What are Pugs Prone to?

What are pugs prone to?

If you are considering getting a pug or already have one as a furry companion, it’s important to be aware of the common health issues and breed-specific concerns that pugs are prone to. By understanding these potential medical conditions, you can take the necessary steps to ensure the well-being and longevity of your beloved pug.

Pugs, like any other breed, have their fair share of health problems. Some of the common ailments you might encounter include Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), eye ulcers and infections, patella luxation, hip dysplasia, encephalitis, hemivertebrae, and various skin conditions. Being informed about these issues can help you identify warning signs early, seek appropriate veterinary care, and take preventive measures to keep your pug healthy and happy.

It’s worth noting that the information shared here is supported by studies from reputable sources such as the Royal Veterinary College and Canine Medicine and Genetics. These studies provide valuable insights into the medical conditions that pugs may face, and taking these findings into consideration can greatly benefit your pug’s well-being.

Key Takeaways:

  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is a common condition in pugs, characterized by breathing difficulties.
  • Pugs are prone to eye ulcers, infections, and abnormalities like entropion.
  • Patella luxation, or a slipped kneecap, is a condition that affects pugs, causing limping and joint pain.
  • Hip dysplasia, although more common in large breeds, can also affect pugs, leading to joint problems and osteoarthritis.
  • Encephalitis is a fatal neurological disorder specific to pugs, and early veterinary intervention is crucial if symptoms arise.

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)

Pugs, being a brachycephalic breed, are particularly prone to developing Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). This condition is characterized by narrow nostrils, an elongated soft palate, and sometimes a collapsed larynx, all of which impair their ability to breathe properly.

Pugs with BOAS may experience difficulties in getting enough air into their lungs, especially during hot weather. Symptoms of BOAS include labored breathing, loud noises while breathing, and blue gums due to low oxygen levels.

Early intervention by a veterinarian is essential to provide the necessary treatment and improve the pug’s quality of life.

Eye Ulcers and Infections

Pugs are prone to various eye problems, including pug eye ulcers and pug eye infections. Due to their protruding eyes, pugs are more susceptible to injuries during play, increasing the risk of eye conditions.

One common eye problem in pugs is the development of eye ulcers. Symptoms of eye ulcers may include a red cornea, teary eyes, and discomfort. It is crucial to seek prompt veterinary care if you notice any signs of eye ulcers in your pug.

Identifying and addressing eye ulcers early can help prevent complications and further damage to your pug’s eyes.

Pugs may also experience dry eyes, which can lead to discomfort and potential infections. Regular monitoring of your pug’s eye health and consulting with a veterinarian is essential to prevent and manage dry eyes.

Pug eye abnormalities, such as entropion, can also occur. Entropion is a hereditary condition where the eyelids roll inward, leading to irritation and potential corneal damage. If your pug has entropion, immediate veterinary attention is necessary for proper treatment.

Regular monitoring and prompt veterinary care are crucial in maintaining the eye health of pugs and preventing complications.

By staying vigilant and taking proactive steps to address eye ulcers, infections, dry eyes, and abnormalities like entropion, you can help ensure the overall well-being of your pug’s eyes.

Patella Luxation

Patella luxation, also known as a slipped kneecap, is a common health issue in pugs. This condition occurs when the kneecap moves out of its groove, causing limping and pain. It can be either hereditary or the result of an injury. Surgical intervention is often necessary to correct patella luxation and alleviate discomfort. Regular exercise monitoring, weight management, and joint support are essential for preventing further complications in pugs with this condition.

Hip Dysplasia

Pugs, like other dog breeds, can also be affected by hip dysplasia. This condition occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to instability and pain. Although hip dysplasia is more commonly associated with large dog breeds, pugs are not immune to it.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in pugs typically appear between 6 and 12 months of age. If your pug starts limping or bunny hopping, or if you notice stiffness in their movements, it may be a sign of hip dysplasia. It’s important to keep an eye out for these symptoms and consult with your veterinarian.

Genetic predisposition plays a significant role in hip dysplasia. Pugs with a family history of the condition have a higher risk of developing it. Regular vet check-ups can help identify any early signs of hip dysplasia in your pug and allow for prompt intervention.

While there is no cure for hip dysplasia, appropriate management can help alleviate discomfort and slow down its progression. Your veterinarian may recommend exercise moderation, weight control, and joint supplements to support your pug’s hip joints.

“Regular veterinary check-ups and proactive management are key in ensuring the well-being of pugs with hip dysplasia.”

By staying vigilant and proactive, you can provide your pug with the care they need to manage hip dysplasia and maintain a good quality of life.


Encephalitis is a fatal neurological condition that specifically affects pugs. Although the exact cause is still not well-understood, it is believed to have a hereditary component. Pugs with encephalitis may display symptoms such as seizures, circling behavior, blindness, and eventually fall into a coma before passing away.

If your pug shows any signs of seizures or neurological issues, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary consultation to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. Early intervention is key in managing this hereditary condition and providing the best possible care for your beloved pug.

Hemivertebrae and Skin Conditions

Pugs can be particularly prone to spinal problems, including a condition called hemivertebrae. This condition is often related to their unique screw-tail. Hemivertebrae occur when the vertebrae in the spine develop abnormally, resulting in wedges and irregular shapes. These abnormal vertebrae can put pressure on the spinal cord, leading to pain and potential incontinence.

If your pug is diagnosed with hemivertebrae, it’s important to seek prompt veterinary care. Your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic tests such as X-rays to determine the extent of the condition. Treatment options can vary depending on the severity of the spinal problems. Medication, physical therapy, and even surgery might be necessary to alleviate pain and improve quality of life for your pug.

In addition to spinal problems, pugs are also prone to various skin conditions. Their adorable, wrinkled skin and skinfolds can create an environment for infections to thrive. Pug skinfold infections can occur due to moisture, friction, and bacteria accumulation.

If you notice any signs of skinfold infections in your pug, such as redness, swelling, discharge, or a foul odor, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide appropriate treatment options, which may include medicated creams, antibiotics, and lifestyle adjustments to prevent recurrence.


Pugs are adorable and affectionate pets, but they are also prone to several health issues and breed-specific concerns. It is essential for pug owners to be aware of these potential problems and take proactive steps to prevent or manage them. By following these pug care tips, you can help ensure that your furry friend lives a happy and healthy life.

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for monitoring your pug’s health and catching any potential issues early on. By staying proactive and addressing health concerns promptly, you can prevent them from developing into more severe conditions.

In addition to regular check-ups, appropriate exercise and weight management are vital for pugs. Pugs prone to health issues can benefit from moderate exercise to maintain a healthy weight and prevent strain on their joints. Consult with your veterinarian to develop an exercise routine suitable for your pug’s individual needs.

Lastly, providing your pug with proper care and attention is key to preventing and managing health problems. This includes regular grooming, maintaining good hygiene, and keeping their living environment clean. By taking these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of pug breed health risks and ensure your pug’s well-being for years to come.

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