12 Signs That Your Shih Tzu Is Dying & Ways To Comfort Them

Categorized as Dog Health
signs that your shih tzu is dying
signs that your shih tzu is dying

Shih Tzu owners always want to know the signs that your Shih Tzu is dying, which is exactly what this post is all about.

Just like the popular saying, every good thing has a beginning and will come to an end someday.

It is very sad and traumatic to your pup pass away, but that day must come, the most important thing is to give your Shih Tzu the best life during his last days.

In this post, I will outline and discuss the signs that your Shih Tzu is dying, and at the end of the post I will outline the common things you should do to make their dying days better.

I have had two of my dog pass away, I know how painful it was, I have seen so many signs which I will outline and discuss in this post. Sit tight and read through!

Signs That Your Shih Tzu Is Dying

Here are the most common signs of a dying Shih Tzu:

Persistent loss of appetite

Your Shih Tzu’s favorite time of the day is undoubtedly mealtime. Because Shih Tzus love food very much that they can cry when they are hungry.

Every Shih Tzu anticipates the rustling of their favorite treat packets and the clinking sound of their meal dish all day.

However, if you discover that your Shih Tzu isn’t eating or is only eating half of what you’ve given him, this may mean any of the following:

  • The Shih Tzu is sick
  • The Shih Tzu don’t like the food
  • The Shih Tzu is having worm
  • The Shih is dying gradually.

It’s possible that when Shih Tzus lose interest in their food, they’re in discomfort with either their environment or in pain.

Though it’s conceivable that the loss of appetite is due to a disease rather than a fatal condition.

Shih Tzus, like other dogs or humans, do not give a hoot about food as they are nearing the end of their lives.

If your Shih Tzu stops eating for an extended length of time or the amount of food he eats keeps reducing, it’s advisable to get them checked out by a veterinarian.

This sign also depends on the current age of your Shih Tzu or the current health status. When your Shih Tzu is about to die, he cares less about food and hides more.

Persistent loss of coordination

It’s possible that your athletic and energetic Shih Tzu is losing their sense of coordination if you observe them stumbling or having trouble controlling their muscles.

Coordination problems can be caused by underlying illnesses, ear infections, or other injuries, and they might be a sign that your Shih Tzu is nearing the end of his life, depending on his age and present condition.

However, if you notice a chronic lack of coordination or are concerned about your Shih Tzu’s stability, call your veterinarian to ensure that your Shih Tzu is not ill or dying.

Recommended post: 10 Most Common Shih Tzu Old Age Problems & Helpful Tips.

Continues loss of Interest in everything

When your Shih Tzu is nearing the end of his life, he may lose interest in everything around him, including you, his owner.

Places he used to enjoy become prohibited, intriguing things he used to enjoy become repulsive, and he may no longer leap up to meet you at the door.

Indeed, this is frequently one of the earliest and most heartbreaking symptoms that your Shih Tzu’s quality of life is deteriorating.

However, a loss of interest in formerly pleasant objects and activities can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Continues fall in body temperature

As Shih Tzus age and have other health issues, they may lose their capacity to regulate their own body temperatures, causing them to lose body heat frequently.

As a result, a Shih Tzu on the verge of passing away will have a lower body temperature than usual, which will be obvious to the owner.

Just remember to take into account the surroundings; if you live in a colder region, your dog may be too chilly, if not then your pup is dying or ill.

You may also keep your dog warm by increasing his body temperature with a heated bed or a warm blanket. You should also contact your veterinarian.

Continues and visible weight loss

Shih Tzus tend to eat less as they become older, which can lead to weight loss, which is frequent in senior Shih Tzus.

Most Shih Tzu owners will find this difficult to observe or experience, and you will need bravery to go through such a time with your Shih Tzu.

However, if your Shih Tzu continues to lose weight after your vet has ruled out any other illnesses, then the end is nigh.

It is fairly uncommon for senior dogs to become extremely thin and malnourished just due to their age.

However, in many situations, this sort of weight loss is caused by degenerative conditions such as chronic renal or hepatic insufficiencies, as well as cancer, all of which can lead to the death of your Shih Tzu. 

