Most Shih Tzus live well into their old age, and if you own one of these beautiful pooches, then there is a high chance that you get to witness it grow from a small, playful puppy into a senior dog before it dies.
However, this is not to say that the Shih Tzu isn’t without its own health challenges. And apart from old age, there are a number of medical conditions that can significantly shorten this pooch’s life which we’ll shortly be taking a look at.
Some of the most common health challenges that Shih Tzu dogs mostly die from include:
The dreaded cancer tops the list of diseases that are mostly responsible for Shih Tzu deaths, and several studies have shown that approximately 15% of Shih Tzu dogs die of cancer on a yearly basis.
Cancer can take many forms and affect several body parts, but the most common occurrences in Shih Tzu dogs include mast cell tumors, lymphoma, soft tissue sarcomas and bone cancer.
Shih Tzus are susceptible to various viral and bacterial infections, and these can prove to be fatal, if not given the proper medical attention.
Common examples of infections that are responsible for Shih Tzu deaths include canine parvovirus, canine distemper and leptospirosis.
In addition, fungal infections such as blastomycosis and histoplasmosis have also been reported to be the cause of death in some Shih Tzu dogs.
Urogenital diseases (also commonly referred to as Urinary Tract Infections) are another leading cause of death in Shih Tzu dogs worldwide.
These urogenital diseases typically affect the Shih Tzu’s excretory and reproductive organs such as the urinary bladder, prostate and urethra and can be very dangerous if left untreated.
While this can’t be classified as a medical condition, it is worth noting that injuries resulting from trauma are responsible for a significant amount of Shih Tzu deaths, particularly in puppies.
Trauma can take many forms, and a Shih Tzu can be severely injured when accidentally dropped or stepped on, hit by moving vehicles or as a result of a fall from high distances.