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Skin Problems in Pugs

A pug’s skin is covered in lots of thick dense hair that sheds frequently. While your pug has captured your heart with their cute faces and playful personalities, you may notice he leaves a lot of hair behind on the furniture and the surrounding areas. Pugs can suffer from a variety of skin problems caused by skin irritation, infections and irritants.

Demodectic Mange

Demodicosis is a common infestation of microscopic eight-legged mites that feed in the pugs hair follicle and oil glands of the skin. Veterinarians will conduct a trichogram, also known as skin scraping to diagnose the condition. Signs your pug may have demodectic mange are lesions occurring in patches throughout the body, especially legs and face. A clear sign, is patches of hair missing and direct visibility to your pug’s skin. Veterinarians will recommend specific treatment for your pug, which may include dips to help relieve symptoms and preventative care.


Pugs are infected with ringworm when they come into contact with contaminated places like boarding facilities, kennels, grooming tools and other dogs that are already infected with ringworm. Scratching and itching are common signs of ringworm. Also visible circular patches that have hair loss that starts out small and gets larger over time and exposes a circular patch with scaly dry center is evidence that ringworm is present. Ringworm commonly appears on the head, but is capable of spreading and appearing throughout the entire body. Visit the veterinarian at the first sign of ringworm for treatment and to prevent the fungus from spreading. Common treatments include topical antifungal ointments, specialty shampoo, dips and oral antifungal medications.

Staph Infection

Staphylococcus, commonly known as staph infection is bacteria that lives on the skin of a host. Your pug may experience symptoms such as skin abscesses, infections of the skin, eyes, ear and respiratory system, loss of appetite, pain fever, itching , inflammation of the skin and pus filled lesions. Staph infection is easily transmitted from animal to animal. Seek a veterinarian’s assistance at the first sign of symptoms. Vets will determine treatment after properly diagnosing the bacteria through conducting a urinalysis, skin testing and a complete blood count.

Skin fold Pyoderma

Pugs develop this inflammatory skin disorder located in the skin folds of their facial folds, armpit areas and groin. The skin fold allows the surface of the two adjacent areas to come into contact with each other, the fold creates a humid and warm environment where bacteria multiplies and creates an infection. Symptoms of skin fold pyoderma are redness, harsh odor, discharge and moistness in between the skin fold. Veterinarians will prescribe a medicated skin cleanser to treat the bacteria and recommend keeping the area clean and dry. Skin fold pyoderma is known to respond well to treatment.

Hormonal Skin Conditions

Alopecia is a common skin and hair disorder for pugs who have a hormonal imbalance, usually an increased level of estrogen. This hormone imbalance is related to reproductive functioning. Symptoms include blackheads on the skin, itching, darkness of the skin, abnormal skin or shape of nipples, secondary bacterial infection, dry brittle fur, secondary dandruff and inflammation and wax build-up of the outer ear. Veterinarians will determine the course of treatment after giving your pug a thorough physical exam which includes a urinalysis, electrolyte panel, biochemical profile and complete blood count. Veterinarians frequently prescribe supplemental hormone therapy to raise or lower hormone level and bring them to a normal level.

Pugs are susceptible to skin infections. Pet parents should keep a close eye on their pug’s skin health. Any signs inflammation, lesions discoloration, discharge, odor or unusual skin signs should be taken seriously and brought to the attention of a licensed veterinarian for proper treatment and recovery.

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