In general, dogs
with any of the following conditions should not be bred. You should try to make
sure that the parents of the puppy you may be considering are not affected by
any of these conditions. Most Shar-Pei will not have any of these problems in
their lifetimes and they are listed here as potential.
All breeds have potential health problems, some more than
others, we would rate the Shar-Pei as medium on the scale and number of
potential health issues. Most owners will not experience any or very
few of the conditions below, some conditions are more common than others, some
are rare, they are listed here so that in the event of a health problem
occurring, it can be recognised early and professional help sought quickly for
the benefit of the dog.
The Shar-Pei is the most wonderful of breeds, with outstanding qualities,
reputable breeders have a HUGE love of their breed and will try their utmost to
avoid breeding any of these conditions in to their puppies.
Sharpei Eye Tacking
The Shar-Pei are one of a number of breeds that can have this
condition. This is where the eyelid rolls in towards the eye, rubbing against
the cornea and irritating this sensitive structure. Watery eyes, infection, even
a corneal ulcer, can occur. Surgical correction is required, this can be a
comparatively simple puppy eye tack through to an *Entropion operation (* should
not be carried out on a young puppy unless problem is extreme).
A condition where the lens in the eye is
displaced into an abnormal position leading to
abnormally high pressure in the eye. this will most often
cause blindness if untreated very quickly, an irritated eye with a 'blueing' on
the cornea often indicates this condition, normal treatment generally requires
rapid surgical removal of the lens in the eye and the condition will often occur
in the other eye within a relatively short period.
breeds of dogs commonly develop KCS and cherry eye. These breeds (American
Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Shar Pei, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Chow Chow)
frequently develop KCS (Dry Eye) after removal of the cherry eye condition.
Dry eye is a serious eye condition that is difficult to treat, and
requires life-long treatment. The chance of developing KCS (Dry Eye) is lessened
by tacking the gland back into its normal position thereby keeping the gland
functional. This is the most desirable way of handling "Cherry Eye". Tacking
surgery performed by an experienced veterinary ophthalmologist has a failure
rate of less than 5 %.
Sharpei Ears and Pseudomonas Infection
Due to the breed standard calling for small ears, this
results in the Shar-Pei having very narrow ear canals. frequent cleaning is
often necessary to avoid problems. If ear irritation is noticed it may be
necessary to commence a routine cleaning of, once every week or every two weeks
depending on the individual dog, (Over-cleaning can also cause inflammation, so
care is advised).
Use cotton swabs or make-up pads (cotton ones) with an ear solution such as
Epiotic, from your vet. Do not use cotton buds as it may push the waxy build-up
further down the ear canal. After you have cleaned the ears with Epiotic or
similar, let them shake (this will throw loosened debris up the canal) and
then clean the debris from under the ear flaps and round the canal entry. (never
poke a cotton bud down into the ear canal, this is likely to cause pain and ear
damage) Use a make-up pad to gently clean the ear area. ...
Dermatits' can affect the ear's....always consult a Vet...
The first signs of an ear infection that you will see is your
dog scratching the affected ear and shaking its head. There may be a discharge
and smell from the ear, as well as redness, swelling, crusting or pain in the
Examination of the ear canal by a veterinary
surgeon using an auroscope will confirm the
a veterinary surgeon may need to flush the ear out under anaesthetic...
Dogs with severe chronic ear
infections should have a complete medical exam to eliminate the possibility of
underlying systemic disease for example, hypothyroidism and cushings disease is
a common underlying reason for bad ears. If atopy (an allergic condition caused
by inhaled allergens) is the cause, you may need to give low doses of
anti-inflammatory medicine during the season. If food allergy is the cause, then
a special hypoallergenic diet may be needed. If the dog is hypothyroid
(under-active thyroid), continuous thyroid therapy will be needed...
Otitis externa, it is an
inflammation and infection of the external ear canal and is commonly seen in
dogs,The causes are numerous and include foreign bodies,parasites, yeasts, fungi
and bacterial infections. (grass seeds, hair, dirt or ear secretions...
Haematoma, is a soft swelling on the ear flap usually caused by blood that has
en-fused from a broken blood vessel. It can be brought on by a bite or by
violent head shaking, by the dog....
Sharpei Nose - Stenotic Nares
Stenotic nares: a condition
where the openings of the nose (nares) are too small.
These dogs snore because of excess flesh. If the dog is unable to pass air with
ease. An "elongated soft palate" is likely to be the cause of "respiratory
distress." See more on Brachycephalic and the Sharpei...
Myositis and Extraocular Myositis
is the medical term for inflammation of the muscles.
Masticatory muscle myositis (MMM) is an inflammatory disease that affects the
muscles of the jaw. "Masticatory" refers to chewing.
Extraocular myositis (EOM) is an inflammatory disease that selectively affects
the muscles that surround the eye. Extraocular myositis does not affect the
muscles of the jaw. Neither type of muscle inflammation affects the muscles of
Sharpei Tight Lip Syndrome
This is where the excess flesh from the lower lip covers the
teeth making it difficult for the Shar-Pei to chew. This excess flesh also traps
food and is usually associated with an overbite. It is often necessary to clean
inside the lower lip/gum......
