Potential Health Issues For A Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu at VetThe Shiba Inu is generally a very healthy breed of dog. They are very versatile, able to live inside or outside happily, and can adjust to different levels of exercise. A Shiba Inu can run for miles with an owner, or can be content playing ball in the yard. They are sturdy, clean, and excellent mothers to their puppies, which make them less susceptible to most diseases than other dogs.

However, there are a number of disorders to be wary of. Shiba Inus are especially susceptible to a short list of diseases and genetic disorders that can be dangerous if left untreated. Read on to learn more about symptoms that could indicate your Shiba Inu has a problem that requires a trip to the vet.


Like many other dog breeds, Shiba Inus can be subject to seizures. If your dog has a seizure, you should visit the vet to see what your best options are for treatment. Depending on the severity, seizures may not be a major cause for concern.

It can help to keep a seizure log detailing the frequency, severity, and circumstances of seizure episodes. Be especially certain to record what was going on at the time to see if you can narrow down the cause of the seizure. Seizures can be caused by diet or specific triggers, such as light or sound.

Taking your seizure log to the vet can help get a better idea of what treatment may be appropriate. Your vet can help you make sure that your Shiba Inu can live comfortably while also experiencing as few seizures as possible.

Due to the amount of interest in this topic, we have explored this topic further with a page dedicated to seizures in the Shiba Inu breed.


Glaucoma is an eye disease that, if left untreated, could lead to blindness for your pet. Early symptoms of glaucoma include the Shiba Inu squinting or tearing when exposed to light, or a cloudy quality over the cornea. If you notice these symptoms, it is very important to take your dog to a veterinarian qualified for canine ophthalmology.

It may be tempting to take your dog to an ordinary vet, but in the case of canine glaucoma this may not be sufficient. Veterinarians usually will not carry the equipment necessary to diagnose and treat eye problems, nor will they have the training to perform eye surgery. It is a good idea to have a canine Ophthalmologist in mind ahead of time in case of glaucoma symptoms.

The reason it is so important to be prepared to recognize and treat glaucoma is that the onset is very rapid and damaging. If the dog can be treated within 24 hours of onset, typically there will be no permanent eye damage. If left untreated, the dog may go blind, and potentially can even require complete removal of the eye!

It is a good idea to have your Shiba Inu visit a vet by age 2 or so to check for problems and get eye readings that can be referred to later to see if there is a problem. Regular eye checks are a good idea, since this breed is susceptible to eye problems.


Hypothyroidism is a hormonal disorder in which your pet’s thyroid gland is under active and does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone. Symptoms include rough coat, weight gain, and a disinclination toward exercise.

If you notice that your Shiba Inu is gaining weight while getting an ordinary amount of food and exercise, they may be suffering from hypothyroidism. You can take the pet to the vet to see if this is the case. If it is a case of hypothyroidism, it can be easily treated with a daily application of thyroid medication.

Patella Luxation

Patella Luxation is a knee problem involving the ligaments becoming dislocated in the hind legs. Usually, Patella Luxation is not a major problem, but can cause some mild discomfort, or be debilitating in extreme cases.

Symptoms include holding the leg straight back, hopping to avoid putting weight on the leg, or otherwise having difficulty walking or using a leg. If you notice this behavior, avoid subjecting the dog to strenuous activity until you can see a vet and get a professional opinion.

If your dog suffers from this condition, you can’t change their DNA but you can help with supportive nutrients and exercise.


Just like human allergies, Shiba Inus can become allergic to a variety of triggers. The most common case of allergies for dogs is in the warmer southern states where fleas do not die off in the winter, and warm weather keeps plants active.

Inhalation allergies to pollens are especially common in this breed of dog. The same sort of allergies that are common among humans can affect Shiba Inus, such as an allergy to high pollen counts in the air during the spring season.

Symptoms can vary, but typically will be recognizable as similar to symptoms a human with allergies would have. Swollen eyelids, sneezing fits, hacking coughs, and running eyes are all potential symptoms of an allergy attack.

You can also recognize an allergy problem if your dog is rubbing its face on the carpet or other rough surfaces to try to cure itchiness. In extreme cases this itching can lead to rubbing off fur, and will also cause irritation on the nose and eyes.

You also may notice your dog excessively licking their feet or hindquarters, or even pulling out fur. This can be the result of a grass allergy, or an allergic reaction to fleas.

If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your vet as soon as possible. As with human allergies, dogs can be given supplements to help suppress allergic reactions during seasons when they are present. Allergies can be extremely miserable, so make sure to get your dog the medicine they need!


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Remember that Shiba Inus are typically sturdy and healthy dogs, but sometimes they do need medical help. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog to make sure they are not developing symptoms of any of these disorders, or other disorders not listed here. The key to keeping your Shiba Inu healthy is keeping an eye out for unusual behavior or symptoms, and being quick to visit the vet to make sure your dog is healthy and happy.


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1 Comment

  1. Shiba

    My complimets for your advice and page.



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