circle” you see in the middle of eyes. If they are unequal, really constricted (small), or really dilated (large), your dog may have an infection. Next, gently roll down the bottom eyelid of your Shih Tzu. It should be a nice pink color.
Remember to keep the hair around your Shih Tzu’s eyes trimmed short. I usually request a short cut around Twilight’s eyes from the groomers. If you have to keep the hair long (which I personally don’t), pin the hair back with hair clips or bands. During baths, take extra time to shampoo out dirt around the eyes. I know this part is hard (Twilight detests baths), but try your best!
Recently I was sent articles that suggest feeding plain yogurt (i.e. unflavored) to dogs to reduce tears and stinkiness. I tried this home care on Twilight, but his tear problem didn’t improve. (But he does beg for yogurt every time we eat it now.)
Following these Shih Tzu eye care guidelines should help prevent future problems in your beloved pet. Happy cleaning!