Learn About The Pug Dog Breed From A Trusted Veterinarian

The Pug – What a Pup!

If you ‘re looking for a big concoction of game, cute, and pathetic, a Pug might be just the right addition to your family. Pugs are well-loved because of sealed characteristics :

  • Outgoing, playful personality
  • Needs minimal exercise
  • Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark
  • Even-tempered, affectionate, and happy-go-lucky
  • Good with children and other pets
  • Small, but sturdy

Avoid Pug problems by understanding that they can :

  • Be independent and strong-willed
  • Prone to quite a few health problems
  • Noisy, with a lot of snorting, snuffling, and wheezing; may snore
  • Be difficult to housetrain
  • An indoor dog that doesn’t do well in the heat
  • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

Pug Dog Breed Info Pugs are joyful pals and make capital travel companions—who could leave those boastfully brown eyes at home ?
Pugs were first bred in China centuries ago. They were treasured pets kept by royalty ; it was coarse for a Pug to have her own guard, palace, and even a personal chef ! many Pug owners agree that their ancestry is strong in that they still behave like royalty ! Pugs were first acknowledged by the AKC in 1885 and were cursorily welcomed into american homes. The Pug ’ sulfur control exert requirements make her a big apartment pet. Pugs are a broadly healthy breed with an average life of 13-15 years.

Your Pug’s Health

We know that because you care then much about your chase, you want to take good wish of her. That is why we have summarized the health concerns we will be discussing with you over the biography of your Pug. By knowing about health concerns specific to Pugs, the doctors and staff of Johnson Animal Clinic can tailor a hindrance health design to watch for and hopefully prevent some predictable risks .
many diseases and health conditions are familial, mean they are related to your darling ’ south engender. There is a general consensus among canine genetic researchers and veterinarian practitioners that the conditions we ’ ve described herein have a significant rate of incidence and/or impact in this breed. That does not mean your cad will have these problems ; it fair means that she is more at risk than other dogs. We will describe the most common issues seen in Pugs to give you an idea of what may come up in her future. Of path, we can ’ metric ton cover every possibility hera, so always check with us if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms .
This lead contains general health information important to all canines equally well as the most crucial genic predispositions for Pugs. This information helps you and us together plan for your pet ’ s singular medical needs. At the end of the article, we have besides included a description of what you can do at home to keep your Pug looking and feeling her best. You will know what to watch for, and we will all feel better knowing that we ’ ra taking the best possible manage of your buddy .

General Health Information for your Pug

Dental Disease

dental disease is the most coarse chronic trouble in pets, affecting 80 % of all dogs by age two. unfortunately, your Pug is more likely than other dogs to have problems with her teeth. dental disease starts with dragon build-up on the tooth and progresses to infection of the gums and roots of the tooth. If we don ’ metric ton prevent or treat dental disease, your buddy may lose her teeth and be in danger of damage to her kidneys, liver-colored, heart, and joints. In fact, your Pug ‘s biography span may even be cut short by one to three years ! We ’ ll clean your cad ’ mho teeth regularly and let you know what you can do at home to keep those pearly whites clean .

Pug Dog Breed Info Infections

Pugs are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections — the same ones that all dogs can get — such as parvovirus, rabies, and distemper. many of these infections are preventable through inoculation, which we will recommend based on her age, the diseases we see in our area, and other factors .


fleshiness can be a significant health trouble in Pugs. It is a dangerous disease that may cause or worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain, and heart disease. Though it ’ south tempting to give your buddy food when she looks at you with those soulful eyes, you can “ love her to death ” with leftover people food and pooch treats. alternatively, give her a hug, brush her fur or tooth, play a game with her, or possibly take her for a walk. She ’ ll feel better, and so will you !


All kinds of worms and bugs can invade your Pug ‘s body, inside and out. Everything from fleas and ticks to ear mites can infest her peel and ears. Hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms can get into her system in a number of ways : drink in unclean body of water, walking on contaminated dirt, or being bitten by an infect mosquito. Some of these parasites can be transmitted to you or a family member and are a serious concern for everyone. For your canine ally, these parasites can cause pain, discomfort, and tied death, so it ’ second important that we test for them on a regular basis. We ’ ll besides recommend preventive medicine as necessary to keep her healthy .

