The most common pug health problems you need to know - Furry Ark
pug health problems

The most common pug health problems you need to know


Sadly, this cute and adorable breed is prone to certain health problems and diseases. That diseases are passed from parents to pups.

Pug health problems include eye problems, orthopedic (musculoskeletal) problems, neurology problems, respiratory problems, obesity and overheating


The most common pug eye problems

Pug cataracts is usually genetic and cause the dog’s vision will worsen, eventually to the point of blindness.
You should look for a characteristic cloudy blue tint to their eyeball

It´s a problem that requires an operation, but the good news is that most of vet can easily treat them.

Corneal Ulcer

Corneal ulcers result from a defect or hole in the surface of the cornea. Are caused by injuries and are usually caused by a cat scratch, thorn or other objects.

It´s difficult to see and may require the use of a special light to be diagnosed, but in most of case you can watch a lot of tears or a partially closed eye.


It´s an hereditary problem in certain breed of dogs like the pugs in which an extra row of eyelashes grows from the eyelid and is directed inward, rubbing against the surface of the eye.

The distichiae irritate the eye and cause inflammation, including the number of extra eyelashes, their size and their stiffness.

Usually, the treatment consists of ophthalmic lubricants to protect the cornea and coat the lashes with a lubricant film.

In complicated cases, your vet may recommend referral to an ophthalmologist for surgical treatment.

pug eyes problems


The most common pug orthopedic problems

It´s a spinal malformation. It’s most common in all of the short-faced breeds like Pugs

The symptoms include

  • Weakness of the hind limbs
  • Pain
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Fecal incontinence

Hemivertebrae is relatively easy to diagnose using traditional radiographs. More advanced technologies such as myelograms, CT scans, or MRIs are used to detect spinal cord compression.

Sometimes pugs with hemivertebrae show no clinical signs or pain and do not need to be treated, but in more severe cases, surgery is necessary to relieve compression on the spinal cord

Hip dysplasia

A condition caused by abnormal development of the coxofemoral join

The symptoms include lameness,

  • Hip joint laxity or degeneration,
  • You see him/her limping after exercise,
  • Walking with a waddling gait,
  • Having trouble getting up or lying down,
  • Showing reluctance to move.

In cases without complete luxation of the coxofemoral joint, medical therapy is typically the initial recommended treatment. And can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and nutraceuticals, plus moderate exercise to encourage muscle mass and tone. In severe cases surgery is indicated


Is caused by a vascular necrosis of the femoral head. Avascular necrosis means death of bone in the head of the femur resulting from an interruption in the blood supply.

The symptoms are:

  • Severe lameness and
  • Sometimes the inability to bear weight on the leg

Some cases can be treated with analgesics and restricting activity, but surgery generally produces the best results

Patellar luxation

Patellar luxation is a dislocated kneecap. The patella or kneecap is a small bone that protects the front of the stifle joint on the rear leg.

The type of patellar luxation seen most often in pugs is called medial luxation. It´s when the patella slips out to the inside of the knee joint,

Patellar luxation has four grades of severity, and the treatment depends on these grades

In most cases, pugs with Grade 1 and 2 need only medical treatment to deal with any pain that develops, and Grade 3 and 4surgery is usually recommended.

 pug orthopedic problems


The most common pug breathing problem

It´s an airway obstruction, These difficulties become more pronounced when the dog is exercising or is overheated, and tend to get worse as the dog grows older.

There are three conditions associated with brachycephalic

  • Stenotic nares
  • Elongated soft palate
  • Hypoplastic trachea
The most common pug skin problem

An allergy is an unpleasant reaction caused by exposure to a food, inhalant, or something in the pug’s environment like insect bites or stings, grasses, pollens and molds.

Dogs with allergies often scratch continuously and are miserable, snappish, and generally unpleasant to be around.

It takes a lot of testing, including skin scrapings, bacterial and fungal cultures, and intradermal skin testing, to determine whether a dog is suffering from allergic skin disease or some other type of allergy.

pug skin problem


The most common pug neurology problems

Epilepsy is a recurrent seizure disorder. Pugs are one of the breeds prone to idiopathic epilepsy, meaning the cause is unknown.

A number of newer drugs are available for treating epilepsy. However, are not 100 percent effective. the disease has no cure.

PDE (Pug Dog Encephalitis)

Necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME), also known as Pug dog encephalitis (PDE) is an inflammatory brain disease of the central nervous system

PDE is almost invariably a progressive and fatal disease. The majority of dogs with Pug encephalitis die or are put down by the vet within 6 months of the onset of clinical signs.

Although There are some success stories There are some medicines that when combined have proven to be effective in combating the progress of PDE for months…and even years!

(Related: The Ultimate Guide to Pug Dog Encephalitis)

Others pug health problems

Pugs are also very prone to getting fat. Most people don’t realize how much food they are giving their pug, which causes more harm than you think

Obesity is very dangerous. Some obese pugs may be at increased risk for diabetes, joint problems, muscle tears, hip dysplasia, tracheal collapse, skin and heart disorders, complications during anesthesia and surgery, and reduced life expectancy.

Obesity is definitely a huge contributor to the problems many pugs have

pug obesity


Normally happens when a dog loses his innate ability to regulate his body temperature

Any dog with a tiny snout is somewhat at risk once the temperature gets over 80 F. That is usually not a huge concern unless they are directly exposed to the sun for a while, or the temperature gets closer to the 90’s.

Loss of coordination is the first sign that he/she is getting overheated. Take them into a cooler environment, and let them drink plenty of water, as that is one of the best ways a pug to reduce their internal temperature

pug overheating

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