Shar Pei fever is a very emotive topic amongst Shar Pei breeders and Shar Pei owners. We have dealt with up to 5 – 10 Shar Pei dogs per day for the past 10 years. We have seen hundreds of Shar Pei dogs presented with a fever often very high and often more in the younger dog. Some of these dogs have swelling of the sub cutaneous tissue around the hocks and carpus. Many of these dogs have other conditions at the same time such as ear or skin infections.
These dogs tend to respond to medication very quickly and their temperature will often go down within hours.
In 10 years we have only seen 1 dog die from renal disease associated with amyloidosis. Our thinking is that Shar Pei dogs are very prone to high spike fevers and then can devlop swelling of the legs due to the nature of the sub cutaneous tissue in Shar Pei’s. These fevers can often be explained by pre-existing infection. Shar Pei fever or syndrome which leads to kidney disease is uncommon in our experience.
When Shar peis have a very high fever, especially puppies, immediate treatment is very important – not because of Amyloidosis but because of a syndrome, of which we see several cases a year, called vasculitis. This causes loss of up to 40% of the skin. We have successfully treated even such severe cases but it is important to react both quickly and effectively.