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Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15168
Experience:  15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
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shar pei: months old..last few days..litter..his back hind legs looked

Resolved Question:

I have a blue shar pei puppy about 4 months old. The last few days I have noticed that he is a bit more lethargic and slower than he usually is compared to his brother/litter mate. Tonight I noticed that his back hind legs looked swollen and he wasn't opening his eyes. I opened one of his eyes and it was blood red, I pried open the other eye and it had the same coloring. My vets office is closed. What is going on here and what should I do for his health. He and his brother had a regular vet check up and updates on shots about 10 days ago and everything was fine then. His brother a red sable shar pei hasn't exhibited any health concerns.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 7 years ago.
Hello there,

Is the dog eating and drinking?

Could the dog have been stung by a bee or spider?

Is the swelling firm or does it feel like fluid?

If you press on the rear legs, does the skin indent?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
1. He is eating and drinking but because the two dogs are fed together sometimes it is difficult to say if he is eating more or less than usual. However, his weight at his last check up seemed to show that he has been eating plenty. I have noticed that their water dish needs to be filled up several more times a day than usual. It may be that Dolce the sick shar pei is drinking more water than usual, I have seen him do that one several occasions.
2. I am not sure about that, they are outside in a concrete area at the back and side of the condominium but they do take walks down to the beach and have been at the dog park a few times but I haven't seen anything myself.
3. Both dogs normally have excess skin on their hind legs, I felt them for comparison and I would say Dolce, the ill dog, has more fluid in his legs. I also noticed over the last week that the skin on Dolce's chest, neck, and front and hind legs seemed to be losing hair. He has been scratching his neck with his hind feet frequently and the skin in these areas does look thinner than on his back and other body areas. He also has an atypical odor to his skin in these areas, not the normal "shar pei" scent that they all have, it was different, it seemed more sickly.
4. When I press of his rear legs the skin returns to it's normal state before I pressed it. I checked it on Vinny his healthy brother and his legs had the same response.
5. I did notice while checking the skin press response that on Dolce on both of his rear feet between the last and second to last toe that he has considerable swelling there to the point that it almost looks like another toe without the toenail.
Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 7 years ago.
The problem sounds very severe. There are several inherited problems in the breed that can lead to these symptoms. Amyloidosis can cause edema in the rear legs and the other skin issues. Blood tests are needed for a diagnosis. The prognosis is not good in dogs with this disease. Given the breed, it should be ruled out as a cause.The only thing to try before you can get the dog examined is oral Benadryl in case you are seeing an allergic reaction. It is used at 1/2-1 mg per pound body weight every 8-12 hours as needed. The eyes can be flushed with artificial tears from the grocery store. Salve works better than drops. It should be done 3-4 times a day.
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