The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is dedicated to the elimination of heritable eye disease in purebred dogs through registration and research. All Sweetwater Shih Tzu parents and puppies have been thoroughly examined by Dr. Olivero at the Veterinary Ophthalmology Veterinary Practice and have received certification. **NOTE: The purpose of the CAER online database is to provide breeders with information regarding canine eye diseases so that they may make informed breeding decisions in an effort to produce healthier dogs. Because Sweetwater requires a spay/neuter, the Forever Family receives the white copy of the exam form. They can elect to send it in, however, it is not required as their Forever Friend will not be a breeding dog. If they do decide to send it in, their Forever Friend will be listed under their new name selected by their family, not under Sweetwater. To clarify, the yellow copy of the exam form is kept by our veterinary ophthalmologist, Dr. Olivero, and it is submitted to the OFA’s research department for R&D purposes.
Our mission at Sweetwater Shih Tzu is to raise beautiful, healthy, and very socialized puppies while improving the genetics of the Shih Tzu breed. Like every breed, there are several serious disorders that Shih Tzu can develop. These disorders are serious as they can be physically debilitating or even fatal to the dog, as well as emotionally devastating to the family.
The Shih Tzu is a brachycephalic breed (short nose) and has a natural, slight underbite. An underbite that is too prominent or an overbite can lead to problems with discomfort, missing teeth and even problems eating. A correct bite will prevent the dog's tongue from hanging or protruding from the mouth. All of our parents have been certified for their bite, and receive regular dental care & cleanings at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital.
Dr. Donnell Hansen frequently speaks on on dentistry and oral health topics for the veterinary community. She has a particular interest in cancer care and repair of traumatic injuries.
Dr Hansen is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, and completed her residency at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Our Shih Tzu at Sweetwater Shih Tzu are also certified for their liver. The liver is an important organ that helps remove toxins from the bloodstream.
Our Shih Tzu at Sweetwater Shih Tzu are also certified for their heart. A certified, licenced veterinarian listens to the heart on all three sides of the chest to ensure that there are no heart murmurs or abnormal heart rhythms.
License # MN862526
Dr. Metzen, DVM, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota and obtained her DVM degree in 2002 from the University of Minnesota with a passion for dermatology. She specializes in brachycephallic breeds, including the Shih Tzu. She also has extensive experience with training and behavioral issues. Many of our forever families have established long term relationships with Dr. Metzen.
We are proud to have such an amazing team of veterinarians. They assist us to ensure all of our Shih Tzu are in excellent health and are receiving optimal nutrition, exercise and socialization. Our puppies receive a thorough health examination at 8 weeks of age to ensure that they are healthy and socialized. Some breeders attempt to perform their own vaccinations, however, all of our vaccinations are given by the veterinarian to ensure that they are performed properly.
Sweetwater Shih Tzu
Dr. Jacobson, DVM
Monticello Pet Hospital
Dr. Nelson, DVM
Monticello Pet Hospital
Proud to be licensed by:
Juvenial renal dysplasia (JRD) is a genetic defect of the kidneys. Dogs affected with renal dysplasia have had an embryonic arrest in kidney development at some time around birth. The immature nephrons normally found in you n puppies persist through life. All of our parents have been tested and certified for their kidneys.
Dr. Jacobson finished his undergraduate studies at Iowa State University. In 2003, he graduated from Ross University, School of Veterinary Medicine. He has worked as an associate at the Monticello Pet Hospital since November 2004 and is now the proud owner of the practice. He specializes in canine reproduction, veterinary dentistry and surgery.
Dr. Jessica Nelson completed her undergraduate studies at St. Olaf college where she graduated with a degree in psychology and neuroscience in 2009. She graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State in 2015. Her professional interests include canine reproduction, surgery and dentistry.
Our Shih Tzu at Sweetwater Shih Tzu are also certified for their Thyroid. The thyroid gland controls the metabolism.
As a proud participant in the ACA Star Breeder Program, and 2012-2023 recipient of the Achievement in Excellence Award, we are dedicated to reducing and ultimately eliminating these disorders.
Dr. Emily Edstrom enjoys all aspects of oral surgery, including root canals and extractions. She is particularly interested in treating different forms of oral tumors.
Dr Edstrom is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, and completed her residency at the Center for Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery in Gaithersburg Maryland.
It should not be assumed that mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds. For example, if a Maltese with hip dysplasia is bred to a Shih Tzu with hip dysplasia, the mixed breed puppies will be born with a genetic predisposition for developing hip dysplasia. Being a mixed breed does not remove the genetic predisposition passed down by one or both parents.
Only a thorough examination by a licensed veterinarian accompanied by the appropriate testing will show if the dog has a genetic disorder or will be prone to developing a genetic disorder later in life. This is why genetic testing is so important, and why all Sweetwater Shih Tzu are examined and certified.
Dr. Olivero received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. He then graduated from veterinary school with honors at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in St. Paul, MN. Dr. Olivero completed a residency in comparative ophthalmology at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. During that time, Dr. Olivero's research interests were pharmacology of the canine eye, disease of the lens in cats, and artificial lens implants for dogs. The results of his research projects have been published in numerous veterinary journals. He has also co-authored various other papers found in the veterinary literature. Dr. Olivero attained board certification status with the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 1991. Dr. Olivero has served on staff at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Veterinary College.