Spay or Neuter

One of the best things you can do for your Pug is to have her spayed ( neutered for males ). In females, this means we surgically remove the ovaries and normally the uterus, and in males, it means we surgically remove the testicles. Spaying or neutering decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancers and eliminates the possibility of your pet becoming meaning or fathering unwanted puppies. Performing this operating room besides gives us a luck, while your pet is under anesthesia, to identify and address some of the diseases your cad is likely to develop. For exercise, if your pet needs hip X-rays or a puppy tooth extracted, this would be a good time—it ’ s more convenient for you and easier on your friend excessively. routine lineage testing prior to surgery besides helps us to identify and take precautions against park problems that increase anesthetic or surgical risk. Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate concern ; we ’ ll hash out the particular problems we will be looking for when the meter arrives .

Genetic Predispositions for Pugs

Liver Problems

Your Pug is more probable than other dogs to have a liver-colored disorder called portosystemic shunt ( PSS ). Some of the blood add that should go to the liver goes around it alternatively, depriving the liver of the blood stream it needs to grow and function properly. If your friend has PSS, his liver can not remove toxins from his bloodstream effectively. To check for this problem, we ’ ll lead a liver function trial in addition to a criterion pre-anesthetic panel every time he undergoes anesthesia. If he develops symptoms such as scrawny emergence or seizures, we ’ ll test his rake and possibly conduct an ultrasound read of his liver. operation may be needed, but in some cases, we can treat with a particular diet and medication .

Eye Problems

not many things have angstrom dramatic an shock on your dog ‘s quality of life as the proper operation of his eyes. unfortunately, Pugs can inherit or develop a number of different eye conditions, some of which may cause blindness if not treated right away, and most of which can be highly afflictive ! We will evaluate his eyes at every examen to look for any signs for business .

  • Because your Pug has eyeballs that naturally protrude, he is more vulnerable to eye injuries. Scrapes or punctures to the cornea (the protective covering on the eyeball) are the most common injuries. Don’t let your pet ride in the car with his head out the window as this is a frequent cause of eye injuries. Not only do eye injuries hurt, they can become infected and affect his vision. Call us at (502) 456-2870 right away if your pet has any problems with his eyes. A damaged cornea is painful and should be treated immediately. Medication and sometimes surgery may be required.
  • Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea (the surface of the eyeball). This is an extremely irritating and painful condition that can ultimately lead to blindness. Entropion can occur in any dog breed, however, your Pug is especially at risk for this heritable disorder. Surgical correction is usually successful if performed early.
  • Dry eye, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS, is common in Pugs. KCS reduces the amount of fluid produced by the tear glands such that they are no longer able to keep the eyes moist. This results in sore, itchy eyes and infections. Symptoms of KCS include a dull, dry appearance or thick discharge from the eyes, squinting, and pawing at the eyes. KCS is a painful condition; please call us immediately if you notice any of these signs, and we’ll conduct a tear test on your pet. If he has this disease, we’ll prescribe ointment that you’ll need to apply for the rest of your dog’s life.

Pug Dog Breed InfoDiabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a reasonably common disease in dogs. Any breed can be affected, but Pugs have an above average incidence. Dogs with diabetes are ineffective to regulate the metamorphosis of sugars in their bodies and require daily insulin injections. Diabetes is a unplayful condition and one that is important to diagnose and treat deoxyadenosine monophosphate early as potential. Symptoms include increased eating, drink, and micturition, along with weight loss. If he shows signs, we will conduct lab tests to determine if he has this condition and discuss treatment options with you. Treatment requires a good commitment of time and resources. Well-regulated diabetic dogs nowadays have the like animation anticipation as other canines .


In humans, allergies to pollen, mold, or dust make people sneeze. In dogs, rather than sneezing, allergies make their bark itchy. We call this skin allergy “ immediate allergy ”, and Pugs much have it. The feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are most normally affected. Symptoms typically start between the ages of one and three and can get worse every class. Licking the hand, rubbing the face, and patronize ear infections are the most park signs of allergies. The effective newsworthiness is that there are many treatment options available for these conditions.


