5 Common Health Problems of Shar Pei

by Lisa

Shar-Pei, with their distinctive wrinkles and unique appearance, are beloved companions known for their loyalty and affectionate nature. However, like any breed, they are susceptible to certain health issues that require vigilant care and attention. In this in-depth guide, we explore five common health problems that Shar-Pei owners should be aware of—Hypothyroidism, Patellar Luxation, Pyoderma, Hip Dysplasia, and Shar-Pei Fever. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and preventive measures for these health concerns is essential for ensuring the well-being of these charming dogs.


Hypothyroidism, a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland, is one of the common health concerns in Shar-Pei. This condition occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormones, impacting the dog‘s metabolism. Symptoms may include lethargy, weight gain, hair loss, and skin issues. Regular veterinary check-ups that include thyroid function tests are crucial for early detection. Treatment often involves lifelong thyroid hormone supplementation to manage the condition effectively.


Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation, a condition where the kneecap (patella) moves out of its normal position, is a concern in many dog breeds, including Shar-Pei. This condition can lead to lameness, pain, and difficulty in walking. Patellar Luxation is often hereditary, and Shar-Pei owners should be vigilant for signs such as intermittent limping or skipping. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be required to correct the dislocation and provide relief to the affected Shar-Pei.



Pyoderma, a bacterial skin infection, is a common issue for breeds with skin folds, such as the Shar-Pei. The distinctive wrinkles that give Shar-Pei their unique appearance can also create an environment conducive to bacterial growth. Symptoms include redness, itching, and the presence of pustules or papules. Regular cleaning of the skin folds, keeping the area dry, and prompt veterinary attention for any signs of infection are crucial preventive measures. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and topical therapies.


Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a common orthopedic concern in many dog breeds, and Shar-Pei are no exception. This condition occurs when the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to discomfort, pain, and potential lameness. While genetics play a role, factors such as diet, exercise, and weight management also contribute to the development and progression of hip dysplasia. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and weight control are essential preventive measures. In severe cases, surgical options may be considered to improve the dog’s quality of life.


Shar-Pei Fever

Shar-Pei Fever, also known as Amyloidosis, is a unique health concern specific to the breed. This condition is characterized by recurrent fevers, swelling, and pain, often affecting the hocks, or rear leg joints. Amyloidosis occurs when abnormal protein deposits form in the organs, leading to inflammation and fever episodes. While there is no cure for Shar-Pei Fever, supportive care, including anti-inflammatory medications, can help manage symptoms. Shar-Pei owners should be vigilant for signs of fever and seek prompt veterinary attention.

Preventive Measures and Proactive Care

While these common health problems can pose challenges, proactive care and preventive measures can significantly enhance the overall health and well-being of Shar-Pei. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet tailored to their needs, regular exercise, and vigilant monitoring of skin folds for signs of infection are essential components of proactive care. Additionally, understanding the genetic predispositions of the breed allows owners to make informed decisions about breeding and helps veterinary professionals tailor their approach to individual dogs.


In conclusion, being aware of the common health problems in Shar-Pei and taking proactive steps toward their care are essential aspects of responsible ownership. Regular veterinary attention, a focus on preventive measures, and prompt intervention at the first signs of health issues contribute to a long, happy, and healthy life for these charming dogs. By staying informed and actively participating in the well-being of their Shar-Pei companions, owners play a crucial role in fostering a strong bond and ensuring a fulfilling life for their four-legged friends.


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