Shiba Inu health issues can range from a slight issue to serious conditions that may even require a trip to the veterinarian. It is your duty as a dog owner to take care of your dog, just as you would for a human family member.
As your Shiba cannot physically tell you that something is wrong, it’ll be up to you to pay very close attention to its body language to watch for any developing health conditions. It is your duty to notice anything that seems out of the ordinary about your dog, or worse, any physical changes that are taking place.
Taking a Shiba Inu home means that you will have an amazing company with a smart and active dog. But you should be fully aware of the health history of the Shiba Inu breed and prepare if the worse has to come.
Here are 6 common Shiba Inu health issues that you should look out for.
Also known as inhalant allergies, Atopy is the second most common type of dog allergy. This is when a dog’s immune system overacts when exposed to an airborne inhaled allergen, such as dust, molds, or pollen. This is one of the most common Shiba Inu health issues.
These allergens are everywhere and so this condition cannot be prevented. But your Shiba Inu may be prescribed medication to help with it. Aside from medication, frequent baths can also help reduce Atopy.
If your Shiba is struggling to put weight on his hind legs (either one or both of them), it could be canine hip dysplasia.
This is a common skeletal condition amongst dogs. Hip dysplasia is when a dog’s hip joint is not properly aligned with the socket. It can be very painful and can make the simplest everyday activities a struggle.
Fortunately, this health condition can be corrected in a variety of ways, including surgery, physical therapy, stem cell treatments, and joint supplements.
Patellar Luxation is a genetic disorder that involves the dog’s kneecaps. It is described by Hillspet as “when the dog patella (kneecap), which normally sits on the groove of the femur (thighbone), shifts out of alignment.”
This condition makes everyday activities difficult, especially when putting weight on the affected legs. Depending on the severity, this can be corrected with surgery. For the pain, veterinarians can also prescribe pain medication.
This is a health condition that involves your dog’s thyroid gland. This is an abnormality of the thyroid gland that leads to different issues, including the reduction of its metabolic state.
Your Shiba might experience lethargy, changes in appetite, and even hair loss. Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed through blood testing. It can be treated but unfortunately, it cannot be cured.
Dogs diagnosed with this health condition needs to have regular replacement hormone through medication in order to stay balanced.
Just like humans, your Shiba can also develop cataracts. This health condition involves the eyes of your Shiba. This is when a cloudy grey film appears over the eyes due to the eye’s protein clumping together, eventually blocking the lens.
Cataracts can be inherited, but it is also a result of diabetes. If untreated, it will lead to blindness in dogs. Fortunately, some cataracts (depending on the severity) can be removed through surgery.
To prevent cataracts from developing, make sure your Shiba is getting his regular check-up, including vision tests.
Addison’s Disease has a wide range of symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. The symptoms vary too, from decreasing to increasing in severity.
Generally, dogs with Addison’s disease might experience repeating instances of gastroenteritis, poor appetite, eventual loss of body condition, and poor response to stress.
According to the VCA Animal Hospital, “Addison’s disease is the common name for hypoadrenocorticism, caused by decreased hormone production from the outer part or cortex of the adrenal gland.” and that it is “primarily caused by an immune-mediated destruction of adrenal tissue.”
If your Shiba is diagnosed with this condition, the treatment for Addison’s disease comes with different steps. First, your dog will be hospitalized and will undergo intensive therapy. Once your Shiba is out of danger, your veterinarian will prescribe a hormone medication to help with the deficiency. Your Shiba is also recommended to do annual or biannual blood work to ensure that the medication is working.
Just like all other dog breeds, Shiba Inu are subjected to their own set of health issues. Being able to spot symptoms, understanding them, and acting quickly will ensure your Shiba will live long lives. It is your responsibility as the owner to do your research on the common Shiba Inu health issues and become pro-active fur parents.