Dr. Jeff Vidt Blog

Hyaluronan

Hyaluronan (HA) also known as hyaluronic acid, hyaluronate and mucin is a polysaccharide composed of repeating disaccharides of glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine. Hence hyaluronan belongs to the family of glycosaminoglycans. An HA molecule can be made up of hundreds to thousands of these repeat sugar units. HA tends to maintain the status of a viscoelastic solution or paste depending on the concentration and size of the molecules. These long molecules tend to aggregate into mesh works. In solution HA molecules assume a complex ribbon coil structure. A good analogy would be Jell-O®. When Jell-O® is diluted with too much water...

HISTORY OF THE CHINESE SHAR-PEI

THE CHINESE HISTORY OF THE SHAR-PEI There is no direct evidence to indicate the Chinese Shar-Pei, as we know it today, is an ancient breed. There is much evidence to support the theory that Hong Kong dog breeders developed the breed in the 1960’s by crossbreeding the Chinese Fighting Dog with several breeds including the Boxer, the Bloodhound, Bulldog and possibly others. Consider the following documents: Letter from the Hong Kong Kennel Club to R.G. Horsnell dated July 15, 1975 concerning dropping the Chinese Fighting Dog from its registry due to crossbreeding and deviation from type. This letter is found...

Finding A Shar-Pei Puppy

I consider the following steps when finding and selecting a Shar-Pei puppy: Deciding if you want a Shar-Pei puppy Try to find out as much about the breed as possible before you start looking for a new pup. This involves reading books about the breed, talking to people who own Shar-Pei and checking on the Internet. The Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America has a web site at www.CSPCA.com and my web site at www.drjwv.com has a lot of useful information including a listing of Shar-Pei books and a listing of Shar-Pei health problems. The Shar-Pei does have some unique health...

Feeding Your Shar-Pei

    The proper diet is very important for the life and health of your Shar-Pei. Most pets become overweight and inactive if they are allowed to choose their own diet. A fat dog is not a healthy dog and will have a greatly decreased lifespan.       RECOMMENDATIONS: Puppy diets with or without water are best until the pup is 4-6 months old. Stick with brand name diets such as Iams, Purina, Pedigree and others. Currently I like the puppy diets for large breed puppies made by Eukanuba® (Iams) and Purina. These diets help to maintain a slower growth rate....

Eye Tacking

Puppies open their eyes at about 7 – 10 days of age. In Shar-Pei, this is often when the first symptoms of entropion appear. Typically the puppies open their eyes, but quickly they begin squinting and closing them. Often there is a mucous eye discharge and these puppies usually don’t eat well or gain weight like their littermates. EYE TACKING is a temporary measure in which sutures (stitches) are placed in the eye lids to roll the lids “out” of the eyeball. Often this can be done without anesthesia in very young puppies (2-4 weeks of age). Sometimes gas anesthesia...

Entropion

Permanent ENTROPION SURGERY is often done in Shar-Pei after they reach the age of 6-8 months old. This is the age at which most pups are full grown and have “grown into” their heads. Permanent repair is a surgical procedure that will result in correction of the eyelid problem. Its success depends on the experience and artistry of the surgeon and often times referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist is recommended. The procedure involves various techniques to remove excessive eyelid tissue from the lids, tighten up the eye opening and sometimes remove extra folds of skin around the eyes. Typically the...

Elbow Dysplasia

The term “elbow dysplasia” encompasses a complex of orthopedic disorders involving the elbow joint of the dog. In order to differentiate among the different causes of “elbow dysplasia” a combination of diagnostic tools are used including physical examination, orthopedic examination, radiology, gait analysis, CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), arthroscopy and exploratory joint surgery. Treatment options vary with the condition and will be discussed under the next section. Components of elbow dysplasia: Ununited anconeal process – The anconeal process is a small piece of bone making up the back part of the trochlear notch where the humerus articulates with...

DMG – N,N,-dimethylglycine

DMG is a glycine receptor agonist that is thought to have anticonvulsant activity in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) – deficient seizure models. Although DMG is in popular clinical use, controlled trials to date show little anticonvulsant activity. DMG is a normal, physiologically active nutrient found in low levels in foods such as cereal grains, seeds and meats. It is a common intermediate in cellular metabolism of choline and betaine to methionine and participates indirectly in transmethylation reactions through the oxidation of its methyl groups to formaldehyde and subsequent transfer of these one-carbon fragments to folic acid. DMG is not a vitamin...

Dietary Soy

Information has existed for many years in Shar-Pei circles concerning the use of soy in diets for Shar-Pei and adverse effects. I can find no information in the nutritional literature, which would support this notion, and I actually found some information indicating the potential protective effects of soy in the diet against cancer. Certainly dietary sensitivity and allergic disease due to soy in the diet is possible and can occur in any individual in any breed. One major problem in this area is the lack of objective tests for food allergy in animals. The gold standard is still the use...

Deflated Muzzle

One of the major defining physical characteristics of the Chinese Shar-Pei is the large muzzle. This is due to the hyaluronan levels in the breed which contributes to the wrinkling, large padded muzzle and cutaneous mucinosis. All Shar-Pei can deflate to some degree although some have a more padded muzzle than others and the deflation would be more noticeable. It may be a good idea to measure the circumference of your dog’s muzzle using a sewing flexible tape measure. Muzzle deflation is caused by decreased hyaluronan production and there are three causes: Anti-inflammatory drug therapy is a major cause. This...