Shiba Health Problems
Being an older breed the Japanese Shiba Inu does not suffer some of the debilitating health problems that some pedigree dogs have. They can however get the sort of health problems that are common to all breeds of dog. The results of suffering one of these can be both emotionally devastating and expensive if they are not dealt with quickly and effectively. So instead of responding to potential health problems as they arrive, learn what you can do to avoid them in the first place and keep your Shiba healthy.
Potential Dog Health Problems
Dogs can suffer from a number of health issues, just like human beings. The main difference is that dogs cannot tell just what the problem is. They will often leave you wondering why they are acting listlessly or even suffer in silence. So, it’s of vital important to recognize the symptoms quickly and learn what actions you can take to avoid these issues in the first place.
Infections – Shiba’s like most dogs love to explore and so can be prone to a number of potential infections, in their ears, on their skin, in their eyes and their teeth. Ear infections are the most common and are usually due to a foreign body or bacteria getting in there. Check your Shiba’s ears frequently for red spots, swelling, excess moisture, or dirt. Preventing infections is just a case of taking care with the grooming of your Shiba, even when they protest, and they will protest. Regularly clean your Shiba’s eyes, brush their teeth and brush their hair to avoid any potential bacteria build up.
Allergies – Although the most common form of allergy that affects most dogs is a flea allergy Shiba Inu’s, although not immune, rarely have this problem due to the thickness of their coats. If they do get a problem with fleas a course of treatment from your vets will soon clear it up. A more common allergy that affects Shiba’s is from medication. Shiba’s are very sensitive to medications so make sure that your vet understands this when you go for any vaccinations or other treatments.
Arthritis and Dysplasia – Shiba’s can be susceptible to joint problems such as hip dysplasia, and slipped kneecap. As with all dog breeds arthritis can be a problem for older dogs. Make sure your dog receives the necessary vitamins and minerals it requires each day and that your vet checks the joints for degeneration at least once a year.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – PRA although rare is a genetic problem that could affect your Shiba. It is slightly more common in the Japanese Akita usually manifesting itself in dogs from 3 to 5 years old. The only prevention measure that you can take is to make sure that your Shiba comes from a responsible and well respected breeder, who will have made sure not to breed from any dogs that have the disease.
Obesity – Obesity is a very common problem with all dogs since it is the one health problem that is completely in the control of the owner. Quite simply a dog just like a human will get obese if it eats too much and does not get enough exercise. Obesity itself will also bring on many more severe health issues such as heart problems, tumors, liver disease, and skin problems. It’s down to you to make sure that your Shiba gets a proper diet and enough exercise there really is no excuse for having an obese Shiba.