All animals have their fair share of health problems. Like other dogs, Shiba Inus should also have health problems that owners or aspiring owners should know about. So, just like me, you may ask yourself, do Shiba Inus have health problems?
Yes. Shiba Inus have several health problems, including allergies. Also, they’re prone to other health problems like glaucoma, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Cataracts, and Patellar Luxation. Shibas also get cancer. Generally, Shiba Inus are healthy dogs and hardly fall sick.
This guide explores various health problems that Shiba Inus are prone to and some tips for raising a healthy Shiba Inu.
Table of Contents
Do Shiba Inus Have Health Problems?
Yes, Shiba Inus have several health problems, including eye cataracts, glaucoma, and hip dysplasia.
Like other animals, Shiba Inus have their fair share of health problems. However, the primary threat with Shiba Inus is allergies. Shibas have both food and skin allergies.
Some food products that can cause allergies in Shiba Inus, also called allergens, include beef, chicken, Corn, Lamb, Soy, Dairy, and Wheat. Also, feeding your Shiba Inu food with these ingredients can cause gastric distress.
However, all Shiba Inus aren’t the same; they differ in the type of allergens that affect each. It’s easy to notice when your Shiba Inus experiences a food allergy. They won’t act normally and lack energy.
In addition to food allergies, Shiba Inus have environmental allergies, including dust, pollen, and mold. The three cause allergic reactions when they come into contact with your Shibas skin.
The third Shiba Inu allergen is flea bites. Shibas have an allergy to flea bites, but it hardly happens.
Now, let’s proceed to the diseases that Shibas are prone to.
What Diseases Are Shiba Inus Prone To?
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Eye Cataracts
- Patellar Luxation
- Hip Dysplasia
Learn more about each disease below;
Shiba Inus eyes are vulnerable to several complications, including glaucoma. It slowly interferes with the optic nerve in your Shibas eye.
However, it starts with a build-up of a whitish fluid in the front of the eye. This fluid creates pressure on the optic nerve, destroying it in the long run.
There are different types of glaucoma based on the severity. Thankfully, this disease is treatable to some extent. If you notice it early enough and inform the vet, they can do surgery to treat it.
In addition, if you fail to treat it, glaucoma causes partial vision loss. In the long run, it causes complete blindness.
There are drop treatments that treat the fluid building up inside your Shibas eyes. Also, surgery helps remove the fluid to correct the tissue.
2. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
PRA also affects Shiba Inu eyes. Besides, it is a degenerative disease. That means it can result from the genetics of your Shibas lineage.
It occurs due to failing photoreceptors at the back of Shiba Inus eyes. When the receptors begin to fail, your Shiba starts to experience difficulties seeing in the dark.
Vision loss continues to worsen as the disease progresses. After some time, the affected Shiba begin to experience difficulties seeing in broad daylight. The result is usually complete blindness.
Although there is no cure, diagnosis helps manage the condition. As such, there is enough time for the owner to prepare for blindness.
3. Eye Cataracts
Eye cataracts are common to senior adult Shiba Inus, those with 10+ years. It occurs in the last stages of Shiba Inu’s life.
Cataracts in your Shiba Inus can result from the opacity of the eye’s lens. In the end, the lens tears giving the pupil a “cloudy” appearance.
There are different types of eye cataracts in Shiba Inus. Thankfully, surgeries help manage the condition. In addition, there are treatments that treat eye cataracts.
4. Patellar Luxation
Patellar Luxation happens when your Shibas knee becomes weak and dislocates from its normal position. You’ll see that your Shibas kneecap shifts in and out of place.
Also, this condition results from being predisposed at birth. Injuries also cause Patellar Luxation. Corrective surgery helps but might not be a final solution.
The symptoms include abnormality of the gait and inability to walk due to pain. Their legs develop a lot of lameness, making your Shiba immobile.
Treatment depends on the degree of hindrance on the kneecaps. Since this condition is common in many dog breeds, various treatments exist.
It isn’t a life-threatening complication.
This condition often occurs to Shibas when the thyroid fails to develop ultimately. The thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism.
Therefore, incomplete development of the thyroid directly affects your Shibas metabolism. When Shibas are facing this condition, they become lethargic.
