Pugs are popular and known for their cute, flat face that is sure to make you smile. The Pug face can be described as having dark, big eyes surrounded by multiple wrinkles.
While their short stature and adorable smooshed face can make you easily fall in love with them, it is important to be aware of health issues that accompany its physical features. Knowing these health issues can be a good preventive measure to take in order to give your Pug a long, happy life.
A Flat Face
Small dogs with flat faces tend to have breathing issues. Because Pugs have short muzzles, they tend to not be able to breathe as effectively as other breeds. This causes them to be unable to regulate body temperature through their tongues, as other dogs do.
To keep your Pug cool during hot weather, be sure to keep them indoors on hot days and limit outdoor playtime. If not careful, other breathing complications, such as brachycephalic airway syndrome can become present. This causes conditions, such as Stenotic Nares, Elongated Soft Palate, or Tracheal Collapse. All of which could require surgery to correct.
Stenotic Nares is when the nostrils become pinched and are too small to breathe in the air. Elongated Soft Palate is when the palate becomes too long and tends to block air entering the trachea. Tracheal Collapse happens when the rings around the trachea become weak and collapse.
While these conditions can be fixed through drugs or surgery, they can be uncomfortable and dangerous for your dog. It is vital to be knowledgeable of these complications and be aware of any breathing issues, such as excess snorting, coughing, and trouble breathing. Another tip to prevent respiratory problems is to use a harness during walks, rather than a collar.
Large, Bulgy Eyes
Pugs can talk to you through their large, puppy dog eyes. However, those large eyes can be prone to certain eye problems and disorders.
Dry eye, for example, is caused by a lack of tear production in the tear gland. Ultimately, this causes the cornea to become dry and irritated. Unfortunately, this can cause blindness in dogs.
Pugs can also become infected with Entropion. This is where the bottom eyelid turns inward, causing the eyelash to rub and scratch the cornea. This causes inflammation and irritation, but it can be fixed with surgery.
Corneal Ulcers are also common in Pugs. The bulging eyes are easily scratched or bumped, which can cause trauma to the cornea. You can often suspect that there is trauma to the eye if it looks inflamed or your Pug keeps rubbing it. If you suspect your Pug has had an injury to the eye, prompt treatment is necessary.
The wrinkles on a Pug’s face are another distinct feature, but they also need to be cared for during grooming. Pug owners need to be sure to clean inside each wrinkle to prevent skin disorders, such as eczema. These wrinkles can hide bugs, dirt, and food particles. The best way to keep them clean is to wipe the inside and outside of every wrinkle daily with a dry tissue.
Pugs have floppy ears, which are sometimes more prone to ear infections. The floppy ears cause moisture to become trapped inside the ear canal, causing infections.
To help prevent ear infections from developing, it is best to clean their ears with a dog ear wipe a couple of times a week. While cleaning, inspect it for any bad smells, discoloration, or debris. Ear infections can be treated with topical medication and antibiotics.
Many Teeth in a Small Mouth
Pugs have at least 42 permanent teeth in their small mouth. This can cause plaque to build up quickly on their pearly whites. This build-up can lead to infections to the roots and gums, which can ultimately lead to very dangerous health concerns.
Mouth infections can not only result in the loss of teeth, but also lead to liver, kidney, heart, and joint problems. It has been noted that poor dental health can cause a shorter lifespan for Pugs.
To keep your Pug’s teeth healthy, it is best to practice to clean them daily or give your dog a dental stick. It can also be beneficial to get teeth cleaning done by your veterinarian at least once a year. Any suspicion of tooth decay or inflammation in the mouth needs to be addressed promptly to prevent further damage.
As you can see, despite several cute and loveable features, the Pug face comes with a variety of health risks which require regular maintenance.
If you’re ever worried about your Pug’s face health, see your vet for some expert advice.