Shiba Inu Health: Prevention & Care Tips

Health & Wellness

Shiba Inu Health Guide: Essential Tips for Prevention and Care

3 min read

Shiba Inus, with their distinctive appearance and lively personality, are generally a healthy breed. However, like all breeds, they have specific health concerns that owners should be aware of.

This guide delves into some common health issues Shiba Inus may face and provides effective strategies for prevention and management.

1. Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation, where the kneecap misaligns, is common in Shiba Inus. It can lead to lameness or an unusual hopping movement.

Symptoms: You might notice your Shiba Inu limping, skipping a step, or using a bunny-hop gait. They may also hold the affected leg off the ground for a few steps.

Prevention/Management: Regular veterinary checkups to detect early signs are key. Exercise moderation and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on the knees. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary.

2. Hypothyroidism

This condition involves an underactive thyroid gland, leading to symptoms like weight gain, coat changes, and lethargy.

Symptoms: Symptoms include unexplained weight gain, lethargy, cold intolerance, skin and coat changes (like dry skin or hair loss), and behavioral changes.

Prevention/Management: Diagnosis is through blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels. Treatment involves daily thyroid hormone replacement and regular monitoring by a vet.

3. Glaucoma and Cataracts

Glaucoma, damaging the optic nerve, and cataracts, causing lens clouding, are eye conditions seen in Shiba Inus.

Symptoms: For glaucoma, signs can include redness in the eye, tearing, eye rubbing, or a cloudy appearance. Cataracts may appear as a noticeable cloudiness in the pupil, leading to vision impairment.

Prevention/Management: Annual eye exams are crucial. Treatments vary from medications to manage pressure in the case of glaucoma, to surgery for cataracts.

4. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA is a degenerative eye disease leading to eventual blindness.

Symptoms: Early signs include night blindness and dilated pupils that respond slowly to light. As PRA progresses, it leads to complete blindness.

Prevention/Management: While there's no cure, genetic testing before breeding can reduce the disease's prevalence. Adapting your home to keep it safe and navigable for a visually impaired dog can help.

5. Allergic Skin Disease

Atopic dermatitis causes itching and discomfort.

Symptoms: Look out for excessive scratching, licking, or biting at the skin, hair loss, red inflamed skin, or recurrent ear infections.

Prevention/Management: Avoid known allergens, provide fatty acid supplements for skin health, and follow your vet's recommendations for treatment, which may include corticosteroids or antihistamines.

6. Dental Disease

Shiba Inus are prone to tartar buildup and periodontal disease.

Symptoms: Bad breath, plaque buildup, red or swollen gums, difficulty eating, and tooth loss are common signs.

Prevention/Management: Regular brushing, dental treats, and professional cleanings can prevent tartar and plaque buildup. Feeding dry kibble can also help reduce dental problems.

7. Anxiety

Shibas can exhibit anxiety through behaviors like barking, whining, or destruction.

Symptoms: Symptoms include excessive barking, pacing, restlessness, destructive behavior, and in some cases, aggression.

Prevention/Management: Consistent exercise, mental stimulation, and training can mitigate anxiety. In severe cases, consult a veterinarian about behavioral therapy or medication.

Ensuring Your Shiba Inu's Health

Keeping up with vet appointments, vaccinations, and monitoring for signs of health issues are essential steps in caring for your Shiba Inu. With proper care and attention, your Shiba Inu can lead a long and joyful life.

For more detailed guidance on Shiba Inu health issues and care strategies, reputable sources such as PetMD, A-Z Animals, and Fluffy Tamer provide extensive information.


Healthy Pet, Happy Pawrents 💛


Download the MMDC App

Join the dog lover’s community and watch your pup’s social life soar.
app store buttongoogle play button