Overbites are very common. This can occur due to the
misplacement of the incisors causing an overcrowding. Extraction at a young age
can prevent the adult canines from cutting into the hard palate.
fever also known as "Swollen Hock Syndrome" (SHS) typically may include the
1. Swelling of the hock joint and
sometimes other joints can be affected.
2. Reluctance to move.
3. Sometimes a swollen painful
4. Abdominal pain, vomiting,
diarrhoea, and shallow breathing.
This is one of the
worst conditions that any loving owner could experience, it is a genetic
breeders would not breed from known FSF carriers, know your pedigree's
before breeding, research before buying a Shar-Pei, some breeders have been
heard commenting "they all have it, so what does it matter"...it does
matter, as all Pei's do not have
it, anyone who tells you that, is making excuses for their own bad breeding practices...
Fever (FSF) is an episodic fever disorder. Shar-Pei with this disorder have one
or more bouts of unexplained fever, usually 103-107 degrees but rare cases may
go higher. Fevers usually start when they are less then 18 months old but
sometimes the first attack is not until they are adults.
Fever episodes usually become less frequent with age. Fevers last 24-36 hours in
most cases without treatment. The disorder is thought to result from an
inability to regulate the immune system.
Dogs suffering from this disorder are at risk of dying from a related disorder,
Amyloidosis. affected Shar-Pei with Amyloidosis have an inability to break down
chemicals released in the bloodstream when inflammation results from abnormal
deposition of amyloid protein throughout the body.
While not all dogs with Shar-Pei fever die of Amyloidosis, when they do, death
most commonly occurs between the ages of 3 and 5 years".
We are riding the wave of the
current level of understanding of these autoinflammatory disorders. As
researchers learn more, new areas of exploration evolve. Your support and
cooperation is appreciated and necessary. What can breeders do now? Do
not breed dogs with FSF or the offspring of dogs that have been diagnosed with
amyloidosis after autopsy... Breed your healthy old dogs to healthy
young bitches and vice versa; breed for longevity and good health. Don’t put
the blinkers on… if it looks like an FSF episode, it probably is. Educate your
puppy buyers about the disorder and ask them to call you if they experience any
problems – what you don’t know will hurt you. Have routine blood chemistry
tests and first morning urine sample urinalysis done on all Shar-Pei annually
after 2 years of age and especially before any breeding to detect any latent
kidney or liver problems.
Most Common Signs of
thirst and frequency of urination.
Breath" as in a very distinctive 'Foul Smelling' smell as a result of uremia
of toxins/wastes in the bloodstream as the kidney +/- liver fails to process
Sharpei Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome
The Vast Majority of Familial Shar-Pei Fever (FSF)
episodes seen in Shar-Pei run a fairly benign course, but there are
occasional exceptions which can have life threatening consequences. If
not recognised early, STSS can lead to death in 24 hours or less. A similar
syndrome has been seen in human medicine, the so-called "flesh-eating
Lot's of vets have never seen this condition, so do not know how to recognise or
A common endocrine disease
where the body produces an abnormally low amount of thyroid hormones. An
autoimmune destruction of the thyroid gland which affects more than 50 dog
The thyroid glands secrete a hormone which controls the basic metabolic rate of
the entire body. Inadequate hormone levels reset the body to function at a lower
In that case, dogs fatten easily on a normal diet, become sluggish, and are
easily chilled. Hair changes are most noticeable and include loss of hair from
the flanks and back, increased pigmentation of the skin, scaling and seborrhoea
(an abnormality in the production of skin cells.) Secondary bacterial infection
of the skin is common.
The ears may also be affected, filling with thick, yellow greasy material which
may predispose the dog to ear infections. Blood tests will determine the level
of thyroid function and administration of thyroid hormone can treat the
Sharpei Demodectic Mange
One of the most common dog skin problems, not only in
Shar-Pei. this is a kind of skin disease (mange) caused by microscopic' Demodex
canis' mites living within the skin layers and producing an immunodeficiency
Irritation starts off as small dry areas on the head, chest, and legs of the
Shar-Pei. Because the dog scratches to relieve the intense itching, the skin
becomes red and raw with a leathery look about it. Check with your vet for
prescribed medication, shampoos, and other appropriate treatment.
an uncommon skin condition
We have come across a number of Shar-Pei with Pemphigus
Foliaceus, this condition is not commonly seen by vets and often gets mis-diagnosed,
there is no clear reason as to why some Shar-pei develop Pemphigus, but it seems
that periods of extreme stress have been involved in relation to some Shar-pei
we have seen and been directly involved with.
What is Pemphigus?
