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Theresa, A Voice for Your Pet
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Experience:  19+ years experience in small animal medicine
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My dog has just been diagnosed with sharpei fever and I ...

Resolved Question:

My dog has just been diagnosed with sharpei fever and I have been told he probably only has months to live. He is 5 years old. Please can you tell me if there are any alternative treatments available/ kidney transplant?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Theresa replied 8 years ago.

What are his symptoms currently?

I am guessing from the question of kidney transplant that he already has suffered from kidney damage?

Does the vet have your dog on medications currently? Has the vet recommended any medications?

When was he diagnosed?

Do you have blood work results of the liver and kidneys?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Theresa's Post: His vet has said that he has kidney damage but not liver he has not given me the blood work results as he is awaiting a urine test result then he will put him on medication (begins with a c?) He was diagnosed on Thursday. His symptoms have been 5k loss of weight in 2 weeks ,oss of appetite,shivering leg pain and drinking more water than usual.
Expert:  Theresa replied 8 years ago.

The primary symptom of Shar pei Fever is the very high intermittent fever of 105-107 degrees. Has your dog suffered from these high fevers? If not it would be very difficult to diagnose this as his condition. There is no blood work that will tell you if your dog has this. Classic symptoms include intermittent high fever, swollen and painful hocks, weakness, kidney failure and secondary liver issues. If this is what your vet feels he has then he can be placed on a product called Colchicine. This is used to reduce the intensity of flare ups and seems to help prevent amyloidosis a condition of the kidney's and possibly the liver which is a clear signal of Shar Pei fever. Since this is a condition of the immune system and inflammation throughout the body is the biggest factor a number of other serious concerns arise. High fevers can result in seizures and loss of function so the fevers must be controlled immediately. Many dogs lose their life from thromboembolism and DIC so every attempt to control this as well is to be considered. An adjunctive therapy using asprin may be warranted to prevent blood clots and embolus. Since hypertension is another symptoms of kidney involvement controlling this with medications like benezapril would be indicated.

What you can do: Monitor your dogs temperature daily or with symptoms.

Monitor for increased thirst and urination.

Have the urine checked monthly and blood tested every 2 months or sooner if the kidney's are already involved.

Start your dog on a low protein diet specific for kidney failure.

Give fluids at home under the skin every 2-3 days to assist the kidney's function.

Give medications as prescribed.

Try to create as low a stress environment as you can.

The minute you detect a very high fever get your dog into a vet.

Dogs who are started on Colchicine seem to have a longer life expectancy. Some as much as 2 years or more. There is no cure for the disorder and a kidney transplant will not treat this since the condition does not start in the kidneys. The stress of the surgery for a transplant will likely kill your dog as it is a major trigger for the condition.

I am sorry to hear of such a diagnosis. I did notice that one thing you did not mention was a fever. If your dog has not suffered from fevers then Shar Pei fever cannot be diagnosed and your dog could be suffering from early renal failure. In which treatment would be similar minus the Colchicine. Life expectancy with renal failure can vary.

Other conditions to rule out are: early kidney disease, tick borne disease, fungal or bacterial infection.

Here are a couple links for you to review:

Please let me know if further assistance is needed.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Theresa's Post: Hi Theresa

He has not had high fever when I took him in to the vet because he vomited twice in a day he took his temperature and it was not high. I think Colchicine was the drug he mentioned. I want to do anything I can to prolong his life allied with quality of life because I love him so much.

Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Theresa replied 8 years ago.
You are very welcome. I think you need to have a detailed discussion with your vet because fever is the primary symptom of this disease.
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Category: Dog
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Experience: 19+ years experience in small animal medicine
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