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The Shar Pei Vets

The best veterinary care for Shar Peis

Shar Peis are completely different to other breeds, both in terms of their behaviour and in their health care needs.

This means it is crucial that you have a vet who understands Shar Peis, and how best to look after them. Fortunately, our co-founder Dr Sean Cleary is one of the country’s leading Shar Pei vets, and has extensive experience working with and growing to understand them.

Due to this, we regularly receive Shar Pei cases from across the country, and we’re highly skilled in caring for their complex health needs including skin conditions, behavioural challenges and hind limb lameness helping them to live a longer, healthier life.

Explore this page to learn more about why Shar Peis need their own service, and you can learn about Sean and his credentials as a Shar Pei expert.

If you have a Shar Pei you can book an appointment with us online today, or get in touch to find out more about how we can help.

Shar Peis and unique behaviour

Shar Peis are different in their behaviour to other dogs, and it is important that your vet knows about these differences so that any treatment can be given in the least stressful manner possible.

Also, it is important to remember that the normal training techniques may need to be adapted – something that we can assist with.

In general, Shar Peis;

  • Prefer to be close to their owner
  • Don’t like being restrained by strangers
  • Don’t like to be pulled by a lead around the neck and prefer a harness
  • Don't like to be approached suddenly by strangers
  • Prefer to avoid direct eye contact.

Get in touch with the team if you need advice on whether a Shar Pei is right for you and your lifestyle, or if you are having problems with your pet.

The unconventional health needs of Shar Peis

Shar Peis are sensitive dogs and can unfortunately suffer from a range of health conditions. Therefore, it is important that your vet is experienced in dealing with Shar Peis, and can diagnose potential issues swiftly.

Below are a range of problems that can occur with Shar Peis.

Skin problems in Shar Peis

Shar Peis are prone to skin problems due to their high number of allergies and their immune response. The cause of these allergies is often environmental and caused by things such as grass and tree pollens, as well as dust mites.Treatment varies depending on severity, seasonality and the length of time it has been a problem. It is important to rule out mange, which is a parasitic disease more common in young dogs but which can be seen at any age.


Shar Peis have short nails with a long nerve underneath. This means it is easy to cut the nails too short. They will sometimes suffer from long nails due to underlying issues. If the nails are curved or bleeding they should be checked.

Itchy feet

Itchy feet are a very common problem in Shar Peis, caused by excessive licking and biting of the feet leading to rashes and ulcers, potentially in response to allergies. This will sometimes require treatment, depending on the severity and seasonality.


Shar Peis are prone to having high fevers which are often unexplained. It is commonly thought that a fever in this breed will lead to a condition called amyloidosis of the kidneys, which can be fatal. This is not normally the case, and the condition is very rare. However, fevers do need to be identified and treated quickly to prevent other problems. It is generally a good idea to regularly check kidney function in individuals that have recurring fevers.

Sensitive stomach

Shar Peis tend to have a sensitive stomach, which is due to an allergic reaction to certain proteins within their food. This generally results in diarrhoea, and if left untreated can lead to a cancer called intestinal lymphoma. If your Shar Pei has ongoing diarrhoea it is important to look at their diet, and possibly to pursue treatment.

Dislocating patella

Shar Peis are more likely than other breeds to suffer from a dislocating patella. This condition causes hind limb lameness in young dogs, from three months to two years old. It can be corrected with surgery if needed.

Our Shar Pei vet service

Due to our expertise with the breed, we are happy to treat Shar Peis from across the country, and have put in place a number of measures to make this as convenient as possible for clients

If your dog has been seen by another vet, we will obtain their history to ensure continuity of care.

We will examine your dog while you are present so that they remain comfortable. Any findings will be discussed and, if needed, medication dispensed.

If the condition is likely to need surgery, we will normally try to do this on the same day so that you can take them home as long as they have fully recovered from their anaesthetic. This reduces stress and helps our clients to arrange their travel.

If surgery is required, we will give sedation with you present, again to reduce separation anxiety. Blood sampling will often be done after sedation. After most procedures they will require several hours before they can go home safely, so if a consult is done in the morning the dog can normally go home in the early afternoon.

Please make sure your dog has not eaten for six hours before their visit. Do not take away water.

If they have diarrhoea, please bring a faecal sample – in a poo bag is fine!