Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about Ching's swollen hock and fever.
The most likely cause of these symptoms given her good response to an anti-inflammatory medication only is a condition specific to the Shar Pei breed called Familial Shar Pei Fever. The concern is that this condition can also cause amyloid (a protein) being deposited in the kidneys, which eventually leads to kidney failure.
This disease is inherited and is related to the gene that allows increased levels of hyaluronan in the subcutaneous tissues which causes the breed's characteristic wrinkles and thick skin.
At this point the recommended therapy is Colchine at a dose of 0.025-0.03 mg/kg (2.2 pounds) twice daily, or less if the dog develops diarrhea. It is recommended dogs are started on a low dose once daily and then gradually increased to the maximum recommended amount (up to the calculated dose above), if they tolerate it without diarrhea, once or twice daily. For most Shar-Peis, that is one 0.6 mg tablet given twice daily. Colchicine is a potent drug but it accumulates in white blood cells (the desired target for treatment) and gastrointestinal signs occur long before other serious side-effects. Treatment is for life. There were problems obtaining the drug at a reasonable price but the drug company has decided to provide it at a reasonable price for Shar Pei owners as a compassionate measure.
Here is a link to read more about the disease if you would like:
There is also information about how to obtain Colchine from the only manufacturer still producing the drug in that article. But here is the information again in case you have trouble accessing the link:
"Currently, sale of colchicine has been restricted in the U.S.A. by the FDA to one manufacturer, URL Pharma, under the brand name "Colcrys®" with an exorbitant price increase. URL Pharma has instituted a Patient Assistance Program for Shar-Pei that is administered by NeedyMeds. There is an application for the program (income adjusted fee structure) on http://www.needymeds.org/ website HERE. Applicants must provide a valid Colcrys prescription from a licensed veterinarian, and must attest that Colcrys will be used solely for their Shar-Pei dog. Applicants who qualify for the program will be able to select a 30-day supply (60 tablets), 60-day supply (120 tablets) or 90-day supply (180 tablets) of Colcrys... "
Owners can also use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like Metacam to help with discomfort, swelling and the fever during the flare-ups.
There has been some speculation that using omega 3 fatty acids, which are natural anti-inflammatories, at a dose based on the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the omega 3 of 20mg of EPA per pound of body weight every 24 hours. If we dose based upon the EPA portion the rest of the acids will be properly balanced and supplemented.
You should have your pup's morning urine tested frequently (yearly in young dogs and every 3 to 6 months in older dogs with no symptoms of kidney disease) for signs of increased levels of protein and decreased concentration. These are the first signs of kidney failure from amyloid being deposited in the kidneys.
Signs to watch for with her are hock swelling and fever as you have seen, especially fevers that don't respond to anti-inflammatory therapy, but also lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting or diarrhea. These are red flags that your pup needs a veterinary examination and some testing.
Best of luck with your pup, please let me know if you have any further questions.