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Health Testing FAQs

When picking a breeder to purchase your next puppy, it’s important to not only understand the difference between health checks and health testing but also what health testing is relevant to the breed.  A breeder may do one or two of these tests, all of them, or more.  It is up to you to decide what kind of testing you want your breeder to complete and how that plays a part in the health and longevity of your new canine companion.

What’s the difference between “health checks” and “health testing”?

Health “checks” may consists of a dog being looked over by one veterinarian and being up to date on shots and preventatives.  This does not take into account genetic health and issues that can only be seen through x-rays and blood tests.

If their regular vet says they're fine, why can’t they be bred?

They can.  But should they?  For example: hip dysplasia.  Typically, canine hip dysplasia develops because of an abnormally developed hip joint.  No one can predict when or if a dysplastic dog will start showing clinical signs.  Therefore, saying, “my dog gets around fine, he doesn’t have hip dysplasia,” is not a true statement.

What does that mean for my puppy?














This image shows the percentage of offspring that develops hip dysplasia based on the OFA hip score of the sire and dam.  For example, a “Good” bred to an “Excellent” had 5.8% of their offspring develop hip dysplasia while parents that both had mild hip dysplasia produced 29.6%.

hip dys.png

What is health testing?

Health tests are performed on the sire and dam to ensure we are not breeding dogs that have known conditions that we can test for.  Please refer to this page for all of the recommended health testing for Chinese Shar-Pei:

What about genetic testing?

Genetic testing in this breed is important, there are are many companies that can do this.  We personally use Embark.  The only breed relevant testing is SPAID and POAG/PLL.  When someone says their dog is, “clear for 215 genetic health risks” it’s because Embark also runs tests that are not relevant to the breed.  Your Chinese Shar-Pei is not going to be affected by “Bully Whippet Syndrome” which is one of the 215 tests.

What does the SPAID testing tell you?

The MTBP gene specifically has been associated with SPAID.  Shar-Pei dogs with a meatmouth muzzle appear to be predisposed to developing this condition.  We use this testing for our own reference, not as a diagnosis.  Some dogs with one or two copies of the mutated gene may never develop symptoms.  Though clinical signs are most commonly seen in dogs having two copies, carrier dogs can also show signs.

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