There are many plants which could be quite dangerous to your Shih Tzu's health if consumed. Consumption of dangerous plants could lead to gastrointestinal problems and poisoning.

Care should be taken, especially during the Spring and Summer months as plants can often sprout and bloom on their own. Care should also be taken when walking your Shih Tzu.

It is also important to remember that even plants which are not of a toxic nature could harm your Shih Tzu as they are often sprayed with insecticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. In addition, hazardous plants could lead to contact allergies in your Shih Tzu. Allergy symptoms vary but can include constant scratching, diarrhea, vomiting, swelling, rashes on the skin, and weight loss.

Furthermore, common household items could also be potentially dangerous including cleaning agents such as detergents and bleaches, car products such as batteries and oils, gardening treatments like fertilizers and insecticides, mothballs and even some flea treatments which are not designed to be ingested. Make sure that potentially dangerous items are kept out of your Shih Tzu's reach.

Poisonous Plant List
* Aloe Vera
* Amaryllis
* Apple (seeds)
* Apple Leaf Croton
* Apricot pits
* Asparagus Fern
* Autumn Crocus
* Azalea
* Baby’s Breath
* Bird of Paradise
* Branching Ivy
* Buckeye
* Buddhist Pine
* Caladium
* Calla Lily
* Castor Bean
* Ceriman
* Charming Dieffenbachia
* Cherry (seeds and leaves)
* Chinese Evergreen
* Cineraria
* Clematis
* Cordatum
* Corn Plant
* Cornstalk Plant
* Croton
* Cuban Laurel
* Cutleaf Philodendron
* Cycads
* Cyclamen
* Daffodil
* Devil’s Ivy
* Dieffenbachia
* Dracaena Palm
* Dragon Tree
* Dumb Cane
* Easter Lily (especially cats)
* Elaine
* Elephant Ears
* Emerald Feather
* English Ivy
* Eucalyptus
* Fiddle-leaf Fig
* Florida Beauty
* Foxglove
* Fruit Salad Plant
* Geranium
* German Ivy
* Giant Dumb Cane
* Glacier Ivy
* Gold Dust Dracaena
* Golden Pothos
* Hahn’s Self-Branching Ivy
* Heartland Philodendron
* Hurricane Plant
* Indian Rubber Plant
* Janet Craig Dracaena
* Japanese Show Lily (especially cats!)
* Jerusalem Cherry
* Kalanchoe
* Lacy Tree Philodendron
* Lily of the Valley
* Madagascar Dragon Tree
* Marble Queen
* Marijuana
* Mexican Breadfruit
* Miniature Croton
* Mistletoe
* Morning Glory
* Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
* Narcissus
* Needlepoint Ivy
* Nephytis
* Nightshade
* Oleander
* Onion
* Oriental Lily (especially cats)
* Peace Lily
* Peach ( pits and leaves)
* Pencil Cactus
* Plumosa Fern
* Poinsettia
* Poison Ivy
* Poison Oak
* Pothos
* Precatory Bean
* Primrose
* Red Emerald
* Red Princess
* Red-Margined Dracaena
* Rhododendron
* Ribbon Plant
* Saddle Leaf Philodendron
* Sago Palm
* Satin Pothos
* Schefflera
* Silver Pothos
* Spotted Dumb Cane
* String of Pearls
* Striped Dracaena
* Sweetheart Ivy
* Swiss Cheese Plant
* Taro Vine
* Tiger Lily (especially cats)
* Tomato Plant ( stem, leaves and green fruit)
* Tree Philodendron
* Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
* Weeping Fig
* Yew

Protecting Your Shih Tzu from Poisons
There are a number of different health problems which can arise in dogs. Early diagnosis and treatment will ensure that minor problems do not turn into big ones. Regular vet checks, de-sexing and vaccinations will also help in ensuring that your dog is a happy and healthy one.
Below is a list of the more common health problems in dogs as well as some symptoms to look out for.

Ear Infections: These are most common in dogs who have floppy ears. The dog’s ears fill up with dark and smelly wax and if left untreated the infection may become chronic. Symptoms include repeated shaking of the head and scratching at the ears. It is recommended to regularly clean your dog’s ears to avoid infection.

Dental and Gum Disease: This not only leads to bad breath but other more serious issues like loss of teeth and the inability of the dog to eat. Furthermore the dog becomes vulnerable to other serious diseases such as kidney disease and endocarditis. Dogs should have their teeth cleaned on a regular basis and at least once yearly by a veterinarian. There are many dog toothpastes available as well as chewy toys for dogs to chew on.

Heartworm: This is a fatal disease which is passed on to animals from mosquitos. Dogs should be wormed regularly for heartworm as well as other types of worms like ringworm which may not be fatal but annoying all the same.

