Pet Wellness Guides > Shar-Pei Dog Health Issues - Pet Insurance Review

Shar-Pei Dog Health Issues

Posted: 01/18/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

Shar-Peis have got to be one of the most adorable and unique dogs around! These pups, once properly socialized (they can be a bit suspicious and stand-offish), can make excellent companions thanks to their endless loyalty and affection. But before bringing one of these wrinkled fur babies home, it’s important to understand the breed’s health history. With this in mind, keep reading to learn some of the most common Shar-Pei dog health issues.

Shar-Pei dog health issues


Chinese Shar-Peis are prone to hypothyroidism, which is a condition caused by the underproduction of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating your pup’s metabolism, so dogs with hypothyroidism commonly experience a range of symptoms including hair loss, a sudden intolerance to cold, lethargy, and changes in their thirst or appetite levels.

For proper diagnosis, a vet will conduct a blood screening. Luckily, most dogs can live just fine with some daily medication.

Patellar Luxation

This condition is typically hereditary and occurs when there is an improper alignment of the kneecaps, causing the joint to slip out of place. Afflicted pups often struggle to put weight on the affected knees as the condition can be quite painful and awkward. Depending on the severity of the condition, some dogs can live with some anti-inflammatories and pain medications while others may require surgical intervention. 


One of the most common Shar-Pei dog health issues is Pyoderma, and it should come as no surprise that this breed is particularly prone. With all of those thick deep skin wrinkles, a bacterial infection can easily happen. The infection will look similar to pimples on humans, though sometimes it presents as dry or flaky skin. 

The good news is, that this skin infection is easily treatable with the help of antibiotics. Of course, prevention is always best, which is why it is important to bathe your Shar-Pei regularly and dry them well so no bacterial infection can begin.

Hip Dysplasia

We often think hip dysplasia is a condition that larger dogs suffer from, but small and medium-sized dogs can also be affected. Hip dysplasia happens when a pup’s hip socket is misaligned with the joint. This causes pain and inflammation, and many dogs wind up struggling with regular movement. 

Depending on the severity of the condition, treatments may include lifestyle adjustments, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatories, or, in more severe cases, surgical intervention. 

Shar-Pei Fever

A condition specific to this breed Shar-Pei Fever is hereditary and causes dogs to experience regular episodes of inflammation and fever, without a clear cause. Affected pups may also experience lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea. Sadly, the condition affects roughly 25% of Shar-Pei pups.

While the condition is not curable, most recurrent fevers are manageable. Pup parents should be aware that the condition can sometimes develop into chronic kidney disease, though most pups will only experience an occasional sickness.


All of those facial wrinkles make the Shar-Pei entirely adorable and kissable. But with excessive tissue around the eyelids, what often happens is the hair of the skin can rub on the eyeballs. If not treated, ulceration and potential blindness can occur. If your pup has excessive moisture around the eyes or you see their eyes constantly watering, it may be an indicator they have entropion.

Often Shar-Peis grow out of this condition as their eye opening enlarges. Those pups still affected may benefit from eyelid tacking, which is a procedure where the eyelid is pulled into a more normal position.

Best Ways to Take Care of Your Shar-Pei

The best way to prevent these common Shar-Pei dog health issues is by:

Feeding a Healthy Diet

In the case of luxating patella and hip dysplasia, the condition can become more severe with excess weight on the body. Be sure to feed your pup a balanced and nutritious diet and never overfeed. If you are uncertain of the best foods and the right amounts, ask your vet for guidance.

Schedule Regular Wellness Checks

The sooner you catch a disease, the better able you’ll be to treat it. Taking your pup to the vet at least once a year will help you to stay on top of their health and prevent any condition from getting out of hand and expensive to treat.

Which leads us to …

Pet Insurance

As you saw, some of the Shar-Pei dog health issues on this list require surgical intervention, and some of those surgeries could cost thousands of dollars. Do you have that kind of money lying around?

Most pup parents don’t have the kind of savings that allows them to comfortably afford treatments, sometimes life-saving treatments. That’s why more and more are enrolling their fur babies into a pet insurance plan. Because having someone pay up to 90% of the vet bill can sure bring peace of mind!

If you’ve thought about pet insurance for your pup but weren’t certain about the best companies, here are the top providers with rankings based on over 150,000 reviews from pet parents just like you:

Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,460
4.8Prudent Pet124
4.5Pets Best7,187
4.3Pet Assure12






The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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