Pemphigus covers a group of uncommon disorders that occur in
dogs. With these conditions, there is an abnormal immune response to normal
components of the skin, resulting in separation of cells. This leads to
blisters, pustules, and crusting erosions in the skin. There are some
similarities to Pemphigus in humans, but many significant differences as
Breed predispositions are recognized for 2 forms - Pemphigus
Foliaceus and the milder Pemphigus Erythematosus. (There are no breed
predispositions recognised for the other 2 forms - Pemphigus vulgaris and
Sharpei Hot Spots!!
Your dog is chewing constantly at a wet, raw
looking skin lesion. And it looks like it is bigger and nastier than it
was just hours ago.
You show it to your neighbour and they say your dog has a "Hot Spot".
What on earth is that?
Sharpei Seborrhoea Oleosa
A skin disease with excess scaling of the skin and often an
excess of sebum (oil-like substance) and odour. The body odour which comes from
raw, scaly, bloody skin, could be caused by hypothyroidism, yeast infections,
and or food allergies. This condition should be immediately discussed with a vet
and the appropriate shampoos (i.e; Malaseb or Seleen) and medication can
effectively treat this condition. light powdering with Flowers of Sulphur can
help the healing process
Skin odour is a common manifestation of a skin infection. The most
common skin infections are bacterial (superficial pyoderma) and yeast (Malassezia
Dandruff (Scale) is often present on animals with skin disease; it can
either be primary sign of disease or secondary to other skin changes. It is a
major presenting sign of Cheyletiella mite( Dandruff) infestation and idiopathic
seborrhoea but is more commonly a part of a mixed pattern of signs as seen with
hypothyroidism or Pyoderma...
The bacterial infections are usually caused by bacteria that are part of the
normal flora of the skin (e.g. Staphylococcus intermedius). For this
reason the infection is not contagious to other animals. In dogs that have
abnormal skin (e.g. allergies) the bacteria increase in number and cause red
bumps (papules) and rancid odour. Some dogs with bacterial skin infections also
develop excessive shedding, patchy hair loss and scaling. If the infection is
left untreated, involvement of deeper parts of the skin is possible. In these
cases nodules that have a purulent (pus) discharge develop. In most cases skin
infections are secondary, so it is very important to pursue an underlying cause.
Failure to do so will result in recurrent infections.
Animals often develop a yeast infection (Malassezia dermatitis), which manifests
itself as greasy, red, itchy skin with a rancid odour. Areas most commonly
affected include the ventral neck, groin, armpits (axillae) and perineal areas.
This infection is also secondary to an underlying disease, most commonly
allergies. In some dogs this may be a consequence of chronic antibiotic and
steroid therapy but, as a general rule, dogs do not develop yeast infections
after antibiotic therapy as commonly as people do...
Sharpei Cutaneous Mucinosis
Mucin is the substance in the Shar-Pei skin that causes all
the wrinkling. It is clear and stringy and acts like glue in open wounds. Some
Shar-Pei have an excess of Mucin causing it to form clear bubbles on the skin
that may rupture and ooze. it may be associated with possible allergies and can
be treated by steroid therapy. Excessive mucinosis can also occur with
hypothyroidism. Severe mucinosis interfere with breathing if the bubbles are in
the back of the mouth too. This has a lot to do with Pei that snort and snore,
the danger with severe Mucinosis it can increase the risks associated with
general anesthetics, if repeated treatment is required, hypothyroidism must be
If you Pei only have mucinosis and no other illness,
Some Shar-pei may Pei outgrow mucinosis by 5 years of age.
However, after 5 years of age if the mucinosis has
healed up, it then comes back say 2 or 3 years later; biopsies may show up as
mass cell tumors in some areas of the skin that was diagnosed as muccinosis…
It had often thought that Cutaneous Mucinosis was
only a cosmetic condition in the Shar-Pei…
Just like humans dogs can be allergic to some substances,
Some Shar-Pei can be susceptible to allergies caused by food, grass, plants
(indoor and outdoor), Other allergies are "Inhalant allergies"
allergy caused from things dogs inhale).
that causes the dog to lick
his/her paws, scratch, and rub its muzzle. "Eliminating the allergy's cause,
using the correct type of shampoo and administering antihistamines or cortisone
are common forms of treatment". Always consult a Shar-Pei knowledgeable vet for
proper treatment and care.
Hair loss in patches, either localized or general. Leaves either
bald skin, or irritated skin.
Loss of fur
is a symptom, it's underlying cause must be determined in order to be
Disease, or Hyperadrenocorticism, is the production of an excess of
adrenal hormone, or, more particularly, corticosteroids.
Granuloma:: Irritating skin disease causing constant licking of a
single area and subsequent hair loss and skin lesions.Commonly known
as a Hot Spot.
endocrine disease where the body produces an abnormally low amount of
thyroid hormones. Blood tests will determine thyroid function and
thyroid hormone can treat the condition.
is considered an autoimmune disease where cells of an
individual's own immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles
and prevent hair follicles from producing hair fibre.
reddened patches and may be itchy. Secondary bacterial infections
occur as the numbers of Demodex canis' mites proliferate
but more highly transmittable type of mange. otherwise known as
"Scabies," much easier to cure than Demodectic mange, the Sarcoptic
mite doesn't burrow deep into the skin
flare ups in the local population of otherwise normal skin bacteria
and treatment is quite similar to the treatment for hot spots
It's normal for
the skin to contain a certain level and certain types of bacteria.
