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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. I am concerned that what you are seeing is not vaginal edema but rather a bacterial infection that is spreading up her reproductive tract. Especially with a firm abdomen in a female dog that is not spayed, I worry about a pyometra or uterine infection. Is it possible that she is pregnant? Either way, I would take her to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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Shih Tzus normally carry their tail over their back. However, when stressed, that tail will drop. In instances of severe stress or fear, your Shih Tzu`s tail may even be clamped down, hanging straight along her back legs. She may also hunch her body and even cower or try to hide.
While shih poos tend to be long-lived, with some living 17 years or more, they can be predisposed to the same health problems as their parent breeds. These include allergies, patellar luxation, vision problems and endocrine disorders such as Addison`s disease, hypothyroidism and Cushing`s disease.
In an elderly dog such as a Shih tzu, this type of behavior can have many causes. We would consider progressed arthritis, spondylosis, intervertebral disc disease etc. It sounds like she is in pain and she needs a vet check. The vet may also advise some imaging such as xrays.
Whether caused by excessive swimming, playing or hunting, limber tail can last for around 1-2 weeks. A limp tail can be a symptom of problems other than frozen tail syndrome, such as lower back and tail damage, a neurological problem, or even nutritional issues. Not sure what`s wrong with your dog?
Limber tail syndrome, or acute caudal myopathy, is a relatively common condition in which a dog`s tail either drops down from the base or extends horizontally three or four inches and then continues downward. It is also known as: Broken wag.
While it is a change to main meals that can often cause upset stomach with this breed, some Shih Tzu are also sensitive to a change in snacks and treats. A difference in levels of fat, a high amount of additives or coloring or just intolerance to a newly introduced ingredient may be enough to cause an upset tummy.
Bathe Every Two Weeks or as Needed

White Shih-Poo puppy fur seems to soak mud up like a sponge. But generally, he gets a bath every two weeks.

