Pug Health Problems That are Common Within The Breed

Pug Health Problems

There are a number of pug health problems that are mainly caused by things such as their short nose creating problems with their breathing or issues with their large and open eyes that appear to be able to draw in all kinds of bacteria over time.

What follows are just some of the most common ones that are associated with the breed, but it should perhaps be pointed out that most are able to be treated quite easily and in no way should it put you off buying a pug.

Skin Conditions With Pugs

Pugs do have a tendency to suffer from a range of skin conditions especially around the face thanks to the folds of skin that they have. This means bacteria can build up quite easily all over the body and it can eventually lead to things such as dermatitis, ringworm and pyoderma.

This will often mean the dog is rather uncomfortable, but your vet can help clear things up quite easily, but do look out for red skin, pus, or them scratching a lot as a sign that there could be a problem. Their face wrinkles should be kept clean in order to stop bacteria from really taking hold and get treatment at the first sign of an infection appearing.

Breathing Problems With Pugs

Due to their snout being so compact it does mean that pugs can suffer from a range of breathing problems especially in hot and humid weather as it does mean they find it difficult to regulate their temperature through taking in air via their nose.

Some will tend to have a more elongated palate whilst others will have more pinched nostrils or even have tissue in their windpipe that is too soft making it more prone to slightly collapse. You will notice that they have a tendency to snore and this is an indication that there could be a respiratory problem that is causing it.

Eye Problems With Pugs

Due to them having such big and open eyes it does mean that they are more likely to develop various health problems associated with their sight such as infections and it is entirely possible that they will have several eye conditions at any given time. They may have problems such as entropia where the eyelids roll along with dry eyes, corneal ulcers, proptosis and pigmentary keratitis.

You must, therefore, look for any signs of the eyes being red, causing them discomfort or any unusual discharge coming from them as they can normally be treated either through medication or sometimes surgery, but if left alone it can result in your dog becoming blind over an extended period of time.

Joint Problems With Pugs

Problems with joints are actually quite common in small dogs in general and one of the more common health issue with pugs is their kneecap dislocating and popping out away from the femur. This is sometimes referred to as trick knee and it is due to the ligaments not holding it in the correct position, but pugs are also often susceptible to hip dysplasia so watch how they walk and run and if there are signs of discomfort when moving to determine if there may indeed be a problem.

Pug Dog Encephalitis

Pug dog encephalitis, or PDE for short, is something that is normally fatal and it cannot be cured and it involves the brain tissue becoming inflamed and eventually dying. It does appear that this is something that is inherited and is, therefore, genetic in nature, but it is important to point out that it is not too common, but you still need to be aware of it.

Whilst a number of health problems for pugs can be linked to genetics a number of them such as a series of skin infections and the joint problems can be caused by general neglect of the dog and allowing them to become obese. They are small dogs and their joints are not built for carrying excess weight so if they are fat, then you can be causing them all kinds of pain and discomfort as well as making it harder for them to breathe so keep them slim so they can live a better life.

The pug health problems mentioned above are the most common ones that vets see, but clearly they can also pick up things that any dog can suffer from over and above those that have been listed. Only a percentage of pugs will get these pug problems, but one thing you can be sure of is that they will still be a loving dog to have and will certainly give you a lot of enjoyment through their life.

How To Ensure Your Pug Is As Healthy As Possible

Since pugs cannot verbally tell their owners when a problem is occurring, it is essential that pug owners learn common issues associated with the breed and be able to spot signs of their pug’s health going bad.

Therefore, make sure that you check out the pug health articles on this site and then read the following recommended resource. It is full of information to help you spot symptoms of illness or other issues and understand what exactly is going on when these symptoms occur. In addition, you will learn what kind of treatment to seek in order to keep your pug healthy and happy for years to come.

But don’t stop there! Your pug’s nutrition is vitally important to their health and life span. Even though you may think you are feeding your pug a healthy diet, you may not be. This is not your fault! We have been duped into believing that many brands of ‘pet food’ are healthy for our pets thanks to cute commercials and well meaning recommendations, but once you discover the truth behind the most common pet food out there, you will never feed your pet the same again. Learn all about it at:

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I wish you and your pug a long relationship full of health and happiness!

18 comments… add one

  • Nick March 13, 2013, 10:49 am

    I recently adopted a pug and the thing is I’ve never owned one before. My dog’s been scratching his face a lot or at least trying to and he hasn’t been in good mood for about a week. I just checked his face and in some parts they’re definitely red. I think it must be one of the skin problems mentioned here. I need to take him to a vet, but more than that I need to learn more about pugs in general if I’m going to raise it well.

    • Candace R.C. September 18, 2014, 4:57 am

      Nick. My pug Chancey use to do the same thing. It`s allergies. If you go to your vet they can give your pug something for this. Also, My Chancey couldn`t have any plastic toys…she was allergic to the plastic. Good luck. Hugs to the pug .

