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A Pinch Of Woof And A Dash Of Paw : SHIH TZU

Shih Tzu- known for their long fur, their sleek pattern, and their adorable charm. Shih Tzus are a small/toy breed dog, adored and loved not only for their cuteness factor but also their positive behaviour. Shih Tzus are raised and idealised as perfect companion dogs for most dog owners who consider pets to be their furry kids. In today’s Blog we are going to dive into the world of Shih Tzu. So, buckle up!

Features: The Adorable Paws – Shih Tzu.

Origin: Tibet

Size: Small/Toy dog breed

Built: Lean

Height: Short

Coat: standard colours: Black, white, blue, red, silver, fawn.Combination coat: any two of the afore-mentioned colours.

Synonyms: Chrysanthemum Dog

Type: Companion dog breed.

Temperament: Affectionate, Calm, Loving


Males: 20–28 centimetres

Females:  20–28 centimetres

Weight: 4–7.5 kilograms

The Mystery History Of Shih Tzu:

Often, people associate Shih Tzus with China, however, these cute dogs trace their origin to Tibet, China’s neighbouring region. Shih Tzu was probably sent to China as a gift for the Chinese Royal family. The breeding between the then Shih Tzu’s and Chinese Pekingese ended up creating the now known Shih Tzu breed. This breed derives its name from the Mandarin language wherein the phrase ‘Shih Tzu’ translates to ‘Little Lion’. Despite its name translating as “Little Lion”, Shih Tzus have a calm and affectionate temperament and are an excellent family or companion dog.These dogs were associated with the Tibetan God of learning.

It is believed that these dogs acted as companions for God and could transform into a lion as and when needed for the purpose of protecting and guarding the deity. Statues of Shih tzu’s or the lion dogs were carved out of stone, jade, teak, ivory, cinnabar, bronze or ceramics and were often located outside guard palace doors, temples, etc as they were believed to protect these buildings from harmful individuals and spiritual influences. These statues are called Fu dogs, and it is believed that these are the lionized form of the Shih Tzu with legends stating that Fu dogs are happy Shih Tzus forever guarding the temple of Buddha.Although small in size, it is true, Shih Tzus are very well known for their largely happy- playful personality, and calm temperament. These pair of statues are thought to represent the male and the female dogs, and hold a symbolic meaning with the male statue representing powers over energy, and wisdom and the female dog symbolizing protection, and disciplinary attitude.

Star Dogs: it is believed that the Buddha blessed Shih Tzu for their courage as they protected the Buddha during a particular conflict. Many Shih Tzus reflect this blessing in the form of the “Star of Buddha,” represented as a white patch of hair on the top of Shih Tzu’s head.

Energy & More: Dyanamics & Shih Tzu’s

Energy is all that we need to carry out our daily functioning and this is a brainer that oxygen, too, is an extremely important part of this energy-deriving pathway. Blood, is the life-giving force that carries oxygen to all minute tissues of organs and also carries waste products from tissues to the lungs and orexcretory organs to expel out of the body. Iron is an essential mineral that is needed to make haemoglobin- a protein that carries fresh oxygen to various tissues and cells. This haemoglobin also carries waste gasses such as carbon-dioxide out of the tissues and subsequently out of the body via-lungs. Any deficiency in iron/other co-relatedsubstrates leads to anaemia. Shih Tzu can be prone to anaemia and the reasons for Anaemia could be:

Dietary Deficiency of Iron, Vitamin B complex, Folic Acid:

Iron, and Vitamin B-complex are essential in producing healthy blood cells and RBCs. Their deficiency invariably leads to anaemia and hampered energy metabolism. This type of anaemia is referred to as iron deficiency anaemia which occurs due to insufficient iron. This can be due to either-

 1] Iron-deficient diet or

 2] Inefficient absorption from the body (due to ulcers in the gastro-intestinal tract/ infections/ concurrent inflammation which leads to loss of mucous membrane of the alimentary tract resulting in blood loss for example in the case of parvo-viral enteritis)

Increased Destruction of RBCs: Haemolysis due to infection, etc:

Blood cells, like any other cells of our body have a life span of a certain specific number of days. Any abnormal destruction of these cells prior to their usual time leads to anaemia. Now, the number of blood cells formed and lost is at a constant level. Whenever this cycle is disturbed, we get – anaemia.

1] Certain infections such as tick-borne fever [Babesia, Ehrlichia, etc] cause haemolysis and loss of blood via haemorrhage.

2] Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia is one such condition wherein the self-body cells destroy the RBC’s considering it to be a foreign substance

3] Certain chemicals ortoxins e.g., zinc, rat poisons, onions, or garlic can cause immense haemolysis andthus to destroy RBCs rapidly.

Lowered production of RBC: Bone Marrow disorders:

RBCs are produced in the bone marrow of long bones. Due to any disease processes such as chronic kidneyor liver disease, aplastic anaemia, Cancer, chemicals or toxins autoimmunedisease, and hypothyroidism, the number of RBCs formed is drastically reduced. The destruction of RBCs is however normal, yet on the flip end, the production levels are very low due to certain medical conditions thereby leading to anaemia.

Loss of blood: Haemorrhagic conditions:

It could be due to any reasons such as ulceration or viral disease which attacks theintestine cells and cause bleeding due to invasive process for example Parvo-viral enteritis. Immune system disorder: Immune mediated haemolysis

Wait And Observe: Signs And Symtpoms.

Anaemia is a subtle disease and cannot be observed quickly. Signs and symptoms are often at times evident after a certain amount of time has passed.

  1. Your pet is lethargic: Lethargy is a lack of energy and enthusiasm which can be a non-specific sign asmany of the disease processes do make your pet feel all tired and dull. Your pet may exhibit signs of getting tired quickly [fatigued easily] and may seem to be a bit dull. They may often exhibit signs of lack of enthusiasm to play with toysetc.
  1. Pale Mucus Membranes:Your vet on check-up may check the mucus membranes of your pet, like for examplethe gums or inner ear or the eye – conjunctiva to check its colour. A Pink coloured mucusmembrane is considered to be normal and healthy. Whereas, pale mucus membraneoften hints at anaemia.

An Energic Fight: Fighting Anaemia

On the basis of medical history, your vet may suggest certain medical tests such as CBC, LFT, and KFT which tests the levels of platelets, WBCs, RBCs, Liver-functioning, Kidney-functioning, etc. Your vet will rule out or rule in various causes of anaemia, likementioned prior: Toxicity, Infections [Tick Fever/toxaemia], aplastic anaemia, perniciousanaemia [malabsorption] or dietary deficiency of folate, iron and b-complexvitamins.

Treatment Protocols: Medicines & Supplements

The treatment is usually based on the disease which has been diagnosed. Whether the cause lies in production or destruction, the treatment protocol is tailored accordingly. Usually, the focus lies on treating the root cause of anaemia, or in short by curing disease at the grassroots level. The disease- anaemia is an umbrella term. There are various paths that lead to it;thus, the treatment protocol will obviously vary. For example, if your pet has severe anaemia and is almost life-threatening, a bloodtransfusion will be needed. Your veterinarian will let you know the protocol for the same. The main purpose is to stabilize the dog while diagnosing the reason behindit.

On the basis of diagnosis, treatment protocol includes antibiotics (doxycycline/OTC for tick-fever associated cases), corticosteroids, and deworming drugs such as praziquantel (to prevent parasitic gastro-haemorrhagic anaemia). In cases of poisoning and toxicity, the treatment protocol is aimed at protecting the patient and preventing life-threatening complications.

Dietary Fix: Iron: No Anaemia Or Dullness Only Strength &Alertness: Iron Supplements.

Anaemia due to deficiency disorders can be fixed by supplementing dietary iron oriron-rich foods such as eggs or chicken liver [protein sources]. Also, there are ironsupplements to aid in the recovery process and help the body heal faster to cope up withanaemia. Me & My Iron supplement is one such supplement that helps by providing the necessary iron required for producing blood-cells. This helps to fix the deficiency of iron which subsequently fixes anaemia.

Me & My IRON Pet Supplement is Ideal for pets showing symptoms of anaemia,poor digestion, wasting of tissue, waxy appearance of skin and coat,neurasthenia, mental and physical exertion, loss of excess blood from small injuries,difficulty in breathing, etc. This helps our pets to get back stronger, to restore thevitality and come back stronger to play and run around the house once again!

Shih Tzus are quite smart, agile and protective dogs. They are quite alert and well-behaved. Due to certain diseases and inflammatory conditions, anaemia can be observed. However, with proper diet and supplements, anaemia can be kept at bay to ensure that your pet is stronger than ever. Me & My Iron supplement helps in cases of anaemia, digestive problems, malabsorption, blood loss, etc. which helps Shih Tzus be the little lion that they are- braver, stronger, better!

Happy pet parenting!

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