The Dog Owner's Guide website indicates that if a Shih Tzu's hair is groomed regularly, it usually will not develop skin problems. Dogs that are not groomed appropriately may develop tangles, mats and even maggots, as well as uncomfortable skin conditions. Although veterinarians can usually recommend a course of treatment, some dogs do not respond to conventional approaches. In many instances, an alternative approach using natural or herbal remedies can provide relief from the disorder.
Shih Tzus are not genetically predisposed to developing eczema. However, skin conditions can sometimes develop because of a weak immune system or an underlying health issue. The Natural Dog Health Remedies website indicates that canine eczema is characterised by redness, irritation, itching, flaky skin, hair loss and an unpleasant odour. The conventional method of treating eczema is through the use of steroids or anti-inflammatory medication. However, herbs have many wound-healing properties that can be used to treat this skin condition. The website suggests using a tea rinse of calendula to alleviate redness and itching. Calendula has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal the irritation. Yarrow can also be used to heal skin with open wounds, and it can be used in combination with calendula to encourage the healing process.
The Daily Puppy website indicates that a bacterial infection called pyoderma is a common issue in Shih Tzu puppies. The symptoms of pyoderma are pus pockets that often show up on the dog's stomach. The condition can be triggered by a weakened or underdeveloped immune system. The bacteria that causes pyoderma, staphylococcus intermedius, does not always respond to antibiotics. The Natural Dog Health Remedies website suggests including the vitamins A, C and E as well as fatty acids into the dog's diet. They also recommend using echinacea to improve the immune system, milk thistle and liquorice to support and regenerate the liver and red clover and alfalfa to clean the blood.
The Dog Owner's Guide website indicates that Shih Tzus have hair that tangles and mats easily. These dogs need to be groomed regularly to prevent hot spots, which are surface infections of the skin. These swollen patches may cause tremendous itching, which causes the dog to chew and bite on itself until it causes further injury. The Natural Dog Health Remedies website suggests clipping the hair around the hot spots and cleaning the wound with witch hazel, a mild antiseptic. A diluted solution of tea tree oil can be used to treat hot spots as well.