Breathing problems are relatively common within the Pug breed, and indeed there can be several things that may contribute to the issue throughout their lifetime. What follows are five of the main causes and the hope is that if you are aware of them in advance, then you will be able to spot a problem before it develops and can deal with the issue to stop them suffering from any distress or discomfort.
They Have Undersized Nostrils
This is a condition that is quite common amongst pugs, and it is also often referred to as them suffering from Stenotic Nares, which just means undersized nostrils. Clearly, when they have this condition, they struggle to draw in enough air, putting pressure on their respiratory system. This results in them panting and snorting as they struggle to draw in enough air to breathe.
The good news, however, is that this condition can be fixed with surgery, and it does have a very good success rate. While costly and requiring a general anesthetic, it will ease the breathing problems that your dog is suffering from.
They Have an Elongated Soft Palate
This is a condition that is quite close in nature to undersized nostrils, but it does also hamper their breathing and potentially lead to problems. The issue here is that a longer soft palate can obstruct the airway to a certain extent and of course when this happens it puts more pressure on their breathing, and you will often hear them gagging, snoring, and gurgling as they battle with the issue.
As with the undersized nostrils issue, this can be corrected via surgery, and it is not unknown for a dog to suffer from both complaints, in which case both will be corrected at the same time to improve their breathing.
A Build Up Of Bacteria Around Their Nose
Due to the various rolls and more condensed nose that exists on a pug, it is important that you clean the area to stop bacteria building up leading to infections. If you do not clean their face, then it may lead to their nose becoming infected leading to respiratory conditions developing, and this does, of course, lead to them developing a breathing problem. If this happens, you will need to take them to your local vet as they will be able to give them treatment to cure the problem and allow their breathing to return to normal.
Look at this cause as being the same as us picking up the flu and how it can affect our breathing, then make it harder due to a smaller and tighter airway to begin with and you will understand the problem that your dog will be having when it comes to breathing.
Allergies And a Reaction To Smoke
A dog may have an allergic reaction to something in much the same way as humans can have hayfever that leaves us feeling bunged up like we have a head cold. This allergic reaction can lead to them finding it harder to breathe in much the same way as we do and you will then tend to hear them panting and trying so hard to get more in.
If you see them acting in this way, then it may be worth giving them an antihistamine just the same as we do as this can ease the symptoms they are feeling and also help their breathing to return to normal.
They Are Overweight Or Too Hot
Finally, your dog may develop breathing problems if they are too hot or overweight and this is due to the way in which the body reacts in both situations. When they are too hot, they are going to want more cool air into their body to cool down, but thanks to them having a more condensed nose it does make it harder to get that extra air into their body to have an impact.
When they are overweight there is, of course, some excess pressure on their system, and they need more air to really do anything, so in this instance, you need to get them to a cool area and also to get them to lose some weight.
Those are five main causes for dog breathing problems, and if you see your dog developing any of them, then you are advised to take appropriate action and keep a close eye on their health, in general, to see if they are suffering in any way. The issue is common, but not every single dog will suffer from them, but if you have any doubt, then do take them to your local veterinary surgeon just to get them checked out even if it is for your own peace of mind.