Health Problems

Chinese Cresteds can suffer from several conditions. Happily most can be bred away from.
Your first port of call to learn about eyes should be
1.Primary Lens Luxation
PLL an easy DNA Test from cheek swabs that you can do yourself can check if the condition is in any dog you intend breeding from. Yes, of course you could cheat, by taking swabs from a known clear dog – but then you could easily be found out!
Here is the KC link where you can find a list showing clears, carriers affected…  Be aware these lists only show results that have been voluntarily sent in by the owners, therefore people with affecteds or carriers that don’t want anyone to know their dogs’ results – simply don’t send in their dogs’ results.
Now tell me there isn’t a problem.. So many ostriches, so much sand. These show only the dogs bred or owned by people that care about their dogs’ health.
How many other poor dogs will suffer in the future?? Although the number of affected dogs appears not to have increased in the last 12 months there is no way we really know. We need to do better…
2. Progressive Retinal Atrophy  
There are many forms of PRA – see the BVA link above. Fortunately, there are several laboratories that offer DNA screening for several types of PRA, depending on the breed of dog.
3. Glaucoma
Again – see the BVA link above
4. Patella Luxation
A common problem in many toy breeds. There isn’t a unique to the breed test for this in Cresteds in UK, but most Vets are happy to examine and give opinions. Some breeds have designed their own forms
5. Perthes
This can also be a common problem in many toy breeds. This link is to a human explanation.
6. Epilepsy
The breed is finally coming to terms that there is a problem with Epilepsy in some lines. In the USA and UK we are taking DNA from affected dogs and their relatives, hoping that Paw Prints Genetics can develop a Test to help identify the gene responsible for [some forms of] the condition.
Whilst it is obvious we should not BREED from dogs affected by Epilepsy, there is no reason why, if you find you have an Epileptic dog, he/she cannot live a full and happy life as a pet. If the seizures are minor and/or infrequent they will not be a problem to either of you. If the seizures are more serious then they will be controllable with medication.
Anyone that knowingly breeds from an Epileptic dog is a fool at best and a fraudster at worst. However, do NOT castigate anyone who honestly did not know their dogs had the condition. Sometimes Epilepsy doesn’t manifest itself for many years.
Knowledge is power with all things in life. If we put our dogs health and happiness first, their world will be a better place. My first home bred Champion is NOT available at stud due to Epi. being found on his father’s side. For an insight into Epi. have a look at
7. Bad Dentition
Hairless dogs are an example of deleterious mutation – you can look up various veterinary papers on the Internet but some of the information is so involved and long winded that you need an interpreter to be sitting alongside you… whilst other sites, such as the RSPCA’s, condemns all us breeders to a death of a thousand cuts. We are, after all, perpetuating something which is basically a fault. In Cresteds the same mutated gene causing the lack of hair is also responsible for the lack of good dentition. One is associated with the other. Any Dentist will tell you that similar weaknesses can be seen in the teeth of very blonde fine haired / fair skinned children. Lack of hair is a manifestation of a genetic condition known as ectodermal dysplasia. For those of you that are interested, the developing puppy foetus consists broadly of outside, middle and inner zones. The ectodermal tissues develop subsequently into features such as hair, teeth and nails. It seems a paradox that the breed can be judged on the basis of acceptance of the genetic result of hairlessness which is ectodermal dysplasia and yet be criticised for having poor teeth which is, after all, only further evidence of the same genetic “fault”. I have personally seen Cresteds that have had no milk teeth at all – the permanents just erupting at the normal time (16 weeks ish) sometimes with teeth missing or those present may be misaligned. I have seen the opposite where milk teeth erupt normally and are never followed by adult teeth. The baby teeth have to be removed sooner or later. I have also seen permanent teeth erupting around milk teeth in clusters. Absolutely 100% perfect dentition in hairless dogs is the exception rather than the rule but “everything comes to those who wait”. In the fully coated Chinese Cresteds (the “powder puffs”) you can reasonably expect the teeth to be much better than in a hairless but, as with everything to do with physical appearance, nothing can be certain. This shows the human version of the condition..
Please don’t let me put you off….all breeds have their problems. I just want you to be fully aware of everything that could be out there in this particular breed.