Pugs are a unique breed, and with their genetic composition comes a specific set of Pug health problems. Pug health issues vary from dog to dog based on their lineage and genetics, but there are a handful of common Pug health problems that are important to be mindful of when considering becoming a Pug owner.
The health of your Pug is determined by a number of factors including his environment, diet, and genetics. To best protect your pug from breed specific predisposed conditions, it is vital to understand the myriad of pug illnesses and issues that may arise. Below is a guide to Pug health problems and issues.
One of the most memorable features of a Pug is their tail that is curled in the shape of a Q.
In general, the portion of the tail that is folded in on itself will retain moisture more easily, which can create a breeding ground for fleas.
Because of the body shape of most Pugs, it is very difficult for them to reach their tail with their mouth, which makes it challenging for them to chew on their tail in an attempt to kill the fleas.
Fleas take advantage of this and multiply rapidly, which can lead to tail injuries, irritation, and skin allergies.
One of the best ways to recognize this issue is signs of redness at the base of the Pug’s tail, or any presence of blood or irritation. It is important to keep on the lookout to make sure your Pug’s tail is healthy.
Many Pugs possess a short and narrow nasal cavity due to the presence of a stubbed snout. This genetic feature makes Pugs more prone to developing breathing problems. Due to the shortened length of the snout, it is easy for debris and fluid to become trapped in the nasal cavity.
One of the most common diseases that result in breathing issues is called Stenotic Nares. Stenotic Nares is a type of genetic defect caused by the cartilage in the nose being malformed.
Over time, this condition can present a serious health risk as the airway continues to collapse. Symptoms of Stenotic Nares include exercise intolerance, fainting, noisy breathing, and cyanosis (gums that are blue in color due to a lack of oxygen).
Another breathing issue that is common among Pugs is a collapsed trachea. A collapsed trachea is a genetic defect that causes the cartilage rings in the windpipe to collapse. This is an issue that must be monitored extremely closely to prevent adverse side effects.
A characteristic often noticed about Pugs are their protruding eyes. Due to the inherently bulging nature of Pug eyes, they are more susceptible to develop a myriad of eye issues.
One of the conditions Pugs are prone to develop is called entropion. Entropion occurs when the eyelid lining the eye folds inward toward the eyeball rather than outward.
When the eyelid folds in this direction, eyelashes can scratch the surface of the eye, leading to damage which can impede vision or permanent blindness over time.
If this condition is observed, it is vital that the Pug be taken to a veterinarian immediately to receive treatment.
Another condition commonly developed by Pugs is called corneal ulcers. Corneal ulcers develop as a result of the bulging anatomical structure of Pug eyes. Because of their protruding form, Pug eyes are much more susceptible to scratches and external irritants.
Corneal ulcers can be identified by excessive squinting, visible scratches to the eyeball, or eyes that appear cloudy. Corneal ulcers must be treated or they can worsen over time and result in permanent vision problems.
Pugs typically possess many skin folds, which results in a higher susceptibility to developing skin issues. One of the most common skin issues developed by pugs is called Pyoderma. Pyoderma is a type of bacterial infection that is recognizable by small red bumps, pus-filled pimples, or blood-filled blisters.
Pyoderma often develops in the facial fold lips and between the toes of pugs. Pyoderma is preventable and is best avoided by conducting routine, frequent inspections of the areas in between your pug’s skin folds and ensuring those areas remain dry and clean at all times.