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September 30, 2018

Update - Research into Mast Cell Tumours & Amyloidosis


I had so many people contact me to take part in the Mast Cell DNA collection. I have now set up a connection with Emma Hales at the AHT so we can collect the right information. We need the following; 

  • Your Name 

  • Address

  • Email address 

  • Contact telephone number

  • Dogs Name 

  • DOB 

  • And if Affected or not affected with Mast Cell

This is going to be done with UK dogs as getting these swabs in and out to overseas addresses is proving difficult.


To summarise;

Currently, we are collecting samples from any Shar Pei affected by mast cell tumours and dogs that are at least 7 years old and never had any form of cancer. (Approximately 40 samples needed).

In addition we are looking to collect tumour biopsies. If your dog has a suspected mast cell tumour, ask your vet to place a small piece (a 3-5mm cube) of the biopsy of the suspected tumour (normally removed for diagnostic histopathology) in a special preservative (‘RNAlater’) provided by the AHT upon request.

It would be beneficial if the special preservative could be requested in advance of any surgery.


If you can help, please email at

Please feel free to share and we are happy to answer any Questions.


Please also remember we are in the process of collecting DNA from Shar Pei 12 years and over as part of the Amyloid project. 

This is a buccal swab (test) and then when the time comes dogs in this study have a Post-mortem Congo Red Test. Remember this is THE ONLY WAY TO DIAGNOSE AMYLOID so the tissue that is sent in to bank is very valuable DNA.

If a test became available for either of these diseases we need "control dogs" so the idea behind this is to start banking DNA samples for the future. WE NEED YOUR HELP !!! 

Anyone participating in the research please email me with the following details;

  • Your Name 

  • Address

  • Email address 

  • Contact telephone number

  • Dogs Name 

  • DOB 

We can hopefully then share all the data between the 2 departments.

Also there is a fundraiser at the moment to get the £2,000 for the sequencing of DNA of a Shar Pei who is negative for Amyloid via CONGO RED !!! 

This is going to be very valuable information so if you could all spare £1 this would total up very quickly I’m sure. Any donations would be greatly appreciated if sent via paypal to

Thank you all who are contributing at a time when your hearts are breaking.

Heather Morris (KC Shar Pei Breed Health coordinator) -

Emma Hales (AHT) -

September 03, 2018

Research into Amyloidosis


Note: Amyloidosis is diagnosable using the Congo Red Stain test (carried out by a vet after the death of a dog).

The Shar Pei Club of Great Britain (SPCGB) is committed to working with partners, stakeholders and supporters to try to find a genetic marker for this heartbreaking condition.  Late last year the Club and The Kennel Club jointly funded the sequencing of a dog that had been lost to Amyloidosis (confirmed by Red Congo stain post mortem) as part of the Kennel Club's Give a Dog a Genome project.  Supporters, club members and the committee, raised a further £2,000 to sequence a second dog in the hope that we could move the research on and quickly find some clues into this deadly disease. 

The genomes were sequenced by The Animal Health Trust and the results shared with SLU in Upsala, Sweden where Dr Jennifer Meadows is leading the work on this disease.

We are now looking to sequence the genome of a long-lived healthy dog who was lost at the age of 15 to old age.  This dog has tested negative for Amyloidosis and had never suffered any Shar Pei related illness or condition.  We are hoping that her DNA could hold some clues as to why to try and move the research forward.


How you can help;

If you would like to support us in our research and would like to either raise funds for us or donate towards the cause you can do so via the SPCGB.  You don't need to be a member of the club to help, you don't need to be in the UK.  If you have ever owned or loved this breed we would be grateful of your help.

We are also looking to create a DNA/tissue bank from long-lived dogs for use in future research. If we are fortunate enough to find a genetic marker and develop a DNA test we will need control dogs to trial the test.  As we need to know the Amyloidosis status of the dogs in the trial we can only use DNA from dogs that have passed away and have been tested by Red Congo stain.  We are looking for owners of dogs of 12 years and over to take DNA swabs of their dogs now and to commit to having Red Congo done post-mortem and possibly donating some tissue and/or blood.  Its a terrible thing to contemplate losing your dog but it is only through brave and selfless owners that we will be able to build this vital DNA bank.  If we don't start this vital work now, who knows how many years we may have to wait to have enough control dogs.

We are working closely with our Breed Health Coordinator, Heather Morris and the Animal Health Trust who will store the DNA for the project. If you feel you can get involved and would like your dog to leave a lasting legacy, please contact us.

September 03, 2018

Research into Mast Cell Tumours

The Animal Health Trust is carrying out research into Mast Cell Tumours in the breed. To aid this work, samples are needed;   


  • A biopsy of the following tumours from ANY breed of dog: Glioma, lymphoma, mast cell tumour, oral melanoma, osteosarcoma, uveal melanoma


  • A surplus blood sample from ANY breed of dog affected by a mast cell tumour or an oral melanoma

  • A cheek swab OR surplus blood sample from an affected dogs  

If you are a dog owner or a vet and would like to submit a sample to help our research please contact us at or call 01638 751000 ext. 1214.

July 30, 2017


A DNA test for POAG/PLL is now available from the Animal Health Trust.

The Animal Health Trust have released a statement on their website as follows;

"We are delighted to report that the mutation causing primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) / primary lens luxation (PLL) in the Shar Pei has been identified at the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT).

A test for this is now available through the Animal Health Trust DNA testing service".

Purchase the POAG/PLL DNA Test Kit.

July 29, 2017

Research Into Mast Cell Tumours (MCT)


The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is collecting samples for research into mast cell tumours (MCT) in Shar Pei.


Clinicians in the AHT's Clinical Oncology Unit have encountered a number of young Shar Pei with unusually aggressive mast cell tumours, and previous reports in veterinary medical journals describe an increased incidence of mast cell tumours in Shar Pei with aggressive mast cell tumours more common in Shar Pei under 2 years of age. 

In the meantime, if you are unfortunate enough to own a Shar Pei suffering from Mast Cell cancer, please ask your Vet to contact Dr Mike Starkey at the AHT re submitting samples to them to provide data for their research. (See more info on the "Health" page)

Samples are also required from dogs unaffected by MCT and who are over 7 years of age for the control group.

As a Club, we are dedicated to assisting with all research and we ask everyone, whether Club members or not, to partake in the collecting of cheek swabs from both unaffected and affected dogs.

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