Shar Pei Eyes, Problems, and Cleaning Guide: Expert Solutions for Healthy Vision

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The Shar Pei breed, known for their distinctive wrinkled skin and deep-set eyes, is a popular choice among dog enthusiasts. Despite their unique and endearing appearance, these wonderful pets often face various eye-related problems.

As a responsible pet owner, understanding these issues and maintaining a proper eye-cleaning routine is crucial to ensure the health and comfort of your Shar Pei.

One of the most common eye problems in Shar Peis is entropion, a condition where the eyelids roll inward, causing the lashes to rub against the cornea and potentially leading to irritation and even vision loss if left untreated.

Another frequent issue is glaucoma, an increase in eye pressure that can damage the optic nerve and eventually result in blindness. Regular veterinary checkups and eye care can ensure early detection and timely treatment of these conditions.

A proper eye-cleaning routine is a key aspect of Shar Pei care. To protect your dog’s eyes from infections and complications, it’s essential to keep the surrounding area clean and free from debris.

Regularly wiping away discharge with a soft, damp cloth or using pet-safe eye wipes can help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.

Additionally, investing in a quality eye-cleaning solution and following a consistent cleaning schedule will contribute to the overall eye health of your beloved pet.

Understanding Shar Pei Eye Problems

Shar Pei dogs are known for their unique wrinkled appearance and loose skin. However, their distinctive features can also contribute to a variety of eye problems. It is essential for Shar Pei owners to be aware of these issues and know how to address them to ensure their dog’s eyes stay healthy.

One common eye problem in Shar Peis is entropion. This condition occurs when the dog’s eyelids roll inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea.

This irritation can lead to pain, redness, swelling, and even corneal ulcers. Entropion is commonly seen in Shar Pei puppies, but it can also develop in adult dogs as their facial wrinkles change with age.

Another eye issue associated with Shar Peis is infections. The deep wrinkles around their eyes create a warm, moist environment that is ideal for bacterial growth.

Regular cleaning of the eye area is crucial to prevent infections and keep the eyes comfortable. In some cases, a veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.

Cherry eye is another condition commonly seen in Shar Peis. This occurs when the gland in the third eyelid prolapses, creating a red, swollen mass in the corner of the eye.

While the cherry eye is not painful, it can impact the eye’s normal tear production, leading to dryness and irritation. Treatment options include topical medication or surgical correction.

Shar Peis may also experience eye discharge, which can be a symptom of various issues such as allergies or glaucoma. Excessive tearing might lead to the development of tear stains on the fur.

Monitoring any changes in your dog’s eye discharge or appearance is essential to catch potential problems early on.

Some Shar Peis may develop glaucoma, a condition where increased pressure within the eye can lead to damage and eventual blindness.

Symptoms include redness, cloudiness, and bulging of the eye. Early detection and intervention by a veterinarian are critical to preserving the dog’s vision.

To maintain your Shar Pei’s eye health, be vigilant in monitoring their eyes for changes in appearance, swelling, or discharge.

Regular cleaning of the eye area, addressing any noticeable symptoms promptly, and scheduling routine check-ups with a veterinarian can help prevent and manage these common eye problems.

Common Eye Conditions in Shar Pei


Entropion is a common eye condition in Shar Pei dogs, where the eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea. This irritation can lead to discomfort, excessive tearing, and potential corneal damage.

Signs of entropion include squinting, excessive tearing, and inflammation. Treatment may involve surgery to correct the eyelid deformity, followed by appropriate post-operative care.

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye, or prolapse of the third eyelid gland, occurs when the gland responsible for tear production becomes inflamed and protrudes from the eye. This condition appears as a red, swollen mass in the eye’s corner.

While the cherry eye is not typically painful, it can become irritated and lead to secondary issues. Treatment options include surgical repositioning or removal of the gland. In some cases, topical medication or manual repositioning may help.


Glaucoma in Shar-Pei dogs is a condition where fluid buildup in the eye causes increased pressure, potentially leading to permanent vision loss.

