Why Are My Shih Tzu Eyes Bulging?

Spread the love

If you’ve ever looked into the adorable eyes of a Shih Tzu and noticed them bulging, you might be wondering, “Why are my Shih Tzu’s eyes bulging?” Well, fret not, my fellow dog lovers, because I have all the answers you need! In this article, we’ll dive deep into the possible reasons behind this unique phenomenon and provide you with valuable insights to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

When it comes to our beloved Shih Tzus, their eyes are not only windows to their souls but also indicators of their overall well-being. Bulging eyes in Shih Tzus can be caused by various factors, ranging from genetics to underlying health conditions. It’s crucial to understand the potential causes and seek appropriate care to ensure the best quality of life for your four-legged companion. So, let’s embark on this eye-opening journey together and unravel the mysteries behind those bulging Shih Tzu eyes!

Why Are My Shih Tzu Eyes Bulging?

Why Are My Shih Tzu Eyes Bulging?

Shih Tzus are known for their expressive eyes, but sometimes, owners may notice that their beloved pets’ eyes appear to be bulging. This can be a cause for concern and may indicate an underlying health issue. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons for why your Shih Tzu’s eyes may be bulging and what steps you can take to address the problem.

Genetic Factors

In some cases, the bulging of a Shih Tzu’s eyes may be due to genetic factors. The breed is prone to certain eye conditions, such as proptosis and exophthalmos, which can cause the eyes to protrude. These conditions can be hereditary, meaning they are passed down from generation to generation. If your Shih Tzu’s eyes are bulging, it is important to consult with a veterinarian who can determine if genetics play a role and provide guidance on managing the condition.


Proptosis is a condition where the eyeball is displaced forward from its normal position within the eye socket. This can occur as a result of trauma, such as a blow to the head or an injury to the eye. In Shih Tzus, proptosis can be caused by their prominent eyes and shallow eye sockets. When the eyeball protrudes, it can lead to discomfort, pain, and potential damage to the eye. Immediate veterinary attention is required if proptosis is suspected, as it is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment.


Exophthalmos, or bulging eyes, can also occur in Shih Tzus. This condition is characterized by the forward displacement of the eyeballs, causing them to protrude. Exophthalmos can be caused by various factors, including thyroid disease, infection, inflammation, or tumors in the eye socket. It is essential to have a veterinarian evaluate your Shih Tzu if you notice their eyes bulging, as the underlying cause needs to be identified and treated appropriately.

In addition to genetic factors, there are other potential reasons for why your Shih Tzu’s eyes may be bulging. These include:

Eye Infections

Eye infections can cause inflammation and swelling, leading to the appearance of bulging eyes. Common eye infections in Shih Tzus include conjunctivitis and keratitis. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is characterized by redness, discharge, and itching of the eyes. Keratitis, on the other hand, is the inflammation of the cornea and can result in eye discomfort and sensitivity to light. If you suspect your Shih Tzu has an eye infection, it is crucial to seek veterinary care for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from allergies. Allergies can cause inflammation and irritation in the eyes, leading to swelling and bulging. Common allergens for Shih Tzus include pollen, dust mites, mold, and certain foods. If you notice your Shih Tzu’s eyes bulging in conjunction with other allergy symptoms such as itching, sneezing, or skin rashes, it may be time to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan.

Treatments and Management

The treatment and management of bulging eyes in Shih Tzus will depend on the underlying cause. If genetic factors or anatomical issues are responsible, your veterinarian may recommend surgical intervention to correct the problem or alleviate discomfort. In the case of eye infections, appropriate medications such as antibiotics or antiviral drugs may be prescribed. For allergies, identifying and avoiding the allergen is crucial, and your veterinarian may suggest antihistamines or other medications to manage symptoms.

Prevention and Care

Preventing eye issues in Shih Tzus can be challenging, given their genetic predisposition to certain conditions. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk and care for your pet’s eyes. Regular eye examinations by a veterinarian are essential for early detection of any problems. Keeping the eyes clean and free from discharge or debris can also help prevent infections. Additionally, avoiding trauma to the face and eyes, such as rough play or exposure to hazardous objects, can minimize the risk of proptosis or other injuries.

In conclusion, if you notice your Shih Tzu’s eyes bulging, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. Genetic factors, eye infections, and allergies are some potential reasons for this condition. By understanding the causes and taking preventive measures, you can ensure the well-being and comfort of your beloved Shih Tzu.

Key Takeaways: Why Are My Shih Tzu Eyes Bulging?

