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Nutrition Team Blog

Familial Shar Pei Fever (FSF) – aka swollen hock syndrome or hock fever

Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011

I think I’m going to ask John (Burns) to buy us another veterinary textbook….we have a bookcase full already but every so often we come across something on the helpline which is new to us.

I’ve just spoken to a dog owner who has a Shar Pei that is suffering from Familial Shar Pei Fever (FSF) – also known as swollen hock syndrome or hock fever.  She was looking for a dry diet which contained under 20% protein as this was what was suggested by her vet. All of our standard adult brown rice, maize and potato based foods contain 18.5% protein (and this can be reduced further by substituting 1/3 of the complete dry food for 1/3 of Burns Hypo-Allergenic Mixer which contains 9% protein) so I was able to help.

I haven’t been able to find any mention of this condition in our textbooks – but after a quick search on the net I’ve discovered that this is an auto-inflammatory condition (immune system dysfunction) involving episodes of unexplained fever and symptoms which include swollen joints. Unfortunately, 25% of dogs with FSF develop kidney disease so I expect this is why the vet suggested a low protein food. With kidney conditions a low phosphorus and sodium level in the food is also essential.

Other than that today I’ve dealt with skinny dogs, fussy dogs and dogs with urinary crystals. Now it’s time to have my lunch, see what vegetable scraps there are for my rabbits/the office gerbils and see to my own dog – who comes to work with me every day.

Burns Pet Nutrition Team

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