Other common signs include loss of hair and becoming obese. Your Shiba might also be having excess urination
If you observe any of these signs, you might want to test your Shiba Inus for hypothyroidism. If you fail to address it, it develops into a more severe condition.
Good enough, there is treatment medication that treats this disease.
Seizures in dogs aren’t similar to what humans know. They cause Shibas to run around ceaselessly, find corners to hide in confusion, bark excessively, and freeze.
Seizures aren’t life-threatening to Shiba Inus. Besides, hardly will you experience a seizure with your Shiba Inus. They rarely occur. Seizures can tell of a more severe condition within your Shibas body.
If your Shiba experiences a seizure, mind seeing your vet. Ensure they diagnose your pooch friend.
Seizures resulting from epilepsy are treatable using medication.
Allergies are a common occurrence in Shiba Inus. Allergens are likely to affect Shiba in summer-like climates or warmer areas.
When your Shiba has allergies, they develop runny eyes, excess sneezing, and swollen eyes. Also, other signs include clogging of the nasal passage, causing mucus flow.
If you observe the signs above, your Shiba Inu is experiencing allergies. You should take the necessary measures immediately.
Allergies in Shibas spur from various things, including food, products, and airborne components.
See your vet’s assistance as soon as possible. They’ll help you diagnose whether your Shiba is suffering from allergies.
This condition occurs in female Shibas after spaying. When the heat cycle comes, cell growth in the uterus is at its highest, triggers bacteria to migrate there, and can cause a severe infection.
This condition is a bit more prominent with female Shibas.
9. Hip Dysplasia
This condition affects all dog breeds, not Shiba Inus alone. However, it’s common in heavy dogs with a muscular body.
Dip dysplasia results from displacement of the thighbone and hip joint. The effects of this condition on your Shiba Inus include lameness in the legs, the presence of an abnormal gait, and difficulty when walking.
Also, it causes varying degrees of pain to your Shiba Inus, thus resulting in immobility. There are tons of treatments for this condition.
However, dogs normally correct their gait and continue living perfectly healthy lives. Extreme cases require corrective surgery.
Hip Dysplasia isn’t a life-threatening condition. It varies a lot in severity.
Cancer in dogs is an emerging issue of concern. It doesn’t only affect Shiba Inus but affects all dog breeds.
Cancer isn’t particularly rampant with Shiba Inus and results from an overgrowth of malignant cells. The symptoms include swelling and sores with difficulty healing.
You’ll also observe excessive bleeding from your Shibas openings, difficulty breathing, and bloating.
11. Chylothorax (Do Shiba Inus Have Health Problems)
This disease results from an accumulation of fluid in your Shibas chest. Thus, it causes a lack of appetite, coughing, wheezing, and extreme fatigue. It may also cause general body weakness.
It indicates the presence of a more serious health condition within your Shibas body. Its treatment involves removing the fluid.
Also, you can incorporate a low-fat diet for your fur friend. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary to correct the condition.
Tips To Avoid Shiba Inus Health Problems and Raise a Healthy Shiba
- Going For Routine Checkups
- Visiting A Veterinary Ophthalmologist
- Grooming Your Shiba Inus
- Proper Diet and Exercise
What’s the importance of each of the above tips;
1. Going For Routine Checkups
After you purchase a new pup, don’t bypass the first shots for the pup. You can ask the breeder or the person selling you the Shiba pup.
These shots set your puppy ready to become part of your family. Also, follow-up visits are necessary over time.
Don’t only bring your pooch friend when you suspect something. You can have regular visits to the vet to diagnose your Shiba. They can also check for emerging health problems.
Regular checkups keep your Shiba Inus healthy. They also give your Shiba a healthy lifestyle. So, ensure to visit your vet regularly even when your Shiba is perfectly okay.
Regular visits help you to track your Shibas progress. You also manage to identify your Shibas aging pattern.
Through the checkups, your vet can identify anything malignant brewing. Diagnosing conditions earlier increases the chances of successful treatment.
2. Visit A Veterinary Ophthalmologist
Shiba Inus have severe eye problems. Therefore, visiting this specialist helps diagnose any underlying conditions within your Shibas eyes.
Also, this process helps you identify any pre-existing conditions. They also diagnose whether your Shibas eyes are developing correctly.
