What You Should Know About Pug Health Problems and How to Keep Your Dog in a Good Trim

In most cases, pugs have good health. Despite that, under some circumstances, they may be prone to developing various health diseases, some of which are specific to their breed. Let’s have a look at the most frequent health problems pugs can experience during their lifetime. 

Skin Disorders

Given their sensitive skin, pugs are predisposed to certain skin problems. Some of these result from hormonal disorders, low immunity, parasites, or any other injuries. Pyoderma is a skin problem that is very frequent among pugs and is produced by bacterial infections and inflammations.

Symptoms that show this kind of disease include pimples and pus-filled blisters. It is mainly present in high-sensitivity areas, between toes, skin folds, and lips. Luckily, this disorder can be averted by maintaining adequate hygiene and regular veterinary control. 

Some conditions that prevail notably among young pugs are bad smell and acne, which are commonly caused by genital inflammations that expand on the skin. Pug owners should also be aware of other skin diseases that can be developed, such as: 

Mycosis or ringworm: this is characterized by a parasitic skin infection and is generally caused by a low immune system. 

Atopy: mainly developed due to hypersensitivity to allergens that can be found in food or air. Pugs are also more impacted during seasonal changes when they get allergies and their skin gets itchy so they tend to scratch the affected spots. In the event of skin disease, pugs should be taken to a vet clinic for investigation and adequate treatment. 

Respiratory Issues

As brachycephalic dogs, meaning a short muzzle and round head, pugs are relatively known for experiencing breathing problems more than other dog breeds. This is due to impurities that can enter the nasal cavity and provoke reverse sneezing or when they are exposed to the bigger physical effort they may begin to breathe heavily. 

Probably the most known among a pug’s breathing problems that can mean a real burden for them is Stenotic Nares. This is related to the nasal soft tissues that yield when taking a breath and make their breathing process more difficult. Also, it is the main reason why pugs snore and snort during sleep. 

The elongated soft palate is another congenital condition particular to these dogs, causing breathing problems. This happens when the soft palate is too large so that it obstructs the air from passing through airways, producing cough and choking.  

Pugs can also suffer from tracheal collapse, which is also a birth defect. This occurs especially when the tracheal rings begin to collapse, as they are weaker than normal and it is generally manifested through a heavy cough. In this case, owners should be extra cautious and prevent it from happening by keeping the dog away from hot areas and not allowing them to make a lot of effort. 

Eye problems 

The pug’s facial anatomy is characterized by protuberant eyelids making them susceptible to trauma and eye infections. A prevalent condition is an entropion which causes the eyelashes to grow inward against the eyeball producing inflammations and itchiness. If this is not prevented or treated when it happens, it can lead to loss of vision. 

Another eye disorder that can be harmful to pugs is a corneal ulcer which results from traumas, debris, and even scratches. Symptoms of this condition include redness, squinting, pawing, and excessive discharge. This should be treated accordingly, otherwise, it can generate vision impairment. 

Dry eye syndrome or Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a severe problem affecting a dog’s eyes. It is generally caused when the eyes don’t produce enough tears or the tear ducts are obstructed. In most cases, bacterial infections cause dry eye syndrome, and signs that show your pet may be experiencing it can consist of: redness, eye discharge, swollen eyes, excessive blinking, light sensitivity, etc.

Other eye diseases

Distichiasis – the abnormal growth of eyelashes in two layers, that can go inward against the eyeball and cause irritations and inflammations. Cataracts – the pug’s eyes may appear cloudy and milky, also conducive to permanent blindness if not treated. Pigmentary keratitis – characterized by brownish-black corneal pigmentation.

Tail Problems

 Pugs have cute curly tails that they wag especially when they are happy. However, it is very important for a pug owner to know that even tails can be subject to certain problems and as a consequence, to pay more attention if they notice anything wrong with it. The folded-up part is generally moist and consequently, fleas can make their home in this area. 

As it is not a spot very easy to reach in order to scratch when it becomes bothersome because of the parasite’s presence over there, pugs tend to behave uncontrollably and endeavor to get rid of the discomfort by chasing their tails and in order to catch it and bite it. They get very frustrated and may end up with severe injuries due to failed attempts to scratch the area, but also irritations occur. 

There should be evident signs showing that your pug’s tail may be at risk of infection or irritation so make sure you consider these and ensure good hygiene and treatment.

PDE (Pug Dog Encephalitis)

PDE is a form of brain inflammation of the central nervous system which is usually progressive and deadly. This is characterized by epileptiform seizures, depression, inability to maintain balance, abnormal gait, and blindness.

It is an autoimmune disease that manifests itself from the age of 6 months – to 3 years and death occurs in 3-6 months from onset. There is a genetic test to detect dogs carrying or affected by this disease. So far, no cure has been found for this disease, but symptoms can be ameliorated through good care and medication. 


Most of the health problems that pugs can develop during their life are related to their genetic construction and body anatomy that is slightly malformed. Despite that, your pug can enjoy a very good life with you if good healthcare is ensured and the emerging conditions are treated on time and effectively. This is why, when adopting a pug you should be aware of any medical conditions, what hygiene to follow and how to keep him safe and happy. 

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