Seizures In Shih Tzu | What are the signs to avoid them?

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Seizures In Shih Tzu
Seizures In Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu dog is one of the smallest breeds out there. They originated in the land of Tibet around the 7th century. They are categorized as toy dogs. A Shih Tzu normally has a height of about 8-11 inches and weighs between 9-16 pounds.

Shih Tzus are one of the most highly demanded pets. Owing to their small size and outdoorsy nature, this pet proves to be an amazing companion. They are known for their perky, happy personalities.

The temperament of a Shih Tzu is very lively and friendly. It means they get along extremely well with people and are comfortable around strangers.

The Shih Tzu will light up every corner of your home as they improvise the overall environment by bringing in their positivity.

Shih Tzus are also prone to some health concerns. If you decide to bring one into your home, make sure to arm yourself with enough knowledge to be able to look after them appropriately.

In this article, we will talk about a health issue that can arise, which is sometimes a Shih Tzu may have seizures.

Identifying Seizures In A Shih Tzu Dog

Various types of seizures exist in dogs. The effect of a seizure an individual dog experiences and the type of seizure they suffer can vary.

Although there are numerous categories of seizure that dogs are likely to go through.

There is actually a chance that your dog might experience more than one form of seizure.

Another interesting fact about seizures in this animal is that not all seizure activity needs to consist of convulsions.

Particularly in dogs, seizures typically come about all asudden. There are generally no warning signs that a seizure is about to happen.

The seizure can be expected to last for a small amount of time, probably just a few seconds.

When a dog is having a seizure, it can fall to the side. They will also start making paddling motions with their legs.

There is a slight chance your dog might pee or poop when it experiences a seizure.

Some symptoms can generally be attributed to seizures in dogs. These telltale signs of such a significant health emergency should be noted just in case.

The symptoms of seizures include the following:

  • Collapsing
  • Jerking
  • Stiffening
  • Muscle twitching
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Drooling
  • Chomping
  • Tongue chewing
  • Foaming at the mouth

In case your dog is having a seizure, the primary thing that you need to do is keep calm.

You have to remember that a vast majority of dogs that experience a seizure do not hurt themselves.

They might even need a visit to the vet. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

You should contact your vet if your dog has a short seizure that might last for less than 2 minutes.

Maybe to discuss the incident and go over any concerns.

The Causes Of Seizures In A Shih Tzu

The fear that stems is such a situation comes from the fear of the unknown. It is always better to research the disease and retain enough information to make an accurate decision if such a scenario occurs.

Multiple reasons trigger seizures in a Shih Tzu. A wide range of circumstances may lead to your Shih Tzu experiencing such an event.

The most common reason that is attributed to seizures in Shih Tzus is idiopathic epilepsy. It is a condition that is inherited in most cases.

Some of the most commonly accepted causes of seizures in the Shih Tzu breed include:

  • Eating poison
  • Liver disease
  • High or low blood sugar
  • Kidney disease
  • Electrolyte problems
  • Anemia
  • A head injury
  • Encephalitis
  • Strokes
  • Brain cancer

When seizures in a dog occur time and again, the brain of the canine tends to show activity. It can occur via simulation from the surroundings, some things in the home which comprise of the food and medications.

Another key factor attributing to seizures is stress.

A Shih Tzu that has been through a seizure might appear to be normal even between the events. This sudden onset of a condition makes a troubling situation for pet owners.

Certain factors have been linked as possible triggers for Shih Tzu’s seizures. A trigger will be the source that starts this entire journey and initiates the dog’s seizure.

These factors could be external or internal. Maybe the trigger lies inside the dog’s body all along, or it can be initiated by an environmental factor outside.

Identifying the activating aspects of a seizure can get a little overwhelming. A core point in recognizing them is that for a factor to be considered a trigger for a seizure, it should have occurred within 30 hours of the dog’s seizure.

Triggers For Shih Tzus

Triggers For Shih Tzus
Triggers For Shih Tzus

Environmental Triggers of Shih Tzu Dog Seizures

Your dog’s environment has a huge part in contributing to seizures in your Shih Tzu. Although a Shih Tzu dog’s surroundings consist of your house, too, we should pay attention to the potential triggers that the dog may come into contact with outside.

The Shih Tzu, in particular, loves being in outdoors. They adore hikes and walks and sitting in the backyard. The outside world makes up a significant portion of their life. Although there are numerous

You should focus on your own garden or yard and other such places in the neighborhood. These areas require certain lawn treatments, and fertilizers are used to grow the green grass.

Even though they may be assisting you in gardening, the chemical could be harmful to your Shih Tzu. They could lead to a seizure as well.

