Animal Care & Pets

Shiba Inu Health Concerns/Problems

Shiba Inu Health Concerns

Shiba Inu is the smallest of all the six native Japanese dogs. Shiba breed are active self confident dogs especially outdoors and always looking out for adventure. Shiba Inu can live outside in the cold winter weather and also in warm temperatures. They are good natured, alert, bold, and loyal breed anyone will enjoy. The average life span for the Shiba breed is from 12 to 15 years.

Shiba Inu breed are generally healthy but can also be susceptible to certain health conditions. Shibas are of great genetic soundness and compared to other dogs; they are not known to suffer genetic disorders. It is advisable and important to undergo joint examinations throughout the life of your dog. Your dog is considered fully free after 2 years of no joint problems since by this time the skeleton is fully developed. Yearly eye test is also recommended as eye problems may develop anytime. Besides, most health problems are discovered earlier in the dog’s life.

In order to avoid serious health problems, it is imperative to make sure to see the health clearances for the puppy’s parents at the time of purchase. This proves that the dog has been tested and cleared of any condition. For the Shiba Inu breed, there is always the health clearance from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and Von Willebrand’s disease.


The following are the health concerns or problems of the Shiba breed:

  • Allergies: Shiba Inu can suffer allergies. There are the food allergies which can be treated by eliminating certain foods from the dog’s diet. The contact allergy is caused by reaction to dog shampoo or flea powders. Inhalant allergies can be caused by airborne allergens like dust or pollens. Treatment will depend on the particular condition.
  • Cancer: Cancer symptoms may include a swollen sore or bump, bleeding from body orifice, and breathing difficulty. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy.
  • Epilepsy: Epilepsy can be either mild or severe seizures and may be inherited. This may be caused by infections of the brain or severe head injuries, tumors, and certain poisons.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a condition that causes the thighbone not to fit snugly into the hip joint and as the dog ages, arthritis can develop. It is important when buying your puppy to ask the breeder to verify the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and passed.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure in the eye and can take two forms: primary form which is hereditary, and secondary, caused by decreased or low level of fluid in the eye due to other eye diseases. Loss of vision is a common symptom. Treatment can by surgery or eye drops.
  • Hypothyroidism: A disease of the thyroid gland that can cause epileptic conditions, obesity, dark patches on the skin, hair loss and other skin conditions. It is treated with medications.
  • Patellar Luxation: This happens when the knee joint slides in and out of place, causing pain. Most dogs will lead relatively normal lives with this condition.
  • Chylothorax: This condition causes fluid accumulation in the chest of a dog and will often cause difficulty in breathing, constant coughing and loss of appetite. In a more serious condition, surgery may be needed otherwise the fluid can be removed.

The Shiba Inu will require daily exercise in the form of playing in the garden, a good walk around in a big field or even in the yard in order to stay healthy and live long, if you want to pamper it a lot more, buy a sleeping wedge pillow a give it to them. The oldest Shiba, Pusuke died in December 2011 at age 26, making him the oldest at the time.