National Shiba Club of America

Shiba Health

An Overview of Health Problems in the Shiba Inu

Parent Club Health Testing Recommendations

Coat Color Genetics

Vaccinations in Dogs

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CCDS)

Canine Hypothyroidism

Seizures in Dogs

How Aging Affects Dog Eyes

The Silent Thief: Glaucoma

Health Issues Glossary


Condition / Study / Test
Allergies A common problem found in Shibas is allergies. These may vary from very mild to very serious. 

Cancer Screening Test Veterinary Diagnostic Institute has introduced a new simple blood test that can detect cancer in the early stage including in apparenly healthy dogs. The test is called INCaSe, Initial Notification Cancer Screen.
Canine Lymphoma A screening test has been developed to detect canine lymphoma in the early stage allowing individualzed treatment to begin.
Canine Epilepsy A study is being undertaken in affected dogs to identify the gene associated with epilepsy. Blood samples are being sought from affected dogs and their siblings.
Chylothorax While mainly associated with cats, this rare condition has also been found in dogs with certain breeds more prone to it than others. Shibas are one of the breeds in which it has been found. A milky-white fluid effuses into the pleural space and builds up around the heart and lungs.

Long-Coat A DNA test has been developed to determine coat-length genotypes in several breeds, including Shibas.
Gangliosidosis This is a fatal rare metabolic disease that has been found in some Shibas in Japan and Eastern Europe with at least 1 confirmed case in the US. It falls in the category of lysosomal storage diseases and is hereditary.
Glaucoma Glaucoma is an increased pressure within the eye caused by a build-up of fluid. The pressure damages the optic nerve and causes blindness. Primary glaucoma is an inherited condition and is not uncommon in Shibas. The use of collars on dogs with glaucoma is not recommended. A new study has identified a gene mutation that is linked to susceptibility for developing glaucoma in Shibas.

Heinz Body Anemia Ingestion of onions (or related plants such as leeks and garlic) causes Heinz Heinz body anemia in dogs. Shibas and other Japanese breeds may be more susceptible to oxidative damage to their red blood cells and to onion poisoning.
Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism is not uncommon in Shibas. There is some indication that this condition may contribute to aggressive behavior in dogs.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory bowel disease is an accumulation of inflammatory cells within the lining of the stomach, small intestine, large intestine or a combination of these areas. It can not be cured, only managed.
Patella Luxation At the end of 2008, the Orthopedic Foudation For Animals ranked Shibas 17th among all breeds for patella luxation based on reports submitted to them. Approximately 7% are affected and that number may be on the low side. A dog with patella luxation will have its kneecap pop out of place.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Late onset PRA has been diagnosed in a few Shibas. This is an inherited disorder and work on identifying carriers is being undertaken by Dr Mark Neff at the Univerisity of CA - Davis and at Opti-Gen.
Pseudohyperkalemia With this condition, high potassium (K) levels are only found if the red blood cells are ruptured when the blood is drawn, otherwise the levels should be normal. Therefore care should be taken to prevent rupturing the cells when blood is drawn. Otherwise, because of the high potassium level, a dog may be incorrectly diagnosed with Addison's disease. It is common in Shibas and Akitas.
Spinners Spinners are dogs that circle, not out of excitement, but compulsively. In Bull Terriers, there is some evidence that this may be a form of a seizure.
Tick Borne Diseases Tick borne diseases include Lyme, canine ehrlichiosis, canine anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.