Pyoderma refers to abnormal levels or types of bacteria that cause
inflammation and damage to the skin
allergic dog has a severe, itch-producing reaction to flea bites. This
occurs because the dog develops an allergic response to the flea's
saliva. When the dog is bitten, flea saliva is deposited in the skin.
Just one bite causes intense itching and this is of a long lasting
Just like humans
dogs can be allergic to some substances, Some Shar-Pei can be
susceptible to allergies caused by food, grass, plants (indoor and
Staphylococci ‘Staph bacteria’ are the most common organisms found in bacterial
skin diseases (pyoderma's) in dogs. Fortunately, these bacteria (S. intermedius)
are not contagious to humans or other pets.
Commonly itchy, yellow pustules are often observed early in the disease, and
the dog’s skin can be reddened and ulcerated. Dry, crusted areas appear as the
condition advances, along with loss of hair in the affected areas (lesions) and
All areas of a dog’s body may be involved, but most cases are confined to the
trunk. The chin is one area commonly affected. Called chin acne, this condition
is actually a deep bacterial infection. Obese dogs and dogs of the pug-nosed
breeds are frequently affected by pyoderma in the skin folds on their face, lips
Other areas where pyoderma may occur include between the toes and on the
calluses of the elbows that mostly affects the abdominal area in young puppies.
This is usually made from the case history and appearance and location of the
lesions. In some cases, it may be necessary to culture the skin (grow the
bacteria) and conduct sensitivity tests to determine which antibiotic will be
effective in treatment. Most bacterial skin infections in dogs are secondary to
another disease such as parasitism, allergies, endocrine (hormonal) disorders or
abnormalities in the immune system. Therefore, in recurrent cases, it is
important to search for underlying causes. It may be necessary to do blood
tests, allergy tests or skin biopsies to achieve a complete diagnosis.
Initial treatments may entail removal of the hair in and around the lesions,
washing of the whole dog with antibiotic shampoos such as benzoyl peroxide,
careful drying and the application of an antibiotic ointment to local lesions,
in most cases, antibiotics will also be administered orally for 3-4 weeks.
Bandages or a protective collar which prevents the dog from mutilating the
lesions may be applied.
Some pyoderma involving skin folds can require corrective surgery. In recurrent
cases where testing reveals no definable underlying cause, special
staphylococcal vaccines as an alternative to long-term antibiotic treatment can
It may be necessary to continue treatments such as antiseptic shampooing,
antibiotic ointment applications and giving antibiotics orally at home. While
most cases respond to treatment, recurrences of pyoderma are common,
particularly if treatment recommendations and follow-up visits to your
veterinarian are neglected. Glucocorticoid steroids cannot be administered.
The appearance of the lesions, the history of their development and the age of
the dog are all helpful in diagnosing ringworm. A Wood’s Lamp Test (ultraviolet
light) can be used to help diagnose the Microsporum species only. A definite
diagnosis can be obtained through a fungal culture -- grow the fungi found on
the affected hairs.
The fungal skin infections of dogs are caused primarily be two species of
fungi: Microsporum and Trichophyton. The skin diseases resulting from these
fungi are commonly called ‘ringworm.’
Ringworm is seen most commonly in young dogs. The fungi live in dead skin
tissues, hairs and nails. Hair loss, usually in circular patches, may appear. If
infected, the center of the patches may have a dry, crusty appearance. The head
and legs are most commonly affected by ringworm, although the disease may spread
over other parts of the dog’s body if not treated. Dogs may scratch the lesions.
The hair around the lesions is clipped, and special fungicidal shampoos or
rinses are used for bathing the dog. Topical lime sulfur and mandatory systemics
should be administered.
Public Health Aspects of Ringworm
is contagious to humans, particularly to children and to other household pets.
Infected dogs should be kept away from children and other dogs and cats until
the infection is cures -- which can be as long as 2-3 months or more after the
treatment begins. Adults should be careful to wash their hands thoroughly after
handling an infected dog. If treated early, ringworm is readily controlled in
humans. Other household pets should also be examined for ringworm.
Allergies in dogs are
common. Signs such as itchy skin, nasal and eye discharges and sneezing, and/or
digestive upsets and/or skin lesions may indicate an allergy is present. Many
skin diseases seen in dogs are caused by an allergy.
An allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction to allergy-causing substances known
as ‘allergens’ or ‘antigens.’ Dogs (like people) can develop allergies at any
age, and the signs can appear quite suddenly.
The most common allergy dogs develop is the flea saliva. The presence of a
single flea on these allergic dogs causes intense itching. These allergies are
seasonal in climate zones where fleas are eliminated by the cold in winter
months -- and a year-round problem in warmer climates.
