Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It is extremely unlikely that pigeon droppings have anything to do with the loss of vision or hair and I urge you to get this fully investigated as soon as possible as many causes of blindness such as glaucoma are extremely painful and require urgent treatment to maximize any chance of recovery

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Cataracts are a common cause of blindness in older Shih Tzus. We`ll watch for the lenses of his eyes to become more opaque—meaning they look cloudy instead of clear—when we examine him. Many dogs adjust well to losing their vision and get along just fine.
Shih tzus in particular are prone to eye problems, because of their shallow, less protective, eye sockets. With these protruding eyes comes the potential for a condition called retinal detachment.
The most common treatment is antibiotics for dog eye infection. If a dog eye infection is not responding to antibiotics, let your vet know. Nonbacterial eye infections might warrant ointments or eyewashes to soothe and heal your dog`s eyes.
Trachoma causes more vision loss and blindness than any other infection in the world.
Dogs can go blind for a number of reasons, from disease to old age. Some of the most common reasons for blindness in dogs are cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, and suddenly acquired retinal degeneration (also known as SARDS). Certain breeds and sexes are also more susceptible to blindness.
canthal entropion, various trichiasis problems, dermoids, third eyelid gland prolapse, chronic keratitis and corneal ulcers, progressive retinal atrophy, vitreal syneresis, and retinal detachment.
Cataracts in dogs are removed using a technique called phacoemulsification. This procedure uses an ultrasonic device to break up and remove the cloudy lens from the dog`s eye. This is the same procedure that is used in cataract surgery on people.
Although over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops and ointments can soothe uncomfortable symptoms in humans, it is not recommended to use them for dogs without being advised by a veterinarian to do so.
Although visiting a vet is always recommended, there are natural remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of a dog eye infection. These include chamomile tea bags, saline solution, and plantain or calendula tincture.
With appropriate treatment, bacterial conjunctivitis is usually fully resolved within 5 to 7 days. Viral conjunctivitis can take up to 3 to 4 weeks for full resolution. Allergic conjunctivitis will persist until the underlying allergen is discovered and eliminated.
How long does a dog eye injury take to heal? Depending on the type of injury this could be a few days to weeks. A simple corneal ulcer should heal within 7 days and an eyelid injury that has been surgically repaired should heal within 7-10 days.
Can Blindness Be Reversed in Dogs? Most of the time, blindness is a permanent condition that cannot be reversed, such as with SARDs. If the blindness is caused by an underlying condition such as diabetes, Cushing`s Syndrome, or hypertension, the treatment of the condition can help your dog`s blindness.
In many cases, a dog that seems blind can still see some light and shapes. You might notice these dogs turning their head when a light comes on or following you with their eyes when you walk past them.
Sometimes blindness is a natural result of conditions associated with old age. For other dogs, it comes on quickly when they are quite young. Common blindness-causing conditions include cataracts and glaucoma, as well as Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome, or SARDS.
Most diabetic dogs will develop cataracts and go blind.
Dry eye in dogs can be an immune-mediated condition, meaning the pup`s immune system attacks the tear glands. Other causes include viral infections, hypothyroidism and certain medications. Some breeds, such as spaniels, Pugs, some terriers, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos and Bloodhounds, are at increased risk for dry eye.
For eye protection when outdoors Doggles or an Eye Shield can protect the eyes . Start them wearing for short periods with treats to get used to them. You can purchase “I`m blind” or “blind dog” collars, harnesses, bandanas and leads to let other people know when you are out.
Many blind dogs experience depression and end up sleeping more than usual. They may also struggle to find water, food and toys. You may notice a few physical signs of visual impairment, such as redness around the eye and cloudy or enlarged pupils.
Dogs suffering from dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) may be prescribed medications such as cyclosporine or tacrolimus to help stimulate tear production. Eyelid or eyelash abnormalities that cause the lashes to rub against the eyeball are generally treated with surgery to correct the issue.
Much like people, your dog`s vision can become impaired due to aging, disease, injury, or hereditary conditions. Part of the natural aging process can sometimes include vision loss, ranging from minor issues to full blindness.
Rinse your dog`s eye and eye area with simple saline solution, which can be purchased from a veterinarian or pharmacy, or made with a teaspoon of salt water in a cup of warm water. Carefully instill into the corner of your dog`s eye and dip a cotton ball in the solution and wipe away discharge from around the eye.
Human shampoo can cause irritation to your dog`s skin, as they have a different pH level to humans. It can also increase their vulnerability to parasites and viruses. You should make a conscious effort to keep dog shampoo stocked at home and only use human or baby shampoo in emergency situations.
Mild cases of conjunctivitis or allergies may be relieved with home remedies like warm compresses or saline solution rinses. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, it`s best to consult with a veterinarian.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Which common foods are poisonous to pets?
ANSWER : A. That’s a great question. As responsible pet owners we need to be aware of food items that can be harmful to our canine or feline companions. Here are some of the most common foods proven to cause illness in our animals at home:

