Our poor dog Sassy is a mixed breed dog. We found her as a puppy after Mama Dog had escaped from her humans and was roaming around with 2 pups. Sassy got separated, and while we looked for her humans to return her, we didn't find them and ended up keeping her.
And here's the big bugaboo. Sassy is such a sweet, good natured dog who is a mix of Shar Pei and Labrador Retriever. I learned after her first vet visit that vets love Shar Peis as they have a whole myriad of health issues. Apparently, labs have a few too. As Sassy has aged, she's been developing some of those health issues, mainly allergies. She has skin issues (after some research I found Shar Peis need weekly baths). I've started cooking homemade, limited ingredient food for her, and in the last couple of days I've noticed her fur is falling out, and she's shaking her head a lot. I've cleaned out her ears a couple of times this week, and now I'm thinking that I'll have to change her diet again. I'll take her to the vet again this week, but the sticky point there is that the vet who's been seeing her only works a few days each week, so I'll have to see when she's working this week. For the short term, she's getting a bath, another ear cleaining and some ear drops, as well as a little Benadryl. I'll make an appointment for her today to get her in ASAP, and do some research on grain free diets for allergy dogs.
The really sobering point was last night I started looking at some website that had life expectancy for Shar Peis. I know labs can live a pretty long time for large dogs, but Shar Peis only have a 7 - 10 year life expectancy. Sassy just turned 7 this past summer. I think I'm looking for another Shar Pei website to see if this first one is true or not. (Fingers crossed it's not.)