Changes in dental conditions

Your Shih Tzu’s brilliant pink gums will turn visibly paler which is how you’ll be able to tell whether their tooth health is deteriorating.

They may also be in excruciating agony as a result of crooked, damaged, or loose teeth due to old age or illness.

Your Shih Tzus may have had a number of dental issues, but it is up to you to determine the severity of the condition with the help of your veterinarian.

Your Shih Tzu will almost certainly have serious dental problems, which is one of the causes of your dog refusing to eat or losing appetite.

In any case, at the end of your Shih Tzu’s life, you’ll find that practically all of the symptoms are linked to one another.

Contact your veterinarian, who will be able to examine your Shih Tzu’s gums and teeth to determine the origin of the problem or if your Shih Tzu is dying.

Frequent muscle tremors

In Shih Tzus lack of food can occasionally produce muscle tremors, as a result, your Shih Tzu can get dehydrated and have muscle tremors.

Muscle tremors can also occur when your Shih Tzu does not eat or drink, his glucose levels drop, resulting in weakness.

Tremors in Shih Tzus can be characterized by twitching, shaking, and a dip in body temperature if you’re not familiar with them.

The best thing you can do is make sure your dog is getting the best nourishment and staying warm by covering them with a blanket.

In order to keep your Shih Tzu warm and comfortable in its final days, you should spend some time embracing your pup and also talking to your vet.

Increasing respiratory problems

Although your dog may have liked running about and playing when he was younger, as he becomes older, he may be unable to do so without panting.

You may notice that your dog inhales and exhales more slowly than usual, or that he or she has problems catching his or her breath.

Respiratory troubles are frequently a symptom of heart failure or problems with the respiratory system.

As the days go by, your dog’s capacity to breathe will most likely deteriorate. Shih Tzus are naturally prone to breathing difficulties because of their nose shape, how much more when they grow older.

You will note that the dog’s respiration becomes shallow with very long pauses between breaths as it approaches death, anything from a few days to a few hours.

The dog’s heart rate will drop from 120 to 80 beats per minute to 70 to 60 beats per minute, with a very weak pulse.

You will notice that your dog is breathing shallowly and is not moving in the final hours. Your dog will usually lie down in a dark or concealed part of your house.

Reduction in rate of movement

Your aging Shih Tzu’s mobility will deteriorate more as he or she approaches death.

The dog’s strength may deteriorate to the point where he or she is unable to stand, this is at an extreme age condition.

Your Shih Tzu legs may begin to time out, or they may have difficulty ascending stairs or crossing slick floors.

As time goes on, your Shih Tzu may be unable to stand and wander around; some may even struggle to lift their heads.

Reduction in rate of movement is one of the latter or last stages before your Shih Tzu gives up.

Regular vomiting

Even if your dog isn’t sick, you may notice that they are vomiting a lot while they are dying.

Most people understand that vomiting is a symptom of illness, but it can also indicate that a dog’s digestive tract is decelerating.

The upset stomach takes longer to digest food when the digestive system slows down, and your dog will end up vomiting the undigested food in his or her stomach.

While vomiting can be alarming and unpleasant for both you and your dog, there are ways to alleviate their discomfort.

Speaking with your veterinarian and purchasing food that is gentle on your dog’s swollen stomach can make the procedure go much more smoothly for both you and your pet.

Persistent shedding and skin conditions

Despite the fact that your furry pet is completely covered in fur, you will see how dehydration affects a dying Shih Tzu’s skin.

Day by day, the quality and condition of their hair and skin will deteriorate.

Regardless of how hard you try to keep it smooth and silky, it will eventually dry up and become harsh.

Even with proper Shih Tzu grooming, when the time comes, your Shih will start dropping those beautiful hairs.

Excessive shedding accompanied by age is a sign your Shih Tzu is going.

Uncontrollable bladder

Pay attention to your Shih Tzu’s potty habits, as an unmanageable bladder and anal sphincter control is another indicator of a dying Shih Tzu.

Your Shih Tzu will urinate and defecate in strange places as he approaches death.