Symptoms include redness, frequent blinking, and eye pain. Early detection and treatment are crucial for preventing vision loss.

Treatment may involve medication to reduce fluid production or surgical intervention to alleviate pressure.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers result from a scratch or injury to the surface of the cornea, leaving it susceptible to infections. Common signs include squinting, redness, eye discharge, and sensitivity to light. Proper cleaning and antibiotics can help treat minor ulcers;

However, severe cases may require surgery. It is essential to monitor the healing process closely due to the risk of corneal scarring.


Ectropion, less common in Shar Peis, is a condition where the lower eyelid droops outward, exposing the inner eyelid and mucous membranes. This can lead to dryness, irritation, and recurrent infections. Signs include redness, discharge, and excessive tearing.

Depending on the severity, treatment may involve surgery to tighten the eyelid or using artificial tears to keep the eye lubricated.

Tips for Cleaning Shar Pei Eyes

Shar Pei dogs are known for their distinctive appearance, with wrinkled skin and deep-set eyes. While these characteristics make them unique and lovable, they can also lead to eye problems if proper care and maintenance are not followed.

Here, we will discuss a few tips for cleaning Shar Pei’s eyes to prevent eye issues and keep your furry friend comfortable and healthy.

Firstly, always make sure your hands are clean before touching your Shar Pei’s eyes. Any bacteria or dirt on your hands can transfer to their eye area, potentially causing infections or irritation. Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and water before you begin the cleaning process.

Use lukewarm water to moisten a soft, clean, and lint-free cloth. Gently wipe the wrinkles and folds surrounding your Shar Pei’s eyes, taking care to not touch the eyeball directly.

Follow the natural lines of your dog’s facial folds to ensure that you are removing trapped dirt, debris, or discharge.

For stubborn debris in hard-to-reach folds, you may use a cotton swab dampened with warm water. Gently rub the cotton swab inside the folds, being careful not to poke or prod the eye itself.

Remember, this process should be gentle – do not force the swab into tight folds or press it into the delicate eye area.

After cleaning your Shar Pei’s eye folds, it is crucial to dry the area thoroughly. Any lingering moisture can create a breeding ground for bacteria, which could lead to infections. Use a clean, dry towel or cloth to gently pat the folds until they are completely dry.

Consistency is key when it comes to Shar Pei’s eye care. Make it a part of your regular grooming routine, cleaning the eye area at least once a week, or more often if your dog is prone to excessive tearing or discharge.

Additionally, it’s important to trim the hair around your Shar Pei’s eyes to prevent it from poking or scratching the eyeball, causing further irritation or injury.

Finally, always keep an eye out for any signs of infection or irritation, such as redness, swelling, or excessive discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult with your veterinarian for appropriate treatment options.

Regular preventive maintenance, coupled with prompt attention to any issues, will help ensure that your Shar Pei’s eyes remain healthy and problem-free.

Effective Eye Care Routine

Inspecting and Monitoring

Regularly inspecting and monitoring your Shar Pei’s eyes is crucial to maintaining their eye health. Check for signs of redness, swelling, or discharge, which may indicate an infection or other issues.

Gently lift their eyelids to examine the cornea and look for any abnormalities. Consistent monitoring helps you catch potential problems early and allows for prompt treatment.

Using Eye Drops and Medication

Administering eye drops and medications is essential for managing eye issues and maintaining overall eye health. Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions for proper dosage and frequency. To apply eye drops, hold your Shar Pei’s head steady and gently pull down the lower eyelid.

Release the prescribed amount of drops onto the exposed lower eyelid and let your dog blink to evenly distribute the medication. Never directly touch the applicator to the eye.

Keeping the Eye Area Dry

A clean and dry eye area is vital for preventing infections and irritation. Gently wipe the eye area with a clean, damp cloth, being careful not to press too hard or cause discomfort. Regular grooming around the eyes is also crucial, as this helps remove any excess hair or debris that may be causing problems.