Demodex is a microscopic mite that lives in the hair’s-breadth follicles of all dogs. normally a frank ’ mho immune organization keeps the mites in check, but some breeds, like your Pug, may develop an surfeit of these mites. In meek cases, pet owners may notice a few dry, annoyed, hairless lesions. These frequently occur on the face or feet and may or may not be itchy. secondary skin infections may besides occur. Prompt veterinary concern is important to keep the disease from getting out of hand. many pets seem to outgrow the trouble, while others require lifelong management .

Skin Infections

Your Pug is prone to a form of skin infection called lip-fold pyoderma, which occurs because the folds of skin along the lower jaw are normally damp. Bacteria and yeast can promptly thrive here and cause a ablaze, fetid sphere that is uncomfortable for your andiron. We will examine him for this trouble much ( let us know if you see signs adenine good ), and we ’ ll recommend treatment with antibiotics as necessity. When symptoms are hard, the excess clamber folds can besides be surgically removed .

Pug Dog Breed Info Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME)

GME is an acute accent, progressive inflammatory disease that affects the cardinal nervous system. It can cause dangerous and often irreversible damage to the brain. middle-aged, minor breed dogs such as Pugs are more susceptible than early breeds. The cause of GME is strange, but three clear-cut syndromes of GME have been recognized. Symptoms may be acute, leading quickly to death ; they may progress chronically over several months ; or occasionally, only the eyes are affect. Treatment includes corticosteroids, but the reception to therapy is variable and the prognosis is generally poor people .

Bone and Joint Problems

A number of different musculoskeletal problems have been reported in Pugs. While it may seem overwhelm, each condition can be diagnosed and treated to prevent excessive trouble and suffering. With diligent observation at home and cognition about the diseases that may affect your ally ‘s bones, joints, or muscles, you will be able to take great care of him throughout his life .

  • Both hips and elbows are at risk for dysplasia, an inherited disease that causes the joints to develop improperly and results in arthritis. Stiffness in your Pug’s elbows or hips may become a problem for him, especially as he matures. You may notice that he begins to show lameness in his legs or has difficulty getting up from lying down. We can treat the arthritis—the sooner the better—to minimize discomfort and pain. We’ll take X-rays of your dog’s bones to identify issues as early as possible. Surgery is also sometimes a good option in severe and life-limiting cases. And keep in mind that overweight dogs may develop arthritis years earlier than those of normal weight, causing undue pain and suffering!
  • Young Pugs may be prone to a painful degenerative hip condition called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. The exact cause of this condition is still not completely understood, but it is thought to be caused by a reduced blood supply to the hip, which causes the femoral head (the top of the thigh bone) to become brittle and fracture easily. Usually occurring between six and nine months of age, LCP causes pain and lameness in one or both rear legs, and often requires surgery.
  • Sometimes your Pug’s kneecap (patella) may slip out of place. This is called patellar luxation. You might notice that your pet, while running, suddenly picks up a back leg or skips and hops for a few strides. He might then kick his leg out sideways to pop the kneecap back in place. These are common signs of patellar luxation. If the problem is mild and involves only one leg, your friend may not require much treatment beyond arthritis medication. When symptoms are severe, surgery may be needed to realign the kneecap to keep it from luxating further.

Spinal Deformities

Pugs are more likely than other canines to be born with spinal deformities, a condition called hemivertebrae, which may lead to spinal anesthesia cord damage, instability, or disability. We ’ ll take X-rays when your pet is young to ensure that we identify problems early on as symptoms can worsen with long time, slant, and sometimes action. During his life sentence, if he develops back problems, we ’ ll rule out any other causes, such as a slip spinal phonograph record or arthritis. If a deformity is diagnosed, we ’ ll order medication, acupuncture, or rehabilitation as needed .

Mast Cell Tumor

Mast cell tumors are a peculiarly filthy type of bark cancer found more often in Pugs than other breeds. The oklahoman these tumors are surgically removed, the better. unfortunately, mast cell tumors frequently look very alike to other kinds of skin lumps and lesions, many of which are not harmful. consequently, all leery lumps should be tested and surgically removed a soon as possible. many cancers are cured by surgical removal, therefore early signal detection is critical .

Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy is a neurological condition, like to ALS or Lou Gehrig ‘s disease in people, that causes weakness and poor boldness function in the hind peg. It affects Pugs more frequently than other breeds. If your andiron has this disease, he will become increasingly unaccented and disabled in the hind leg, finally suffering from paralysis in his hindquarters, which besides leads to incontinence. Rehabilitation, exercise, acupuncture, and dietary supplements can be helpful, but there is no remedy for degenerative myelopathy. A genetic screen is available to determine whether your cad is at hazard for this inheritable disease .

Bladder or Kidney Stones

There are a few different types of stones that can form in the kidney or in the bladder, and Pugs are more likely to develop them than other breeds. We ’ ll sporadically test his urine for tattletale signs indicating the presence of kidney and bladder stones, which in addition are very atrocious ! If your buddy has blood in his urine, can ’ thyroxine make, or is straining to urinate, it is a checkup emergency. Call us immediately !

Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Respiratory distress syndrome, besides known as brachycephalic syndrome, affects dogs with a short nose, like your Pug. pug-nosed dogs have the same amount of tissue in their noses and throats as longer-nosed dogs, but with less area to contain it. As a consequence, the soft palate at the back of the roof of the mouth is besides hanker and may hang down into the respiratory tract. These dogs ’ nostrils are often excessively small, and sometimes the trachea, or trachea, is narrow and undersize a well. All of these differences can lead to a narrow and obstruct air passage such that many of these dogs can scantily breathe ! Watch for drill intolerance, loud breathe, coughing, blue gums, or faint. With his short-change nose, your pet is besides more likely to develop early problems, such as turgidity from excessive air intake, pneumonia from aspirating food, and estrus stroke. In hard cases, surgical correction may be recommended to alleviate airway obstruction .

Taking Care of Your Pug at Home

Pug Dog Breed Info Much of what you can do to keep your cad glad and goodly is common feel, just like it is for people. Watch her diet, make certain she gets plenty of practice, regularly brush her teeth and coat, and call us or a pet hand brake hospital when something seems strange ( see “ What to Watch For ” below ). Be surely to adhere to the schedule of examinations and vaccinations that we recommend for her. This is when we ’ ll give her the necessity “ check-ups ” and test for diseases and conditions that are common in Pugs. Another very significant mistreat in caring for your darling is signing up for darling health indemnity. There will surely be medical tests and procedures she will need throughout her life and favored health indemnity will help you cover those costs .

Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise

Build her routine caution into your schedule to help your Pug alive long, stay healthier, and be happier during her life. We can not overemphasize the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine.

  • Supervise your pet as you would a toddler. Keep doors closed, pick up after yourself, and block off rooms as necessary. This will keep her out of trouble and away from objects she shouldn’t put in her mouth.
  • She has low grooming needs. Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly.
  • Pugs often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!
  • Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—we’ll show you how!
  • Her deep wrinkles need to be cleaned and dried often to prevent infections.
  • She is well suited for apartment living; she will need a daily walk and regular inside play.
  • She is sensitive to temperature extremes; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress.
  • Keep your dog’s diet consistent and don’t give her people food.
  • Feed a high-quality diet appropriate for her age.
  • Exercise your dog regularly, but don’t overdo it at first.

What to Watch For

Any abnormal symptom could be a sign of serious disease or it could just be a minor or impermanent problem. The important thing is to be able to tell when to seek veterinarian aid and how urgently. many diseases cause dogs to have a characteristic combination of symptoms, which together can be a clear signal that your Pug needs avail .

Office Calls

Give us a call for an appointee if you notice any of these types of signs :

  • Change in appetite or water consumption
  • Tartar build-up, bad breath, red gums, or broken teeth
  • Itchy skin (scratching, chewing, or licking); hair loss
  • Lethargy, mental dullness, or excessive sleeping
  • Fearfulness, aggression, or other behavioral changes
  • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws
  • Lumps or bumps – regardless of size
  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss
  • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizes after eating


Seek medical wish immediately if you notice any of these types of signs :

  • Scratching or shaking the head, tender ears, or ear discharge
  • Inability or straining to urinate; discolored urine
  • Cloudiness, redness, itching, or any other abnormality involving the eyes
  • Dragging the hind toes and hind limb weakness
  • Loud breathing, tires easily at exercise
  • Leg stiffness; reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, or jump; “bunny hopping”
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