I find myself sitting in the vet’s office, ready for my Shar Pei’s annual check-up. To streamline the process, the vet’s office now hands out a questionnaire to all pet owners upon arrival. Eager to be a responsible owner, I grab a pen and start answering the questions with utmost honesty.

1. How old is your dog? Six months… already a little troublemaker!

2. Gender: Male 

3. Is the coat soft and glossy? No way! It’s more like a miniature cactus with a rough texture.

4. Is the skin supple and clear? Oh, absolutely! He can practically do backflips in his own skin.

5. Are the teeth white and clean? I try my best to keep up with his dental hygiene, so yes!

6. Are the gums firm and pink? Well, they have this unique black/blue-ish charm. It’s his signature style!

7. Does your dog have a noticeable waistline? Haha, well, he’s got so many rolls that finding his waistline is like solving a puzzle.

8. Does your dog listen to commands? Only when it suits his royal highness.

Just as I’m about to move on to the next question, the assistant looks at me with a smile and asks, “Are you having any trouble answering these?” I reply confidently, “Not at all!” Despite a few “No” responses, I’m sure my little pei friend is in good health. The assistant gives me a quick, awkward smile and rushes off to hand over the questionnaire to the vet. Meanwhile, my mischievous puppy is still joyfully exploring the waiting room, oblivious to the commotion. Suddenly, the vet bursts into the room, seemingly in a panic, and calls out my pup’s name. Startled by the vet’s sudden entry and urgent call for my puppy, I make my way to the examination room. Is here something wrong with my seemingly healthy Shar Pei?

As we enter the room, the vet’s face transitions to a mischievous grin. “Gotcha!” he says. “I apologize for the theatrical entrance. There’s no emergency, but I couldn’t resist playing a little prank after those quirky answers on the questionnaire.”

He certainly had me fooled! I guess I shouldn’t underestimate a vet’s sense of humor!

The vet proceeds to give my Shar Pei a thorough examination, checking his ears, eyes, and listening to his heartbeat. Throughout the process, he reassures me that my little troublemaker is in excellent health.  He explains the specific checks he is conducting to ensure my Shar Pei’s well-being.  Like signs of entropion and narrow ear canals.Entropion is a condition where the eyelids fold inward, causing discomfort and potential eye damage. Narrow ear canals can lead to ear infections if not properly cared for. 

As the examination concludes, the vet pats my pup’s head affectionately. “You’ve got quite the character here. Despite his prickly coat, colorful gums, and a few extra rolls, he’s a perfectly healthy and happy Shar Pei,” 

Mental note to myself: Always seek out a Shar Pei-savvy vet for any check-ups and medical needs. This is crucial for understanding the breed’s unique needs, potential health concerns, and proper care guidelines. This expertise allows for more accurate diagnoses, tailored treatments, and overall better care for Shar Peis.

I feel a renewed appreciation for my best friend’s unique qualities and I embrace the quirks and surprises that come with owning a lovable Shar Pei like mine.

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