Shih Tzu dogs are valued for their companionship and sweet and energetic disposition. These soft, furry friends experience relatively few health problems throughout their lives, and skin problems are not often seen. However, skin problems in Shih Tzus sometimes do occur. Most of these problems are caused by things such as allergies, parasites and bacterial infections which manifest themselves as rough, dry and itchy skin. Natural cures can be used in order to keep the dog safe from toxic chemicals in each case.
Like humans, dogs are susceptible to allergies in their environment, and the Shih Tzu breed is no exception. Pollen, dust mites, cleansers and other items that the Shih Tzu may come in contact can cause a very uncomfortable itchy rash on the dog's skin. One natural and chemical-free remedy is to make a mixture of the following: 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) of Epsom salt, 1100 ml (1 quart) of water, 6 ml (1 tsp) of dried sage leaves and 6 ml (1 tsp) of thyme. Bring mixture to a boil, and simmer for five minutes. Allow the mixture to steep overnight before using. It can be mixed with a dog shampoo and applied over the affected areas. It will give relief to your pet and should help the rash heal. Reapply as needed.
Common parasites that can cause skin irritation include ticks, fleas, ear mites, and even lice. The result is raw, itchy irritated areas of skin and even patches of fallen fur. Prevention is the best option. However, when a Shih Tzu is affected, some natural remedies for this problem are daily garlic capsules which act as a repellent to these pests, and natural astringents such as wormwood, lemon grass and Agrimony mixed together in a tincture and applied to the affected spot will not only sooth and heal the area but will also discourage these parasites from biting again.
Bacterial skin infections
Bacterial skin infections in the Shih Tzu breed dog in known to occur on occasion, with symptoms ranging from dry flaking skin rashes, areas of hair loss, pus blisters and discharge. Some of the remedies that are natural and non-toxic include mixing a canine shampoo with 60 ml (1/4 cup) of hydrogen peroxide and shampooing the dog. Also, using a dog shampoo with anti-fungicidal ingredients such as yeast extract are helpful, as it cleanses the affected area while the yeast extract discourages bacteria from regrowing.
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