Are You Paralyzed by the Thought of Owning a Pug with Numerous Health Issues?

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Courtesy of Jesse Kunerth 

What are Some Health Issues Common to Pugs?

Pug health problems can be broken down into several categories:

  1. Bone Disease
  2. Ear and Eye Problems
  3. Respiratory Issues
  4. Seizures
  5. Skin Problems

The best way to eliminate many of the “so called” problems that are associated with this breed is to purchase only a healthy specimen from a reputable breeder.

There is no 100% guarantee that the animal will have no problems, but the odds are better. Genetics play a major part in all health issues concerning your pet.  

Yes, but I Heard this Breed Suffer Many Bone Diseases

Pugs can develop Legg-Calve Perthes, often referred to as LCP. LCP usually appears between 6 and 12 months of age. The causes the head of the femur dies and disintegrates.

Some younger dogs are susceptible to Patellar Luxation. This condition is the partial or complete dislocation of the patella, or kneecap. It has several stages of severity.

Over half of the Pug population suffers with hip dysplasia. Most pet owners are only aware of the problem if it reaches a severe level.

This painful condition causes lameness in one or both hind legs. Controlling your little friend’s weight has influence on any complications that might materialize.

Are Pugs more Susceptible to Eye and Ear Problems than other Dogs?

Yes, Pugs often have problems with their ears. The ears become inflamed. This condition is known as otitis externa. The inflammation can occur in either or both ears.

The ear canal becomes red, and swollen. Sometimes there is bleeding and either a brown or a black pus-like discharge. Weekly attention to the ears curtails most problems.

Due to the complex nature of the eye, and its location, it represents many of the health issues found in this little dog. It is important that you become knowledgeable of the various diseases and conditions that could affect your pet’s eyesight.

Respiratory Issues

The Pug's flat face makes him prone to numerous upper respiratory problems.  Ranging from a single sneeze, to trauma in the chest that causes breathing difficulties, the majority of respiratory problems can become serious if not given immediate attention.

Pug health issues include: rapid breathing, noisy breathing when inhaling, frequent panting, and difficulty eating and swallowing.

Pugs are noisy sleepers. Most snore loudly.  Usually, this is normal and nothing to worry about.  It is only if your pet is having difficulty breathing should you seek immediate medical attention.

Postnasal drip causes reverse sneeze syndrome. Although a non-life threatening condition, this condition frightens pet owners, because it sounds as if the animal is chocking. No treatment exists for this condition.


Epilepsy and seizures may occur in members of this breed. Another Pug health concern is Pug Dog Encephalitis. Pug Dog Encephalitis, a very rare disease, is "breed specific.

Pugs do not adapt well to hot weather. They can easily suffer from hyperthermia. Symptoms include rapid, excessive panting, vomiting, hemorrhages, seizures, and collapsing.

It is important that you reduce your pet’s body temperature immediately. Prolong periods with a body temperature of 105 degrees or more, could result in either permanent damage or death. Knowing first aid would be beneficial.

Most Pugs suffer with skin problems or skin disorders at some time. These health issues are often difficult to diagnose. Many of them are the results of a poor immune system, parasites, hormonal disorders or trauma.

Young Pugs often suffer with canine acne. Small to moderate pimples form on and around the chin area. Over-the-counter acne cleansing pads seem to help to clear up the area.

Just like their owners, Pugs can suffer from digestive problems and obesity. Rarely do they suffer from any difficulties resulting from neutering and spaying.

› Some common Pug health Issues

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