Lhasa Apso

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AKC Group: Non-sporting
The Lhasa Apso is the most popular breed indigenous to Tibet. “Apso” means goat-like. In Tibet, the Lhasa Apso remain a treasured dog of the privileged. They were used as watch dogs in temples and monasteries. In Tibet, you were never able to purchase or sell a dog, a Lhasa Apso was always given as a gift and receiving one was considered a great honor. Developed 800 years ago, their first appearance in the West was in 1901 when an English lady returned home with several.
Size: 9 to 11 inches tall; 12 to 16 pounds
Color: All colors
Life span: 12 to 18 years
Health problems: Luxating patella, entropion, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand’s Disease, spinal problems, cataracts, allergies, skin problems and bladder stones have all been noted.
The Lhasa Apso is a happy, loyal, gentle dog that is full of spirit and character. When they need to alert you, they will. Though they look super cute and cuddly, a Lhasa Apso can be strong willed, bossy, stubborn, dominant and manipulative or even jealous. They can be difficult to train and housebreak. They do not like to be teased or roughly handled. They don’t like boisterous kids nor strangers, to whom they will be wary and standoffish. Once he knows you, he will be friendly and welcoming. He usually gets along well with other companion animals, depending on his mood at the time. The right owner who provides the right training can turn a Lhasa Apso into a very fine companion indeed. They love their exercise time — but really only require a regular walk and a secured area to play when the mood strikes. Training will require your patience. Firstly, establish a relationship of mutual respect. Admire him for his independence, but consistently enforce the rules. Incorporate food and praise into training to make him more cooperative. A Lhasa Apso is¬†intelligent and is able to learn quickly. Always use positive reinforcements and rewards. Socialize early and extensively; the more he gets used to a puppy, the more well rounded adult dog he will make later. Never force your Lhasa Apso to associate with strangers. Introduce him heartily, but don’t overwhelm. Crate training will help with the difficulty to housebreak. Try very hard to make all training sessions fun and rewarding for him.
A Lhasa Apso is a small but sturdy dog with beautiful dark eyes. They have a long, heavy, straight coat with a hard texture. Below that sweet and innocent expression is quite the stubborn fellow. To keep his coat looking gorgeous, brush him daily. Bathe him once a week and trim his bottom hair as needed. Check his ears frequently to avoid infections. Clip his coat every few months. When properly groomed, a Lhasa Apso should be a low shedder.
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Distichiasis disease (dogs)

Distichiasis is a condition where extra eyelashes (cilia) grow from the glands of the upper or lower eyelid. Hair follicles develop from deep within the glands rather than from the skin surface of the eyelids. As these hairs grow, they follow the ducts of the gland and exit from the gland’s opening along the smooth surface of the eyelid. These eyelashes called distichia, rub against the cornea and cause irritation or tearing, and sometimes corneal abrasions.

Distichiasis is an inherited disorder and are seen in many breeds, including the American Cocker Spaniel, Miniature and Toy Poodles, Golden Retriever, Miniature long-haired Dachshund, Shetland Sheepdog, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, English Bulldog, Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu.

Look for: corneal vascularization (blood vessel accumulation), dark coloring of the cornea, corneal ulceration, scarring (which will appear as white areas) on the cornea, conjunctival redness, squinting and excessive tearing from the eyes.

Your vet will diagnose your dog from a thorough visual eye examination to identify the lashes emerging and from where. He may also administer a Schirmer test which will assess tear production from both eyes. He might order a fluorescein staining of the cornea in order to detect any corneal abrasions or ulcers.

Treatments will vary. Some dogs will require no treatment at all, as some dogs have short, fine distichia or if the symptoms presented are mild enough to barely require attention. American Cocker Spaniels are often very tolerant of the extra eyelashes. The next least invasive treatment will be ophthalmic lubricant ointments that will protect the cornea and coat the eyelashes in an oily film. Expect to use this method if your dog is experiencing mild tearing or if he has a few distichia that are short and fine in texture. If your dog isn’t a good candidate for surgery, you’ll be asked to partake of this method.

However, if your dog is extremely bothered by the extra eyelashes or is experiencing corneal damage, your dog will have to undergo surgical correction to remove the distichia and try to kill the hair follicles responsible. Unfortunately, these follicles are difficult to kill. Sometimes portions of the eyelid need to be removed. Other times, the meibomian glands need to be cauterized or frozen with cryotherapy. The obvious worry here is for excessive scarring to occur on the eyelids. Still, regrowth is often common and your dog may need multiple surgeries. It isn’t uncommon for new hairs to spring up in different locations either.

Worse still, there is no preventative care for distichiasis.