Fleabite Dermatitis: This is a skin condition which is brought on through fleabites. Symptoms to watch out for include scratching and chewing on the skin. Fleabite dermatitis and other related flea conditions like tapeworm can easily be prevented with regular use of flea treatments.

Hip Dysplasia: This disease is often inherited and usually occurs in large and giant breeds of dogs, however Shih Tzu dogs are also susceptible to this condition. Hip Dysplasia is a degenerative disease of the hip joints and can affect one hip or both and can cause arthritis and lameness. It is not diagnosed at birth and can generally only be diagnosed after the dog has reached the age of two. Some dogs are only minimally affected and may not show signs of the disease. Others, more severely affected may become completely immobilized. Treatments include painkillers and surgery depending on the severity of the condition. It is recommended to keep your dog at a healthy level of weight.

Arthritis: This is an inflammation of the joints. Just like in humans, arthritis in dogs can be caused by many different things including heredity, previous injuries and old age. Symptoms may include stiffness, difficulty getting up, swelling and pain in particular after exercise. Medications such as anti-inflammatories and painkillers are available to help relieve the symptoms. Swimming can also be of help as is keeping your dog at a healthy weight.

Cancer: The most common forms of cancer which affect dogs are mammary cancer and testicular cancer. Dogs can get cancer at any age and therefore a veterinarian should examine lumps of any sort. De-sexing can help prevent certain types of cancer.

Obesity: Overweight dogs can suffer from many different health problems including heart disease, kidney disease and additional pain and discomfort when already suffering from other diseases such as arthritis. Dogs should maintain a healthy diet and receive regular exercise to control their weight.
First Signs of Illness
Changes in drinking and eating patterns
Vomiting and Diarrhea (especially when there is blood present in the vomit or stool)
Seizures and Tremors
Changes in temperature, pulse and heartbeat
Weight loss
General Depression and personality changes

Common Shih Tzu Health Problems
Toxic and dangerous foods for pets
Pets and poison is a growing concern among pet owners. Household poisons are not the only thing that can harm your pets. Many common household foods and drugs can also be toxic to your pets. The following are foods that can be toxic or poisonous to your pets.

Avocados contain a toxin known as persin. Persin is found in various parts of the avocado and avocado trees (eg, leaves, rind, etc). This toxin is known mostly to cause vomiting and diarrhea. Birds and small pets seem most affected by the negative side effects of consuming avocado.

Not just beer…all alcohol. Depending on how much alcohol your animal ingests, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, difficulty breathing, coma, and possible death.

Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine that is toxic to pets. If enough is ingested, your animal can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and possible death. Cocoa mulch contains theobromine; the ASPCA advises dog owners to avoid using this fertilizer around unsupervised dogs, and dogs with indiscriminate eating habits since it can be toxic if ingested.

Chocolate is the most common candy that is toxic to pets, especially to dogs, cats and ferrets. Any candy containing the sweetener xylitol can also be toxic to pets.

Caffeine is generally highly toxic to pets, having negative effects on both the cardiac and nervous systems. Side effects can include vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and possible death.

Grapes and raisins
An unknown toxin in grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and ultimately lead to death. Symptoms of this poisoning can include hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular heartbeat.

An unknown toxin in nuts can have negative effects on the nervous, digestive, and muscular systems of your pet. Symptoms can include muscle tremors, weakness, an upset stomach, vomiting, depression, inactivity, and stiffness. Particularly avoid Macadamia nuts.

Onions, along with garlic and chives, are all part of the same species of plant—the Allium species. Allium species plants contain sulfur compounds that can cause stomach irritation and possibly result in damage to red blood cells causing anemia. This is referred to as Allium poisoning.

Some human medicines
While some human medications are prescribed for pets by veterinarians, others can be highly toxic and fatal. Acetaminophen, which is contained in Tylenol and other similar products, for example, can be fatal to cats. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving human medication to a pet.

Xylitol (artificial sugar)
Xylitol is a sweetener used in many products including mouthwash, chewing gum, toothpaste, and various foods. Because it is toxic to pets, products containing xylitol should not be given to your dog or cat.

Lilly Plants
All portions of the lilly plant are poisonous to cats when ingested. Just a nibble of the leaf, petal or stem can cause irreversible kidney failure despite extensive medical treatment.

Toxic Household Items
•Liquid potpourri
•PolyUrethane glue
•Pine-oil cleaners
The top pet poisoning claims in 2008, according to pet health insurance company VPI
1. Raisins/Grapes

2. Mushrooms

3. Marijuana

4. Lily flowers

5. Walnuts

6. Onion

7. Sago Palm

8. Macadamia nuts

9. Azalea flowers

10.Hydrangea flowers
Your Puppy & Hypoglycemia

Basic care and observation is very important during first weeks with your new shih tzu puppy.

