Common Pug Health Issues

Pugs are one of the oldest dog breeds, having been around for more than 3,000 years. The breed has been a member of the American Kennel Club's toy group since 1885. People know pugs by their wrinkled faces, stout bodies and curled tails. Pugs are popular dogs, and while they are generally healthy, they can suffer from some health issues.


Skin Infections

Pugs have wrinkles in their skin, and dirt and debris can become trapped in the folds. Make sure you keep those folds of skin clean because bacteria can cause painful skin irritation or infections. Bathe your pug regularly to avoid skin infections.

Pug Dog Encephalitis

Pug dog encephalitis was once thought to be an affliction that affected only pugs, hence the name. It has since been reported in other breeds. Pug dog encephalitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the brain and the central nervous system, causing seizures, depression and blindness, among other symptoms. There is no cure for this disease, but medications can be used to help with its symptoms. Pug dog encephalitis is a terminal diagnosis.

Tracheal Collapse

Pugs and some other toy breeds are prone to tracheal collapse. This happens when the windpipe narrows, making it hard for the dog to breathe. Your dog may be experiencing tracheal collapse if he has a cough, breathes harshly and gags. Surgery can repair the problem, but this is a serious health issue.

Stenotic Nares

Pugs with this birth defect are born with nostrils that are too small. The pug will have a hard time breathing though his nose. This will put a considerable strain on his whole body and can result in an enlarged heart, chronic bronchitis and tracheal collapse.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is often seen in large dog breeds, but the pug may be susceptible because of its size. While pugs are only 10 to 14 inches tall, they can weigh up to 20 pounds. Hip dysplasia caused by the malformation of the bones that connect to form the hip, resulting in a bad fit. This disorder causes intense pain and sometimes lameness. Surgery can repair the problem.

By Megan Smith

About the Author
Megan Smith started writing professionally in 2003. She has written for newspapers such as the "Anniston Star" and the "Anderson Independent-Mail." Smith has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a Master of Arts degree in communications from the University of Alabama.