Shih Tzu Dogs and Dental Care: Why is Oral Hygiene so Important?

Dog owner question:

"Hi! My Shih Tzu dog, Stella, has been avoiding snacks and dry food for a few days. I looked in the dog's mouth and noticed that Stella's teeth are slightly bent inwards and her breath is worse than usual. What could be the problem?"

Vet's answer:

"Hi! Dental disease is a common problem in Shih Tzu dogs, especially oral problems such as tartar and halitosis.

Because of the short muzzle and closely spaced teeth of Shih Tzu dogs, tartar is more common than in dogs with longer muzzles.

Tartar build-up is a build-up of bacteria on the dog's teeth, causing irritation and inflammation, followed by gingivitis. This leads to pain and bad breath, which is probably why Stella avoids food.

If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious oral diseases, including tooth loss!

Therefore, it is very important that you take Stella to your local vet as soon as possible so that they can examine her oral cavity and carry out the necessary treatment! This treatment will probably be a professional teeth cleaning.

In the long term, you will also need to modify your dog's current oral hygiene routine.

You will need to brush Stella's teeth daily with toothpaste for dogs to minimise the chance of tartar build up!

Also, it is important that you have Stella's teeth checked regularly with your vet in the future so that any dental problems can be detected early."

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