(NOTICE! It is suggested that you purchase a tube of Nutri-Cal (available at most pet supplies and vet offices) prior to bringing your new puppy home. Nutri-Cal is very inexpensive and can save your puppy's life if needed. Prices usually range from $3.00-8.00 online. If you live here in Alabama, I would suggest ordering from, ( their business is in Alabama) you will recieve it usually the next business day.

One of the main things a new owner needs to take precautions against is a new puppy developing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can occur without much warning and within hours of a puppy going to a new home, missing a meal, or does not eat full meals, gets chilled, overtired or exhausted from too much handling or playing. It occurs more in the toy breeds, but can also occur in larger breeds.

Watch carefully for signs of hypoglycemia (this happens when sugar level drops), and may be caused by stress from being in new environment, too much excitment, and/or not eating properly. Signs of hypoglycemia are: staggering, weakness, vacant stare, depressed affect or mood, sleeping, lethargy, jerky, shaking head in an unnatural way (actually kinda rolling the neck). The gums will be very pale white or blue. Teeth may be clamped tightly together. These are all signs this puppy is having a drop in it's sugar
level and if UNTREATED will progress to convulsions, seizures or coma and can be fatal.

Should this occur, quick and calm action is required IMMEDIATELEY!
If you have Nutri-Cal give it to the puppy. Nutri-Cal gives quick results and gets into the bloodstream in seconds. Dosage instructions are on the tube. You can use Nutri-Cal using a syringe. If you do not have Nutri-Cal use honey, or white karo syrup, rubbing on the tongue and gums. If neither is available, use plain white sugar. Continue with small amounts until puppy returns to normal. If there is no improvement, contact yourt veterinarian. I usually dab a bit on my finger and rub across the puppies gums and tongue. Contact your vet for information if you are unsure of nutri cal or dosage.

Watch for any signs of diarrhea--this will cause puppy to dehydrate quickly. Stress, change of environment, changing food can cause this. Pedialyte is good to have on hand and may be given,  Using Pedialyte instead of water helps with dehydration.

Keep your puppy warm and dry. They need plenty of quiet time and frequent naps, and should have their own space for napping, etc.


Add one tablespoon of honey or sugar to every 16 ounces of water. Keep plain drinking water available as well. Leave food out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a puppy just arriving home up until at least 12 weeks of age and sometimes beyond this if the puppy is a very tiny size. Never feed chocolate, fried foods or milk. Do not allow puppy to become over-chilled or tired. Let your new puppy rest and become acustomed to his new home.

Give puppy Nutri-cal, about one inch every 6 hours for at least 48 hours in a new home and if you begin to see puppy acting very lethargic, give Nutri-cal

Please let me emphasize that hypoglycemia is not a disease or sickness nor is it genetic or inherited. Hypoglycemia is very common in puppies, especially shih tzu puppies and other small breeds, and is easily managed with proper care.

One of the first things you have to do with puppy vomiting is try to find direct causes for it. If your puppy vomited white foam or yellow bile, this would mean that the puppy ate something that he wasn't supposed to. This could include types of foods which don't sit well with dogs or it could be completely inedible objects (undigested food) that they picked up off the floor or elsewhere. Whatever it is, if you can track it to something you may be able to quickly understand that this case of dog vomiting was just a one-time scenario and your dog will be fine immediately after.

Lots of dog vomiting is caused when your puppy eats inedible objects and then gets something stuck in their throat as a result. This is when you're likely to hear a lot of that retching sound as your dog tries to rid the obstruction from its body. As long as the dog can clear this out you won't have a problem. But if it continues or is physically affecting the dog and it seems like he is having difficulty breathing or moving around then you also need to seek out the vet immediately.

Switches in foods and diet can also be a cause of puppy vomiting. The stomach of all dogs, and of puppies especially, is very particular. They get used to certain kinds of food, in certain amounts. Eating substantially more or switching to different foods can cause a problem with their digestive system. In this case, you may want to avoid giving your dog food for just a short while, giving their bodies a chance to clear out a bit. Then a bland meal consisting of foods like boiled white rice and maybe a small bit of plain chicken will help them get back on track.

Puppy vomiting can also be a sign of a more serious illness or infection of some kind. So how are you supposed to know if it's just something that's passing from a change in diet or something wrong that was eaten, or if your dog is really sick? Well, one way to check is to see if it's prolonged. If the dog vomiting continues for several days then it would clearly seem that there is more to the situation, and you will need to seek out a vet for some assistance.

