Lhasa Apsos are loved by many people for their unique look, their spunky natures, and their sweet sensitivity. If you are thinking about acquiring one of these as a pet, you should educate yourself thoroughly about them. One of the important things to realize is that as with all breeds, there are health problems that the Lhasa Apso is more prone to than others. It is a wise and responsible owner that will gather information about these potential problems prior to acquiring the dog, so that he or she can be prepared to deal with any that come up in the life of his or her pet. The following are the most common health issues that befall the Lhasa Apso most frequently.
*Entropion-This is a disorder of the eyes in which the eyelids and eyelashes turn inwards towards the eyeball itself, rather than outwards. This can cause great irritation and even damage to the cornea of the eye itself. There are treatments available that will repair this issue.
*Hip Dysplasia-This is typically associated with large breeds of dogs, however this breed is susceptible to this problem with the joints. It occurs when the hip joint develops abnormally, resulting in a great deal of pain and possibly limited movement for the dog. The cartilage around the joint becomes thin and loses its elasticity, causing inflammation, as the top of the femur bone rubs against the hip.
*Skin Infections-This breed can develop a variety of skin infections and conditions. Most can be prevented by keeping the dog properly groomed, free of mats and debris, and keeping them treated against fleas and parasites. Obesity is a cause of yeast infections on the skin, so keeping your dog physically fit is also important. If your dog is prone to skin conditions, your vet may be able to recommend an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal shampoo for you to use regularly.
*Patellar Luxation-In a dog with patellar luxation, the kneecap will slip in and out of socket, causing discomfort or pain. This may be present at birth or develop over time.
*Progressive Retinal Atrophy-This is a genetic eye disease that affects the rods and cones (nerve receptors)of the retinal tissue. The rods are typically affected first, which makes it difficult for the dog to see in the dark or dim light. The cones are often affected later, causing the dog to have vision problems even in the daylight.
*Renal Cortical Hypoplasia-This is a condition where the kidneys have not developed adequately and can cause infection and/or kidney stones. It is typically diagnosed within the first four months of the puppy’s life. Signs and symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and weakness, and excessive urination.
The Lhasa Apso is a wonderful little breed of dog that makes a fun and lovable companion. They are, overall, a healthy and hardy breed, with few genetic health problems. Their health is in the hands of the owners that care for them, so it is important that you understand the potential risks and are ready to be responsible for any health problems that occur. A healthy, well-cared for Lhasa Apso can live over fifteen years.