Chinese Crested Health Problems – Tips & Treatment
Chinese Crested dogs are among the most interesting of dog breeds. A member of the toy group, the breed is relatively resilient and known for its working dog-like athleticism and sweet nature. With an average lifespan of 15 – 17 years, the CC’s lifespan is among the longest of all dogs. However, as with all purebreds, they are known to suffer from a number of health complaints.
The hairless and Powder Puff CC varieties are equally likely to suffer from eye diseases such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), glaucoma, and Primary Lens Luxation (PLL). Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a disorder of the rods and cones in the eye that can lead to worsening vision, and eventually blindness. Without a reliable course of treatment, the only prevention for PRA is health screenings and responsible breeding. Canine glaucoma is similar to the disease suffered by humans, and affects the optic nerve in the eye. A routine eye exam that tests eye pressure can be performed to assess your dog’s risk for developing the condition. If diagnosed early, medications can be prescribed in an attempt to lower the eye’s pressure and save the optic nerve from further damage; however, surgery may be necessary. An especially painful eye disorder for a CC is PLL. Here, fibers within the eye disintegrate causing the lens of the eye to change position. Besides pain, PLL also causes blindness. Each eye disorder listed is congenital and should be tested for by breeders to determine if any parent dogs are genetic carriers. Always inquire to see Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certificates to verify the health of your Chinese Crested puppy.
Bone and Joint Disorders
Two common skeletal disorders in Chinese Crested dogs are patellar luxation and Legg-Perthes Disease. Patellar luxation is characterized by the kneecap becoming dislocated, and is caused by particularly shallow knee joints. The onset of patellar luxation is typically at a young age and can cause permanent disability. Care should be taken by the breeder to have Orthopedic Foundation for Animals certification performed on each breeding pair to rule out hip or joint problems. Legg-Perthes Disease is a hereditary disorder common in toy breeds. The head of the femur bone spontaneous degenerates causing disintegration of the hip joint, as well as bone inflammation. The only treatment for this disorder is surgery and physical therapy.
Many Chinese Crested dogs are allergic to wool and lanolin, as well as common food allergens such as soy, grains, and corn. Avoid dressing your dog in wool sweaters, and be vigilant of the ingredients in any soap or moisturizing product you use on your CC. Care should also be taken to ensure your dog does not rub up against tall grasses, plants, or weeds, as they can also irritate her delicate skin. Allergies can manifest as hives, a rash, acne, or severely irritated skin. For serious allergic reactions, a veterinarian can prescribe antihistamines for your dog.
Also check: Chinese Crested Dog Grooming Requirements