Shih Poo Health Issues You Must Know About

Shih Poo is a Shih Tzu and Miniature Poodle cross. It is a small-sized dog that has become very popular within the last decade. Also known as Shoodle and Pooshih, it is a low-shedding breed. It is intelligent, friendly, playful, and does well with its owners.

Before getting any new dog breed, it is important to know the pros and cons of having that specific breed. Most importantly, you must know about health-related issues, temperament, pros and cons, grooming, and maintenance, etc.

So, if you are looking for Shih Poo health-related issues and want to know about the diseases they are prone to, you are at the right place. In this post, we are going to list the diseases a Shih Poo pup can get during its life.

Also, it is essential to search and find the most reputable breeder that performs the necessary health tests of all their dogs and puppies. Furthermore, they should be a certified and recognized breeder and not a puppy mill.

Now, let’s find more about Shih Poo’s health below.

Common diseases a Shih Poo may inherit from its parents?

From Poodle:

Although all the dogs are prone to several common diseases and viruses such as parvovirus, there are certain diseases that are specific to certain breeds. Similarly, Poodles are prone to several health conditions. Some of the most common conditions that a Shih Poo may inherit from the Poodle are:

  • Eye problems
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Sebaceous Adenitis

From Shih Tzu

Overall, the Shih Tzu is a healthy breed, still, it may develop some medical conditions, and most of them are because of its small size. Some of the diseases a Shih Poo puppy can inherit from the Shih Tzu are:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Dental diseases
  • Breathing problems
  • Several eye conditions (PRA, corneal dryness, cataract, and retinal detachment)

Shih Poo Health and Diseases

Sebaceous Adenitis

Sebaceous Adenitis is a rare skin disease that is found in some specific dog breeds, as well as, horses, rabbits, and cats. In dogs, some breeds such as Poodle and Samoyed are prone to Sebaceous Adenitis. So, being a Poodle cross, the Shih Poo may inherit it from Poodle.

Sebaceous Adenitis is a skin disorder that occurs when an inflammatory disease affects the Sebaceous Glands (the glands responsible for producing and secreting natural skin oils). The damage of the Sebaceous Glands causes Sebaceous Adenitis that results in hair loss, dandruff, moth-eaten appearance to the coat, and nodular skin lesions. The exact reason for this skin disease is unknown yet.


Unfortunately, there is no cure to Sebaceous Adenitis and they may need to be treated for the whole life. You may need to use antiseptic and antibiotic shampoos, anti-inflammatory therapy, or some common dietary supplements such as Vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids, etc.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a group of genetic diseases of the retina in dogs, commonly in some specific breeds of dogs such as Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Poodle, Mastiffs, Siberian Husky, and many others. Shih Poo inherits it from Poodles and it can lead to blindness. A puppy can inherit it from either one or both the parents.

Also known as PRA, Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a painless disease but the quality of your dog’s life is affected a bit. If you feel your Shih Poo or any other dog feels difficulty seeing, you must get them checked by a vet.


Unfortunately, there is no cure to PRA till now. The best way to prevent other dogs from getting this cursed disease is to avoid breeding of the dogs that already have developed PRA.

Related: How to take care of blind and deaf dogs

Hip Dysplasia

If you have been dealing with dogs for a long time, “Hip Dysplasia” is the word you would not like to hear ever. It is a skeletal disease that occurs due to the malfunction of your dog’s hip joint. Mostly, the large-sized dogs develop this painful condition but the smaller dogs may also get it.

A Shih Poo may inherit this genetic disease from Poodle so it is always better to check with the breeder for the parents’ health documents. Also, if your dog refuses to exercise or walk, you should see your vet urgently.


Well, there are several treatment options for hip dysplasia such as joint supplements, physical therapies, medications, and joint fluid modifiers. Additionally, there are several surgical options available to treat hip dysplasia. It all depends on the severity of the condition and your vet will be able to figure out how should it be treated.

Gum Diseases

Poor dental hygiene, plaque and tartar, loose teeth, and bad breath are among some of the dental diseases your Shih Poo may get. Actually, one of the Shih Poo’s parent breeds; Shih Tzu is prone to dental diseases and the puppies may also get that.

It is highly recommended to brush your pup’s teeth regularly to avoid most of the oral and dental diseases and keep a tight check on it. These diseases can later lead to some serious health conditions and can affect the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys.


Prevention is better than cure. If you take care of their oral health from an early age, it will benefit you a lot later in their adulthood. Along with that, regular checkup by the vet and necessary tests are also recommended. If somehow your Shih Poo dog develop such conditions, you should take him to the vet ASAP who will treat it as per requirements because there are several stages of periodontal diseases.

Patellar luxation

Patellar Luxation or Kneecap Dislocation is a condition in which the dog’s kneecap is dislocated from its normal position. Then it takes a few minutes to get back to the normal position and your dogs may hold their hind legs till then.

Most of the small-sized breeds such as Mini Bernedoodle, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, and Boston Terrier are prone to Patellar Luxation. Being a small-sized dog, the Shih Poo may also develop Patellar Luxation.


There are several ways to treat patellar luxation in dogs that depend on the grade of the disease. Usually, Grade, I and Grade II are treated through medications while the Grade III and Grade IV instances are treated through surgeries.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca is a common condition of the cornea in dogs and is also known as “Dry Eye”. It causes when microscopic tear glands of the eyes are damaged and do not lubricate the cornea of the eye. And, it results in inflammation and irritation, and your pups may hold their eyes shut to avoid irritation. It may also reduce your dog’s vision if the conditions are severe and not treated well.


There are a couple of ophthalmic medications that are helpful in stimulating tear production, and if consistently used, they improve dramatically.

Final words:

So, these were the seven most common diseases a Shih Poo may develop. To avoid most of the genetic issues and diseases, it is recommended to get a Shih Poo puppy from a reputable Shih Poo breeder and ask for the health certificates and other necessary information before you get a dog.

Recommended read:

All About Irish Doodle

Leave a Reply