If your dog is suddenly unable or unwilling to jump or go up stairs, is reluctant to move around, has a hunched back, cries out, or refuses to eat or go potty, he is likely in severe pain. He may even experience sudden paralysis—he may drag his back feet or be unable to get up or use his back legs.
Heart failure is a leading cause of death in older shih tzus, and 75% of the heart disease is caused by valve deterioration. If your dog has a heart murmur or physical signs that suggest heart problems, we`ll do perform diagnostic testing to determine the severity of the disease.
Shih Poo vs Shih Tzu: Size. Shih Tzus are typically larger than Shih Poos. Both dogs stand under 10.5 inches in height, but Shih Poos tend to weigh much less at 4-15 pounds compared to Shih Tzus at 9-16 pounds. Shih Poos may fall at either end of the spectrum, being larger like a Shih Tzu or tiny like a Toy Poodle.
Shih Tzus are typically considered to be smart dogs and have even been to assist farmers and tradesmen in the past. However, Shih Tzus can also be stubborn at times. Shih Tzu`s intelligence varies from individual to individual, but most people agree they are pretty good problem solvers.
Conditions such as prostate trouble, anal gland inflammation and osteoarthritis may cause your pet to hold his tail down to counteract pain and discomfort. Any dog can be affected by a limp tail, although dogs with longer tails tend to be affected more often.
If your dog`s tail is carried downward, closer to its hind legs it can mean several things such as “I`m not feeling good” or “I`m a little depressed.” It could also mean “I feel insecure,” which is especially true of many dogs when they are in an unknown or new setting or situation.
Licking is a natural and instinctive behaviour to dogs. For them it`s a way of grooming, bonding, and expressing themselves. Your dog may lick you to say they love you, to get your attention, to help soothe themselves if they`re stressed, to show empathy or because you taste good to them!
Tail tightly tucked between hind legs: Often, this indicates submission and extreme vulnerability from your dog. Tail partially tucked between legs: Indicates your pup is submissive but frightened. If you aren`t careful, the dog may attack you or others.
Most dogs that eat their own poop are being fed enough, so it may seem that this cannot be due to hunger. This sort of behavior can be seen with dogs of all ages, from young pups to seniors. In most cases, this will be a chronic, on-going problem until the owner makes appropriate changes.
While every owners wishes for their Shih Tzu puppy to sleep through the night, many will have disrupted sleeping patterns, some even sleeping most of the day instead of at night. Out of a 24 hour period, a Shih Tzu puppy will generally sleep 16 to 20 hours.
For 2-4 days, a bland home cooked diet should be given. This can included: white breast chicken meat (boiled, no skin), white rice, cottage cheese, soft cooked pasta (plain, no butter, no sauce), and/or plain cooked oatmeal. Try a few different foods to see which ones your Shih Tzu prefers while he/she is recovering.
After they tire out, shih-poos will enjoy cuddling up on your lap for the rest of the evening. This hybrid breed loves to be a constant companion and shouldn`t be left alone for long periods of time. He`ll do best with an owner who`s a homebody or who will take him along on errands and adventures.
Poop left on your dog`s hiney can cause itching and irritation. If poo left on his skin becomes too dry, wiping might not be enough, you may need to bathe him. Though a bath for poop removal may only need a small amount of water, having your puppy sit in the water can help loosen or soften to poop for easier cleaning.
A daily full bath is more than what most dogs need. So a bath mixed with rinsing or wiping him down is a very good plan. You can tell if his skin is getting too dry if you see seborrhea (“dandruff”) or dry skin flakes. If his skin looks healthy – you are probably doing just fine and not over-doing it.
What are the typical signs of pain in dogs? General behaviour: Shaking, flattened ears, low posture, aggression, grumpy temperament, panting or crying, excessive licking or scratching a specific area, reluctant to play, interact or exercise, lameness (limping), stiffness after rest, loss of appetite.
On this note, research shows that dogs can sense depression, and many of them even respond lovingly to their humans in an attempt to cheer them up. In the same way that we pay attention to their behavior, dogs also pay attention to our actions to determine our “energy” that day.
How long do shih tzus live? The average longevity of a Shih Tzu is 13 years, with the majority lasting between 10 and 16 years. At 23 years old, the world`s oldest Shih Tzu is still alive and well.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My shiu poo has vigina endma I have tried yogurt and it went down but came back even worse her belly is getting hard now what should I do now
ANSWER : A. I am concerned that what you are seeing is not vaginal edema but rather a bacterial infection that is spreading up her reproductive tract. Especially with a firm abdomen in a female dog that is not spayed, I worry about a pyometra or uterine infection. Is it possible that she is pregnant? Either way, I would take her to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Read Full Q/A … :

Q. My 20 month Cavalier doesn’t eat unless I let him eat from my finger, then he eats. Sometimes he will only eat once a day and leave his food.
ANSWER : A. It is possible that your dog is just not satisfied with his current food, or may be a picky eater. There are several things you can try to encourage your dog to eat.

The first step is to remove any additional treats or people food that may be more enticing to your dog than his own meal. If you feel you must give him some form of treat, be sure to place them directly in his food bowl and mixed with his regular diet. This allows him to get some snacks while also “forcing” him to try out his current meal to get the reward.

Enticing your dog to try his food by adding a pet-safe gravy or even a few treats of plain boiled chicken mixed in can help. Be sure to mix the foods thoroughly so he must explore his own food before getting the treat.

Some small breed dogs may also have a hard time with certain bowls and their collars. If there is a metal name tag on the collar and a metal bowl, the clinking sound can sometimes scare off dogs and make them not want to eat from their bowl. Using a bowl of a different material, or removing the collar prior to a meal may help with this issue.

Your dog may also just not be into his current food and may like another variety better. You can try a new variety by gradually switching over a period of 7-9 days, slowly adding in more new food and removing old until it is switched. This change may encourage him to try out meals again, and the slow changeover will allow his body to adjust to the new diet without digestive upset.

Q. Why does my puppy eat his poop.
ANSWER : A. There is no clear answer yet. There are some theories but they are not been demonstrated to be certain. Id it’s only his poop is easy, remove them before your puppy gets it. Try to ignore that behavior is the other good advice because is well known that if you punish or shout your puppy because you catch it your puppy is getting your attention immediately and that’s what they want even if is not positive. In some occasions owner that are been punishing their dogs after pooing at home is a trigger for those dogs to try to hide the proof in that case eating the poo, no poo no punishment. Try to ignore it, remove as many as you can and just in case increase the fiber on the diet.

