Chow Chow Skin Problems

The Chow Chow dog breed originated in China and was first imported to England in the 1700s and to America in the 1800s. According to the Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds, the Chow Chow was the sixth-most popular dog breed in America during the 1980s. Unfortunately, this popular breed is prone to several medical conditions, including skin problems.


This is a genetic condition common to Chow Chows and several other dog breeds. Entropion is a very painful condition where the eyelid grows toward the eye and not over it. The skin and the eyelashes brush the eyeballs, causing ulcers and blindness. Surgery is the only cure, but, luckily, it is very effective.

Colour Mutant Alopecia

According to The Veterinarian's Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms, Chow Chows are particularly prone to colour mutant alopecia. This causes the coat to darken in colour in unpredictable patches. Symptoms include dry, scaly skin, thinning to bald patches and small red lumps. There is no treatment.


Chow Chows suffer from allergies more than many other dog breeds. These can be allergies to pollen, dust, flea bites, cleaning chemicals or particular foods. Whatever the particular allergy, the symptoms tend to show up on the skin. The Chow Chow will become very itchy and scratch itself until it bleeds, inviting infection.

Loose Skin

According to the breed standard, Chow Chows should not have a lot of loose skin around the head. However, there are a lot of Chow Chows that do not conform to the breed standard and have loose folds of skin around the head. This skin can be easily injured or torn and can be prone to infection because the dog may not be able to thoroughly clean all of the skin folds.

Pemphigus Foliaceus

This shows up when the Chow Chow is between 2 and 7 years old. This causes red skin patches to become itchy, blister and then fill with pus. This is an autoimmune skin disease that usually appears on the face and paw pads. Some Chow Chows respond to corticosteroid treatment.

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About the Author

Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.