What are the common health issues in pugs?

What are the common health issues in pugs?

Pugs are a very popular breed among pet owners, however, they do come with some predisposed health problems. Due to their head shape, many of these health problems are related to their breathing. British Pet Insurance Services has given a rundown of some of the most common pug health problems.


Due to their compressed faces and reduced skull length, pug’s airways are obstructed by soft tissue that causes major breathing difficulties. The narrower airways can also become lodged with fluids and debris and create a ‘reverse sneeze’ type action in order to clear what is stuck there.

One of the major health problems that can affect pugs is a collapsed trachea. This is commonly a birth defect where cartilage in the dog’s windpipe collapses and causes strain on their breathing. The major signs of this are trauma in their chest or an increase in sneezing.

Stenotic Nares is an increasingly problematic disease that causes breathing difficulties among pugs. Similar to a collapsed trachea, every time they take a breath, the tissue in the windpipe collapses resulting in a blocked airway making it harder for your pet to breath. This usually occurs in the nasal cavity leaving them to breathe through their mouths to gain the necessary oxygen. The major signs of Stenotic Nares is a build-up of foamy discharge in the mouth or excessive breathing through the mouth when excited.

With all breathing problems, it is important to stay vigilant throughout the early life of your pug. These breathing problems may also restrict physical activity and could make them more susceptible to heat stroke. If symptoms persist or worsen, a vet should be contacted immediately.


The eyes of a pug protrude due to their compressed faces, leaving them with a greater chance of problems relating to their eyes. Due to their flat face, they have shallower eye sockets allowing for their eyes to be more prominent than other breeds. Because of this, the pug is at a much greater risk of injury as well as the chance that their eyes will actually pop out of their socket.

One of the major eye problems is dry eye. Some pugs cannot completely close their eyelids resulting dry eyes and ulcers. Complete closure over your eyelids is what moistens them, leaving a pug with very painful dry eyes that can lead to blindness.

The symptoms of these are usually cloudy eyes, discharge, excessive blinking, and a milky appearance. If not treated immediately these can lead to blindness and in some cases when the eye is so badly infected, they may need to be surgically removed.


Their stunted stature can lead to a compression of their spinal cord. Pugs commonly have deformities of the bones of the spine which can lead to a continuous pain and if not treated sharply, the loss of back leg functions.

Like every dog breed, a pug can suffer a wide range of illnesses and injuries that are not breed specific. However, due to their select breeding over the years, the Pug has been shaped into a breed that may be more susceptible to a large number of health problems. In saying this, many of these health problems can be treated by the vet if acted upon quickly. Maintain a close bond with your pet and continuously check on them for irregularities.

Owning a dog can be a fun and rewarding experience

However, if they suffer an illness or injury, it can also be both stressful and expensive. British Pet Insurance Services can provide the support you and your dog need, whether it is with your insurance cover, making a claim or just helpful advice along the way.

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