Written by 2:57 pm Shih Tzu Health

Shih Tzu Breathing Problems: Why Do Shih Tzus Snort?

Shih Tzu Breathing Problems

Shih Tzus’ adorable squishiness, lively temperament, and fluffy coats have captured the hearts of many dog lovers. On the other hand, respiratory health-related problems may sometimes lurk under their endearing snorts and snuffles.

The Shih Tzu brachycephalic group includes these lovely friends. Shih Tzu brachycephalic dogs have shorter heads than the average dog, which gives them distinctive facial characteristics but also poses some physical problems with their airways. Possessing knowledge of these weaknesses is essential for conscientious Shih Tzu owners, as it enables you to identify prospective issues and provide optimal care.

Discover the fascinating world of Shih Tzu breathing problems as this book unravels the mysteries of their unique sighs and points out the warning indications that might point to more serious Shih Tzu breathing problems. Prevention, management, and knowing when to call the vet are all topics we’ll cover. Get the information you need to keep your Shih Tzu’s joyous snuffles a delightful symphony and not a cause for concern.

Learning Shih Tzu Breathing Problems

Shih Tzu is Brachycephalic, which means “short head.” This is what gives them their cute flat faces and squished mouths. Although they are cute, their unique head shape has physical effects that can make it hard for them to breathe.

If you think about trying to breathe through a narrow straw, that’s pretty much how some Shih Tzus feel because of a few key signs of brachycephaly:

1. Stenotic Nares: These are the small holes in a dog’s nose. They tend to be narrow in Shih Tzu brachycephalics, the same as other breeds, which makes it hard for air to flow from the start.

2. Soft Palate That Hangs Long: This fatty tissue hangs at the back of the throat. It’s often too long and floppy for brachycephalic dogs, which makes it hard for them to breathe, especially when they’re excited or working hard.

3. Trachea Collapse: In some brachycephalic dogs, the windpipe, which is usually a stiff tube, can collapse, making it even harder for air to get to the lungs.

These problems together cause Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), a range of Shih Tzu breathing issues ranging from mild snuffling to life-threatening breathing problems.

This is what each function does for BOAS

Narrow noses: It’s like trying to breathe through a tiny hole, which is how some Shih Tzus always feel.

Floppy soft palate: If you have a floppier, soft tongue, it’s like having a curtain partially block an opening. It makes it hard to breathe, especially when you’re having Shih Tzu breathing issues.

Collapsed trachea: Think of a weak straw giving way when it’s pushed too hard. The trachea fights to stay open, which makes it very hard to breathe.

Shih Tzu Trouble Breathing, That’s a Sign That Something is Wrong

People love Shih Tzus because of their cute smushed faces, but these cute features can hide a health problem: it can be hard for them to breathe. A careful Shih Tzu owner knows when something is wrong and moves quickly.

Pay close attention to how your pet breathes

Even if you don’t snore too loudly while you sleep, snoring all the time, especially when you’re awake, could mean that your lungs are closed.

Having Shih Tzu breathing problems or panting? Pay close attention to how fast and hard you breathe. It’s a bad sign if you take quick, short breaths even when you’re not doing anything.

Gasping: Gasping for air with your mouth open is a dangerous sign that you need to see a doctor right away.

Not being stable when you exercise: If you have trouble breathing, it might be hard to keep up on walks or get tired quickly during training exercises.

Stress from the heat: Because they can’t paint well, Shih Tzus gets too hot very quickly. When it’s hot outside, watch out for eyes that look cloudy, sweating a lot, and drooling.

Note that babies breathe in different ways:
Puppy and young dog Shih Tzus naturally breathe faster than adult dogs. It does this all the time, but it usually slows down in the beginning. You should call your vet right away, though. If Shih Tzu’. breathing issues stay or are hard, or if any of the other warning signs above show up.

Getting help right away is very important

Your Shih Tzu could get sick if you don’t pay attention to these signs. As soon as you see something is wrong, call your doctor right away. Remember that fixing your dog’s problems right away can make his life a lot better and keep them from getting worse. 

What to Do in an Emergency

Actions to Take, If your Shih Tzu has a lung problem, do not panic. Instead, stay calm and move quickly. Do not forget that each second is important. These steps will help you:

1. Call your doctor right away. Insist on this, even if the show gets a little better. Provide a thorough description of the symptoms and carefully follow their directions. Others may tell you to bring your dog in right away or give you advice over the phone.

2. Don’t wait to see if the threat disappears. Anytime your dog seems to get better, there may still be problems going on underneath. Veterinary help is needed to make sure they are safe and stop any further problems.

3. Don’t attempt to treat the problem at home. Hormones and products like Vicks or honey can hurt dogs and make Shih Tzu breathing issues worse. Keep your dog calm and comfortable instead.

