So here’s the thing for all of you thinking about bringing home that all to perfect wrinkled puppy, but first I hope you really think about what I am about to tell you. I have 2 shar-Pei, 9 month old Micky and 2 year old Dashia. Micky is wonderful and so easy to care for. He can eat anything and bath monthly. Dashia however is very sensitive, due to her food allergies that cause coat loss. She can only eat lamb and rice food; she must have bacon grease every three days, olive oil every other day. She also needs a bath twice a week with baby shampoo. Heaven help us if she gets fleas. She started itching last night and my husband and I realized that we had not gotten this month’s flea drops. This morning we got up and she had no hair on her back end. Considering the diet she is on for her skin and coat due to her allergies and now it will take 3 months to get her coat back. I love my baby girl more than anything but I was not prepared for this. My husband and I have adjusted to the feeding and the baths. Fleas can be difficult because Dashia can only have drops. (Flea baths will also cause hair loss) She is not easy to groom as I had read. I am not saying that all or even most shar-pei will have these issues but some do and if you are planning or raising a shar-pei reading this will give you a better idea of what to do then I did.
I have wanted a shar-pei for years, I did the research, talked to alot of breeders, and found out all the info you just said plus some. You are lucky you have not had to pay for a face lift. that is also very common in the breed. I got an older lab shar-pei mix(father inlaw died), and he was the best. He passed away this year, he was 16yrs old.
They are a very expensive breed in many different ways. Maybe you should have done some more research before making your purchase, but it is very widly known how bad their skin problems and allergies are. Sorry you are having such a time with your baby girl. Hopefully you little guy ends up perfect. take care
Thank you for your concern. I had done the research when I got Dashia, I was told by the breeder that her sire and dam didn’t have a lot of skin issues but she somehow does. I did check her eyes before I placed a deposited and I had them checked by the vet when she was 8 weeks. She tends to get dust caught in them and they need wiped with a warm washcloth every morning, but she will not ever need her eyes tacked according to her vet. Micky on the other hand, is more than healthy even though we were told that he would be allergic to fleas like his sire. He had three babies in his litter that have had their eyes done. I guess you can put all the time and research into it but when it is all said and done you get the puppy you were meant to have and you love them no matter what. I just keep reading these breed reviews that say a shar-pei is so easy to groom and maintain and I think if people are considering a shar-pei of their own they need to know what it takes sometimes. I have seen too many dogs surrendered because the people that wanted them just didn’t want the work involved in raising them. I have seen your postings all over and you seem to know a lot I am sure you know what I mean. I knew what to expect because I seen it growing up, my mom had to find out for herself. It was kind of scary when we woke up one morning and mom’s dog was half hairless. We ran straight to the nearest vet, (he had never seen a shar-pei back then) He couldn’t tell us anything. It took almost a year and so many vets but we finally found out what works. If I had not known what was wrong I don’t know what I would have done when Dashia’s allergies kicked in. (She was eating my friend’s dog food) I just hope that before people buy a dog they know what they might have to do to care for it. Even my new Vet has told me to try something that I know won’t work. He had me feed her the wrong food, thinking her coat should shine more. The breed standard states “The coat is not lustrous” like a Doberman pinscher. She had a full coat at the time, two weeks later she had hot spots. We no longer change Dashia’s food. There is a lot people should know before adopting their shar-pei. I am still learning after 15 years. Read everything you can get your hands on about any breed before you get one. The more you know the better prepared you will be.
I just read some of the discussions on the maintenance of having a shar pei, its not the breed, its the breeder. Hairless shar pei, possible since they moult not shed. You must get a good vet who knows shar peis, otherwise they will lead you in the wrong direction. They tend to look moth ridden when molting. Allergies? all bred into the pei,especially skin issues. all these can be avoidable with a reputable breeder. Just do the research & you will never go wrong on owning a pei. Truly a great breed, just mis understood
I currently have two Shar-pei's and one of which suffers from general allergies. My vet suggested I purchase the generic antihistamine from Wal-Mart and NOT the allergy medication with decongestant as the decongestant is toxic to dogs. At first I put the pills in cheese, then peanut butter, but my child after awhile would refused to take her pills that way until I discovered cutting up hotdogs and putting her pills in that. My child has yet to refuse the hotdog.
