Before we got our first pug (we now have three), we did a lot of research into the breed and its various health issues. We had just put a very young pekingese-beagle mix to sleep due to degenerative spinal disease and didn't want to go through that sadness again.
I read about pugs' eye problems, breathing problems, luxating patellas and the dreaded PDE. I didn't see anything about back problems as a breed consideration. But, I know so many pugs... including one of my own, both online and in-person, that have weak hind ends and back problems.
In fact, I'd say that I know more pugs with back problems than any of the other health issues we read about. I was wondering why back issues aren't included in the breed description. Is it really not that widespread of a problem?
I'm not sure about that, but we visit a chiropractor regularly, and I highly recommend it to anyone having back problems (or not having back problems, for that matter)
Stephanie, pugmom to Louie Livewire, born 3/15/06
and my 3 angels waiting at the bridge....
the very special Junior, my pug angel who is doing agility at the rainbow bridge 11/22/91 - 3/13/06
the very special Danny, my first dog, a Dandie Dinmont Terrier 4/5/70 - 2/10/84
the very special Paddy, the pug who was loved around the world, who my family had the pleasure and honor of loving for the last 3 years and 5 months 5/1/98 - 8/6/14
In fact, I'd say that I know more pugs with back problems than any of the other health issues we read about. I was wondering why back issues aren't included in the breed description. Is it really not that widespread of a problem?>>
Yes, back problems are a concern. In New Zealand, all Pug puppies are x-rayed at 6 weeks for hemi vertabrae and they have virtually eradicated the problem. I, personally, hear a lot more regarding hemi vertabrae from indiscriminate breeding which takes place with most of the backyard breeders than in the breeders who are breeding for show dogs and doing testing for various problems. Some of us have had the problem before and take necessary steps to avoid it and to eliminate it from our lines while others ignore it and allow it to manifest more broadly into other lines. This conern occurs much more frequently in French Bulldogs than in Pugs and probably more frequently in Bulldogs than in Pugs. It is a horrible condition when it occurs in their prime years and it can be detected later in life, like at 7-9 years of age in some. These are linkw with some interesting information:
A puppy that is diagnosed with hemi vertabrae because he cannot swing his backend around and is noticeably dragging one or both back legs, maybe can't climb up one, small step, should be x-rayed for this condition. It is genetic and caused by a recessive gene that must be carried by both parents.
Then, there are the Pugs who are simply too heavy and the back eventually causes problems, just as in humans who are too heavy for the spine to be easily carried around.
Myra and the 10 Pugs
I do agree with that...
Will add too that pugs seem to throw themselves around more...jump a lot...etc...and have very heavy bodies.
I know that when I twist wrong or do something I shouldn't I can feel it...and if I continue to do things and don't take care of it.....I hurt to barely walking. I go to a chiro myself.....and now take my dogs. Some due to injuries from the past.......and then the others now and then for a tune up.
Chairperson of PDCA Rescue Committee
Oh yeah... I forgot - I did read about HV, too. Our pug with back problems just has disk problems -- not HV.
One of mine has back issues. He has three bulging discs. Poor guy is getting worse these days. I always lift him up to the bed and couch.
I have an appointment today for an MRI for Puck to see what is going on with her spine and will probably be looking at surgery to follow. Puck (10 y.o.) is the THIRD pug of mine that has had back issues, I currently have 16 y.o. LouLou who is completely disabled and doesn't walk. All have been caused by disc disease (type 2 chronic) which gets progressively worse as they age. LouLou had surgery about 5 years ago which gave her more time able-bodied, but could not stop it completely. I now have to carry two pugs up and down stairs and I think soon I will be joining the girls in having back issues. Oh well, like a marriage I signed on for better or worse, and in sickness and in health...........
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Rona and the Principessas Imogen and Pearl. Holding in our hearts forever LouLou and Puck who have been reunited at the Bridge.
All my babies at the Bridge - LouLou, Puck, Piaff, Donato, Persia, Dragon, Smugs, (Pugs) and Madam and her son Woolfie (horses).