Chocolate: A favorite and irresistible treat amongst most humans, chocolate is considered toxic to dogs. In very small amounts it is usually not a huge issue, but with larger volumes and with darker chocolates pet owners should be concerned. Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Chocolate ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, issues with normal heartbeats, seizures, and in some severe cases, death. It is best to keep your favorite chocolate treats in a good hiding spot and out of reach of your dog or cat.

Grapes and raisins: Dogs should not consume grapes and raisins because of the risk of acute kidney failure. Most dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicity will begin to have vomiting and/or diarrhea within 6-12 hours of ingestion. Other abnormal clinical signs include lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, and tremors. Kidney failure develops within 24-72 hours of the initial ingestion. There are some dogs that do not experience these devastating side effects. It is best to contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you believe your pet has ingested grapes or raisins.

Garlic and onions: We often forget that our meals contain these two popular ingredients and will allow our furry companions a few bites or licks. Onion and garlic both can cause a type of poisoning that results in damage to red blood cells, making them more likely to rupture. They can also cause stomach upset and mouth irritation. Look for pale gums, increased breathing or drooling or any vomiting or diarrhea.

Bread dough: Unbaked bread dough is considered poisonous to our pets. The bread dough, when ingested, expands in the stomach because of the warm and moist environment. This can lead to a bloated or even twisted stomach. In addition yeast is often added to our baking products to help get bread to rise, and when this yeast is fermented it produces both carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol produced can be absorbed into the bloodstream and causes dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Common clinical signs include vomiting or retching, distension of the stomach, weakness and collapse.

Macadamia nuts: Ingestion of these nuts are not proven to be fatal in dogs but can cause them to experience uncomfortable clinical sings, including fever, joint stiffness, vomiting, tremors and difficulty walking, especially in their hind legs. Often your pet will start to feel better after about 48 hours, but supportive veterinary care (such as pain medication) may help ease their discomfort.

Xylitol: The most common ingredient used in sugar-free gum is xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener. It is also found in some oral rinses, toothpastes and vitamins. Xylitol and dogs do not mix – it can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugars levels. Dogs will often display signs of disorientation, black tarry stool, tremors and seizures. If severe enough some dogs have developed liver failure. Keep your gum away from your canine companion.

Avocados: Avocados are not actually poisonous to dogs or cats but as many veterinarians can tell you the avocado pits can cause a foreign body obstruction. Avocados contain persin, which is actually toxic to the majority of pet birds. The abnormal clinical signs associated with avocado ingestion in birds include, respiratory distress, inability to perch, liver and kidney failure and sudden death.

Go forth and enjoy your favorite foods, but keep in mind which foods you should avoid sharing with your furry family members. Whenever in doubt, contact your veterinarian for healthy and safe food suggestions.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
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4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. My dog has no fleas, but is scratching and licking continually. He has been through a round of prednisone and it hasn’t helped. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. Itching can be caused by more than just external parasites, and if your dog is already on a flea medication, then it is possibly not the case. Itching can indicate anything from allergies to even minor skin infections causing problems. If your dog has been treated with prednisone (a steroid that inhibits the immune system) and it did not help, then looking at other options may help.

Food allergies are very common in dogs and can present with itching and licking all over the body rather than on just one spot. Common food allergens include ingredients such as wheat, corn and soy products, however dogs can be allergic to almost anything! Starting a food trial of an allergen-friendly diet from your vet or pet store that avoids these common ingredients may help. The food should be switched over a period of 7-9 days and then given about a month to decide if it is helping.

Small skin infections or yeast in the skin can also cause itching, however this itching is often more specific to a certain area of the body (such as the toes, or base of the tail). Your vet can perform a skin scraping of the area to be cultured at a lab to look for any yeast or bacteria. If they are present, a medication given either orally or placed on the affected area can clear up the infection.