My other Shar-pei, I got at 7weeks old, and had his eye's tacked but apparently it didn't take too well because he needed an eye lift at 8months old. His eyes were rolling under and his eyelashes were rubbing on his eye. So, an $800 expense for that but I didn't want him to go blind.
As for food, I've tried the high end to the low end, mine tend to love the Pedigree and turned their noses up at the high end whole food expensive dog food, but recently I found the Petsmart Authority brand is something they like very well, and it's reasonably priced and it's healthy for them. My husband once a week gives them each a raw egg in their dry dog food to help keep their coat shiny. In the beginning I just kept the dog bowls full with food, but my eldest female became obsessive compulsive at 8years old and decided to keep on eatting, gained too much weight, and is a couch potato. So, she gets regular Authority dog food in the AM and in the PM she gets a cup full of green beans to help her loose weight which is working nicely as she LOVES the fresh green beans. And, my boy is a grazer as he love to fetch inbetween grabbing a mouthful of food, so I have to watch them eat so that my eldest doesn't steal his food. In my experience if my kids won't eat, and belive me they're little pigglets, and usually if they are refusing good table scraps, they're sick and need to be taken to the vet, especially if they turn their nose up at lunchmeat, steak, hotdogs, etc.
When bathing my kids I use the oatmeal based dog shampoo which is for sensitive skin and I've never had a problem with it. I dry my kids with a towel, and since I live in the driest city in the nation, so they're usually dry with in 30min and then I clean their ears with the vet approved ear drying/cleaning solution. My kids don't have hotspots and haven't ever lost large clumps of hair. The only skin issue I've had with my youngest was that he had a round quarter sized hair loss, which when I inspected it, it looked similar to ringworm, which I put the anti fungal foot cream on for a week, and it cleared it up completely. The spot was located on top of his back and he doesn't lie in the grass only in the house and my other dog was not affected, so I have no idea how he got infected with ringworm.
My female Shar-pei is 10years old and a couch potato and my Male 4yr old loves to fetch and play ball and is very active. My kids are both indoor & outdoor. My male loves waiting outside in the evening to return from work, which usually isn't a problem unless it's June in Arizona. For the last two years in June he's gotten dehydrated from being outside when it's over 100 degrees. He has open access to the doggie door and has forgotten to go inside to get cool. Both times I've had to take him to the vet because he was lathargic and was not playful like he normally was. He was given fluids under the skin and some anti inflammatory medication because as a result he was running a fever. My vet suggested that I give him canned dog food and some added water to keep him completely hydrated during the summer months. So, during the summer months, they are on house arrest, blocked in the house where they'll be air conditioned all day, and grandma comes over to let them out for a potty break.
And, there's a health condition called Shar-Pei fever which seems to affect Shar-peis around 3 years of age and it's an unexplained fever that isn't caused by infection and the only way to test for it is by testing for everything else. This is a fairly recent finding according to my vet. There is medication available to treat this disease but luckily my boy was just too stubborn to go inside and drink water and stay in the air conditioning. My boy was tested the first time he became dehydrated and the vet found nothing but also found a bite mark on his little wee wee which could have been a black widow or brown reculse spider, which would explain the limpin on his right leg as the bite marks were closer to that side and the fever, dehydration, and lathargic. My boy is a blue, and his skin tone is a blueish pink so it was difficult to tell if he was bruised from a bite, he was limping on this right leg, the vet wanted to test for everything which I agreed and told him also that I think it's a bite and that he should just shave him to be sure. Ironically, he became dehydrated the following year almost to the day, which was during the hotest month in Arizona, so we realized that the spider bite the previous year was likely related but not the direct cause as the direct cause was the heat and dehydration. I just wanted future Shar-Pei owners to be aware that there is a disease out there that is called Shar-Pei fever. I owned a red shar-pei years ago and if the vet I was using at the time would have told me about this disease it might have saved his life, he was six years old and two different vets couldn't figure out what was wrong with him, he was lethargic, wouldn't drink, almost jaundice, we tried everything and $2k later after all the testing, there were no answers and I had to put him to sleep because he was in respiratory distress. I also had a female years ago who had complications with a cyst on her uterus which had to be removed and my vet told me that if I had her fixed years prior that she wouldn't have had that problem. So, if you're not planning to bread your Shar-pei, get them fixed so you'll avoid future vet bills later.