Shar-Pei What? Shar-Pei Fever!
Skye’s family suddenly noticed her loss of appetite one evening. Usually a fun wrinkly ball of energy, Skye had also lost her spark and motivation to play with her other furry family members, and her pre-existing limp had worsened when she was walking around their home. Just hours earlier Skye was her usual happy tail-wagging self… By the time she arrived at our Jindalee clinic her respiratory rate had increased so high she collapsed when trying to walk and was unable to open her eyes. What caused these sudden symptoms to Skye is a breed specific illness called Shar-Pei Fever.
Shar Pei Fever is a condition with an unknown cause but one that can also result in renal and liver failure due to the accumulation and changes of proteins in the body (Amyloidosis). The inflammatory response to proteins in the body leads to the formulation and deposits of these proteins in vital organs.
The symptoms of Shar-Pei Fever includes… you guessed it – fever, as well as swelling and pain in the back legs that usually resolve in about two to three days. For Skye even going to the toilet was exhausting, but our dedicated nurses helped Skye walk around using a towel sling for her hind legs. She remained in our hospital for a few days before returning home to her relieved family. We as humans know what is like with an excruciating fever (and just like our pets sometimes we are quite vocal about it!). When our team sat with Skye, we started to wonder what would she tell us if she could talk.
While owning a pet can be extremely rewarding, it is absolutely essential to thoroughly research the breed. Skye’s family knew of Shar-Pei fever already but wanted to share her story for others who may be unaware of the breed’s inherent illness.
The Jindalee team thanks Skye for being such a good patient, and to her family for allowing us to take care of her and share her story.