We did stupid things to the dogs, didn’t we. Research from the Royal Veterinary College has shown that the Pug’s health is so poor that the breed can no longer be considered a healthy “typical dog”.
pugs are not a particularly natural breed. Years and years of intensive breeding by human owners caused their faces to shape into the way we know them today. The breed is also famous for major health issues, ranging from respiratory problems (see: face) to seizures.
Now the Royal Veterinary College says the health of the pug breed is alarming.
“Pugs are almost twice as likely to suffer from one or more disorders per year compared to other dogs,” the college says.
“These results suggest that the Pug can no longer be considered a ‘typical dog’ from a health perspective and that urgent action is needed to reduce the high rate of health problems associated with the breed.
“Although there is a growing awareness of these serious health issues in pugs, until now the extent of the health crisis in pugs has not been fully understood.”
Health samples from 4,308 Pugs and 21,835 non-Pugs were analyzed when compiling this information. Overall, Pugs were found to be 1.9 times more likely to develop one or more disorders in a single year, compared to non-Pugs. Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome was found to be the highest risk disorder in Pugs (the breed was found to be almost 54 times more likely to develop this disorder).
Pugs have also been found to be at much higher risk of developing the following conditions than other dogs:
- Narrowed nostrils (Pugs are 51.3 times more likely to suffer from this)
- Eye ulceration (13 times more likely)
- Skinfold infections (11 times more likely)
- Atrial discharge (9.6 times more likely)
- Allergic skin disorder (5.9 times more likely)
- Demodectic mange (5.6 times more likely)
- Preserved baby teeth (4.3 times more likely)
- Obesity (3.4 times more likely)
That being said, some conditions were found to be less observable in Pugs, such as heart murmur (0.2 times more likely), lipoma (0.2 times more likely), aggression (0.3 times more likely) and injury (0.5 times more likely). ). College ties them to pugs that generally have a calmer temperament, which while they are a pleasant pet, owners should also be aware of common health conditions in the very popular breed.
“Although they are extremely popular as pets, we now know that several serious health issues are linked to the extreme body shape of pugs that many humans find so cute,” says Dr. Dan O’Neill , Associate Professor of Companion Animal Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College.
“Now is the time that we focus on the health of the dog rather than the whims of the owner when choosing the type of dog to own.”
The Pug Health document is available via Canine medicine and genetics.