Breed Problems in the Shar-Pei, by Jeff Vidt, DVM

There is no perfect dog breed…every breed has its problems and imperfections. The easiest way to discuss the problems seen in our breed is to list them according to the body system involved. Please remember that these problems are seen in a very small number of dogs…not every Shar-Pei will be affected:

1. RESPIRATORY
  • stenotic (pinched) nostrils
  • elongated soft palate
  • pneumonia -- primarily in puppies
2. EYES
  • entropion -- rolling in of the eyelids
  • retinal dysplasia
  • glaucoma
  • "cherry eye" -- prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid
  • lens luxation
  • cataracts
3. EARS
  • stenotic (narrow) ear canals
  • bacterial ear infections
  • yeast overgrowth
  • hyperplastic otitis
4. GASTROINTESTINAL
  • bite problems -- most commonly, an overbite
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • megaesophagus
  • hiatal hernia
  • intestinal adenocarcinoma
  • bloat (gastric dilatation/volvulus)
5. SKIN
  • lip fold pyoderma
  • skin fold pyoderma
  • demodectic mange
  • allergic skin disease -- allergic inhalant dermatitis, food allergy,
    insect allergy, contact allergy, etc.
  • generalized pyoderma
  • cutaneous mucinosis
6. ENDOCRINE
  • hypothyroidism
  • hypoparathyroidism
7. MUSCULOSKELETAL
  • inquinal hernias
  • luxating patellas -- "loose" kneecaps
  • elbow dysplasia- hip dysplasia
  • anterior cruciate ligament rupture
8. GENITOURINARY
  • renal amyloidosis
  • immune-mediated kidney disease
9. NEOPLASIA
  • mast cell tumor
  • histiocytoma
  • lymphosarcoma
  • intestinal adenocarcinoma
  • hemangiosarcoma
  • systemic melanosis
  • systemic histiocytosis
10. MISCELLANEOUS
  • Familial Shar-Pei Fever (FSF)
  • abscesses -- bite wounds, other
  • IgA deficiency
  • Primary Multiple Immunodeficiency Syndrome of Shar-Pei
  • amyloidosis

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