Also, if you feel like your Shiba has impaired vision, visit as soon as possible. Most eye problems in Shibas become severe with time.
Therefore, the earlier you visit an eye specialist, the better the chances of recovery. If your vet fails to diagnose these problems early, they can easily cause vision loss.
3. Grooming Your Shiba Inus
Grooming is a necessity with Shiba Inus. Shibas shed their coats year-round, so you need to groom them regularly. This can be twice every week.
Grooming is an act of promoting your Shibas hygiene. Remember, grooming involves cleaning your fur friends’ teeth as well. So, brush your Shibas teeth at least once a day.
Brushing your Shibas teeth keeps away tartar or bacteria buildups. As such, ensure to clean your Shibas teeth.
Also, trimming your Shibas nails is part of grooming. If your Shiba doesn’t wear them down naturally, help cut them.
You should examine your Shiba Inus weekly to discover any abnormalities. So, ensure to probe their eyes, nose, mouth, and coat for any suspicious conditions.
You should look for redness, infection, inflammation, rashes, parasites, and bruising.
Begin grooming your Shiba early on in life. They start finding it less challenging and stop the cries.
4. Diet And Exercise (Do Shiba Inus Have Health Problems)
While Shibas aren’t gluttonous, you must ensure a balanced diet for your Shiba Inus. That way, you keep them in good health and encourage healthy growth.
While selecting the diet for your Shiba Inus, check their allergens. Notice the food products that your Shiba is allergic to. Keep these foods out of your Shibas diet.
Also, ensure to purchase high-quality food. Of course, you must create time every day to take your Shiba Inus for a walk or run. Shibas need exercise daily.
Monitor your Shibas growth so that they don’t gain excess weight. That said, make exercise more frequent.
However, as your Shiba ages, they continue to lose the motivation to exercise. So, you might want to play the role of being a motivator.
Shibas are also resilient to illnesses. They’re so independent and have a propensity for being healthy. You must master ways to keep your Shiba Inus healthy.
Therefore, prepare, educate, and stay diligent. Ensure you’re a responsible owner. That way, you’ll keep that beautiful and royal canine around you for long.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Shiba Inus Have Digestive Problems?
Shiba Inus have digestive problems, primarily due to food allergens. Therefore, identify your Shibas food allergens and keep them off his diet.
Thankfully, this condition needs natural remedies or supplements to do away with it. If your Shiba has excess vomiting and diarrhea, visit the vet as soon as possible.
Do Shiba Inus Have Breathing Problems?
The condition that causes breathing problems is Chylothorax. This condition leads to a fluid buildup in your Shibas chest.
As a result, the tissues within start to inflame. So, they narrow breathing space and constrict the lungs. The result is breathing problems.
Are Shiba Inus Prone to Separation Anxiety?
Yes. Shiba Inus are prone to separation anxiety. This happens when you separate them from their owner.
Separation anxiety manifests itself in pacing, biting, drooling, or having excess destructive behavior.
Are Shiba Inus Prone to Ear Infections?
Shiba Inus have a skin allergy known as “atopy,” which makes them rub their ears and face causing ear infections.
Also, if your Shiba is the type that likes playing in the water, then skin infections might be common.
Are Shiba Inus Allergic to Anything?
Shiba Inus are allergic to several products. They include food allergy, skin allergy, and bites by fleas.
Food allergy comes from such foods as beef and chicken. Their skin is allergic to pollen, especially when they visit new environments.
Do Shiba Inus Have Knee or Hip Problems?
Shiba Inus face several knee and hip problems, including hip dysplasia. This condition isn’t life-threatening.
This happens when your Shibas knee dislocates from its usual position.
Concluding Sentiments, Do Shiba Inus Have Health Problems?
Like other dog breeds, Shiba Inus have their fair share of health problems. However, common health problems in Shibas affect their eyes.
In addition, Shibas have several allergens. Therefore, if these allergens come into contact with their bodies, your Shiba becomes allergic.
Various health problems affect Shibas like Progressive Retinal Atrophy ‘Atrophy,’ cancer, patellar luxation, and seizures, among many others.
That said, you need to visit the vet regularly with your Shiba for check-ups. It helps detect health problems before they worsen.
A proper diet and exercise also help counter health problems in Shiba Inus. So, ensure to give your Shiba the best diet and frequent exercise.