  • Shih Tzus can experience bulging eyes due to various reasons.
  • Eye injuries or infections may cause bulging in Shih Tzus.
  • Glaucoma, a condition characterized by increased pressure in the eyes, can lead to bulging eyes.
  • Shih Tzus with bulging eyes may also have a condition called proptosis, where the eyes protrude from the eye sockets.
  • If you notice your Shih Tzu’s eyes bulging, it’s important to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What could be the reasons behind Shih Tzu eyes bulging?

Shih Tzu dogs are prone to several eye conditions that can cause their eyes to bulge. One common cause is proptosis, which occurs when the eyeball is displaced from its socket due to trauma or injury. Another possible cause is glaucoma, a condition characterized by increased pressure within the eye. Additionally, Shih Tzu dogs can develop eye infections or allergies that may lead to eye bulging. If you notice your Shih Tzu’s eyes bulging, it is important to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Furthermore, certain genetic factors can predispose Shih Tzu dogs to eye problems, including bulging eyes. Brachycephalic breeds, such as the Shih Tzu, have a characteristic flat face and shallow eye sockets, making them more susceptible to eye issues. It is crucial to take proactive measures to maintain your Shih Tzu’s eye health, such as regular vet check-ups, proper grooming, and avoiding activities that may lead to eye injuries.

How can I identify if my Shih Tzu’s eyes are bulging?

Identifying whether your Shih Tzu’s eyes are bulging requires careful observation. Some common signs to watch out for include a visible protrusion of the eyes from their sockets, excessive tearing or discharge, redness or inflammation, squinting or rubbing of the eyes, and changes in their behavior, such as increased sensitivity to light. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly to determine the underlying cause of the eye bulging and initiate appropriate treatment.

Regular eye examinations are also essential for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s eye health. By regularly monitoring your dog’s eyes and seeking professional guidance, you can catch any issues early and prevent them from progressing to more severe conditions.

Can Shih Tzu eye bulging be treated?

The treatment for Shih Tzu eye bulging depends on the underlying cause. If the bulging is due to an injury or trauma, immediate medical intervention is necessary. In cases of proptosis, the veterinarian will carefully reposition the displaced eyeball back into its socket and assess for any additional damage. For eye infections or allergies, appropriate medications, such as antibiotic eye drops or antihistamines, may be prescribed to alleviate the symptoms and promote healing.

However, if the eye bulging is caused by a more serious condition like glaucoma, the treatment approach may involve managing the increased eye pressure through medication or surgery to relieve the pressure. It is essential to consult a veterinarian who specializes in ophthalmology to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your Shih Tzu’s specific condition.

How can I prevent eye bulging in my Shih Tzu?

While some eye conditions in Shih Tzus may be hereditary or unavoidable, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of eye bulging. Regular grooming is crucial, ensuring that hair around the eyes is kept trimmed to prevent irritation and potential eye infections. Additionally, practicing caution during playtime or outdoor activities can help reduce the chances of accidental eye injuries.

Regular visits to the veterinarian for eye examinations are also essential for early detection and prevention of eye problems. By maintaining your Shih Tzu’s overall health and addressing any underlying health issues promptly, you can contribute to their overall eye well-being and reduce the likelihood of eye bulging.

When should I seek veterinary attention for my Shih Tzu’s eye bulging?

If you notice your Shih Tzu’s eyes bulging, it is recommended to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. Eye bulging can be a sign of a serious underlying condition that requires immediate medical intervention. Delaying treatment may lead to further complications and potential vision loss for your Shih Tzu. A veterinarian will be able to assess the situation, diagnose the cause of the eye bulging, and provide appropriate treatment options to ensure the best possible outcome for your furry companion.

Remember, early detection and timely treatment are crucial for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s eye health and overall well-being.

8 Most Common Shih Tzu Eye Problems

Final Summary: What to Do When Your Shih Tzu’s Eyes are Bulging

So, you’ve discovered that your beloved Shih Tzu’s eyes are bulging, and you’re understandably concerned. While there can be various reasons behind this issue, it’s essential to take prompt action to ensure the well-being of your furry friend.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian to determine the exact cause of your Shih Tzu’s bulging eyes. It could be a symptom of an underlying health condition such as glaucoma, an infection, or even an injury. Your veterinarian will be able to provide a proper diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate your Shih Tzu’s discomfort. Keep their eyes clean by gently wiping them with a damp cloth to remove any discharge or debris. Avoid exposing your dog to irritants such as smoke or strong chemicals that could exacerbate the problem. Additionally, ensure that your Shih Tzu has a comfortable and stress-free environment, as stress can sometimes contribute to eye issues.

Remember, the well-being of your furry companion should always be a top priority. By seeking professional veterinary care and providing a nurturing environment, you’re taking the necessary steps to address your Shih Tzu’s bulging eyes and ensure their overall health and happiness.


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!

Recent Posts