What Do You Need to Know About Shih Tzu Vaccinations?

How important are Shih Tzu vaccinations?

The Shih Tzu is a small, compact breed with an endearing personality. This dog requires low-shedding coats and regular grooming to maintain its luxurious coat. The shih tzu has a lifespan of 12-15 years. It may be prone to canine hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy or cataracts, allergies and skin conditions such as seborrhea dermatitis or ringworm infections.

It’s important for new shih tzus owners to ensure that they have their pup vaccinated against common illnesses at the appropriate time in order to keep them healthy and happy!

Shih Tzu Vaccinations

What are Shih Tzu Vaccinations?

Shih Tzu vaccinations are inoculations that protect your pet against dangerous diseases. Your Shih Tzu puppy should receive its first vaccination at 6-8 weeks old. Then, shots will be given every 3-4 weeks until the pup is 16 weeks old.

A booster is administered 1 year later and then every one to three years depending on the type of vaccine used. The type of vaccine will depend on the disease in question: some vaccines have a single type while others have two types you can choose between (called a “combination vaccine”).

Vaccination Schedule for a Shih Tzu Puppy

  • 6-8 weeks old, given a combination vaccine
  • 9-10 weeks old: second vaccination of same vaccines as first round – given a combination vaccine
  • 13-16 weeks old: third vaccination, this time using only one type of vaccine – either single or combination vaccine.

A shih tzu has its first vaccinations at 6 to 8 weeks before being inoculated every 3 to 4 weeks until it is 16-week-old. Then followed by booster shots 1 year later and then an annual shot. Boosters are important with the fact that some diseases can persist in the environment for long periods of time. Some also recommend giving several boosters until your dog reaches adult age.

Ask If the Vaccines are Combined or Separate and What Diseases They Protect Against

Shih Tzu vaccinations can be expensive but it’s better to get them started on their shots early so that the risk of contracting a serious illness is reduced. Your vet will discuss all available options with you and then decide on an appropriate vaccination plan for your Shih Tzu pup.

Common Side Effects of Vaccinations in Dogs

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Your dog may develop swelling at the site of injection, lethargy and loss of appetite for up to 2 days after he is vaccinated. If any serious symptoms occur such as vomiting or diarrhea or seizures, seek veterinary care immediately.

Common Side Effects of Vaccinations in Dogs

The Importance of Vaccinating Your Dog Every Year

A vaccine is a dead or weakened form of a virus. A very small amount of the disease is injected into your dog to build up immunity but it’s important that an annual booster shot is given because some diseases can persist in the environment for long periods and cause infection at any time.

For example, after parvovirus enters into the body, it can remain alive in irreversible forms for months outside the host animal/ human body. So even though your dog has already been vaccinated against parvo once, it’s still possible he might catch this very contagious disease from infected feces still left in public places or on shoes brought indoors from outdoors.

What Diseases Do Vaccines Protect Dogs Against?

There are several diseases that Shih Tzus and other dogs can catch. These include parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and coronavirus. Parvovirus is a serious, highly contagious diarrhea disease that affects young dogs. It attacks rapidly dividing cells in the body and damages the intestines.

Puppies are particularly vulnerable to this disease and it can be fatal if not treated immediately by a vet. Distemper is also another deadly canine virus that causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea then progresses on to neurological symptoms including seizures, paralysis and disorientation.

How Often Should I Have My Pet Vaccinated for These Diseases

Shih Tzu vaccinations are usually taken care of by the time a dog is 12 weeks old. Booster vaccinations must be administered every year or every three years depending on what was initially prescribed in your pet’s vaccine package insert.

Keep in mind that disease-causing agents can still exist for months, even up to a year outside of the host animal/ human body so every time you take your dog outdoors, exercise caution and protect him from ingesting soil where pets have previously left feces or licking his paws after walking through contaminated areas

What are the Risks If I Don’t Vaccinate My Shih Tzu Against These Diseases

Symptoms of Parvo virus and Distemper include diarrhea, stomach pain, fever, dehydration, weight loss. Signs can start out with a low-grade fever that creeps up to 103 degrees or higher followed by vomiting/ diarrhea – your Shih Tzu can get very sick in a few days if he contracts one of these diseases so it’s important to have him vaccinated against them as soon as possible

Shih Tzu vaccinations are cheap and easy ways to keep our pets safe from life threatening disease. If you really don’t want your pooch to have needles then consider the new nasal vaccine for parvo which is being used successfully in other countries. This involves squirting liquid parvo vaccine into the dog’s nose .

Does This Vaccination Include Other Vaccines Not Listed on This List?

It’s important to check the vaccine information insert, which will tell you what vaccines (if any) are included in that particular shot. The most common combination vaccine includes distemper and parvovirus but your veterinarian might give you the option of getting a separate rabies vaccination or an additional non-core vaccine like bordatella.

Please consult with your vet immediately if any adverse reactions occur. Some possible side effects include fever, lethargy/depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, swollen glands and hot spots. As long as it’s not one of the more serious possible reactions like seizures, diarrhea and allergic reactions or redness/ inflammation at the injection site, then these are usually normal signs that your pet’s system is working properly.

In some cases where precautionary measures were not taken (i.e., Shih Tzu vaccinations were given too soon after another vaccine; two different vaccines were injected into one leg/area instead of two different legs/ areas), you might notice a little swelling due to an immune response. This is known as post-vaccination granuloma.


Vaccinating your shih tzu is one of the most important things you can do to keep them healthy and happy. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask questions about what vaccines are right for your pet, how often they should be vaccinated against these diseases, and whether or not a particular vaccine may cause any side effects in your dog.


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