Atopy (atopic dermatitis, allergic inhalant dermatitis) is a pruritic (itchy)
skin disease dogs develop in response to inhaled particles such as house dust,
molds and pollens. This common form of allergy usually starts at a relatively
young age. Rarely, dogs can be allergic to chemicals contained in soaps, waxes,
carpets and flea collars. This type of hypersensitivity is known as a ‘contact
allergy.’ Also, some dogs are allergic to insect bites and stings. Food
allergies usually case diarrhea and/or skin lesions.
Itching is the primary sign of allergic skin diseases in dogs. The affected
skin may appear normal, or red and moist in patches called ‘hot spots.’ Pus and
dried crusts are apparent if a bacterial infection is also present. The dog
tends to constantly scratch and lick affected areas. Initially, flea allergies
are most evident over the dog’s back and near the tail. A dog’s face, feet,
chest, and abdomen are more often affected by pollen and dust-type allergies.
Contact allergies are seen mostly on the hairless areas of the abdomen and on
the bottoms of the feet.
The dog’s case history helps with the diagnosis. The intense itching and
location of the lesions are also helpful in diagnosing the type of allergy
present. Response to treatment (flea control) is often used as a method of
diagnosis of flea allergy. Trials of special hypoallergenic diets are used to
diagnose food allergy. Allergy testing is used to help choose immunotherapy.
Blood tests are also available to diagnose allergies, but their use is more
controversial. Ask your veterinarian for his or her current recommendations.
Allergies can be controlled in most cases, with few ‘cured.’ Antihistamines and
corticosteroids may be used by your veterinarian to give your dog relief from
the intense itching. In most cases this will stop the self-mutilation. The owner
will be instructed to give corticosteroid tablets in decreasing dosages for a
few months. Corticosteroids are potent drugs and should not be used carelessly
or for long periods of time. The main objective in controlling flea allergies in
dogs is to kill the fleas on the dog and in the dog’s environment.
Another approach to allergy control is hyposensitization (immunotherapy). In
this procedure, a correct diagnosis by intradermal or blood testing is
necessary. The dog is then given injections of small but increasing doses of the
allergy-causing substance at varying intervals for up to 12 months. Lifelong
response may take up to 12 months.
Parasitic Skin Diseases
Fleas are the most common parasitic skin disease found in dogs. Mange is
another type of skin disease which is caused by mites. There are two severe
types of mange: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange.
Ear mites, lice, and ticks are other parasites that affect dogs. Their presence
irritates the dog, leading to self-mutilation.
Sarcoptic mange causes intense itching, loss of hair and crusting of the
skin. A dog’s ears, front legs, chest and abdomen are most often affected by
Demodectic mange can cause itching. The skin is reddened and scaly, and
hair loss occurs in round patches resembling ‘ringworm.’ The face and front legs
are most commonly affected, although some cases may be generalized. Generalized
demodectic mange is often a sign of underlying internal disease or a hereditary
Ear mites cause severe irritation in the ears. Often, an affected dog
will scratch the hair off the back of its ears. Ticks, lice and fleas may
transmit other diseases, in addition to causing irritation.
Mange is often suspected on the basis of the case history and the appearance and
location of the lesions. A skin scraping test is always performed to aid in
identifying parasites. Ear mites, which are barely visible to the naked eye,
appear as small white objects. The black debris commonly seen in the ears of
dogs with ear mites is a combination of dried blood, normal ear wax and
discharges from inflammation. Lice, fleas and ticks can also be seen by close
examination of the dog’s skin.
Mange is treated by clipping the affected areas and washing them with an
antiseptic. Antimite dips are often necessary and may be used weekly or biweekly
for several months. Shampoos can be sued before each dip. The dog’s eyes should
be protected with mineral oil or eye ointment and the ears plugged with cotton
before dipping. Most cases of mange respond well to this treatment. Antibiotics
can be administered in cases of mange where infection may be present.
Ear mites can be readily treated Initially, your veterinarian may recommend a
thorough cleaning of the dog’s ears while the animal is sedated. This treatment
can be followed up with home treatments using special solutions or ointments to
kill the mites and prevent infections in addition, insecticidal dips, sprays,
powders or shampoos are often used.
Lice, ticks and fleas must be killed on the dog and in the dog’s environment
with insecticides. Dips, shampoos, flea collars, sprays, powders, foams and
foggers containing insecticides are available from your veterinarian to help
control these parasites.
Hormonal Skin Diseases
Skin diseases caused by
hormonal abnormalities in dogs are difficult to diagnose. The thyroid gland,
adrenal glands, pituitary gland, testicles and ovaries all produce hormones. If
excessive (‘hyper’) or deficient (‘hypo’), these hormones produce changes in the
skin and hair coat. Most hormonal problems that affect the skin produce hair
loss that is evenly distributed on each side of the dog’s body. The skin may be
thicker or thinner than normal, and there may be changes in the color of the
skin or hair coat. These diseases usually are not itchy.
