Shih Tzu Allergies – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Shih Tzu’s are predominantly healthy animals although they may be prone to developing allergies which can manifest themselves in many ways. Symptoms that your pet may be suffering from allergies include constant itching, skin infections, chewing and licking, eye and nose discharge, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. They may also experience ear infections and chew or paw at areas of their skin. Dogs can be allergic to more than one allergen at a time. Types of allergies include those from a result of contact with allergens, inhalants, food, flea, and bacterial allergies.

Shih Tzu Allergies

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis is an allergic skin reaction in dogs and is caused by immunological hypersensitivity to common substances in the environment, such as dust mites. Signs that the Shih Tzu is suffering from atopic dermatitis may include behavioral signs. Your pet may lick, chew, or paw its body to combat itchiness. Essential fatty acids are now being used to treat skin conditions. Antihistamines increase the effects of essential fatty acids, and so combination therapy is particularly beneficial. Hyposensitizing Vaccines are beneficial in up to 60% of cases, although they may take up to 9 months to have an effect.

Contact and Inhalant

There are a variety of factors which can cause allergies to dogs. Pollens, grasses, and weeds are the most common factors in allergies outside of the house. While inside the house, cigarette smoke, cleaners, dust mites, molds, mildew, and insect sprays are common causes. Allergy testing, including skin and serum testing, is the best way to determine the cause of allergies in your pet.

Food Allergies

Low quality brands of dog foods are often loaded with ingredients which can cause allergies, such as oats, corn, wheat, and soy. Likewise, these ingredients serve little nutritional value. Pet owners may choose to replace their pet’s food with a high quality brand to reduce symptoms associated with food allergies.


There are several flea treatments available on the market today. Ideally, try to choose a flea treatment which also includes tick prevention. When your Shih Tzu is infected by fleas, make sure you address them immediately. It is suggested that you try to give your pet a bath with a highly recommended flea shampoo. After you control the flea infestation, you can begin to use an anti-flea shampoo, which helps to recuperate the skin and continues to provide protection.

Bacterial Allergies

Bacterial allergies can be caused by even small amounts of bacteria. If your Shih Tzu begins to lose their coat, or shows ringworm shaped markings on their body in addition to dry flaking rashes, blisters, or discharge, it is possible that it may have developed a bacterial allergy on the skin. In this case, it is important to see your veterinarian, who will carry out a full examination and prescribe the appropriate treatment.