Shar-Pei Autoinflammatory Disease, SPAID, Shar-Pei Fever

other system

More commonly known as Familial Shar-Pei Fever, this autoinflammatory condition causes recurrent high fevers, joint swelling and pain, and overall malaise. Some Shar-Peis will also develop amyloidosis, an inappropriate accumulation of an abnormal protein, amyloid, in the liver and kidneys.

  • Signs and symptoms

    During an episode, affected dogs will be listless, have no appetite, and have swollen ankles and/or muzzles. A fever of 106ºF or above is considered a medical emergency. Please ask your veterinarian to show you how to take your dog’s temperature at home.

    First signs typically appear before 18 months of age but can occur at any time.

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  • Diagnosis

    Shar-Pei fever is diagnosed based on clinical signs: fever and swollen ankles/muzzle. Affected dogs may have abnormal protein (amyloid) deposits in the kidneys and liver. Your veterinarian may want to perform blood, urine, or other tests to determine the extent and severity of the disease.

  • Treatment

    SPAID can often be managed symptomatically with anti-inflammatories, although the response to treatment does vary. In severe cases, the liver and kidneys can be affected, and hospitalization with more aggressive treatment will be required. Colchicine, which can prevent kidney damage secondary to amyloidosis, may be recommended in the early stages of disease.

  • What to do if your dog is at risk


    • Monitor your Shar-Pei for signs of fever and swelling of the legs and muzzle. Bring your dog to the vet at the first sign of these symptoms.

  • Genetic Information

    SPAID was first described in the Shar-Pei. There is some confusion surrounding SPAID due to an early paper that suggested that all Shar-Peis are at risk for developing SPAID. However, researchers subsequently identified an MTBP variant in SPAID-affected dogs. There are Shar-Peis that have two normal copies of this gene and do not develop signs of disease.

    This variant likely has an incomplete dominant inheritance in the Shar-Pei, meaning that Shar-Peis with one copy of the variant are at lower risk when compared to dogs with two copies of the variant, but at greater risk than dogs with no copies of the variant. The effects of this variant have currently only been studied in the Shar-Pei.

    Gene names:

    MTBP ‐ chr

    Inheritance type:

    incomplete dominance

  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

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