Crested's are generally healthy, however as with all dogs the Chinese Crested Dog has some Health conditions that owners should be aware of. These health conditions can be screened typically when the dogs are very young and can also be largely prevented by testing the potential breeding pair. Not all Cresteds will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.
If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
For PLL and also one of the forms of PRA, there exists a genetic test (called prcd-PRA), to determine if a dog is a "carrier, clear, or affected". Since the test for prcd-PRA can only reveal the existence of affected or carrier status of this one form of PRA, breeders and owners of the breed should still have regular eye exams by veterinary ophthalmologists
- Dental Issues: These tend to crop up due to a genetic link that exists between dominant hairlessness and missing teeth. The Hairless Crested has small, forward pointing tusks (canines) sometimes referred to as a "primitive mouth." These can slope toward the front of the mouth and cause problems which may include missing (most commonly the pre-molars) or crowded teeth and fragile “weak” teeth (thinly enamelled looking like an afterthought) prone to decay when not properly cared for. The Hairless often lose many teeth by the tender age of two or three; poor diet can significantly worsen these issues.
Remember, Dental issues are an integral part of the genetic make-up of any hairless dog. All hairless breeds throughout the world have a record of missing teeth. Often these teeth resemble pebbles, being more or less scattered on the jawbone. As with any Breed of Dog Poor Breeding exacerbates this condition and conscientious breeders strive with careful selection to breed for as full and perfect a mouth as possible within the genetic constraints of the breed. Naturally, the Powder Puff, because of its genetic make-up, should have perfectly normal toy breed dentition.
- Patellar luxation: As with all other toy breeds, the Cresteds can be prone to patellar luxation. This inheritable condition is caused by shallow knee joints (stifles) and results in kneecaps that pop out of place. Its onset is often at a young age, and can cause temporary to permanent lameness based on the severity.
- Skin: Allergy diseases and Skin sensitivity have been observed in the breed most commonly to lanolin and wool. As the Hairless Crested has a great deal of exposed skin, extra care is needed to prevent skin irritations.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This involves the gradual deterioration of the retina. Early in the disease, affected dogs become night-blind; they lose sight during the day as the disease progresses. Many affected dogs adapt well to their limited or lost vision, as long as their surroundings remain the same.
- Primary Lens Luxation. (PLL): In affected dogs the zonular fibres which support the lens breakdown or disintegrate, causing the lens to fall into the wrong position within the eye which can eventually lead to blindness as well.