Shih Tzu Now Participating in CHIC

In August 2021, the ASTC Board voted to recommend to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) that the following tests be required for issuance of a CHIC number for a Shih Tzu:

  • Eye certification by the Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER) of Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
  • Patella certification by OFA
  • Cardiac testing and OFA Hip certification will be optional and not required for a CHIC number

  • The CHIC program was created by the OFA by partnering with AKC parent clubs to research and maintain information on health issues for specific breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the protocol are recognized with a CHIC number and certification. The recommendations above were based on research by the ASTC CHIC committee after discussions with canine opthalmologists, cardiologists, internists, and general practitioners, as well as Shih Tzu breeders and other toy breeders testing their breeding stock. At the time this research was done, Shih Tzu and Pekingese were the only toy breeds not participating in the CHIC program.

    CHIC testing requirements are only for CHIC certification and the issuance of a CHIC number and will not be required by the club for any other purpose. The testing will be listed on the OFA website along with the CHIC number, which certifies that a dog has been screened for every disease recommended by the parent club for that breed and that these results are publicly available. CHIC numbers give the public an assurance that the breeder is concerned about the welfare of the breed.

    ASTC members are encouraged but not required to participate in the CHIC program. Also, you do not have to be an ASTC member to participate in the CHIC program. Any owner who has already done the required testing will be issued a CHIC number retroactively. In addition, the number will only be issued once and cannot be taken away.

    Patella certification requires a simple manipulation and can be done by your regular vet. OFA patella and hip exams are also available at reduced prices at some conformation dog shows.

    Eye certification requires examination by a board certified ophthalmologist but eye clinics at conformation shows and vet schools offer exams at reduced prices. The ophthalmologist will check the eyelids for entropion, ectropion, distichiasis, ectopic cilia, and imperforate lacrimal punctum. Both eyes will be checked for a variety of conditions, including glaucoma, corneal dystrophy, pigmentary keratitis, and cataracts. Additional information on the CHIC program is available at