These signs are likely to occur in even the most disciplined or well-trained Shih Tzu. Urination will be uncontrolled and infrequent.

Your Shih Tzu will discharge watery diarrhea that is sometimes foul-smelling and sometimes blood-tinged as he approaches death.

Because of an absolute lack of muscular control, your dog will urinate and defecate for the last time after death.

Dying stages of a Shih Tzu signs

Here are the common specific signs that your Shih Tzu is finally passing away:

Last 4 months of a dying Shih Tzu

In the last four months of an old dying Shih Tzu, you will encounter the following dying signs:

  • Gastrointestinal changes
  • Dulling eyes
  • Lack of self-grooming
  • Continues dehydration
  • Tougher and drying skin
  • Unnecessary freezing
  • Unnecessary vomiting once in a while

Last 3 weeks of a dying Shih Tzu

Here are the signs you see in the last 3 weeks of a dying Shih Tzu:

  1. Changes in respiration patterns
  2. Picky eating
  3. Eye discharge
  4. Increased self-isolation
  5. less interest in favorite activities
  6. Continues increase in weight loss
  7. Skin problems

Last days of a dying Shih Tzu

In the last few days of an old dying Shih Tzu, here are the most common signs you should know:

  1. Complete restlessness
  2. Unusual freezing
  3. Changed temperament
  4. Changes in body smell
  5. Extreme weight loss
  6. Slowed breathing rate
  7. Lack of interest in anything
  8. Distant look in their eyes
  9. Increased self-isolation and death.

How to comfort a dying Shih Tzu

Here are the most common ways you can comfort a dying Shih Tzu:

  • Give your Shih Tzu the medical attention he or she needs and the necessary medications.
  • Offer your Shih Tzu a higher quality food, keeping a water bowl closer to your dog.
  • Create a quiet, warm environment for your Shih.
  • Limit new activities or exercises.
  • Make sure there are plenty of blankets or wrap him up in case of cold.
  • Avoid loud noises or bright lights in your Shih Tzu sleeping room.
  • Approach him or her quietly to prevent startling them and calmly touch him.
  • Provide your Shih Tzu smaller meals at appropriate frequencies.
  • Always consult with your vet if your Shih Tzu is on medication.
  • Respect your Shih Tzu’s desire for solitude.
  • Consult with your vet to offer pain meds or homeopathic remedies.
  • You can use appetite stimulants to ensure that your Shih Tzu eats.
  • Always stay close in case your Shih Tzu needs help.

How to ensure Your Shih Tzu live a longer life

Here are some common ways to make sure your Shih Tzu live a long and happy life:

  • Provide a high-quality and appropriate diet
  • Always help strengthen a Shih Tzu’s immune system.
  • Provide constant access to clean and fresh water.
  • Promote a better and healthier digestive functioning.
  • Feed your Shih Tzu homemade meals, incorporating mineral supplements.
  • Avoid food with fillers, chemical preservatives, a high wheat content and soy content.
  • Provide a diet rich in protein, which will help keep your Shih Tzu energy levels high.
  • Avoid carcinogens, such as giving your Shih Tzu smoked meat.
  • Avoid putting your Shih Tzu through stress.
  • Always groom your Shih Tzu.
  • Avoid any form of anxiety for your Shih Tzu.
  • Provide your Shih Tzu with a comfortable and quiet place to rest.
  • Maintain a working daily routine.
  • Let your dog sleep as much as he or she likes.
  • Always schedule regular medical check-ups.

How to get over the loss of your Shih Tzu

Here are some tips to help you get over the loss of your Shih Tzu:

  • Talk to your friends.
  • Visit places your Shih Tzu love.
  • Pack up and clean up your Shih Tzu room.
  • Talk to a psychologist for advice.
  • Get over the loss and move on
  • Visit some dog park
  • Visit and interact with other dog owners.
  • Give yourself some time and get a new pet.

By Samuel Akira

Samuel Akira has 12 years of experience with dogs his a major author in Pet Creeks and currently living and taking care of 2 different breeds of dogs, Samuel Akira is here to write and share his years of experience with dogs.