When any of the hormone-producing glands malfunction, they affect other body
functions besides the skin. Hormonal skin diseases in dogs can be much more
serious than a ‘skin problem.’
Some causes of hormonal skin disease, such as hypothyroidism and adrenal gland
problems, can be diagnosed by special blood tests and effectively treated.
Others may be more difficult to diagnose and treat. Skin changes related to the
sex hormones can be successfully treated with surgical neutering, if this has
not been performed previously.
Sharpei Carpal Laxity
is a weakness is the carpal ligaments which causes instability and bowing
forward in young puppies. Decrease the protein level and exercise on a
non-slippery surface. In severe cases soft splints will be required.
Sharpei Patellar Luxation
condition where the knee caps slide in and out of place.
Any Shar-Pei with this condition should not be bred. often characterised by the
dog making a kicking motion occasionally as they walk
Sharpei Hip Dysplasia
Affecting many breeds, this is a
developmental malformation or subluxation of the hip joints
A dysplastic dog has an abnormal hip joint where the femur
and acetabulum are misaligned. This can range in severity.
Hernias are something to look
out for when buying a puppy. The most common type is the umbilical hernia, which
is really a developmental defect in the belly button. This does not close
properly after birth in affected dogs, and abdominal contents are able to push
through to lie just under the skin. The size of the hole regulates the type of
tissue that will push through, with small defects allowing only fat to come out.
This fat often blocks small hernias and effectively cures the problem. Larger
hernias will allow bowel and parts of the spleen and liver to enter the area
under the skin. These have to be corrected surgically...
The next most common type of hernia is the one found in the groin. The groin is
properly called the inguinal area and hernias here are termed Inguinal hernias.
Again the problem occurs in the development stages of foetal life. There are two
small gaps in the muscles of the inguinal area in all our animals. These are
called the inguinal canals and allow the testicles to pass through to the
scrotum. Female do not need the canals and should be born with very tight
openings. The male's canal should also be tight enough to stop the escape of
abdominal organs other then the testicle. Hernias occur when the canals are
looser than normal and then tissues, such as the bowel, bladder and womb, can
Hernias may lead to life threatening illness if they
strangulate. This means that the contents of the hernia are trapped in the
hernia sac and can not be replaced, The circulation to the trapped organs gets
cut off and gangrene develops as the tissues die from lack of blood...
Other serious problems include pregnancy with pups being carried
in the hernia, and inability to urinate when the bladder is trapped...
Most hernias are inherited and affected lines should not be used
Megaesophagus and or diaphragmatic hernias may not be
detected until the dog is much older when they will appear underweight or
emaciated with a history of vomiting. This is a developmental defect possibly a
delayed maturation of the oesophageal neuromuscular system. Mild cases in young
dogs can improve with careful feeding. Feeding the dog by elevating the food in
such a way as to raise the dog's front end. Putting food bowls on a stair or two
and then allowing them some time to digest in the same position may help.
Diagnostic tests may include radiography (x-rays) with or
without barium, blood tests, biopsies of the stomach and intestinal tract, and
exploratory abdominal surgery. Once the diagnosis is known, treatment may
include special medications, diets, and/or surgery...
Addisons disease is the common name for
hypoadrenocorticism, or adrenal insufficiency (an insufficient production of
adrenal hormones by the adrenal gland). Since these hormones are essential for
life, this is an extremely serious disease and it must be treated as such. It is
a disease with symptoms that are common to many other ailments, making diagnosis
difficult and sometimes a process of elimination. But once Addison’s is
correctly diagnosed, a properly treated dog can live a normal, active life.
Disease is a disease in which the adrenal glands overproduce certain hormones.
serious disease, it is normally treatable, many dogs with Cushing's Disease
enjoy a greatly improved quality of life for many years.
Epilepsy is relatively common in
dogs, including Sharpei, The single most striking feature
of this condition is of course fits. Nerve cells in the brain function by
transmission of electrical impulses. Epilepsy is a sudden, excessive discharge
of electrical energy in groups of brain cells, causing a seizure or convulsion.
Why this spontaneous discharge occurs is not known, but in many cases the
condition is hereditary in dogs. Dog's with Epilepsy
must be excluded from any breeding program...
Epilepsy usually becomes apparent between 6 months and 5 years of age.
Nearly all breeds, including mixed breeds can be affected…
Having said that, there are many other causes of fits, which must be considered
in any pet presenting with such a history. Other causes of fits include the
ingestion of poisons, kidney and liver disease, infections, meningitis,
encephalitis, brain tumours, congenital abnormalities and many others. These
must all be ruled out before a diagnosis of epilepsy can be arrived at. Many
tests may be necessary to rule out such conditions, and the arrival of MRI
scanning has added new possibilities. However, under many circumstances, a
diagnosis of epilepsy is often arrived at simply by process of elimination...
