According to the Royal Veterinary College, pugs have a twice as high risk of developing health issues than other breeds. This means that they can no longer be considered a “typical dog”.
Experts advise people to wait until they see a change in their health or body shape before purchasing pugs.
This is a result of new research by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), that revealed pugs are twice more likely to suffer from disorders each year than other dogs.
Researchers claim that pugs can be a source of stress for humans. “can no longer be considered a typical dog”A health perspective Manchester Evening News reports.
Their flat-faced appearance and shape have made them very popular in recent years. But vets warn that their health should be prioritized over their appearance.
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Dr Dan O’Neill, an associate professor in companion animals epidemiology at RVC, and the lead author, stated: “Although hugely popular as pets, we now know that several severe health issues are linked to the extreme body shape of pugs that many humans find so cute.
“When selecting a breed of dog to buy, it is now time to put our focus on the health and well-being of the dog.”
Until now, the full scale of the health crisis in pugs has not been fully understood.
The study, led by the RVC’s VetCompass programme, compared the health of random samples of 4,308 pugs and 21,835 non-pugs.
Overall, pugs were found to be around 1.9 times as likely to have one or more disorders recorded in a single year compared to non-pugs.
Pugs were found to be 54 times more likely to develop brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), and also had higher risk of developing skinfold infections, obesity and narrowed nostrils.
But they did have reduced risk of some conditions, including heart murmur, aggression and wounds.
In order to correct the breed’s serious underlying health issues, their body shape must shift towards a more moderate and less extreme shape.
For now, experts are advising people to stop breeding flat-faced dogs and stay clear of buying them.
Justine Shotton, British Veterinary Association (BVA) president, said: “These statistics are quite shocking, but they won’t surprise our members.
“Vet teams see pugs with these distressing health problems – from breathing difficulties to eye ulcers and painful spine abnormalities – in veterinary practices across the UK on a daily basis.
“This study clearly shows how extreme characteristics such as curly tails and big eyes, squashed faces and large eyes, can lead to long-term suffering for pugs.
“While these extreme, unhealthy characteristics remain, we will continue to strongly recommend potential owners do not buy brachycephalic breeds such as pugs.”
Animal activists and charities are speaking out against the serious health issues associated with flat-faced dog breeds.
Breeds in Need Rescue in Lincoln recently shared the story about two bulldog puppies Dolly (and Donna) who are suffering from long-term health problems due to their flat-faced breed.
The charity surrendered the pair of 15-week olds to it after their breeder saw that they couldn’t eat or drink normally.
Dolly needs an inhaler three days a day. She will need it until she is able to get specialist treatment.
Sally Turzanski (age 30), is a co-founder of charity. “We see a lot of flat-faced breeds who struggle with their breathing, but I’ve never seen it this severe in such young pups.”
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