What To Do If Your Shih Tzu’s Eyes Pop Out? (5 steps you must know)

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Shih Tzu is known for their large, dark, and expressive eyes. Their eyes make them different from all other dogs. The Shih Tzu’s head is the most prominent feature in its look, and the first thing you may notice in a Shih Tzu when you look at it is its eyes.

Shih Tzu always looks friendly, sweet, and warm dogs whenever you look at them, mainly because of their eye placement.

The size that Shih Tzus have is huge, and for these eyes, there should be a bigger head size so that its eyes can have eye sockets big enough to fit an eye in it perfectly. But this is the opposite when it comes to Shih Tzu’s eyes. It makes them look extra cute.

It is not very common to have popped out eyes in Shih Tzu. There is always a reason behind this situation. But whenever you find your Shih Tzu with its eyes popped out, you should always run to a specialist vet who can handle your Shih Tzu.

No living thing has eyes this weak that they will pop out on their own. You need to check what is your Shih Tzu going through. It can be in a situation where it can get hurt and it may pop its eyes out. Your Shih Tzu can get injuries that affect its eyes deeply from the inside.

Why Do Shih Tzu’s Eyes Pop Out?

This problem of eyes popping out or dislocating is called proptosis and it can occur due to a fight with a bigger dog than your Shih Tzu. It is more common in Shih Tzus because they have more shallow eye sockets and bulging eyes.

Suppose you take your Shih Tzu to the veterinarian as soon as this situation occurs. In that case, they can use other medical and surgical methods to fix their eyes and avoid the removal of their eyes completely. Most of the eyes that pop out can be fixed without removing them.

What Are The Causes Of Its Eyes Popping Out?

There are a few main causes that are common for every Shih Tzu’s eyes popping out, and they are as follows:

  • A blow to its head or near the eye socket
  • A car accident
  • A fight with a bigger animal or a severe fight with the same size
  • Secondary orbital hemorrhage
  • Face or neck skin stretching
  • Severe swelling can also dislocate the globe

Does Shih Tzu Have A Problem With Their Eyes?

Shih Tzu typically has no problem with their eyes, but due to their eyes being so big and eyelids so small, it is pretty common for them to pop out with the slightest trauma.

Anything related to head injury can cause its eyes to pop out. Even falling can pop its eyes out.

What To Do When Shih Tzu’s Eyes Pop Out?

What To Do When Shih Tzu’s Eyes Pop Out?
Shih Tzu from our Facebook Page

Make sure you are following any one of the steps to save your Shih Tzu’s eyes:

  1. Keep the eyes moist

When your Shih Tzu’s eyes pop out, ensure that you keep its eyes moist by putting a saline solution on it and wetting the gauze with it.

Remember, when you keep the gauze on its eyes, don’t remove it and place it again to fix it.

When you put it once, don’t remove it, no matter what, because this may result in damage to the eyes.

2. Better to have someone with you than to be alone

After this quick moisture thing, leave for the emergency clinic for animals.

If someone else can help you and come with you to the vet, then always take help because this will help your Shih Tzu relax when you have your complete attention on them.

3. Be ready to fix it yourself

If you cannot find a vet or a doctor within an hour, then be aware that you will have to fix your Shih Tzu’s eyes and push them back in place.

You need to have patience, and you need to focus on your health and not on your ability.

4. Put it back in with your hands clean

Keep your hands clean and keep the eyelids away from getting in their eyes. Now hold the eyeball and push it back into the eyes.

Make sure to be calm and soft.

No need to force the eyeball into the eye if it’s not going.

It is possible that your Shih Tzu’s eyes may be swollen.

5. Keep this step only when there’s no other option left

Doing it yourself is a very rare and extreme situation.

It is because the doctor has the experience and will use anesthesia to help ease the pain and fix the eye easily.

Doing anything with Shih Tzu’s eyes or any other dog’s is very painful, and your Shih Tzu will not be okay with it.

Remember, working fast is the key because you can either save it from pain or from losing one eye. But dogs live just fine even when they have a single eye left to them.

Best advice is rush them to a vet or emergency vet after hours and limit as much movement as possible!

Joel – Shih Tzu Advice

Is Treatment Possible For Shih Tzu Eyes Popping Out?

Is Treatment Possible For Shih Tzu Eyes Popping Out?
Talpee from our Shih Tzu Advice Facebook Group

Yes, the treatment is possible and usually has a good result, but only if you bring your Shih Tzu to the clinic or veterinarian on time.

If you bring your Shih Tzu after hours or when its eyes are completely dry, treatment will get difficult, and the procedure may get long.

Whenever your Shih Tzu’s eyes pop out, the area around it starts to get dry and lose its moisture. It will make it difficult for the eyeball to fit in and will cause pain.

Your Shih Tzu will have to take multiple pain medications.