Canine Herpes and Fading pup's
Canine herpes virus … has been largely
forgotten for many years, due in part to the difficulty in making a definitive
diagnosis. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the virus causes many
more problems than was first thought. Where entire litters die off, one pup at a
Herpes virus, also exists on or in
nearly all animals, including probably a transient and harmless guest on humans.
However, we therefore could transmit the virus to our dogs. Virus particles do
not live forever in non-nutrient (host) environments, but long enough to be
carried to the ultimate host on clothing, by sneezes, etc. It is the
immune-challenged weakened pup that would fall to its onslaught...
Neonatal deaths and Herpes
viremia... This syndrome, caused by a herpes virus, is a major cause of death in
pups between five days and three weeks, and may take two weeks to spread through
the litter. “Herpes” actually refers to a class of several viruses, so you may
encounter the word used in the context of a human disease, or a disease in other
animals. One of this class will not produce the same disease as will another.
With this viremia, death from kidney and liver failure usually occurs within
eighteen hours; symptoms include constant crying, shallow and rapid breathing,
loss of appetite and coordination, and a soft, yellowish green stool with no
particular odour. The stool symptom can be easily missed if the bitch is
cleaning her pups to make them defecate.
This virus can remain
latent for many months and be reactivated by stress or an immunosuppressive
a agent such as a shot of cortisone
or similar steroid. Thus, pups that contract a marginal infection but not enough
to be fatal, might still have their immune system weakened, or else harbour the
inactive virus. Pups seem to get the virus through the saliva of their infected
dam, though a few may contract it in the birth canal or even in the uterus
before birth... The unborn puppy: CHV attacks the
placenta of the mother,
starving the foetus of nutrients. This can lead to
or re-absorption of the foetus (seen by the
At this time, there is no cure for an animal that has
CHV – infection is probably lifelong and can flare up repeatedly during periods
of stress. Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir have shown very limited efficacy
and are expensive. Some work has shown variable success by injecting infected
puppies with the serum of immune bitches. Early intervention appears vital and
will depend on the immune status of the donor. Always check with your Vet, to as
and when they may have information on any new drugs to treat Herpes...
Mastitis is the infection and/or inflammation of the mammary
gland and may include all or just one or several glands. The affected
glands become firm and hard, often resembling rocks, are very red, warm to
the touch and painful. Milk may possibly be off-colour. Vets are divided in
their opinions as to whether nursing from these infected glands may harm the
puppies, although it would be wise not to do so.
Treatment includes antibiotics, massage and manual expression of the gland,
warm compresses and may also include surgical drainage and flushing
What is Pyometra?
In its simplest terms, pyometra is an infection in the uterus.
However, most cases of pyometra are much more difficult to manage than a routine
The clinical signs depend
on whether or not the cervix is open. If it is open, pus will drain from the
uterus through the vagina to the outside. It is often noted on the skin or hair
under the tail or on bedding and furniture where the dog has laid. Fever,
lethargy, anorexia, and depression may or may not be present.
If the cervix is closed, pus that forms is not able to drain to the outside.
It collects in the uterus causing distention of the abdomen. The bacteria
release toxins which are absorbed into circulation These dogs often become
severely ill very rapidly. They are anorectic, very listless, and very
depressed. Vomiting or diarrhea may be present.
Toxins from the bacteria affect the kidney’s ability to retain fluid.
Increased urine production occurs, and the dog drinks an excess of water. This
occurs in both open- and closed-cervix pyometra.
Sharpei Should You Breed or
Your female's reproductive system makes her vulnerable
to serious health problems that can shorten her lifespan?
Your male's reproductive system causes hormonal surges that can
drive him to ignore your commands, to lift his leg on your belongings, to
escape from your yard, to pick a fight with other male dogs, and/or to be
attacked by other male dogs? Also 'Castration' saves your dog from Prostrate
Sharpei Canine Brucellosis
Canine Brucellosis is a sexually transmitted disease
that can cause infertility and bone infections in both males and females.
Testicular atrophy and infections of the prostate gland or tests may also occur
in males. The disease may cause repeated spontaneous abortions in females.
Determining that a dog is free of brucellosis requires two tests done one month
apart. An infected dog may appear to be healthy. Antibiotic therapy is generally
Sharpei Torsion Bloat
Bloat can kill in less than an hour, so
time is of the essence.
please get your dog to a veterinarian
Being one of many deep chested breeds, bloat can occur in
Shar-Pei. It can also be caused by the way you roll your dog during play, etc,
bloat and torsion occur when the stomach swells with gas and then twists and
cuts off its blood supply.
Without rapid surgical intervention the condition is fatal.
This is a very serious medical emergency situation
and the dog must see a vet urgently...
Sharpei Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Often complicated by food allergies and or Chronic stress
Diarrhoea. Usually responds to a strict hypoallergenic diet.
Grapes, Raisins, Onions = Rapid Kidney Failure!