Putting your dog in a comfortable position. Pick a comfortable, flat place with good airflow. Position your dog on its side with its head slightly raised. Inhaling will be easier if they can do this.

5. Try not to make your dog feel even more stressed. Refrain from holding them back or forcing them to move if they don’t want to. Maintain a calm and quiet atmosphere and use a gentle tone of voice.

6. Clear your dog’s lungs with the help of a professional if you can. Seemingly foreign objects in your dog’s mouth or nose should not be removed unless your vet tells you to and you are sure you can do it safely. Or, wait for skilled help to avoid hurting yourself more.

Do not forget that you are not the only one going through this now. Veterinarians know how to help your Shih Tzu in these cases and will do everything they can. Contact them right away, and carefully follow their directions.

Prevention and Care: Making it Easy for Your Shih Tzu to Breathe

The Shih Tzu brachycephalic heads can have some breathing

problems. However, there are things you can do to keep the problems from getting worse and make their general quality of life better. These are important things to keep in mind:

How to Keep a Healthy Weight:

Extra weight makes their already weak lungs even more vulnerable. A healthy diet and regular exercise are very important. Check with your vet to find out what weight range is best for your Shih Tzu.

Trying to stay away from hot and humid places:

Because when it’s hot and warm outside, Shih Tzu breathes fast. During hot days, don’t do as much outside; make sure there is plenty of shade and water outside; and think about getting air conditioning inside.

Attachment Over Collar:

Traditional bands put pressure on the trachea, which makes it even harder to breathe. For walks and training with a lead, choose a collar that fits well and is comfy.

Treatment options suggested by vets

Depending on how bad the breathing problems are, your vet may offer different ways to treat your Shih Tzu if they happen often. Among these are:

Prescription drugs

Corticosteroids can lower inflammation, and bronchodilators can open up the lungs. In second-degree cases, antibiotics may be needed.

Surgery: In serious cases, surgery may be suggested to make the lips wider, the soft mouth shorter, or to fix other problems with the body’s structure.

Changes in lifestyle

Cleaning your nose with saline solution on a regular basis, using a fan at home, and staying away from allergens and irritants can all make Shih Tzu breathing problems a lot easier.

What Regular Checkups Can Do for You: Finding and fixing Shih Tzu breathing problems as soon as possible is very important for good management. Take your Shih Tzu to the vet for regular checkups so that they can check on its lung health, decide if it needs treatment, and answer any questions you may have.

Keep in mind that every Shih Tzu is different and may have different needs. You can help your furry friend breathe easily and live a happy, healthy life by following these control and preventative steps together with your vet.


Giving your Shih Tzu the tools it needs to breathe easily

Shih Tzus are wonderful pets that make life fun and full of cuddles, tricks, and cute snorts. But their cute, flat looks often hide a weakness: Shih Tzu breathing problems. Knowing about these problems gives you the power to be an active pet owner who makes sure your furry friend lives a happy and healthy life.

This guide has taken the mystery out of Shih Tzu’s breathing problems by showing the basic structure and talking about the issues that could happen because of brachycephaly. We’ve found the warning signs, which range from small changes in the way you breathe to sudden gasps for air. Recognizing these signs and getting quick medical care are very important for keeping problems from happening.

Active care is important for more than just crises. For the best breathing comfort, keep your weight at a healthy level, stay out of heat and humidity as much as possible, and choose belts over collars. Medical care, such as medication or even surgery, can enhance your Shih Tzu’s quality of life.

Remember that regular checkups can help you find problems early and treat them. You can make a custom plan for your Shih Tzu that meets its specific needs by working closely with your vet.

Now picture your friend’s contagious joy that is unhindered by Shih Tzu breathing issues. This guide gives you the information and tools you need to make that idea come true. You can make a world where every snort and sigh means pure happiness and not a secret battle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What to do when Shih Tzu has breathing problems?

Dogs need proper airflow to breathe; therefore, you may assist your Shih Tzu with her respiratory issues by: When it’s warm, open the windows and let them outside.

Why is my Shih Tzu gasping for air?

Uncomfortable soft palate and throat tissue may be the cause of a quick gasp for breath. However, if your dog gasps for breath often or chronically, you may be concerned.

What is a natural remedy for dog asthma?

Inula helenium: This plant has been used for respiratory problems for generations. For asthma, bronchitis, and coughing, inula helenium works. It’s also peaceful. Mullein and licorice root alleviate coughing and inflammation.

How do you get rid of a Shih Tzu cough?

Honey in warm water: Like people, honey in water soothes dogs’ throats and reduces coughing. One-half to one spoonful of honey in lukewarm water in a dish may be given three times a day.

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