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Shar Pei Fever – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Shar Pei Fever

What Is Shar Pei Fever?

Shar-Pei fever is an autosomal-recessive, hereditary, auto-inflammatory disorder defined by recurrent episodes of inflammation and fever. Shar-Pei fever (sometimes known as familial Shar-Pei fever (FSF) is a familial immunoreactive disorder that causes abnormal elevations in Inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6). This causes five characteristic signs of inflammation: Familial Shar-Pei Fever, Vesicular Hyaluronosis, Arthritis, Amyloidosis, and Otitis.

The temperatures range between 40 - 41.7C (103 - 107F) and last 1 to 3 days without treatment. The fever is self-limiting and spontaneously resolves within a period of 12 - 36 hours. When the temperature reaches 106F or higher, it means your dog requires emergency treatment.

Few studies have suggested that a surplus of hyaluronic acid in shar-peis is one of the reasons for this disease. Due to over-expression of Hyaluronan Synthase 2, hyaluronic acid causes extensive wrinkles and furrows in the skin of dogs. However, this is not yet confirmed. Most experts agree that the fever experienced by Shar-Pei dogs is some sort of defense mechanism when the dog is fighting an entry of a pathogen.

Chronic inflammation causes levels of circulating acute-phase proteins to be increased, like serum amyloid A. This may result in renal amyloidosis and this affects about 5% of Shar-Pei’s. Amyloidosis can mimic symptoms of chronic kidney disease, with dogs often manifesting signs such as anorexia, vomiting, weight loss, lethargy, dehydration, and PU/PD. Sadly, by the time symptoms are evident and amyloidosis is confirmed, there will be considerable amyloid deposition and kidney damage resulting in poor excretion.

Symptoms Of Shar Pei Fever

  • Recurrent episodes of fever
  • Arching spine
  • Swollen, painful muzzle
  • Swelling of the hocks
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Shallow breathing

If the dog has amyloidosis:

Treatment Options For Shar Pei Fever

There is no specific treatment available for Shar-Pei fever in dogs.

  • When the dog has a very high fever, Immediate hospitalization and close monitoring are required, if not treated immediately, this will cause death
  • Colchicine - reduce the deposition of amyloids
  • Nutritional therapy and Intravenous fluid will be given to help your dog not become severely dehydrated
  • Immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory medications
  • Anti-diarrhea medications
  • A broad-spectrum antibiotic for any secondary bacterial infections

Home Remedies For Shar Pei Fever

  • Focus on long-term prevention and management. Each episode of fever tends to increase the quantity of amyloid deposition in the kidneys, this enhances the possibility of chronic kidney disease later in your pet’s life.
  • For that reason, the objectives of treatment should be to decrease the incidence of fever episodes and to lessen amyloid deposition.
  • Provide all medication and administer environmental changes as recommended by your veterinarian.

How To Prevent Shar Pei Fever?

  • Shar-Pei fever pathogenesis is still unclear
  • There’s not much a pet owner can do to prevent them as Hereditary is a factor in some breeds but a high-quality diet with bone supplements may help somehow or other
  • Protect your dog from other infections, hyperacidity, and ingestion of toxins
  • Check your dog on a regular basis and check for any other metabolic diseases

Affected Breeds Of Shar Pei Fever

Causes And Prognosis For Shar Pei Fever

1. Causes:

  • FSF in dogs is an inherited, autosomal recessive condition that can cause the immune response to be overactive.
  • The mutation of genes disrupts the inflammatory mediators and their regulation in the body.
  • A genetic mutation causes excessive wrinkly skin, resulting in an overflow of hyaluronan that can upset usual inflammatory procedures (fever, swelling, and redness).
  • In general, this means that dogs with over- wrinkling (such as Shar-Pei’s) are alleged to be more prone to be affected by FSF.

2. Morbidity:

  • Cause: Autosomal recessive disorder
  • Gender: There is no sex disposition
  • Onset: there is no particular age
  • Hereditable: Yes

3. Mortality:

Amyloidosis, one of the major complications of Shar-Pei fever can be fatal to dogs.

4. Diagnosis:

  • A complete blood count (CBC)
  • Urinalysis
  • Serum biochemistry profile
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound, CT scan

5. Prognosis:

There is no cure for Shar-Pei fever but it can be managed well with proper diet and treatment. Most Shar-Pei’s undergoing treatment will show improvement within a month after starting the treatment. The condition is not usually fatal (save for amyloidosis) and the lifespan of dogs is not affected.

When To See A Vet For Shar Pei Fever?

  • Recurrent episodes of fever
  • Arching spine
  • Swollen, painful muzzle
  • Swelling of the hocks

Food Suggestions For Shar Pei Fever

  • 25% of the diet can be Organ meat or Grass-Fed Meat
  • 50% carbohydrates, such as rice, potatoes, and pasta
  • 20% protein, such as chicken, fish, lean beef, turkey, etc
  • Remaining other nutrients: Beef liver, lean meats, raw egg yolk, canned sardines, salmon, pumpkin, and green vegetables
  • Chicken soup bone broth (or use lamb/beef bones)
  • Green vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, cantaloupe, Brussel sprouts, spinach, Kale, and silver beets)


Shar-pei fever is usually benign and self-limiting. It is better to get recommendations from a veterinarian. Check whether they have any other metabolic or neurological problems.

Shar Pei's make fantastic companions and this fever is not a hindrance to the many years of love and loyalty from your pet.

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