Q. Husband shamed dog for having an accident inside, and now she won’t poop when he takes her out. Can we fix this? He realizes he erred
ANSWER : A. Good on your husband for realizing that scolding is not the way to potty train! Hopefully these tips can help both him and your pup get back on the right track and make pottying outside successful.

If your dog is still a puppy, that is good news as you may be able to more easily time your potty outings with your dog’s schedule. Even if your dog is older, this schedule may help. Dogs generally have to go potty about 15 minutes after eating, drinking, waking up or playing. Knowing this, get your husband to start taking out your puppy at these key times, so puppy gets used to going out with him, and the urge to potty may be higher than any fear to go. If the potty is successful, have your husband reward the dog with a favorite treat! For bowel movements, dogs may take a little more time, and you may have to stand outside for a while (sometimes even 10 minutes) to give your dog a chance to go. If she doesn’t go, take her back inside and play some, then try again in about 15 minutes. Again, a success equals a treat which most dogs will like right away!

For any indoor potty accidents that occurred, an enzymatic cleaner is great for cleaning up urine and stool. Not only does it remove the stain and smell, but it breaks down the enzymes in the urine and stool your dog can smell, which may deter her from going potty there again.

Q. My Bulldog puppy growls, barks and even tries to bite me when I say “no” to him. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. First, avoid scolding him and acting aggressively towards him if you don’t want him to be acting aggressively towards you. There are other methods you can use to communicate to your dog that you don’t want him to continue doing what he is doing. I recommend you stop telling him “no”, scolding him, or raising your voice at him. Everything coming from you should be 100% positive and 100% calm.

Try to figure out ways to clearly communicate what you want to your dog. If you want your dog to leave something or someone alone, I strongly suggest teaching your dog commands like “leave it”. Here is a link to a video in which I explain how to do it:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

Another thing I suggest you use is a no-reward marker. This clearly communicates when your dog has done something wrong. No-reward markers have to be introduced during your training sessions. You should be doing at least three training sessions per day, that are something like 3-10 minutes long (working on different things each training session). If you are teaching your dog something BRAND NEW, do not use the no-reward marker, as you do not want to discourage your dog from performing behaviors for you. Use the no-reward marker for known behaviors only. Here is another helpful video about this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdU5a6fXKlg

Lure each new behavior (as shown in the video) using high value treats. Let’s say you’re working on “down” which is a behavior your dog knows fairly well. Present the treat to your dog. Ask your dog to “down” (only ask once). If he does not go “down” immediately, say, “uh-oh” or “eh-eh” in a gentle tone, and then place the treat behind your back. This communicates to your dog that they did something to make the treat go away.

After you place the treat behind your back to show your pup “that was wrong” you need to communicate to your pup “let’s try again” by getting your pup to walk around for a second, and then start the behavior all over again. If your puppy is very young, chances are you haven’t taught him a solid “down” behavior yet. So, as I said, do not use this method until you have lured each new behavior as shown in the video.

This is the order in which you should teach behaviors: Lure using a high value treat as shown in the video. After a few successful food lures, lure with an empty hand. If the pup is successful with the empty hand lure, reward with lots of treats. If the pup is unsuccessful, then go back to food-luring a couple more times. After a few successful empty-hand lures, you can begin to add the cue. Say “sit”, then lure with an empty hand, and then reward. Once your pup understands the cue, begin to work on the no-reward marker.

Q. My puppy will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. I’ve had her for a week now, and she still isn’t responding to any training or her name. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. Try clicker training her to come when called. Clicker training is an effective way of training you dog to not only come when called, but can be used to teach a variety of tricks and tasks.

