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Shiba Inu Health Problems – 10 Most Common Health Issues in Brushwood Dogs

Shiba Inus are generally known for their robust health, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. A balanced diet, regular exercise, proper grooming and routine veterinary check-ups contribute to their overall well-being. While not all Shiba Inus will experience health problems, understanding the potential challenges can help you become a responsible and proactive owner.

10 Most Common Health Problems & Issues in Shiba Inus

1. Allergies

Shiba Inus can suffer from allergies, which can manifest as skin irritation, excessive licking and itching.

  • Symptoms: Keep an eye out for symptoms like persistent scratching, redness and inflamed skin.
  • Causes: Allergies can stem from environmental factors like pollen and dust, as well as certain food ingredients.
  • Treatment: Consult your veterinarian for allergy testing. Treatment may include hypoallergenic diets, medication and environmental modifications.
2. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to pain and mobility issues.

  • Symptoms: Look for difficulty in movement, limping and reluctance to exercise.
  • Causes: Genetic predisposition and improper nutrition during the puppy stage can contribute to this condition.
  • Treatment: Weight management, physical therapy and in severe cases, surgical intervention can help manage hip dysplasia.
3. Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation involves the dislocation of the kneecap, causing discomfort and difficulty in walking.

  • Symptoms: Watch for a skipping or hopping gait and signs of pain.
  • Causes: Genetics and trauma are the primary causes of this condition.
  • Treatment: Rest, physical therapy and sometimes surgery can correct patellar luxation.
4. Eye Problems

Shiba Inus are prone to various eye problems such as conjunctivitis and cataracts.

  • Symptoms: Keep an eye out for redness, discharge and squinting.
  • Causes: Genetics, foreign objects and infections contribute to these issues.
  • Treatment: Consult an eye specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment, which may involve eye drops, ointments, or surgical procedures.
5. Dental Issues

Dental hygiene is crucial for Shiba Inus. They can suffer from gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.

  • Symptoms: Look for signs of oral discomfort, including difficulty eating and reluctance to chew.
  • Causes: Poor dental hygiene and genetics play a role in dental problems.
  • Treatment: Regular brushing, dental cleanings and dental diets are essential for maintaining oral health.
6. Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid imbalances can lead to weight changes, skin problems and lethargy.

  • Symptoms: Watch for unusual weight fluctuations and changes in skin condition.
  • Causes: Genetics and autoimmune factors contribute to thyroid disorders.
  • Treatment: Consult your vet for proper medication and dietary adjustments.
7. Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic seizure disorder that can affect Shiba Inus.

  • Symptoms: Seizures, confusion and excessive drooling are common signs.
  • Causes: Genetic predisposition and brain abnormalities can trigger seizures.
  • Treatment: Medication can help manage and reduce the frequency of seizures.
8. Von Willebrand’s Disease

This is a bleeding disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot.

  • Symptoms: Excessive bleeding from wounds, gums, or after surgery.
  • Causes: It’s caused by a genetic mutation affecting blood clotting factors.
  • Treatment: In severe cases, blood transfusions and medication can be necessary and caution is needed during surgeries.
9. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

IVDD involves spinal disc degeneration, leading to back pain and 

potential paralysis.

  • Symptoms: Observe signs of pain, reluctance to move and changes in posture.
  • Causes: Genetics, obesity and trauma can contribute to IVDD.
  • Treatment: Mild cases can be managed with rest and medication, while severe cases may require surgery.
10. Cancer

Shiba Inus can develop various types of cancer, which can affect their overall health.

  • Symptoms: Watch for lumps, weight loss and changes in behavior.
  • Causes: Genetic predisposition and environmental factors play a role in cancer development.
  • Treatment: Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, depending on the type and stage of cancer.

Precautions & Preventative Measures

To ensure the well-being of your Shiba Inu, establish a routine of regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations and preventive care. Provide a balanced diet rich in nutrients, engage in regular exercise and maintain proper grooming and hygiene practices.

  • Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Schedule routine visits to the veterinarian for comprehensive health assessments. These check-ups can help identify potential health issues early and allow for prompt intervention.
  • Vaccination Schedule: Adhere to your Shiba Inu’s vaccination schedule as recommended by your veterinarian. Vaccinations protect against various diseases and ensure your dog’s immune system remains strong.
  • Nutrition & Diet: Provide a balanced and high-quality diet tailored to your Shiba Inu’s age, size and activity level. Consult your veterinarian for dietary recommendations and avoid feeding them table scraps that can be harmful.
  • Exercise Routine: Engage your Shiba Inu in regular physical activity to maintain a healthy weight and promote overall fitness. Walks, playtime and mental stimulation are vital for their well-being.
  • Grooming & Dental Care: Regular grooming sessions help maintain their coat health and minimize shedding. Additionally, practice good dental hygiene by brushing your Shiba Inu’s teeth regularly to prevent dental problems.
  • Parasite Prevention: Protect your Shiba Inu from parasites like fleas, ticks and internal worms. Use veterinarian-approved parasite preventatives to keep them safe and comfortable.

What do Shiba Inus Usually Die From?

Shiba Inus typically pass away due to a variety of factors, including old age-related issues, cancer, organ failure and severe health conditions. Regular veterinary care, a healthy lifestyle and early intervention can help extend their lifespan.

Shiba Inu Health Problems – 10 Most Common Health Issues in Brushwood Dogs