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Shih Tzu Urinary Problems: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

by Pawsome Tips
Shih Tzu urinary problems

‍Welcome to the ultimate guide to Shih Tzu urinary problems!

Knowing the issues that can affect your furry friend’s urinary system is important as a loving pet owner. Whether it’s a frequent need to urinate, blood in their urine, or difficulty in passing urine, understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options is crucial for their well-being.

Let’s dive in and become well-informed advice for our furry companions!

Common causes of urinary problems in Shih Tzus

1. Pesky Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Shih Tzus, just like humans, can fall victim to notorious urinary tract infections. It’s like an unwanted party in their urinary tract, with bacteria multiplying faster than you can say “woof.” And the result? You can imagine the discomfort and pain during their much-needed bathroom breaks. Watch for signs like frequent urination, straining, and even a dash of blood in their otherwise pristine pee.

2. Bladder Stones

Let’s talk about bladder stones, or uroliths, as the fancy vets call them. These little rocks just love to set up camp in your Shih Tzu’s bladder, causing all sorts of mischief. Shih Tzus are more susceptible to dealing with these unwelcome guests due to their tiny bladders and not-so-paw-some dietary factors. But wait, it gets worse – these bladder stones can lead to severe discomfort and even blockages, turning their bathroom trips into a full-blown nightmare. And nobody wants that!

3. The Dreaded Urinary Incontinence

Aging doesn’t always come easy for our furry friends. As Shih Tzus mature, they might struggle with the dreaded urinary incontinence. It’s like the canine version of forgetting where the bathroom is; trust us, it’s not as cute as it sounds. Weakened bladder muscles and hormonal imbalances could be to blame, leading to an unpredictable dance of involuntary urine flow. Indoor accidents, frequent pit stops, and even a bit of dribbling become part of the incontinence package.

4. Cancer

Urinary tract cancer is a really serious and uncommon problem that can affect our beloved Shih Tzus.

It can show up anywhere in their urinary system, causing trouble in their kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra.

As pet owners, we must be attentive to warning signs, like spotting blood in their urine, sudden weight loss, or any changes in their usual peeing habits.

5. Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalances can cause urinary issues in our dear Shih Tzus. When estrogen and progesterone levels get out of whack, it can lead to inflammation in the bladder or urethra, which may result in urinary tract infections or UTIs.

Apart from the urinary problems, you might notice some additional symptoms like changes in appetite, weight fluctuations, hair loss, and skin hot spots in your furry companion.

Suppose your beloved Shih Tzu shows any of these signs. In that case, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention to evaluate their hormonal levels and determine the appropriate treatments to help them feel better.

Handle Urinary Challenges Like Pros

Now that we know the common causes of urinary problems in Shih Tzus, it’s time to take charge like seasoned pet owners. Here’s how to handle those urinary challenges like a pro:

a) Watch Their Diet

Keeping observe on their diet is crucial. Ensuring they eat a balanced and suitable diet for their breed and age can reduce the risk of bladder stones and other urinary issues.

b) Bathroom Habits Matter

Paying attention to their bathroom habits gives you valuable insights into their health. Notice any changes in frequency or signs of discomfort to catch potential problems early.

c) Regular Vet Check-ups

Routine visits to the vet are essential for overall health, including urinary health. Your vet can catch problems early on and offer the best advice for Shih Tzu’s needs.

With some tender love and expert attention, our lovable Shih Tzus can prance through life without those pesky urinary woes dragging them down. So, let’s keep those tail-wagging, four-legged companions happy and healthy, one pee break at a time!

Symptoms of urinary problems in Shih Tzus

Identifying the symptoms of urinary problems in our adorable Shih Tzus is of utmost importance to catch any issues early and take appropriate action. While some symptoms may be across different urinary conditions, each problem often exhibits unique signs.

1. Observing Bathroom Habits

Paying attention to our charming Shih Tzus’ bathroom breaks is vital. If we notice an increase in their urination frequency, it could indicate a urinary problem.

