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Concerning Your Lhasa Apso's Health

By July 02, 2012 | See Comments

Concerning Your Lhasa Apso's Health

The Lhasa Apso is one of the oldest breeds in human history. With this long lineage comes also a set of health problems. Learn more about the Lhasa Apso and their specific health needs here.

The Lhasa Apso originated in Tibet and were first bred to act as sentinels for Buddhist monasteries.  As such, this small breed is known for its large bark and its fearlessness. The Lhasa Apso is long lived, with life expectancy ranging from 12 to 14 years and some dogs living until 20 years. The breed is generally healthy but can be prone to various eye problems; sebaceous adenitis, a skin condition; and renal cortical hyperplasia. Recent DNA studies have shown the Lhasa Apso to be among the 14 most ancient dog breeds in human history.

Primary Health Conditions of the Lhasa Apso

Owners of a Lhasa Apso should be aware of several eye conditions to which the breed is prone, some of which are hereditary and others environmental. These dogs are known to be susceptible to hereditary progressive retinal atrophy, in which the retina is subject to deterioration. Dogs to be bred should be screened for the condition. The Lhasa can also develop cherry eye, in which the tear duct erupts to the eye surface. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye, is a condition in which tears are under-produced, and the eyes become painfully itchy, swollen, and dry. Treatment depends upon the severity of the condition; many cases can be managed with medication and artificial tears; some conditions require surgery.

Secondary Health Conditions of the Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is predisposed to a condition of the skin called sebaceous adenitis, in which the dog’s immune system attacks their sebaceous glands. The result of this is a silvery dandruff, a dull, brittle coat, skin lesions, and often a musty smell to the dog. Sometimes the disease can be treated with antibiotics, but no guaranteed cure is available. Treatment with mineral oils, medicated shampoos, and ointments is common. The Lhasa Apso can also be prone to renal cortical hyperplasia. In this hereditary disease the kidneys are improperly developed and cannot correctly filter toxins in the blood. There is no cure, apart from preventing breeding among dogs who have the condition, so keeping the dog well hydrated and of proper weight is the best management option.

Lhasa Apso Exercise and Walking Needs

The Lhasa Apso has moderate walking and exercise needs, so short walks and time to play in the yard usually suffice for this dog. They can also get quite a bit of exercise in the home or apartment through play with their owners. The dog enjoys chasing and fetching balls or other toys. These dogs are not generally prone to weight problems, but regular exercise will increase their overall health and lifespan.

Lhasa Apso Nutritional Needs

The Lhasa Apso can be a picky eater, so finding a food that they eat readily may take a few tries. Given this proclivity, the dog does not tend to become overweight, although weight issues may occur in some dogs. Given its long coat and tendency toward skin conditions, foods that feature vitamins A and E as well as the Omega fatty acids are recommended by some dog nutritionists.

More on the Lhasa Apso

Grooming a Lhasa Apso Dog
Homemade Baked Dry Dog Food for a Lhasa Apso
The History of Lhasa Apsos
How to Train Lhasa Apso Dogs
The Best Dog Breeds for Fancy Grooming

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.


Our third Lhasa since 1976, it's now 2016, all had urinary system problems of a serious nature. 'Getting ready to put the last one down. 'Too old to handle costs on this one. Surgery, $2K, and aware more problems to come for our senior pet.




My dog has thick clear sticky saliva hanging from mouth, weak, vomits yellow and orange, urnienates and bowel movement

2014-06-26T06:41:09 You might want to consider giving this site a try as you do most likely have to get your baby to the vet if this persists. You might also ask family or friends to help, or do some research on 'The Natural Pet' store site. Eucalyptus may be something that helps, but check whether you can use it for dogs to inhale (not anything else, (don't let him ingest it)
I would check site like 'pet med' for information, Amazon, as well as google 'respiratory infections in dogs' for help. 'Dr Fox' is vet who practices holistic vet practices, you can find him online, as well as 'Dr Becker' on FB. Good luck! I hope your little fur baby just turns out to have a passing little cold & that it's doing better soon.


My dog has come down with a chest cold but her being a lhaso apso her throat is too small and wont allow her to cough up the infection. So is there anyone who can help me PLEASE KIMBY


Is there any one online


Good morning I am having an issue w my (lhaso apso) (Jazmine). My family had a cold and ever since then she started to cough herself. Now I cant afford to take her to a vet because I just lost my job! Is there any home remedies that could help her? Please help me if you can!!!

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