Ongoing Allergy Problems with My 6-year Old Shih Tzu

by Rene N,
(Concord, NC)

Food Allergies are a Common Problem for Shih Tzus

Food Allergies are a Common Problem for Shih Tzus

My dog has allergies that I don't know what to do. I have taken him to several vets and everything seems to be a temporary fix. He has fur gone, chews at legs, bad odor, and has lost weight. We've tried medicine, shampoo (12.50-50.00), coconut oil, blue buffalo food, vinegar mixture. I don't know what else to do. He has been this way since we had him, 6yrs. Please help; don't want him to suffer any longer. Thanks

Anonymous Says:

when i first got my tzu from the shelter, i had him groomed (he was a mess) and he started biting at himself and the vet gave him a steroid shot. it helped him, i got him on a good diet, groomed every 2 weeks and benedryl once in a while and he's good now and the vet doesn't want to give him the shots anymore. to tell u the truth he doesn't really need em. Good luck and don’t give up.

Jhun Domingo Says:

Dont give any chicken flavored dogfood. Clean the areas affected with 3% solution of Hydrogen peroxide. After cleaning with the solution give your dog a Frontine Spot on. Hope this will help you. Good luck and take good care of your dog. here's my email

Our Answer:

Itchy skin and allergies are the bane of many Shih Tzus and their human companions. It’s heartbreaking to do everything you can think of and still watch your pet suffer. You’ve already taken him to the veterinarian, Rene, which is the first step anyone should take if their dog is chronically itchy. There are several skin problems that can develop into a serious health risk if not treated; staphylococci, ringworm and parasitic mange are the most common. In your case these have already been ruled out by visiting the vet.

The American Shih Tzu club reports that the most common cause for itching in dogs is flea dermatitis and second most common is food allergy dermatitis. Your frustration is understandable, but the best chance to ease your dog’s suffering is to start at square one with both of these issues.

Flea Dermatitis

I have three Shih Tzus and one of them could be crawling with fleas and barely raise her paw to scratch while another is in misery, losing hair and biting at hot spots if so much as one flea dares to stop by and say hello. Start with a complete “de-fleaing” of your home. Wash all your dog’s bedding, use a flea bomb inside your home and give your dog a thorough flea bath. Frontline Plus is a well-respected anti-flea product; however I’m having better results using Trifexis, the somewhat new flea and heartworm combination pill. With a pill I know that each dog is getting the correct dose each time.

Whichever anti-flea treatment you choose, use the right dosage and use it regularly.

Food Allergy

Food allergies can start at anytime of a dog’s life. You may receive a great deal of advice on supplements, things to feed and things not to feed your dog and some of this advice might be useful. But instead of guessing which foods your dog might be allergic to, work with a vet to develop an elimination diet.

Diagnosing possible food allergens requires a strict diet with only vet-prescribed food, and water and the testing period typically lasts only 8 to 10 weeks. If food allergies are the source of the problem, an elimination diet is the only way to accurately diagnose which foods are causing problems.

Rene, we wish you and your furbaby the best of luck with finding the cure to his itchiness. If you currently use any chemical-based household cleaners you may want to discontinue using them and switch to all non-toxic products and simple-compound cleaners. These sensitive little Shih Tzus are known to have problems with scented laundry soap, floor cleansers and spray or powdered carpet- freshening products.

Comments for Ongoing Allergy Problems with My 6-year Old Shih Tzu

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 08, 2016
by: Anonymous

WE have a 3 1/2 year old Shih Tzu we adopted about 1 1/2 ago. We have been EVERYWHERE trying to get treatments for his very bad allergies...Several Vets, An Allergy Specialist and a Homeopathic Vet. We have tried every kind of shampoo, accupunture, Peruvian flower drops, Chinese name it! The traditional vets gave him new medicines (Apoquel, Atopica, Monoclonal Antibodies.)

All these medicines made our dog lay around sick all day and/or gave him other bad side affects. Beware!

For the last three months I have been putting Stonyfield Lowfat Plain Yogurt in his food morning and night. He only gets about a level tablespoon each time. He loves it! It's always the first thing he eats on his plate even if I put something that dogs generally find delectable like liver, bacon, etc. Maybe he knows something we don't!!

The idea is to get the good bacteria in his colon strong so it boosts his immune system. His skin is now the best we've seen it in 1 1/2 years! Yogurt can't hurt your dog so it's worth a shot. Do not get yogurt that is sweetened and/or has fruit. Get Stonyfield plain that brand has the most bacteria cultures in it. Good Luck!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Shih Tzu Questions and Answers.