2. Noticing Discomfort During Urination

When our furry companions exhibit discomfort during urination, it’s essential to take notice. Straining, whimpering, or even yelping during this time might be their way of signalling that something isn’t quite right in their urinary tract.

3. Pink or Red Discoloration in Urine

Any pink or red tinge in our Shih Tzu’s urine should be taken seriously. Hematuria, or blood in the urine, can be an alarming sign of underlying issues that require immediate attention from a veterinarian.

4. Cloudy or Foul-Smelling Urine

Though our Shih Tzus can’t vocalize their discomfort, cloudy or foul-smelling urine serves as a signal. Detecting an unpleasant aroma or hazy appearance in their urine could indicate a problem within their urinary system.

5. Behavioral Changes

Our fur babies express themselves through behavior. If our once-cheerful Shih Tzu becomes irritable or restless, consider the possibility of a urinary issue contributing to the change.

6. Excessive Genital Area Licking

When our furry pals focus on cleaning their genital area, it may be a sign of discomfort related to their urinary system. Monitoring such behavior can help us catch potential issues early.

By being attentive to these signs and promptly seeking veterinary care, we can ensure our beloved Shih Tzus receive the best care for their urinary health.

Taking Care of Your Shih Tzu’s Urinary Health

If your adorable Shih Tzu is experiencing urinary problems, don’t worry! There are ways to help them feel better.

1. Dealing with Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Imagine your Shih Tzu’s urinary system having a minor infection, like getting a cold. To help them feel better, the vet will give them special medicines called antibiotics. These meds will fight off the infection and make your furry friend feel much better. Just remember to give them the medicine as the vet says, and let them drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and healthy.

2. Tackling Bladder Stones

Small stones, like tiny pebbles, can sometimes form in your Shih Tzu’s bladder. If the stones are tiny, some special diets and medicines can help dissolve them, like magic! But if the stones are significant, minor surgery might be needed to remove them. The vet will decide what’s best for your Shih Tzu so that they can feel like their bouncy, playful self again.

3. Handling Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence can make your Shih Tzu have trouble controlling their bladder, like when they accidentally pee inside. That’s no fun for them or you! But the vet can help by giving them particular medicines acting like superheroes to strengthen the bladder. And don’t worry; it’s okay if they need help with diapers. We all need a little extra care sometimes!

4. Watching Their Diet

Just like we need to eat healthy to stay strong, your Shih Tzu might need a special diet to keep their urinary system in tip-top shape. The vet might suggest changes to their food to ensure they get all the proper nutrients and keep their pee in perfect balance.

With some love and care, your Shih Tzu will return to wagging their tail and enjoying life to the fullest!

Preventing urinary problems in Shih Tzus

Taking care of your adorable Shih Tzu and ensuring they avoid urinary problems is important. Here are some easy tips that you’ll love:

1. Keep Them Hydrated

Like we need to drink water daily, our furry friends need it too! Ensure you always have a fresh water bowl for your Shih Tzu. If they seem picky about water, add a little low-sodium chicken broth to make it more enticing. It’s like giving them a special treat!

urinary problems in Shih Tzus
klevers / Shutterstock

2. Feed Them Right

Your Shih Tzu diet matters a lot. Please resist the urge to give them too many treats or table scraps because it can lead to weight gain and possible urinary issues. Stick to good-quality dog food designed to keep their urinary system healthy and meet all their nutritional needs.

3. Playtime is a Must

Who doesn’t love playtime? Your Shih Tzu indeed does! Make sure they get regular exercise through play and walks.

4. Stay Clean and Fresh

We all feel better when we’re clean, and our furry pals are no exception. Regularly groom your Shih Tzu’s private area to keep it clean and free from dirt or debris. 

These simple steps keep your Shih Tzu healthy, happy, and free from urinary problems.

Home remedies for Shih Tzu urinary problems

Taking good care of our cute Shih Tzus is important, especially when it comes to ensuring their urinary health is in top shape while visiting a veterinarian for the proper diagnosis and treatment is crucial, we can do some simple things at home to help our furry friends feel better.