Also important is that if your dog is dealing with some kind of illness or infection then the puppy vomiting will only be one symptom and there could be many others. Other symptoms could include diarrhea in your dogs, fatigue and lethargy, irritations or dog hot spots on their body and so forth. In this case it's definitely time to seek out the vet and to see what they recommend for treatment.

You can also withhold your dogs FOOD for 24 hours. The more you feed them, the more they will vomit.  Keep water down at all times so they wont get dehydrated. When i have a dog that is not feeling well, I will get a can of Campbells Chicken Noodle soup. pour about half in a bowl and warm in the microwave. Do not leave it in the microwave long, it will get too hot and burn the dogs mouth. If the dog does not want to eat it, take a regular medicine syringe and fill it up with the juice and put it inside the dogs jaw(not straight down the throat). Do that about 2-3 times, wait a little while and see if they will eat the soup. Sometimes they will want to eat the rest of the soup then, sometimes it may take a few hours. Start them back on their regular diet when they feel better. If your dog is vomiting for several days, take him to your Vet, it may be something more serious. Dog's Can catch human colds and viruses also. Keep that in mind when handling your dog.

       How to Deal with Diarrhea in Dogs and Puppy Diarrhea

Diarrhea in dogs is a somewhat inevitable problem that you are going to have to deal with at some point or another. Hopefully it's not too frequent, but it's something that is going to happen so it's best to prepare yourself and learn what you have to do to fix the problem when it occurs. Puppy diarrhea is often a bigger concern than diarrhea in dogs that are full grown, but both can be hazardous and neither should be ignored.
That's actually one of the main problems when it comes to diarrhea in dogs. Owners often think that it's nothing too unusual or out of the ordinary and there isn't any cause for concern. By and large there shouldn't be any serious problem but you never know, and you can't let the problem persist because there can be serious, complications and side-effects as time goes on and the problem is left unchecked.

First of all, there are two basic types of diarrhea in dogs. The first is acute diarrhea, which is a problem that comes up and lasts for a few days or even a week. There can be a variety of causes of this and most of them can be easily fixed. The other form you might encounter is chronic diarrhea, where the dogs have a persistent and long lasting problem. In this case, you'll certainly need the assistance of a vet to diagnose the underlying problem and develop a game plan for action, consisting of either medication, a change in diet or other treatments as well.

The main concern with dog diarrhea is that the increased, loose bowel movements can quickly lead to dehydration, which can be a very serious problem. This is especially true for puppy diarrhea, because their bodies are so small they can quickly lose a lot of water and fluids. However, it's a concern for dogs of all ages and you may need to take your dog to a vet for an IV of fluids after a particularly severe case, or an ongoing problem.

Acute diarrhea in dogs is something that just seems to pop up, which means it's usually caused by something the dog ate, or some other change. A very quick change from one type of food to another can cause the other, and even giving your dog new treats can lead to this problem. Additionally, your dog either stealing some or you providing certain foods that we eat everyday can lead to the problem as well.

Besides the food that is eaten, puppy diarrhea can also be caused by stress and other changes in the environment. For example if you have moved and your dog is now in a new home, the stress and the change can lead to digestive problems. Other major changes or unstable environments can produce the same effect. This should be a short lived problem that is fixed as the dog settles into the new environment or circumstances calm down a bit.

To help the situation you can switch your dog to a bland, homemade diet for a few days to get your dog nutrients and easily digestible food. Cook up some plain white rice and plain chicken, and mix it into a bowl with about 2/3 cup rice and 1/3 cup chicken. This bland diet should help get your dog on the mend but if it doesn't, and your dog isn't eating or drinking, it's time to visit the vet.

Puppy diarrhea can also be caused by certain pathogens like viruses, parasites and bacteria. A puppy of just a few weeks old having diarrhea likely has a problem with worms or coccidia, although other potential culprits include Giardia and Trichomonas. In any case you'll need to take your dog to the vet and have him examine a stool sample to determine the cause and provide a medication to treat it. A typical medication used to combat many bacteria and parasites is Flagyl.

For diarrhea in dogs that are full grown there can also be many other causes. There can be issues such as worms and the above bacteria and parasites, or your dog may suffer from a condition such as IBS - irritable bowel syndrome or Colitis, which is inflammation of the lining in the colon. These problems will typically cause chronic problems as opposed to short bursts of symptoms, and you'll need to take your dog to the vet.

As you can see there are many different causes for both acute and chronic diarrhea in dogs. In many cases you can deal with the puppy diarrhea on your own, but other times you'll need to got to the vet for examinations, medication or even an IV of fluids.