Addressing Debris and Infections

If you notice debris in your Shar Pei’s eyes, remove it gently using a moistened cotton pad. For more stubborn debris, consult your veterinarian, who may recommend specialized techniques or prescribe antibiotics to address any infections present.

Remember, addressing debris and infections promptly is key to preventing more serious issues, such as corneal damage or increased eye pressure.

  • Eye infections: Regular monitoring and cleaning can help prevent eye infections, but if you suspect an issue, consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment.
  • Corneal damage: Keep an eye out for any corneal abnormalities, and consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes.
  • Increased eye pressure: This may be a sign of a more serious condition. Speak to your veterinarian if you notice any symptoms like redness, swelling, or excessive tearing.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

It’s important to regularly monitor your Shar Pei’s eyes for any signs of discomfort or abnormalities. While some eye issues can be treated at home, certain symptoms warrant a visit to the vet.

If your Shar Pei exhibits any of the following symptoms, it’s time to consult a veterinarian:

  • Excessive tearing or discharge
  • Redness or swelling of the eye or surrounding tissue
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Squinting or holding the eye closed
  • Rubbing or pawing at the eye

Immediate veterinary attention is crucial to determine the cause of the symptoms and receive appropriate treatment. Your vet may refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist for specialized eye care if needed.

In some cases, your Shar Pei may be affected by conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the eye’s outer membrane. This condition can be caused by allergies, irritants, or infections.

A veterinarian will recommend appropriate treatment based on the underlying cause, such as an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory eye drops.

To help prevent eye problems, ensure your Shar Pei’s eyes are healthy by keeping their facial folds clean and dry, and trimming the hair around the eyes if necessary.

By taking these preventive measures and closely monitoring your pet’s eye health, you can ensure your Shar Pei’s eyes remain in good condition.

Remember, if you notice any concerning changes, promptly consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

Grooming and Maintenance for Shar Pei Health

Shar Peis are known for their distinctive wrinkled skin, which requires special attention when it comes to grooming and maintenance.

Regular cleaning and grooming are essential to ensure the health of your Shar Pei, especially when it comes to their eyes.

One of the most important aspects of Shar Pei’s eye care is to consistently check for any signs of squinting or discomfort.

Squinting in a Shar Pei can be an early sign of eye problems, such as entropion or infections. Catching these issues early is crucial to prevent further complications.

To clean your Shar Pei’s wrinkled skin, use a soft cloth or sponge with warm water to gently wipe between the folds.

Be sure to moisten every fold and wrinkle, as trapped dirt and moisture can lead to bacterial and fungal infections. After cleaning, thoroughly dry the skin, taking care to get into all the folds.

Proper eye care is especially important for Shar Peis. Regularly check the eyes for any discharge, redness, or irritation, and wipe the outer area with a damp cotton pad to remove any buildup.

If you notice any signs of infection or irritation, consult a veterinarian for recommendations on eye drops or other treatments.

In addition to eye and skin care, regular grooming is essential for maintaining the health of your Shar Pei.

Brushing your Shar Pei weekly will help to remove dead hair, reduce shedding, and keep their coat looking healthy. Use a gentle slicker brush or a rubber curry brush to remove loose hair and prevent matting.

In conclusion, regular grooming, cleaning, and maintenance are essential for maintaining the overall health of a Shar Pei.

By paying close attention to their wrinkled skin and eye care, you can help prevent common health issues and keep your Shar Pei happy and healthy.

Training and Socialization for Shar Pei

Shar Pei dogs are known for their distinctive appearance, with their wrinkled skin and unique eyes. But to ensure their well-being, it is vital to focus on their training, socialization, and exercise needs.

Training a Shar Pei should begin as early as possible, preferably during their puppy years. This breed can be quite stubborn, but using positive reinforcement methods, such as treats and praise, will help them learn new commands and behaviors.

Consistency and patience are key when training a Shar Pei, as they may require more time to understand what is being asked of them.

In terms of socialization, it is crucial for the Shar Pei to be exposed to various people, pets, and environments. This will help them become more accustomed to different situations, preventing anxiety or aggression issues later in life.

