According to All Shih Tzu, Shih Tzus can develop skin problems from tangles in their coats, weak immune systems, bacterial infections, food allergies and genetics. Veterinarians can also perform skin or serum tests to pinpoint and isolate the allergens or irritants causing problems.
All Shih Tzu recommends that owners regularly groom and bathe their Shih Tzus to maintain coat health, and that they frequently check for signs of skin infections or other problems. To keep the immune system strong and prevent other illnesses from taking hold, owners should feed Shih Tzus vitamins A, C and E in supplement form and give them omega-3 fatty acids. Shih Tzus should never take omega-6 fatty acids, especially if they already have skin problems, as these acids can aggravate or worsen inflammation.
Additionally, All Shih Tzu states that food allergies are a common and overlooked reason for skin problems among Shih Tzus. To eliminate possible allergens, a dog should eat only well-cooked white chicken meat mixed with plain rice. Then, every two weeks, the owner should slowly introduce another ingredient to determine which one might be causing the irritation.
Some Shih Tzus can develop allergies to fabrics or chemicals in detergents, states All Shih Tzu. Therefore, it is recommended that owners wash bedding and sheets in perfume-free and hypoallergenic detergent. Shih Tzus are also slightly temperature-sensitive, with eczema being aggravated by both heat and cold.