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Familial Shar Pei Fever (FSF)

This terminology was used many years ago when, without any warning, Shar Pei (of any age) developed a raging temperature within a matter of hours. One minute the dog would be running around playing and the next minute show signs of complete lethargy.

No reason for this has ever been diagnosed and in the early days, treatment was varied – ranging from the administration of antibiotics to steroids. Today, we are no further forward in knowing why these attacks occur, but have discovered that the treatment is purely to administer aspirin. The aspirin brings down the temperature very quickly – and just as quickly, the Shar pei returns to normal and shows no sign of having been ill.


The fevers can manifest themselves in one of two ways – either in the face or in the hock joints. The latter has come to be known as “Hock Syndrome”. If the fever manifests itself in the face, the owner will notice that the face becomes swollen and will be very hot around the muzzle. An after-effect of this is that 1-2 days later, the padding on the face will subside. The padding will come back but may take some time to do so. If the fever manifests itself in the hock joint, the owner will notice that the joint itself becomes hot and stiff and the dog will not want to put the leg to the ground. The treatment for this is identical to the facial fever and aspirin administered. To date, there appears to be no long-term damage or after effect.

Ashowai Shar Pei
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