Socialization can start with puppy classes or playdates with other dogs, gradually building up to more public spaces, such as dog parks.

One important aspect of Shar Pei’s well-being is their exercise needs. This breed doesn’t require an excessive amount of physical activity, but daily walks are essential, along with some playtime to keep them mentally stimulated.

A well-exercised Shar Pei will be more content and less likely to develop behavioral issues.

Shar Peis are prone to certain eye problems, one of which is related to their third eyelid. Regular cleaning and monitoring of their eyes will help maintain their overall health and prevent the development of such problems.

Make sure to use a soft cloth or cotton pad dampened with a veterinarian-approved eye-cleaning solution.

In conclusion, a well-trained and socialized Shar Pei will not only be a pleasure to have as a companion but will also lead a happier and healthier life.

By focusing on their training, socialization, exercise, and eye care, you can ensure your Shar Pei thrives.

Diet and Nutrition for Shar Peis

Shar Peis are a unique dog breed and require special attention when it comes to diet and nutrition. Their distinctive wrinkles and folds make them prone to various health issues including skin infections, inflammation, redness, and hypothyroidism.

As a result, ensuring optimal nutrition is particularly crucial in minimizing breed-specific issues.

A well-balanced diet is key to maintaining your Shar Pei’s overall health. This includes providing an appropriate balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

Be cautious when it comes to high-protein diets, as excessive protein intake can exacerbate skin issues due to possible yeast overgrowth.

Alongside protein, Shar Peis should consume diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation and support healthy skin.

Foods that contain omega-3s include fish oil and flaxseed oil. These can be incorporated into your dog’s daily feeding regimen, either through supplementation or by choosing a dog food that contains these ingredients.

As Shar Peis are prone to skin infections, avoiding allergens in their diet is crucial. Identify common food allergens such as wheat, dairy, and eggs, as well as less common ones like chicken or beef. Opt for hypoallergenic dog foods and introduce new foods slowly to monitor your dog’s reaction.

If in doubt, consult with a veterinarian for guidance on identifying and managing possible food allergies.

Hypothyroidism, which is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, is another health concern among Shar Peis.

Proper diet management can help manage this condition. Provide your dog with food rich in iodine like fish and seaweed, and consider supplementing with a veterinarian-approved thyroid support product.

In conclusion, maintaining a well-balanced diet that caters to the specific nutritional requirements of the Shar Pei breed is essential in promoting optimal health and minimizing breed-specific issues.

Regular veterinary check-ups and proper grooming will also contribute to your dog’s well-being.

Ensuring Overall Health and Wellness

Shar Pei dogs are known for their unique appearance, particularly their wrinkly skin and distinct eyes. However, these features can also be prone to certain health problems.

Ensuring the overall health and wellness of your Shar Pei involves being aware of potential issues and taking steps to address them.

One critical aspect of maintaining your Shar Pei’s eye health is preventing moisture buildup, as it can lead to bacterial infections.

To do this, it’s essential to clean your dog’s eyes regularly and gently remove any discharge or crust that may accumulate. You should also keep the eye area dry to further minimize the risk of infections.

In addition to regular eye cleaning, providing your Shar Pei with a well-balanced diet is crucial for their overall health.

Feeding them a high-quality puppy formula can support their growth and development while ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients to remain healthy and strong.

Shar Peis are known for their intelligence, which can be both a blessing and a curse. They need mental stimulation and exercise to keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom.

It’s important to meet their exercise requirements and provide them with toys and interactive games to keep them engaged.

Another factor to consider for your Shar Pei’s overall well-being is their high prey drive. This natural instinct may lead them to chase other animals or display aggressive behavior.

To manage this behavior, obedience training is crucial. Enrolling your Shar Pei in a training program early on can help them develop good manners and channel their energy positively.

In conclusion, proactive care and attention to your Shar Pei’s unique needs can ensure their overall health and wellness.

Regular eye cleaning, a balanced diet, mental stimulation, and obedience training will help your Shar Pei live a happy, healthy life.

