Health Problems

hinese Cresteds CAN suffer from the following conditions
My soap box comments are at the bottom 🙂Your first port of call should be

I recommend: for PLL Testing


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! Comprehensive explanation Order your swab kit from here
Here are the KC lists of clears and carriers… they are USELESS!!! They only show results that have been sent in by the owners, therefore people with affecteds or carriers that don’t want anyone to know their dogs’ results – just don’t send the results in.

THE TRUE STATISTICS as at 25th August 2016 stats supplied by Dr N G Holmes of AHT are…
Clear Carrier Affected
All 1341 66% 643 32% 34 2%

March 2015 stats
Clear Carrier Affected
All 1293 66% 625 32% 34 2%

July 2013 stats
Clear Carrier Affected
All 1162 67% 550 32% 33 1%

April 2012 stats…
Clear Carrier Affected
All 1029 68% 457 30% 27 2%
UK 107 75% 34 24% 2 1%

Now tell me there isn’t a problem.. So many ostriches, so much sand.

These are only the dogs bred or owned by people that care about health.
How many other poor dogs will suffer in the future??

Although the number of affected dogs hasn’t increased in the last 12 months there is no appreciable reduction in percentages year on year. We need to do better…


2. Progressive Retinal Atrophy PRA
ttp:// An American Company called Optigen have the patent on this DNA test for PRA in Cresteds. There is a very fast turn around. The Test is done from blood samples and proves absolutely the presence, or not, of PRA. Bloods have to be taken by a Vet so his charges (anything from £25 – £100) have to be added to the Optigen cost of US$195 (correct January 2010).Be aware that there are other Laboratories, for instance in Eastern Europe, offering DNA testing for PRA but these Labs are (a) in breach of an International Copyright held by Optigen and, more importantly for us, (b) have not got the same success rate with their tests. Be careful!

KC list of Clears
See my comments re PLL – same applies 🙁


3. Glaucoma 

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. However, I recommend you use the form at the end of this rather long named link… the results are recognised by everyone in the breed. 29725b905baf86da01c7144c38eca0a&oe=55387D85&dl=1&hc_location=ufi

Incidentally… this is the ONLY breed I have ever seen do this mega stretch backwards with each hind leg.
You would think that this could be enough to displace any patella (but doesn’t).


5. Perthes

This can also be a common problem in many toy breeds

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 own 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..
From American Science Magazine…

Powder puff teeth on left. Hairless dog’s teeth on right
Awareness and Prevention of Genetic Diseases
Please read this article published by Antegene

Please don’t let me put you off…. 

Basically, for anyone thinking about having a Chinese Crested, let me tell you that the character and behaviour and everything else about these fabulous dogs is exactly the same in the Powder Puffs as in the Hairless. Loving, lively, great fun, silly, brave, excellent companions, very intelligent – absolutely full to the very brim with the love of life!