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It should not be assumed that a dog with champion bloodlines is free of genetic disorders. Dog shows judge dogs according to their conformation. In other words, they examine each dog with their hands to see if the teeth, muscles, bones and coat texture conform to the breed's standard. They also view each dog in profile, and watch each dog's gait.
While conformation is no doubt important to maintaining the beauty of the breed, it should not be confused with overall current and future health and longevity. 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.
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. After serving one year as a small animal medicine and surgery intern at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, 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.
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 have been thoroughly examined by Dr. Olivero at the Veterinary Ophthalmology Veterinary Practice, Inc.in St. Louis Park and have received certification. In addition, all of our puppies receive their examination and certification between 7-9 weeks of age.
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 young puppies persist throughout life. All of our parents have been tested and certified for their kidneys. We have not had any puppies afflicted with JRD to date.
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.
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.
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 liver. The thyroid gland controls the metabolism.
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.
As a proud participant in the ACA Star Breeder Program, and 2012-2015 recipient of the Achievement in Excellence Award, we are dedicated to reducing and ultimately eliminating these disorders.
We are proud to have Dr. Genya Metzen as our veterinarian for over 10 years. Dr. Metzen 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.
Dr. Metzen carefully monitors all of our adults at Sweetwater Shih Tzu to ensure that they are in excellent health and are receiving optimal nutrition, exercise and socialization. She also performs a thorough health examination on each of our puppies to ensure that they are healthy and socialized. Many breeders attempt to perform their own vaccinations, however, Dr. Metzen administers all of our vaccinations to ensure that they are performed properly. Many of our forever families have established long term relationships with Dr. Metzen at the Best Friends Animal Hospital in Bloomington.
TyLicense # MN862526