A little tidbit to remind some of you that have been owned by a Tzu for some time now.
As you all know Shih tzu are "Brachycephalic" The word comes from Greek roots "Brachy," meaning short and "cephalic," meaning head. Brachycephalic dogs have been bred so as to possess a normal lower jaw, that is, one in proportion to their body size, and a compressed upper jaw.
Because their faces are shorter they are more prone to developing dental problems. This is one of the trade offs we sacrifice when we chose a breed of dog that was created for cosmetic appearances. Make sure to have your Shih Tzu teeth checked on his or her next check up. Dont neglect their teeth, It can cause systemic illness and early organ dysfunction which can lead to early death.
You might wonder how disease in the mouth can cause systemic illness and early organ dysfunction which can lead to an untimely death of the pet.
loads of bacteria find their way into the circulation every day. These bacteria can form cute little cauliflower-like growths on the delicate valve leaflets in the heart. Rotten teeth and heart murmors seem to go hand and hand.
Second problem... If bacteria are constantly causing a threat to the body the animals immune system has to fight them off or die of overwhelming bacterial septicemia. While fighting off the bacterial invasion from the teeth, globulins are formed (a protein) by the animals' immune system. Excess quantities of globulins (or proteins) can plug the tiny filters in the kidneys and cause a condition called amyloidosis. Kidneys are an essential organ needed to maintain life. Once they are destroyed there is no regeneration! Without a kidney transplant the animal will die.
Please read more about tooth care at www.shihtzukisses.com/teeth.htm