When you buy a dog you must research potential health problems so you will know which dogs will work best for you, as well as warning signs and early treatments to keep your dog in top physical health. Although Lhasa Apso dogs are generally healthy dogs that live 15 to 18 years, Lhasas are not worry-free and have potential health concerns you must keep in mind.
Lhasa Apso dogs have long coats, so you must brush them regularly to avoid matting, according to the My Dog Breed website. Matting can result in skin problems, so properly groom your young Lhasa Apso to maintain healthy skin throughout life. As with all dogs, keep the coat clean and protect against parasites that can cause skin irritation.
According to Pet Meds Online, tearing is part of Lhasas, so you must clean around the eyes regularly. Abundant or nonexistent tearing are possible, even in young Lhasas, and both require a veterinarian consult. If your dog doesn't produce adequate tears, it can have dry eye, also known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, which causes eye irritation. Untreated dry eye can result in ulcers on the cornea and possibly vision loss. Other potential eye problems Lhasa Apso dogs are extra eyelashes, entropion (where the eyelid rolls inward, allowing the eyelashes to scratch they eye), long eyelid hair and poorly developed eye sockets. Some eye problems require surgery to fix, so make sure you talk with your veterinarian at the first sign of problems.
Some Lhasas suffer from renal cortical hypoplasia, where the cortex of the kidney is not completely developed, according to Pet Meds Online. Kidney problems in young Lhasas (six months and younger) can be lethal, according to the My Dog Breed website. If your Lhasa puppy drinks an excessive amount of water, it may have kidney problems and should be checked by a veterinarian immediately.
Hip dysplasia is generally associated with larger breeds, but Lhasa Apso dogs can develop the condition, according to the My Dog Breed website. This can lead to pain, swelling and eventually immobility. Though hip dysplasia develops over time, if you notice your young Lhasa limping, have it checked immediately for the condition. You may be able to stop further damage with medical treatments, though surgery is required for severe cases.
According to Pet Meds Online, inguinal hernias are possible in Lhasa Apso dogs. This can be serious if the hernia is big enough. An inguinal hernia is where abdominal contents protrude through an opening at the inner fold of the rear leg, according to the Pet Place website. Sometimes Lhasa Apso dogs are born with the congenital malformation of an inguinal hernia, so check your young Lhasa for a soft mass in the groin area. Inguinal hernias also can be acquired, as well.