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Why You Should Neuter Your Male Shih Tzu ASAP

Bladder Stones, Enlarged Prostate, Neutering, Shih Tzu

They are undeniably cute: their smushed little faces, their stumpy little legs, and that enviable coat of luxurious hair. I am referring to the Shih Tzu puppy. Shih Tzus, one of the oldest breeds of dog, are wonderful pets to own. They are quite playful, and alert little animals. They are extremely small in size, growing no more than 11-inches high. Typically, they weigh no more than about 15 pounds or so. Interestingly, though they are very low to the ground, they do not give the impression of being “squatty” or rotund. But their peculiar physical traits do sometimes interfere with their health. Society, for the most part is in general agreement that most pets should be spayed or neutered (for obvious reasons.) But owners of male Shih Tzus in particular, should be mindful to take the neutering of their pets very seriously. Here’s why:

1. BIRTH CONTROL- Males of this breed are fairly easily paper-trained. They tend to want to “hold” their urine until they go outside so that they can “mark their territory.” An offshoot of this behavior is the natural desire to mate. In addition to these natural urges, males who are left unneutered sometimes have a tendency to act out in other ways. An unneutered male Shih Tzu may begin to ignore commands, escape from the yard, or even exhibit aggressive behavior toward other dogs. Therefore, in addition to preventing an out of control Shih Tzu population in your neighborhood, neutering the dog can quell some of these other irritable tendencies.

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2. ENLARGED PROSTATE – Waiting too long to neuter your little friend could actually cause him to develop an enlarged prostate. As a matter of fact, most veterinarians advise neutering this breed at no later than 6 months old. Shih Tzus who have this condition typically have difficulty urinating. You may find that during walks, your pet attempts to relieve himself several times, but nothing seems to be eliminated. Some dogs may seem as if they are straining to urinate, or even pass a stool. Another symptom of an enlarged prostate may be a difference in your dog’s pace. He may have an awkward gait, or a resistance to jumping. The enlarged prostate is sometimes caused by the production (or over production) of hormones being produced in the testicles. Moreover, neutering a male Shih Tzu early also prevents the dog from contracting testicular cancer. Thus, neutering becomes an important factor in the male Shih Tzu’s health.

3. URINARY STONES – Male Shih Tzus in general are more prone to kidney and bladder stones. Because the shape of the urethra is much smaller in males than in females, it is very easy for these small stones to block the pathe of urine. In addition to suffering from bladder stones, unneutered canines can sometimes contract cystitis (which is a bladder infection). Some of these stones may be visible by X-ray. But with tiny dogs such as Shih Tzus, it can be very difficult for these stones to show up. The stones must be removed surgically. In addition, for dogs who have had trouble urinating, it may be necessary to catheterize the animal, in order to relieve the pressure off the bladder.

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Many people forget that housepets, even the smallest kind, sometimes need meticulous medical care. There are certain breeds which are known to contract certain ailments. The Shih Tzu is a very interesting breed whose physical make up determines much of how his inner workings operate. These little guys need lots of love and attention. But their healthcare should definitely be top of the list. Pay attention to whether your dog is actually releasing urine during his walks. If you ignore this behavior, the dog will continue to strain in producing urine, and he will ultimately have kidney failure and die. In addition, neutering your little guy may seem cruel at first. But unless you’re planning on breeding him in the near future, it’s much crueler to allow the Shih Tzu male to develop preventable health problems.