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Question
·  Health Concerns In The Pug

Answer
·  Health Concerns In The Pug

This article is Copyright 1996 by the Author(s) listed below. It may be freely reproduced in its entirety without alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed. It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other than www.pugs.com without the permission of the Author(s).

Author

Marcy Heathman, marcy@pugs.com
Copyright 1996 by Marcy Heathman, all rights reserved.





Buying a healthy dog is important these days - so many people talk about "back yard breeders" and those people who "inbreed" their dogs. You'll find that being an informed purchaser will help you find caring, conscientious breeders. Breeders who "inbreed" are not necessarily bad breeders - after all, inbreeding is what created the Pug breed to start wtih. But a breeder should be able to tell you what their reasons are for the inbreeding that they do, what they expect to get from the inbreeding, and what problems may also occur from the breeding.

Responsible breeders will have some sort of health agreement with you - they'll want you to take your new puppy or dog to your own vet shortly after you get it home, so that you know it's doing okay. They should be knowledgable or at least familiar with the problems outlined here. Don't be afraid to ask questions of a breeder - good ones will share knowledge with you so that you understand what the advantages of buying from them is, but also the risks.

NO BREEDER can ever produce 100% healthy-for-life dogs. Just as in humans we cannot "breed out" certain problems in our own genetic makeup, dog breeders can only do their best to work towards limiting problems in a line of dogs. Line breeding and inbreeding are two of the tools that, when used properly, can help in identifying and reducing the health problems in a breed. A good breeder has a purpose in their breedings and can tell you why a litter was bred - something other than, "I own both the momma and the daddy."

Health concerns in Pugs center primarily on two areas: their head, and their legs, although other problems do exist. Pug heads cause problems because of the smooshed in faces instead of having the normal elongated face of most dogs. Head problems that are fairly common include:

  • Cataracts
  • Corneal Ulcers
  • Dry Eye
  • Eyelids and Eyelashs
  • Elongated Soft Palatte
  • Pug Dog Encephalitis
  • Generalized Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Pinched or Undersized Nostrils
Leg problems that occur in Pugs include:
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease
  • Slipped Stifles
Pugs also have a high incidence of demodectic skin mites (often called demodectic mange), especially when they are still puppies. Mange does require a veterinarian to treat it. Some lines of Pugs do not whelp their own puppies well, often require C-section surgery at birth, and have dams that want nothing to do with their puppies. There are also high incidences of skin and inhalent allergies, seizure activity, and recently we've begun to see more cases of spinal problems in Pugs as well.

Not every Pug will have any of these problems, while others may have more than one. And there are other health problems than can and do occur within the breed, but not often enough to go onto this list.


All information and images on these pages are copyright © 1996 - 2000 MRC Enterprises and Marcy B. Heathman. Not reproducible without written permission except for your own personal education.

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