If you take your Shih Tzu to the doctor when its eyes are dry, the doctor may fix its eyes and put them back in place.

But there is a 50% chance of your Shih Tzu’s eyes losing their vision. It may need help to see clearly after that.

Sometimes, the eyes require surgery, and the doctor checks whether the eye is salvageable or not.

After that, with the help of eye moisture, they easily put the eyeball back into its position.

But this does not mean this will not happen again. Remember, the Shih Tzu eyeball is more significant than the socket, and it can pop out anytime it bumps into something hard, which will hurt and cause pain.

How Can I Tell If My Shih Tzu Is Going Blind?

How Can I Tell If My Shih Tzu Is Going Blind?

If your Shih Tzu’s eyes are popping out and are not getting proper treatment, then there are chances that proptosis will result in loss of its vision.

It happens because the tissues around the eye orbit get swollen, and it decreases the vitality of the eye globe.

It is not difficult to know if your Shih Tzu is getting blind because it may bump into things and even stop making eye contact with its owners.

However, some signs can be difficult to notice, such as increasing hesitation towards activities that involve jumping from different places and exploring new places as well.

You may notice your Shih Tzu getting anxious.

What Should Shih Tzu Eyes Look Like?

What Should Shih Tzu Eyes Look Like?

Whenever you see a Shih Tzu, its eyes should look round and large, but they should not look like they are popping out and are too prominent.

The eyes should have a distance, and your Shih Tzu eyes should look straight.

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms of your Shih Tzu having an eye problem which can lead to Proptosis, are the following:

  • Redness of eyes
  • Swollen eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Trauma to the eyes
  • Trauma to the face
  • Irritation of the eyes
  • Excessive pressure on the neck or eyelids
  • Sensitive to light
  • Rubbing eyes
  • But mainly in the case of proptosis and eyes popping, it is very noticeable when its eyes pop out or bulge.

What Is Prolapse Of Shih Tzu Eyes?

Prolapse is when your Shih Tzu’s eyes pop out because of an injury or trauma. Veterinarians can diagnose this problem by just looking at your Shih Tzu.

It is obvious that people who are not related to the medical field will also notice it.

It may look like it is slipping out of its place and may seem like it will fall. Even little bumps can lead to your Shih Tzu’s eyes popping out. There are three types of displacement of eyeballs:

  • When your Shih Tzu eyes are coming out more than usual, it means it is more open to popping out.
  • When your Shih Tzu eyes are popped but still stuck in the eye socket.
  • When your Shih Tzu’s eyes are falling out and the eye socket is no longer holding the eyeball.

After the veterinarian fixes your Shih Tzu’s eyes, it will cover them to protect them from dust and sharp light.

During this time, its eyes will begin to recover, and the tissues will start to repair themselves.

The veterinarian will also give you some medications you will have to give your Shih Tzu for as long as its veterinarian says.

Usually, antibiotics are given to treat their eyes and protect them from further eye-popping situations.

Preventive Measures

Obviously, you can take no preventive measures to save your Shih Tzu from its eyes popping out.

So, it is always best to be prepared whenever such a situation occurs because it is very important to treat popping out immediately and before its eyes dry out.

You can always take some preventive measures for its eyes drying out by covering its eyes with saline solution to keep them moist. But avoid moving and changing it again and again.

What Are The Complications Shih Tzu Go Through After The Treatment?

There are multiple complications your Shih Tzu may have to face, and they include the following:

  • Loss of vision – this is because of nerve degeneration
  • Corneal ulceration– the open outer layer of the cornea is sore.
  • Enophthalmos – this means when your Shih Tzu has sunken eyes and is known as bulging eyes.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the bilateral desiccation of cornea and conjunctive and can cause itching, burning, body sensation to foreign touch, etc.
  • Lateral strabismus– this happens because of medical injury of the rectus muscle.
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fever

In case of such complications, always inform your Shih Tzu’s veterinarian to cure it before severe or chronic problems form.


It is essential to connect with your Shih Tzu and be able to tell whether it is going through a problem or not. It is your responsibility to take care of your Shih Tzu.

So, whenever you adopt one, you should be aware of the problems that may occur, which include eye problems such as eye pop-out.

Whenever you notice your Shih Tzu bumping into something, be quick and check whether its eyes are in place or not. There should not be any delay. Being active and aware of your Shih Tzu all the time shows your concern for its health.

Even the smallest things, like bumping into its kennel, may also pop its eyes out.

So, do not avoid such bumping or any type of bumping whenever it happens.

It is always best to have a veterinarian near your location or someone you can call when a problem occurs.

Be gentle with your Shih Tzu, and do not mistakenly pull its skin because it can also lead to its eyes popping out.

If your Shih Tzu lives around all the harmless and soft materials, then its eyes are less likely to pop out.

But it is still possible to occur because its eyes are shaped so that they cannot stay put in eye sockets after getting hurt or after an injury.

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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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