If you own a pug, the majority of the time they are alert and anxious to explore every nook and cranny of your home as well as the outdoors for food and dog toys. A pug demands love and attention and is one of the easiest going of the toy breeds. As an owner, you generally know when something is off or he is not feeling well. Many issues that require emergency or urgent veterinary care may result in a surgical procedure. Because pugs face many specific problems because of their unique structure, they are more prone to developing certain health issues. These are signs that will likely require you to seek urgent care for your pug.
Loud Coughing And Gagging
Because the pug breed is considered brachycephalic—or having a short muzzle, it’s prone to breathing issues. One common type is a collapsed trachea. Symptoms include a loud honking noise or a cough as the pug attempts to catch his breath. The trachea on a pug allows air to move freely into the lungs from the mouth and nose. The trachea is composed of rings of cartilage. When these rings lose their rigidity or strength, they can suddenly collapse, making it difficult for your pug to take in and expel a full breath. Depending on the severity of the collapse, it can be an urgent, life-threatening issue that requires surgery to place a stent or plastic rings inside the trachea to restore normal breathing flow.
Anytime your pug has a seizure, the event can be very scary for you and him. Seizures are common in pugs, and in many cases, there is no specific cause. If your pug is experiencing a seizure followed by confusion, inability to walk or maintain balance or loss of consciousness, seek veterinary care immediately. It could be a condition called Pug Dog Encephalitis which is an inflammation of the brain tissue. This diagnosis will require seizure medicine to help control seizures from recurring in the future. In rare cases, it could be caused from a stroke or brain tumor which may require surgery to help alleviate symptoms and future seizure activity.
A luxating patella or patellar luxation occurs when there is a dislocation of the patella from the femur in the leg. The ligaments become weak and cause the bone to move freely out of place. The result is pain and the inability to walk properly. This can be an isolated event or it could be recurring—requiring surgery to stabilize the bone and prevent arthritis from setting in.
Pugs are prone to having eye issues mainly because their eyes tend to bulge slightly out of their head. It’s important to always institute care around your pug’s eye, because he is prone to corneal damage easily. Pugs can also have their eyes pop out of their socket more easily than other breeds. While generally not a life threatening issue, it still requires urgent care and possibly surgery to help set the eye back in place or remove it completely if there is an underlying health issue.
Every health problem related to pugs should be examined before you decide to buy one. Because pugs can live between 12 and 15 years, you’ll have several years of care ahead of you. No matter what the cost, falling in love with a pug is worth every dollar spent.