5 Most Common Health Issues Pugs Have
Pugs are certainly one of the cutest dog breeds out there. They also have a great temperament, they are good with kids, an optimal choice for people living in apartments, making it an overall excellent pet for anyone. Of course, pugs wouldn’t mind living in a house with a backyard. That is always a plus. However, if you get a pug, there’s one thing you will have to worry about and that is their health. Since pugs are a mix of breeds, they come with a set of common health issues.
So, if you are getting a pug for yourself, it is best that you first learn of these common health issues so you can be ready in the future if anything happens. Also, this knowledge should also help you decide whether you really want a dog breed such as this one. It is quite a big responsibility.
Not to prolong any further, here are those most common health issues you can find in pugs.
1. Breathing/Respiratory Issues
One thing you will immediately notice even with a puppy pug is their difficulty breathing. Often you will hear it struggling to take a breath and will usually start gasping and breathing through the mouth.
This is a common issue because the pug today is very different from the original breed one century ago. After too much mixing with other breeds, pugs now have a much shorter muzzle and smaller skull which results in an obstruction of proper airflow. This is a problem with all dogs that have a short muzzle, but since pugs are so small, it’s even more difficult for them to breathe.
It sounds like a big problem at first and you might be scared when you notice your puppy struggling to breathe, but usually, there is nothing to worry about.
Of course, if you notice that the symptoms are worsening, you should probably take your dog to the vet. Sometimes, surgery may be required to help alleviate the problem, but that’s not the case most of the time.
To keep your pug happy, cut down on exercising, make sure you provide enough freshwater and avoid staying too long out in the hot sun. This doesn’t mean that you should stop your dog from having fun either. If it feels comfortable enough to continue playing, let it have its fun.
2. Cherry Eye
This is not a very frequent issue with dogs, but it is pretty popular with pugs, so make sure you are on the lookout for any issues related to their eyes.
But, spotting cherry eye is not going to be difficult at all because it is a very obvious disorder. It is called cherry eye because the third eyelid comes out over the dog’s eye which is pink – hence the name.
The primary purpose of that third eyelid is to secrete tears. But, in pugs, the eyelid can easily get irritated, causing it to expand, enlarge and even flip over. Once it gets large enough it can cover half of your dog’s eye.
This kind of irritation isn’t too dangerous, but you still have to take your pug to the vet to alleviate the problem.
How this health issue should be resolved depends on the situation. Sometimes, the cherry eye can be pushed back after a few days of treatment with eye drops. But, a lot of times the solution is surgical removal or replacement.
Don’t worry, there’s minimal risk with this kind of surgery. Your pug will be able to live its full lifespan of 12-15 years as reported on PetStruggles.
3. Corneal Ulcers
Another common eye-related health issue with pugs is corneal ulcers. The cornea is a transparent layer at the front, protecting the most vital parts of the eye. This same layer in dogs can also be found in humans and a lot of other animals.
Unfortunately, the cornea in pugs can very easily be damaged. The area that is irritated is referred to as ulcers. Damage or irritation can alter lead to infection or other types of trauma that could further worsen your dog’s health.
The problem is with spotting corneal ulcers. It is not something that you can visually spot, but you can notice it through your dog’s behavior. If you notice constant squinting and a lot more tear secretion that is probably a sign of corneal ulcers.
To resolve this health issue, a trip to the vet is a must. Fortunately, the treatment process is pretty simple. A bit of rest and antibiotic drops and your pug will be as good as new.
Keep in mind, if the issue continues to worsen, surgery might be required. Although, that is rarely the case.
4. Spine problems
Because of its awful history of breed mixing, the pug has a pretty weak spine overall. That is probably why most pugs are so lazy and avoid too much exercise. It’s the type of dog that enjoys being lazy. But, that’s just how some dogs are.
However, spine problems could expand into something worse.
The main cause of spine issues is weight. And because of that lack of exercising, pugs can quickly gain weight, especially if they are not on a strict diet. So, if you are getting a pug, make sure you follow the diet specified by your vet or by other experienced pug keepers.
The best way to deal with spine health problems is by prevention. Once they appear, it’s difficult to get rid of them. Same as the back problems with humans.
5. Tartar buildup
Most domesticated dogs usually have dental problems at a pretty young age and that’s mostly because of the food we provide. Dog food is great in terms of nutrition, but it’s not great for the teeth.
However, a good breed such as a pug is even more prone to tartar buildup or other dental issues. To avoid these problems, it’s best to clean your dog’s teeth as often as you can.
With these five common health issues pugs have in mind, you will know exactly what to look out for and you will know exactly what to do if your dog gets sick.