Chinese Shar Pei Fever

Familial immunoreactive disorder seen in the Chinese Shar Pei dog breed.

Chinese SharPei Fever

This is a familial (suspected autosomal recessive) immunoreactive disorder seen in the Chinese Shar Pei dog breed characterized by episodic fever and progressive systemic reactive amyloidosis with secondary organ disease. This is especially seen in the kidneys and liver. 

One-quarter of this breedis affected by this disorder and 53% of fever seen in this breed is due to this condition.


 The average age is 4 years old. Pyrexia ranges from 103º to 107º F for a duration of approximately 24 to 36 hours.

Periarticular edematous soft tissue swelling, usually of the tibiotarsal joint,causes lameness and joint effusion. Hepatic amyloidosis can lead to liver disease or rupture. Renal amyloidosis can result in dysfunction, polyuria, and polydipsia.  


Blood tests may reveal inflammation and organ dysfunction. Plain orthogonal radiographic joint views show soft tissue periarticular swelling and joint effusion. Synovial fluid analysis reveals decreasedjoint fluid viscosityandneutrophils.

Medical treatment

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and analgesia (opioids) are administered.

Methods of body cooling include intravenous crystalloid fluid therapy, cool water bathing, or fans. Body temperatures should be monitored frequently.

Colchicine delaysamyloid deposition.Side effects include gastrointestinal upset, decreased cobalaminabsorption,and bone marrow suppression. 

Many other therapies have been reported. Online veterinary companies, such as telepet or televet services, can discuss managing disease flareups, in order to avoid stressful in-person veterinary appointments.


The condition may be self limiting. Breeding of affected dogs is discouraged. The prognosis is guarded. There is no cure. It is progressive over weeks to years. Death is due to amyloidosis-induced hepatic disease, pulmonary thromboembolism, or renal failure. 

Shadi Ireifej DVM DACVS