  • Lance March 13, 2013, 11:20 pm

    I got my pug from my sister when she had to move to abroad for a job and she had no one to take care of her dog. Well, Mr. Style’s already 7 years old and he has developed a bit of a limp. I didn’t think much of it until today and I just thought that he’d be fine in a few days, but it’s been about 10 days now and the limp isn’t getting any better. I think it might be the joint problem and Style probably will need to visit a vet. I hope all is fine, because if anything he’ll break my sister’s heart.

  • Sean March 14, 2013, 11:05 am

    I’m a brand new and proud owner of a young and handsome pug. Although my puppy is as healthy it can be, I plan to learn everything about pugs and make sure my dog has a long and healthy life. It’s too bad that pugs seem to have more health problems than most other breeds, but I’m sure much of those things can be avoided with a responsible owner. I’ve already bookmarked this page and this website will be my go-to website for all pug information. Thanks~!

  • richard March 23, 2013, 12:05 am

    My pug is 1 year old and licks my face and arms for minutes at a time, each & every evening while sitting on sofa watching tv. Is this a trait of pugs?

  • Paige F June 10, 2013, 9:15 pm

    My neighbor has 4 puppy pugs and they all need new homes. I was a bit hesitant on adopting one because of the supposed health problems in the breed and lately I’ve verified that they actually do have some health issues. Should that be enough to stop me from adopting one though? I don’t know, but it’s a concern that I cannot disregard. I want one though… sigh…

    • richard June 13, 2013, 1:14 am

      To comment on the email by Paige F, they are an amazingly affectionate and fun dog to own. Yes, they can & do have certain health issues, but not of any major concern or expense for the most part.

  • Ashe February 27, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Some very dear friends of ours had two Pugs and they lived long lives with few health problems. Our friends were very good carers and this certainly helped overcome many of the potential Pug health issues.They were beautiful fur kids and made their parents very happy.

  • Candy March 17, 2014, 11:35 pm

    I am the proud owner of a Pug, she is 11 years old. Recently she started turning on her rear end as if something is itching, I have took her to the Vet and he could not find anything wrong. Can anyone help me with this problem?

    • Candace R.C. September 18, 2014, 5:01 am

      Candy…my Chancey did the same thing…her anal glands need to be extracted…the vet will just squeeze the anal gland area inside, and remove anything that is in there. It only takes a few minutes, and the dog does not need to be put to sleep for this.

  • Peter April 4, 2014, 9:07 am

    Some say that you should never get a Pug due to their squashed up nose and breathing problems. I have a friend that has one and he is just beautiful and so happy. They seem like a lovely dog and am sure that with good parents and care the possible breathing thing shouldn’t be a problem.

    • Candace R.C. September 18, 2014, 5:03 am

      Peter …Pugs are wonderful people dogs they love company…and yes they do have some health problems, allergies, ect., however with proper care…they are the greatest….they love to be around people.

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  • tammy August 15, 2014, 9:33 pm

    do pugs get skin sores as puss sacks???

    • Candace R.C. September 18, 2014, 5:06 am

      Tammy ….my Chancey has skin irratation…but they where never filled with puss….I would definetly take your pug to the vet to see what is going on. Good Luck.

  • jamie September 2, 2014, 2:17 am

    I own a pug/terrier. I am just wondering if seizures are a common condition in pugs or does it result more in terriers.

  • Candace R. Cieloszczyk September 18, 2014, 4:54 am

    I have a beautiful fawn female spayed pug. Her name is Chancey. I had her since she was 6 weeks old. The absolute love of my life, she is beyond spoiled believe me. She is now 13 years old ( 91 in human years) if you where to look at her she looks great…yes she has a slight limp going on in the left leg…due to the tendon pulling away from the bone (per her vet). And yes she has her skin conditions. And she has her breathing problems associated with allergies…the haking that occurs, and usually it is no problem in curing this . However last week she had an uncontrollable hacking. My boyfriend and I brought her to the vet (the vet she usually sees) and they have put her on quie\te a few medications. Chancey is eating, drinking, going to the bathroom fine. However, when she sleeps and wakes up her hacking is horrible. The vet just today has put her on a new medication that will hopfully bring up and out the phflem. They say it could be a collapsed trachea. But isn`t there something that can help this. When we took her to a ER clinic outside our immediate area they said it would be over $ 3,000.00 I do not have that kind of monies. Then Chancey`s vet said some of the things they where going to do to her would have been deadly. She is 13 she can NOT go under, or have any type of surgery done. She is on Prednisolone 5 mg ( she has been on this for 2 1/2 years 1/4 pill……the vet stated to raise it to 1 pill a day for seven days then start to reduce slowly back to 1/4 of a pill daily. She is on Orbax 22.7 mg antibiotic, Lasix 12.5 mg 1 pill a day for fluid ( however, she is drinking, and peeing good) and Terbutaline 2.5 mg to help open the chest, and lungs. If only she sould she hack all that phflem out. Then the vet stated if we try everything with in reason and nothing works…then I need to make a dreadful decision. I understand…but WOW…isn`t there something….a home remedy, organic..something to help. If any one has any ideas I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Thank you and God Bless.

  • Candace R.C. September 20, 2014, 3:51 am

    Jamie…Pugs from what I understand have more seizures than terriers.


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