Dont Pet The Pug!
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T he second answer to the brachycephalic issue was launched at the Discover Dogs event at the weekend: the Pug Breed Council announced a Pug breed health scheme.
Learn About The Pug Dog Breed From A Trusted Veterinarian
This includes a visual inspection of their overall appearance, analysis of the knee structure and x-rays of the spine they are prone to disabling abnormalities in these areas , a genetic test for an inherited disease called Pug Dog Encephalitis PDE and finally, a grading for severity of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome BOAS. Details of the scheme have yet to be announced but the concept seems like a much-overdue attempt to create a real change for the better in the breed.
Similar schemes to help other flat-faced breeds are already in place. B oth of the above methods may look initially appealing to those who have proposed them, but each has serious faults. First, if a breed was banned, it seems likely that individuals would find ways of circumventing the ban, just as some have done with the discredited breed-specific legislation aimed at tackling the issue of dog attacks.
If Pugs were banned, unscrupulous breeders could easily create cross-bred dogs that had Pug-like characteristics, even creating new Pug-like breeds. The authorities would have the difficult task of trying to decide whether a dog was a banned breed. Dogs might have to be taken into custody while their fate was decided.
Charming, Cheeky, Affectionate.
The legal costs of time wasting court cases would be immense. S econd, if a voluntary Pug Club breed health scheme was the only action to be taken, the overall impact would be minimal. And only a small proportion of those would be likely to comply with the new health scheme. Very few of the puppy-seeking public would diligently seek out health tested Pugs. T he third approach - perhaps the most realistic way - was discussed yesterday at a symposium at the University of Surrey organised by the Dog Breeding Reform Group.
Attended by vets, vet nurses, dog breeders, dog owners and animal welfare campaigners, the meeting started with presentations outlining the wide range of inherited issues suffered by pedigree dogs. The presentations reviewed possible answers, and delegates discussed the various ways of improving dog health, including debate on the two options mentioned above. The symposium concluded that a multi-pronged approach is needed to stop the suffering of brachycephalic dogs:.
Nobody should consider buying a puppy without this. Better education of the public was unanimously identified as the biggest factor in this situation: if the demand for dogs with poor health can be stemmed, the supply will dry up. While some delegates criticised aspects of the Assured Breeders scheme, it was agreed that there should be a high standard for breeders to aspire to, and puppy seekers should be guided to only choose pups from this type of source. J ust as celebrities have boosted the popularity of breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs, so celebrities should be recruited to highlight the health issues linked to these breeds, and to stress the importance of buying specimens from optimal backgrounds that have been health tested.
The British Veterinary Association has also endorsed this approach, as have many animal welfare charities.
T he symposium welcomed the announcement by DEFRA last week that breeders of puppies and kittens who knowingly produce animals with genetic defects, such as Pugs or French Bulldogs that cannot breathe properly, will be liable for prosecution under animal welfare legislation. D espite many positive actions taken in recent years by the Kennel Club, delegates felt that the organisation could still do much more to address the issue.
Helpful steps could include:. While it was recognised that many unhealthy dogs are produced by breeders outwith the control of the Kennel Club, it was still felt that the organisation is seen as a key opinion leader and influencer. Focus on good health should be the prime goal of the organisation: cosmetic details like coat colour and breed purity should be disregarded and health-improving ideas like out-crossing should become possibilities. The overall view was that the best way forwards is for everyone to work together to improve the welfare of these animals, with the proviso that if progress is not made, there will be a stronger case to concede to those who wish to ban certain breeds completely.
As a consequence, the soft palate at the back of the roof of the mouth is too long and may hang down into the airway. All of these differences can lead to a narrow and obstructed airway such that many of these dogs can barely breathe! Watch for exercise intolerance, loud breathing, coughing, bluish gums, or fainting. With his short nose, your pet is also more likely to develop other problems, such as flatulence from excessive air intake, pneumonia from aspirating food, and heat stroke.
In severe cases, surgical correction may be recommended to alleviate airway obstruction. Much of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is common sense, just like it is for people. Be sure to adhere to the schedule of examinations and vaccinations that we recommend for her. Another very important step in caring for your pet is signing up for pet health insurance. There will certainly be medical tests and procedures she will need throughout her life and pet health insurance will help you cover those costs. Build her routine care into your schedule to help your Pug live longer, stay healthier, and be happier during her lifetime.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine. Any abnormal symptom could be a sign of serious disease or it could just be a minor or temporary problem. The important thing is to be able to tell when to seek veterinary help and how urgently. Many diseases cause dogs to have a characteristic combination of symptoms, which together can be a clear signal that your Pug needs help.
