SHAR PEI HEALTH
The Shar-pei dog breed as a whole has elevated risk factors for a range of potential inherited health conditions that the prospective owner should be aware of
- Entropion is a condition that causes the inner lids of the eyes to rub on the surface of the eye itself, causing sores, ulcers and even blindness. This usually presents itself in puppies, and may be outgrown as the puppy grows and develops, but it may require multiple surgeries to correct.
- Hypothyroidism, a condition caused by insufficient production of the thyroid hormone T4, can lead to problems with the digestive system and weight management, and also manifest in problems with the skin and coat. One in five Shar-pei dogs are estimated to have a deficiency with the thyroid’s hormone production, and so this condition is very prevalent within the breed.
- Toe infections caused by the short, sharp hairs of the Shar-pei may manifest if the hairs between the toes of the dog become impacted and lead to an infection of the follicles.
- Ear infections are also rife across the breed, compounded by the fact that the ear canal of the Shar-pei is very narrow, meaning that it is hard for the veterinary surgeon to examine. In some cases, corrective surgery may be required to address this and avoid ongoing and recurrent ear infections.
- Swollen hock syndrome, also known as “Familial Shar-pei Fever” is a genetically inherited condition associated with amyloidosis that leads to fever, joint swelling and in some cases, kidney failure. Generally, swollen hock syndrome will begin to manifest in puppies and adolescent Shar-pei’s, although the full extent of any kidney damaged caused may not be apparent until the dog is several years old. The occurrence rate of swollen hock syndrome in the Shar-pei is currently estimated to be as high as one in ten dogs of the breed.