Shar-Peis/hair loss


hi, i have a  10month old shar pei fawn in colour who has had alot of problems with ears, eyes and skin ect.. we have him at the vets all the time his eyes and skin have started to get better but now he has large circular patches all over him and they are bald, we have shampoo from the vets but it doesn't seem to be working. i saw you have had a similar problem?

There are several things this could be.  

1. Hypo-thyroidism, which is not uncommon in some breeds, including shar-pei.  A blood test for this will give you answers.  Even a "low/normal" reading can mean that the dog should be on thyroid meds.  They are not expensive and you can even get a prescription for them and have this filled at your pharmacy.  

2. Demodectic mange.  All living beings carry the demodectic mite on their body (even us) and usually our immune system keeps them under control.  Shar-Pei immune systems are slow to mature, and the mites can take over at this time, and cause itching, bald spots and even smelly skin (like dirty socks).  If it IS demodex, there are two things you can do.  One, is to do nothing, and allow the dog's immune system mature and it will self-eliminate.  Or, if you wish, you can treat him with Ivermectin.  You can get this from your vet and give it orally.  Or, you can buy it at a farm supply store (it's labeled for cattle and pigs) and then get the proper dosage from your vet.  This will kill the mites.  If any of my dogs have it, I allow them to self-eliminate, so I know their immune systems are working correctly.  But you can choose to treat it.

3. Food allergy.  Shar-Pei are sensitive to grains in dog foods, so a grain free food is recommended.  Food allergies can also cause yeast infections in the ears and even on the skin. A bleach bath can kill the bacteria on the skin, which they get from scratching.  Their toenails have tons of bacteria on them, and as they scratch, they break the skin and open it up to the bacteria.  You put 4 inches of water in your tub, then add 3 cups of bleach (YES, BLEACH) and soak the dog in this for at least 10 minutes, pouring it over their body and making sure to get it on all of the body.  I do this for myself, as I have eczema and it kills the bacteria on my skin and stops the itching.  Just think of it as if he were swimming in a pool.  No different, and NOT harmful.

I'd start with the blood test for any thyroid problems. Even a low/normal reading can rindiacate the need for thyroid meds in shar-pei.  THe bleach bath is fine to do for this and for the food allergy problem if that is it, as it just kills any bacteria on the skin.

Let me know if these don't help.  You can email me at if you need anymore help.  My computer died, so I didn't get your question until now.  My son fixed mine for my Christmas present :)

Good luck,


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Judi Todd


Health, show potential, breeding, about anything to do with shar-pei, I can answer.


20 years experience showing and breeding shar-pei, and 40 years experience in other breeds. Worked as a vet technician also.

Veterinary technician, dog groomer, trainer, exhibitor

Awards and Honors
Produced a shar-pei that became #3 in the country, beginning of 2003.

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