Give us a call for an appointment if you notice any of these types of signs:.
Don't let Patrick make you want to buy a Pug
Seek medical care immediately if you notice any of these types of signs:. Visit our offices to get the latest in top-quality veterinary care along with unparalleled service. Skip to main content. Sarasota Veterinary Center Parkway Veterinary Center Meadowrun Affordable Pet Care The Pug - What a Pup! Your Pug's Health We know that because you care so much about your dog , you want to take good care of her.
Infections Pugs are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections — the same ones that all dogs can get — such as parvo, rabies, and distemper. Obesity Obesity can be a significant health problem in Pugs. Parasites All kinds of worms and bugs can invade your Pug's body, inside and out.
Spay or Neuter One of the best things you can do for your Pug is to have her spayed neutered for males. Eye Problems Not many things have as dramatic an impact on your dog's quality of life as the proper functioning of his eyes. Because your Pug has eyeballs that naturally protrude, he is more vulnerable to eye injuries. Scrapes or punctures to the cornea the protective covering on the eyeball are the most common injuries.
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Not only do eye injuries hurt, they can become infected and affect his vision. Call us at right away if your pet has any problems with his eyes. A damaged cornea is painful and should be treated immediately. Medication and sometimes surgery may be required. Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea the surface of the eyeball. This is an extremely irritating and painful condition that can ultimately lead to blindness. Entropion can occur in any dog breed, however, your Pug is especially at risk for this heritable disorder.
Surgical correction is usually successful if performed early. Dry eye, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or KCS, is common in Pugs. KCS reduces the amount of fluid produced by the tear glands such that they are no longer able to keep the eyes moist. This results in sore, itchy eyes and infections. Symptoms of KCS include a dull, dry appearance or thick discharge from the eyes, squinting, and pawing at the eyes.
Diabetes Diabetes mellitus is a fairly common disease in dogs. Allergies In humans, allergies to pollen, mold, or dust make people sneeze. Mange Demodex is a microscopic mite that lives in the hair follicles of all dogs. Skin Infections Your Pug is prone to a form of skin infection called lip-fold pyoderma, which occurs because the folds of skin along the lower jaw are usually moist.
Bone and Joint Problems A number of different musculoskeletal problems have been reported in Pugs. Both hips and elbows are at risk for dysplasia, an inherited disease that causes the joints to develop improperly and results in arthritis. Stiffness in your Pug's elbows or hips may become a problem for him, especially as he matures. You may notice that he begins to show lameness in his legs or has difficulty getting up from lying down. We can treat the arthritis—the sooner the better—to minimize discomfort and pain. Surgery is also sometimes a good option in severe and life-limiting cases. And keep in mind that overweight dogs may develop arthritis years earlier than those of normal weight, causing undue pain and suffering!
Young Pugs may be prone to a painful degenerative hip condition called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. The exact cause of this condition is still not completely understood, but it is thought to be caused by a reduced blood supply to the hip, which causes the femoral head the top of the thigh bone to become brittle and fracture easily.
Usually occurring between six and nine months of age, LCP causes pain and lameness in one or both rear legs, and often requires surgery. Sometimes your Pug's kneecap patella may slip out of place. This is called patellar luxation.
General Health Information for your Pug
You might notice that your pet, while running, suddenly picks up a back leg or skips and hops for a few strides. He might then kick his leg out sideways to pop the kneecap back in place. These are common signs of patellar luxation. If the problem is mild and involves only one leg, your friend may not require much treatment beyond arthritis medication. When symptoms are severe, surgery may be needed to realign the kneecap to keep it from luxating further. Spinal Deformities Pugs are more likely than other canines to be born with spinal deformities, a condition called hemivertebrae, which may lead to spinal cord damage, instability, or disability.
Mast Cell Tumor Mast cell tumors are a particularly nasty type of skin cancer found more often in Pugs than other breeds. Degenerative Myelopathy Degenerative myelopathy is a neurologic condition, similar to ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease in people, that causes weakness and poor nerve function in the hind legs. Bladder or Kidney Stones There are a few different types of stones that can form in the kidney or in the bladder, and Pugs are more likely to develop them than other breeds.
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Respiratory Distress Syndrome Respiratory distress syndrome, also known as brachycephalic syndrome, affects dogs with a short nose, like your Pug. Taking Care of Your Pug at Home Much of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is common sense, just like it is for people. Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise Build her routine care into your schedule to help your Pug live longer, stay healthier, and be happier during her lifetime.
Supervise your pet as you would a toddler.