If your dog
has ingested large quantities of raisins or grapes, he/she
will immediately begin to vomit repeatedly, and will become extremely
hyperactive and jittery. After about 24 hours, the dog will become lethargic
and depressed. He/She may
experience abdominal pain and may stop urinating, drinking, and/or eating. He/she
will also become dehydrated. Both his/her vomit and faeces
will contain partially digested raisins or grapes. His/her breathing may become
irregular, and he/she will also become hypercalcemic
(high calcium concentrations) and hyperphosphosphatemic.
without treatment, the dog will go into renal (kidney) failure, and may die a
horrible very painful death. Of the 10 reported cases, only 5 dogs survived, &
these only with early, aggressive, & long-term treatment.
cure for an overdose, of course, is prevention. Because dogs can get hold of
raisins or grapes from a variety of sources—the kitchen
an open larder cupboard, the coffee table, vines in a private
vineyard, a child’s lunch box, etc.
YOUR VINEYARDS & REMOVE RAISINS AND GRAPES FROM
Do not feed your
Pei raisins/grapes as treats so that you can avoid
him/her “getting a taste for them”. Remember that raisins are even more
concentrated (and hence more toxic) than grapes—approximately 4 pounds of
grapes equal 1 pound of raisins. The US
Animal Poison Control Centre
also warns that any substance in large doses can be toxic.
you suspect your dog has eaten a large amount of raisins or grapes, take your
dog to a vet immediately, and in the US have them
contact the Animal Poison Control Centre for
assistance. Have your veterinarian initiate decontamination measures, and
administer fluids and/or dialysis to assist/restart the dog’s kidneys. Be
aware that initially your veterinarian may suspect rat poison as the above
symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of rat poison.
Animal Poison Control Centre
is still unable to determine the cause of renal (kidney) failure. Possibilities
include 1) an agent in grapes and raisins themselves; 2) fungicides, herbicides,
or pesticides contamination; 3) heavy metals; 4) high amounts of Vitamin D; or
5) fungus or mold contamination.
Everybody knows about (the dangers of) chocolate, Nobody
knows about raisins or grapes or onions!
Information on raisin and grape toxicity
is still very new; therefore, your veterinarian and fellow dog owners may not
yet be aware of the danger. Please pass on this information to every dog
owner, veterinarian, rescue group, breeder, newsletter, and pet food store you
This is a disease where the intestinal tract does not absorb nutrients
properly. Also known as protein- losing enteropathy as a consequence of
inflamatory bowel disease. In Irish setters there is also a wheat-sensitive
In regard to
cancer, there are several forms in the breed, the most common being mast cell
cancer. It is called this because it arises from the mast cells, whose function
is not entirely known but it has a role in allergic and inflammatory
reactions. These cells typically are located in connective tissues and
release, as a part of their normal function, chemicals that assist the body in
inflammatory and immune responses. cancer in dogs follows a similar course to
that in humans.
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome/Senility/Dementia/Old Age Syndrome
Early signs of canine
cognitive dysfunction syndrome: pacing, crying, barking without apparent
reason, loss of appetite, repeated attempts to get into small spaces,
getting stuck in small spaces, diminishing interaction with family members,
lack of recognition of family members, turning away from previously
“favourite” family members, loss of house-training, sudden fascination with
mirrors and staring into them, appearing hypnotized, appearing “lost.” In
the initial stages, the dog will have good days and bad days. Not all vets
recognize the condition, attributing the symptoms to “old age.” However, old
age is not treatable and
cognitive dysfunction syndrome
Anipryl is a drug that can help a
dog with cognitive dysfunction, although it does not help all dogs. It takes
between 4 and 8 weeks to work. It is an expensive drug under its brand name, but
there is a generic equivalent to the human form of the drug (Eldepryl):
selegiline hydrochloride. Check with your vet to see if the generic form is
acceptable. It is cheaper and can be purchased at any pharmacy with a
What Is CDS ?
How Common Is CDS ?
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction is the age related
deterioration of cognitive abilities characterized by behavioural changes
in dogs that cannot be wholly attributed to general medical conditions
such as neoplasia (cancer), infection or organ failure.
is often referred to ads "old dog syndrome" or "senility", and is
manifested by one or more of the signs listed in Table #1.
CDS is not "normal aging". A
number of pathophysiological changes are suspected to play a role in its
development. These include:
* deposition of amyloid plaques in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal
part of the brain
* alterations in neurotransmitters, including dopamine
* increased levels of monoamine oxidase B (MAOB) in the brain
* increased levels of free radicals
The progressive, degenerative course of canine
CDS involves a gradual decline of cognitive abilities
sufficient to produce functional disability in the home and/or as a family
A 1998 market research study
indicated that 48% of dogs 8 years of age and older exhibited at least one
clinical sign associated with CDS. Meanwhile, in an
ongoing prevalence study being conducted at the University of California
at Davis, 62% of 11 to 16 year old dogs scored positively for one or more
behavioural categories indicative of CDS.
How is CDS Diagnosed ?