Lhasa apso Health Issues

Playful Lhasa apso puppy outside in the grass.

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Dental Care
Poison Alert

A good breeding program will help eliminate many of these problems from the breed almost entirely. Responsible breeders will remove any breeder from their breeding program that perpetuates these illnesses, diseases and congenital disorders. We have never dealt with any of these issues but always credit that to the Grace of God and careful choices of the boys and girls we use in our breeding program.

  • Cerebral congenital malformations
  • Tracheal narrowing
  • Tracheal collapse
  • Renal congenital disease
  • Renal familial disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Calcium oxalate urolithiasis
  • Prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid
  • Nictitans gland prolapse
  • Cataract
  • Lens Opacity
  • Lens Capsule Opacity

Dental Care

WARNING:  Lhasa apsos commonly retain baby teeth.  This is not a major problem when retained teeth are detected early and removed.  This will allow the adult teeth to replace them in the proper time.  However, when retained baby teeth remain too long or in some cases permanently, many orthodontic issues can arrise such as cavities from overcrowding, bite misalignment, mouth and facial sores, and even infections that can become life threatening.  Always ask your vet to check your Lhasa apso puppies mouth during routine examinations and avoid costly problems that may arise later.

Prevention is the best protection to avoid periodontal (gum) disease. Your Lhasa apso should visit the veterinarian regularly for a complete oral tooth exam and cleaning above and below the gum line

Diet should include dry, crunchy foods that help stimulate the gums and remove some of the plaque accumulations.

Toys can be a big help too! Many chew toys are now designed to help with tartar and plaque build up as well as providing your Lhasa apso puppy with necessary amusement.

Brushing your Lhasa apso’s teeth regularly is the first step in preventing periodontal disease. This will keep the plaque and tartar from building up. Introduce dental care at a young age. Begin by slowly touching your pet’s mouth and running your finger along the lips. Gradually move on to rubbing the gums and tooth line. Encouraging words will help while consistently getting your puppy used to having it’s mouth touched. When your pup has adjusted to this handling you can start by wrapping a piece of gauze around your finger and gently rubbing the teeth. This will help remove residue from the teeth and gums. Once your puppy gets used to the gauze, start adding a little pet toothpaste. Pet toothpaste is flavored so they will actually enjoy the taste. After your puppy is used to the gauze and paste you can begin brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush. Gently hold the mouth closed with one hand while lifting the lip on one side of the mouth. Carefully brush the outside surface of the teeth. Focus mainly on the outside of the teeth and gums. This is where the salivary glands are located and problems are more likely to occur in these areas. As your puppy accepts this routine brushing you can then try brushing the insides of the teeth. Brushing should be done on a daily basis and take about 5 minutes.

When brushing is complete, provide your puppy with a special biscuit as a reward for his/her good behavior.

Poison Alert

ASPCA Poison Control


Many plants and chemicals can be deadly if ingested by your Lhasa apso.

Some are well known, such as: chocolate, anti-freeze, and Holly berries. Others, however, are never suspect to the unlearned individual.

I nearly lost a Lhasa apso to poisoning when she ingested some of my rhododendrons.

I had no idea they were poisonous to the canine species and planted them right in reach of my teething puppy. Were it not for the quick thinking of my daughter Jessica (she located an internet page listing several plants poisonous to pets), my little Lhasa would have died}. The veterinarian was able to properly treat a very sick puppy thanks to this information.

This 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week hotline is staffed by 25 veterinarians, including 5 board-certified veterinary toxicologists and 10 certified veterinary technicians.

The center is an allied agency of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. As of this writing, a consultation fee may apply to this service, but it may save your pet’s life. If you ever suspect poisoning the phone number and Web address above may be of tremendous help. Keep this site in your favorites or at least post the phone number where you can easily locate it.

Be sure to occasionally verify that the number is still correct and update as necessary.