Common Health Problems in Shar Peis

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Shar Peis are a brachycephalic breed, meaning they have a short, broad skull that can cause some health issues. The most common problem associated with brachycephalic breeds is Brachycephalic Syndrome, which involves respiratory difficulties due to their shortened nasal passages.

This can result in snoring, labored breathing, and difficulty tolerating exercise or heat. Keeping your Shar Pei at a healthy weight and providing a cool environment can help alleviate some of the symptoms.

Gastric Torsion

Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is another health concern for Shar Peis. This condition occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood flow and creating a life-threatening situation.

Some signs that your Shar Pei might be experiencing gastric torsion include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Pacing or inability to get comfortable
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Attempts to vomit without producing any material

If you observe these symptoms, it’s crucial to get your Shar Pei to a veterinarian immediately. To reduce the risk of gastric torsion, feed your Shar Pei smaller meals throughout the day and encourage proper digestion by including regular walking and steps into your pet’s daily routine.

Shar-Pei Fever

Shar-Pei Fever is a breed-specific condition that causes sudden episodes of fever and inflammation. Typical symptoms include:

  • High fever (often above 104°F)
  • Lethargy
  • Refusal to eat
  • Swollen hocks

The fever episodes usually last for 24 to 48 hours and can recur at varying intervals. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian if you suspect your Shar Pei is experiencing this condition, as untreated Shar-Pei Fever can result in kidney or liver damage.

Treatment options may include anti-inflammatory medications and close monitoring of your pet’s temperature.

To help prevent Shar-Pei Fever, maintain a clean, stress-free environment for your dog and monitor them closely for any signs of illness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the treatment for cherry eye in Shar Pei?

Cherry eye in Shar-Pei dogs is usually treated by a veterinarian, who may recommend surgery to correct the issue. This will involve tucking the displaced tear gland back into its normal position and securing it to prevent a recurrence.

Non-surgical treatments like eye drops and ointments may be prescribed for temporary relief, but surgery is often the most successful long-term solution.

What causes Shar Pei’s eyes to water?

Shar Pei’s eyes may water due to various reasons, including allergies, infections, and anatomical issues like entropion and cherry eye. It’s essential to consult your veterinarian if your dog’s eyes are consistently watering to address the cause and ensure proper treatment.

How much does eye surgery cost for Shar Peis?

The cost of eye surgery for Shar Peis can vary depending on factors such as the type of surgery, the veterinarian’s experience, and the location of the veterinary clinic.

On average, surgical procedures such as entropion repair or cherry eye correction can range between $300-1,500. It’s best to get a detailed estimate from your veterinarian to understand the specific costs involved.

What is the cost of eye tacking for Shar Pei?

Eye tacking for Shar Pei can cost anywhere between $200 to $500, depending on the veterinary clinic and the surgeon’s experience.

Eye tacking is a temporary solution to correct eyelid issues like entropion, often performed on puppies until they can undergo a more permanent surgical solution.

How can I identify entropion in my dog?

Entropion is a condition where the eyelids roll inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eye’s surface. Signs of entropion include excessive watering, redness, squinting, and rubbing or pawing at the eye.

If you suspect your dog has entropion, it’s essential to consult your vet for an examination and appropriate treatment recommendations.

What is the best method to clean my Shar Pei’s eyes?

To clean your Shar Pei’s eyes, moisten a clean, soft cloth or cotton ball with warm water. Gently wipe away any discharge or debris around the eye, being careful not to touch the eyeball itself.

Dry the area using a separate clean cloth or cotton ball. If your dog exhibits signs of discomfort or more severe eye issues, consult your veterinarian for further guidance.

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Mozzie Kellerman

Mozzie Kellerman

We all love our wrinkled bundle of joy! So I decided to share everything that I know about Shar Pei from what I've researched before we got Ronnie (our dog) and from our experience with her for the past couple of years.

About Me

We all love our wrinkled bundle of joy! So I decided to share everything that I know about Shar Pei from what I’ve researched before we got Ronnie (our dog) and from our experience with her for the past couple of years.

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