In some cases, licking and chewing can actually be due to a boredom or anxiety behavior. Dogs may lick one spot obsessively to the point of creating sores or wounds in the area. Stopping your dog from licking and chewing either through the use of dog booties, no lick strips, T-shirts or even Elizabethan collars can break the habit and give the area time to heal. Licking and chewing can also cause the spread of bacterial infections so should be deterred even if not behaviorally caused.

Q. our dog is a male shih tzu. he has lost it’s vision and is loosing his hair. could this be caused pigeon droppings? several in our area.
ANSWER : A. It is extremely unlikely that pigeon droppings have anything to do with the loss of vision or hair and I urge you to get this fully investigated as soon as possible as many causes of blindness such as glaucoma are extremely painful and require urgent treatment to maximize any chance of recovery

Read Full Q/A … : Vetinfo

Q. My dog keep hacking like a cough or something in her throat, what can I do?
ANSWER : A. Hacking and coughing can be caused by a number of things ranging from foreign bodies such as twigs stuck in the mouth or throat, to infections or illnesses such as Bordetella or Kennel cough, common in dogs that frequent kennels, dog daycare or dog parks. In older dogs, heart and lung issues can also be indicated by a cough that does not go away.

If you think there may be a foreign object stuck in your dog’s throat, you can sweep a finger gently through the back of the mouth or throat if your dog will let you. If something feels stuck and is not easily moved by the finger, it is best to contact your vet to have the object safely removed. This usually requires sedation so that your dog does not become panicked or move, causing the object to become further stuck or cut the throat.

If your dog is showing other symptoms of illness in addition to the cough such as runny nose or eyes, fever, lethargy or changes in appetite, it may indicate a viral or bacterial illness such as kennel cough. These are usually treated with a cough medication in severe cases, plus rest and treatment of any additional symptoms until the condition improves. In bacterial causes, antibiotics may also be given to help your dog feel better.

If your dog has a constant cough that does not go away, or has had changes in ability to exercise, breathing, or appears to have swelling around the chest or abdomen, in may indicate a lung or heart issue. Your vet can thoroughly examine your dog for any signs of heart or lung problems and can then offer care as needed depending on the cause.

Q. Why is my male dog recently peeing on the furniture?
ANSWER : A. Sudden changes in behavior or habits such as suddenly having accidents can sometimes have a medical basis behind them. Common causes such as urinary tract infections may cause a dog to begin urinating in the house, going more frequently, or having cloudy or blood-tinged urine. It is always a good idea to schedule a wellness exam with your local vet to check for any health issues prior to looking for behavioral ones.

If your dog checks out healthy, other things could be causing his change in behavior. If he is not neutered and is reaching puberty (usually around 7-8 months of age, though it does vary by breed), he may be starting to have a marking behavior. This is when a male dog lifts his leg and leaves just a little bit of urine behind to mark that he was there. Neutering can sometimes help stop or decrease the behavior though it may take several months for results as it takes some time for the surge in hormones to leave the body. Stress, or anxiety if another dog or person in the house may also make the behavior appear as a dog tries to claim his place in the household, or if he is stressed out by another pet.

Be sure to also clean any accident areas with an enzymatic cleaner. These cleaners are designed to break down urine particles and remove scent, making it so your dog cannot smell where he has had an accident before. This can sometimes prevent dogs from repeatedly urinating on an area they had staked out before.

Q. My dog licks his feet and legs and they are turning brown. He is a white dog. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. Licking the feet and legs can be caused by a number of things in dogs including allergies, illness or even stress behaviors. Allergies are the most common in dogs, with yeast infections coming in second. Allergies can cause the area to become red and itching, making your dog want to lick and chew on them. Over time, the area may become stained from saliva, especially in lighter or white-coated dogs. Yeast infections are also common between the toes, and may cause a smelly “corn chip” smell to appear near your dog’s feet. Again, dogs will attempt to lick and chew to relieve the itch. Keeping the feet clean and dry can help relieve both allergies and infections and pet wipes or a baby wipe of all paws when your dog comes in from outdoors may also help. Keeping your dog from licking the space with either dog booties or an Elizabethan collar is also good as it will prevent secondary infection and staining of the paws and legs. If your dog is determined to keep licking and keeping the feet clean and dry do not help, then your vet can help by providing a medication to treat any infection or provide relief of allergies.