It is considered that barometric pressure changes and extreme heat or cold could also trigger a seizure in dogs. The venom of bees, wasps, and toad poisoning can also lead to seizures in dogs.

Triggers of Shih Tzu Seizures Around Your Home

Inside your home is also the environment in which your dog lives and grows. We have to consider these factors as well. Dogs are also emotionally and physically sensitive, just like humans.

Photosensitivity in snails can actually trigger a seizure in dogs as well! It is a condition that is connected to the flashing of lights and bright lights.

Some other aspects of your household that care about potential reasons for seizures in Shih Tzus include everyday items such as candles, perfume, loud music, and cigarette smoke.

Numerous popular household products can also contain elements that will set off seizures in a Shih Tzu. These consist of Pine Sol and any other cleaning products on the list. Some of these include:

  • Pine oil
  • Kerosene
  • Camphor
  • Eucalyptus
  • Borax or boric acid
  • Deck and wall stains
  • Polyurethane fumes
  • Paint fumes, and
  • Swiffer chemicals

Foods That Can Trigger Seizures

Something in the diet of the Shih Tzu can also be the cause of a seizure. For instance, having a diet that is far too rich in sodium can actually create salt toxicity. It has the possibility of becoming the cause of seizures and pancreatitis.

Also, allergies to food items can activate seizures in Shih Tzus, and processed, low-grade dog foods can bring them on.

There are certain chemicals, emulsifiers, and preservatives that can be injurious to a Shih Tzu’s health.

Medications That Can Trigger Seizures in Shih Tzus

Certain medications can sometimes be reasons for a dog to experience a seizure. These consists of vaccinations, heartworm medications, flea and tick caution medications, and a few other prescription medications.

There is a chance your dog experiences a seizure within a short time span of starting a new medicine. You must make a mental note of this and run it by your veterinarian.

Treatment Of Seizures In Shih Tzu Dogs

Seizures, in general, can be quite daunting. Seeing a small Shih Tzu going through them might be a terrifying experience. The dog and the owner both go through a stressful period.

There is naturally no simple or straightforward answer to what may be a seizure in a Shih Tzu. Numerous causes are capable of setting off one.

To help your little friend avoid ever going through this experience, there are a few factors you can look out for.

Medications that are normally prescribed for dogs to treat seizures include phenobarbital and potassium bromide.

At home, you should take precautions, so your Shih Tzu does not hurt itself. Cushion its head, and lightly hold and comfort it until the time it starts to come back into consciousness

In case the situation gets completely out of hand, and you do not feel in control at home, visit your nearest veterinarian. It is always better to get in touch with a professional.

How To Avoid A Seizure In Shih Tzu Dogs?

As discussed, certain environmental aspects might trigger a seizure in your dog.

Therefore for your own house, you can utilize lawn and yard products that are friendly to animals. It will ensure that your gardening does not lead to a seizure in your dog.

Also, keep an eye out for the list of toxic plants that can also hurt your dog.

Make sure you do not have them planted in your yard. Get rid of the poisonous flowers and plants to circumvent your dog experiencing a seizure.

There will be certain environmental factors that are out of your control.

However, you can avoid such events. Stay in areas where your Shih Tzu will not get bitten by certain bees and wasps.

There is no hard and fast list of items that are absolutely required to maintain a home.

You should choose to remove the ones that will affect your dog’s health.

Aim for not using products that have strong aromas and work on home projects at a distance from the puppy.

Shih Tzus do tend to let their curiosity take over and bounce in whenever you are working on something. Pine is a product that is specifically detrimental to Shih Tzu’s health.

The toxicity can lead to seizures, so try not to use pine-scented or infused cleaners.

Furthermore, you have to take control of your Shih Tzu diet. Ensure that they are not being fed any portion of the potentially dangerous food items.

When you purchase dog food, read the labels carefully and ensure they do not contain harmful substances.

Stress can be quite a significant factor in deteriorating any living being’s health. Provide your Shih Tzu with a safe, patient environment. Give them a place to rest and feel secure; you will see vast improvements in their health status just through this step.

Final Thoughts: Seizures In Shih Tzu

Being tiny puppies, Shih Tzu usually has the overprotective part of you come out naturally.

Adding to this, the unpredictable nature of seizures, the situation can be difficult to manage.

There is no guarantee in the process, and you never really know when your dog will ever go through the situation again. Making sure that you avoid the possible situations is the best way of reducing the chances of your Shih Tzu ever having a seizure again.

Being a dog owner can seem like a huge responsibility, but you must make a genuine effort. When you start practically implementing strategies, things start working out on their own.


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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