Shih Poo Health Issues You Must Know About

This small-sized loving dog is a cross between Shih Tzu and Miniature Poodle. Also known as Shoodle and Pooshih, it is a low-shedding breed. It is an intelligent breed with friendly behavior and playful nature that does well with its owners.

If you have decided to get a Shih Poo puppy and looking for health-related issues of this breed, look no further. Because, in this post, we are going to list the diseases a Shih Poo may get during its life.

So, 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 may get common diseases and viruses (if not vaccinated) such as parvovirus, there are certain diseases that are specific to certain breeds. Similarly, Poodles may develop various health conditions. Some of the most common conditions that a Shih Poo puppy 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)

Common Health Conditions and Diseases a Shih Poo may Develop

Sebaceous Adenitis

Sebaceous Adenitis is a rare skin disease that is found in specific dog breeds, as well as, horses, rabbits, and cats. The dog breeds that are more likely to develop Sebaceous Adenitis are Standard Poodle, Samoyed, Vizsla, and Akita. So, most probably, the Shih Poo may inherit it from its Poodle parent.

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 for Sebaceous Adenitis and the affected dogs may need to be treated for their 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, and Siberian Husky, etc. Shih Poo inherits it from Poodles and it can lead to blindness.

Also known as PRA, Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a painless disease but your dog’s way of life and routine 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 for PRA at the moment. The best way to prevent other dogs from getting this cursed disease is to avoid breeding 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 never like to hear. It is a skeletal disease that occurs due to the malfunction of the 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 suddenly, 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 the vet would 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 a 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 them. These diseases can later lead to some serious health conditions and can even affect the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys.


Prevention is better than cure. If you take care of their oral health from an early age and make it a habit, it will benefit you a lot later in their adulthood. Along with that, It is also highly recommended to visit the vet regularly. If somehow your Shih Poo dog develops such conditions, you should take him to the vet ASAP to get them treated as per the severity of the condition 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 the pup may hold its hind legs till then.

Many small-sized breeds such as Mini Bernedoodle, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, and Boston Terrier can develop 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. It results in inflammation and irritation, and your pups may hold their eyes shut to avoid irritation. Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca 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 six 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

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