Have treats on hand that you know she loves, then simply click and treat. She will come to associate the sound with getting a treat. Start putting distance between you so she has to come to you. Call and click and when she comes to you for that treat, treat him and give her lots of praise. Move to hiding somewhere in the house, call and click. When she comes to you reliably inside when you call, click and treat. When this behavior is consistent, move outdoors with a very long leash. Call and click, if she doesn’t respond, give a light tug on the leash. If she takes even a single step toward you, click, treat and lots of praise. Keep doing this until she comes eagerly. Next, try her off-leash in a securely fenced area. Call and click. At this point she should be responding well and coming easily to the call and click. If she does not, go back to the last step she performed reliably and work on that again until she responds well. Eventually, you can start not treating her every time, but still praise her. Gradually lessen the frequency of the treats until she comes just to the click and praise.

Keep training sessions short, ten or fifteen minutes to start, no more than 30 minutes at a time and do it a few times a day. Try not to do it any time she is overly excited so that she can pay attention to you. Always end a training session on a good note, even if it is just getting him to do something she already does well on command. And never, NEVER punish a dog when they come to you, no matter how far they’ve made you chase them, no matter how frustrated and angry you might be. That teaches your dog that coming to you is a bad thing.

Q. Why is my son’s cat continually licking her belly to the point the hair is falling out and a sore has developed? She is 12 yrs old inside cat.
ANSWER : A. Many things can cause this such as allergies, auto immune disease,etc. However it could be as simple as your cat is bored or stressed out. Have you had any enviromental changes lately that couild be stressing your feline friend out? Outdoor cats are accustomed to chasing, hunting, and playing with all sorts of critters. Sometimes indoor kitties need added stimulation to keep them “sane”. Try gsetting your cat some toys to play with. A laser pointer can be a great interaction toy for the two of you to play with. You can also try getting your fury friend a scratching post or a cat tower that will allow him/her to sit and look out the window. A good product for stressed out kitties is Feliway. Feliway is a pheremoene that mimics pheromones produced by recent mothers to kittens. This product comes in a plug-in diffuser or a spray and is available over the counter at most animal hospitals. The spray form of Feliway can be particularly usefull to calm kitties who get stressed when put in a cat carrier. Simply spray Feliway in your carrier before you load your cat up. If none of the above has worked it sounds like it is time to use this technique to get yourcat into the carrier and to the vet. There they can perform diagnostics such as skin cytologies, allergy testing, skin scrapes to determine what the problem is.
One thing i forgot to mention at the beginning is you certainly need to rule out fleas as the cause. If a cat has a flea allergy just one flea bite can drive them crazy and cause them to lick thier belly raw and hairless. Revolution is a great monthly topicall product for fleas,heartworms, and intestinal parasites. Even indoor cats need flea protection. Good luck!

Q. We have a 4 yr old lab-pit mix we raise from 6 weeks.If my husband tries to take hin by the collar and make him go out to pottie he growls.Problem?
ANSWER : A. This is not good behavior. Rather than take him by the collar, call him to come with you. If he’s not good about coming when called, you can work on that. Keeps treats on hand to to entice him out and reward him when he does go potty and he’ll come to look forward to it. Clicker training is another great way to teach a dog all kinds of things, from obedience to tricks.

Have treats on hand that you know he loves, then simply click and treat. He will come to associate the sound with getting a treat. Start putting distance between you so he has to come to you. Call and click and when he comes to you for that treat, treat him and give him lots of praise. Move to hiding somewhere in the house, call and click. When he comes to you reliably inside when you call, click and treat. When this behavior is consistent, move outdoors with a very long leash. Call and click, if he doesn’t respond, give a light tug on the leash. If he takes even a single step toward you, click, treat and lots of praise. Keep doing this until he comes eagerly. Next, try him off-leash in a securely fenced area. Call and click. At this point he should be responding well and coming easily to the call and click. If he does not, go back to the last step he performed reliably and work on that again until he responds well. Eventually, you can start not treating him every time, but still praise him. Gradually lessen the frequency of the treats until he comes just to the click and praise.

Keep training sessions short, ten or fifteen minutes to start, no more than 30 minutes at a time and do it a few times a day. Try not to do it any time he is overly excited so that he can pay attention to you. Always end a training session on a good note, even if it is just getting him to do something he already does well on command. And never, NEVER punish a dog when they come to you, no matter how far they’ve made you chase them, no matter how frustrated and angry you might be. That teaches your dog that coming to you is a bad thing.

Read Full Q/A … : Causes of Limping in Dogs