1. Increasing Water Intake

One easy home remedy is making sure our Shih Tzus drink enough water. Ensuring our adorable Shih Tzus have access to fresh water all day helps promote their urinary health and well-being. If they’re not drinking much water, we can add some low-sodium chicken broth to their water or wet their food to make it more appealing.

2. Cranberry Juice or Supplements

Did you know cranberry juice or supplements can also benefit their urinary health? Yep! The secret ingredient found in cranberries prevents bacteria from latching onto their urinary tract, meaning the risk of infections decreases significantly, and their urinary health stays in great shape but hold on, it’s essential to ask a vet before giving them cranberry stuff because too much of it might upset their tummy.

3. Maintaining Good Hygiene

Keeping our Shih Tzus clean is also super important. Grooming their private area regularly and keeping it clean and free from dirt can help prevent infections.

4. Providing Regular Bathroom Breaks

We must ensure they get enough potty breaks and have a clean place outside to do their business. This way, they won’t have accidents and will develop good bathroom habits.

5. Home Remedies in Conjunction with Veterinary Care

Remember, while these home remedies can help their urinary health, they should never replace seeing a vet. Certainly! Talking to a veterinarian about our furry pals’ health concerns is essential. We can use these home remedies with the vet’s advice to keep our Shih Tzus happy and healthy!

When to see a veterinarian for Shih Tzu urinary problems

Knowing when to take your Shih Tzu to the vet for urinary issues is super important.

  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or discomfort during urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Sudden changes in behavior, such as increased irritability or restlessness

Look out for signs like your Shih Tzu peeing much more than usual, seeming to be in pain or discomfort, or if there’s blood in their pee. If their pee looks weird, cloudy, or smells bad, that’s another sign that something might be up. And if you notice them struggling to pee or licking their private area too much, seeing the vet’s a good idea.

Sometimes, their behavior might change too. If your Shih Tzu starts acting cranky or restless, it could be connected to their urinary issues.

When you notice any of these signs, it’s time to visit the vet. The vet will check your furry buddy thoroughly and might do some tests to find out what’s causing the problem. They’ll create a treatment plan for your Shih Tzu based on their findings.

Follow the vet’s advice and do what they say. They might ask you to come back for follow-up visits to see how your Shih Tzu is doing and to adjust the treatment if needed.

Being a good pet owner means caring for your Shih Tzu’s health. So, don’t hesitate to see the vet if something doesn’t seem right with their peeing.

Professional Help for Shih Tzu Anxiety
Usoltsev Kirill / Shutterstock


Awareness of the urinary problems affecting Shih Tzus is crucial for their overall well-being. Whether it’s urinary tract infections, bladder stones, or urinary incontinence, these conditions can be uncomfortable for our furry friends and significantly impact their overall well-being and happiness. Understanding the common causes, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking prompt veterinary care is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Remember, your furry friend relies on you to advocate and ensure their urinary health, so stay informed and attentive to their needs.


How can I tell if my Shih Tzu has urinary problems?

Look out for signs like frequent urination, pain or discomfort during urination, blood in the urine, and changes in their peeing habits. If you notice any of these, it’s time to see the vet.

Can I use home remedies to treat my Shih Tzu urinary issues?

While some home remedies can offer temporary relief, consulting a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment is essential. Home remedies should be used in conjunction with veterinary guidance.

Is adjusting my Shih Tzu diet for urinary problems necessary?

Yes, dietary considerations are crucial for managing and preventing urinary issues. Your vet may recommend proper pH balance and mineral-rich diets to support their urinary health.

Can urinary problems in Shih Tzus be serious?

Yes, urinary issues can vary in severity. Some may resolve on their own, while others may require veterinary intervention. Prompt attention and proper treatment are essential for your Shih Tzu’s well-being.

How often should I monitor my Shih Tzu’s urinary health?

Regular monitoring is vital. If your Shih Tzu has experienced urinary problems, keep an eye on their peeing habits and look for any changes. Regular check-ups with the vet are also essential for their overall health.

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