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Know the Signs: 5 Most Common Health Issues in Lhasa Apsos

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on May 26, 2023

Lhasa Apsos, a small breed originating from Tibet, are known for their lively temperament, long, beautiful coat, and distinct “lion’s mane”. Like every breed, Lhasa Apsos are predisposed to specific health conditions. In this article, we’ll explore the five most common health issues in Lhasa Apsos and the signs to look out for to ensure your dog’s well-being.

  1. Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation is a common condition in small dogs, including Lhasa Apsos. It occurs when the dog’s kneecap (patella) dislocates or moves out of its normal location.

Signs of patellar luxation include a sudden lameness in the leg, skipping or hopping while running, or an abnormal hindlimb posture. If you notice these signs, consult your vet immediately. Diagnosis is usually through physical examination, and treatment can range from lifestyle modifications to surgical intervention in severe cases.

  1. Eye Conditions

Lhasa Apsos are prone to several eye problems, such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a genetic disease that eventually leads to blindness, and cherry eye, a condition where the gland of the third eyelid prolapses and becomes visible.

Signs of eye problems can include redness, excessive tearing, rubbing at the eyes, cloudiness, or a visible third eyelid. Regular vet check-ups are crucial for early detection and treatment of these eye conditions.

  1. Allergies

Like many dog breeds, Lhasa Apsos can suffer from various allergies, which can be food-related or due to environmental factors like pollen or dust mites.

Common signs of allergies include itching, excessive licking, red and inflamed skin, gastrointestinal problems, or chronic ear infections. If your Lhasa Apso displays any of these symptoms, consult your vet, who may suggest an elimination diet or allergy tests identify the triggers.

  1. Brachycephalic Syndrome

Although not as extreme as in some breeds, Lhasa Apsos have a somewhat shortened nose and compact skull structure. This can make them susceptible to Brachycephalic Syndrome, a condition involving several upper airway abnormalities leading to breathing difficulties.

Signs include noisy or labored breathing, snoring, difficulty handling heat or exercise, and in severe cases, fainting. If your Lhasa Apso shows any of these signs, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. Depending on the severity, treatment may involve weight management, avoiding heat stress, or surgery.

  1. Kidney Problems

Lhasa Apsos, unfortunately, has a higher prevalence of kidney diseases, particularly a condition known as renal dysplasia, where the kidneys do not develop properly.

Symptoms of kidney problems can include increased thirst and urination, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and vomiting. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately. Diagnosis involves urine and blood tests, and treatment typically includes dietary modifications and medications to manage the symptoms.

Understanding these health issues and their associated signs is vital for Lhasa Apso owners. Early detection through regular vet check-ups, along with a balanced diet and suitable exercise, can greatly contribute to the overall health and longevity of your Lhasa Apso. Always remember, your attention and care are key to ensuring your Lhasa Apso leads a happy, healthy life.

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