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 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.
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.
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.