Skin problems are some of the most common issues pug owners have to deal with. Often this is due to their skin folds creating an environment where fungi and bacteria can grow. However, your pug's skin problem can also be an indication of food issues.
If they are suffering from any kind of skin condition, big or small, it is important to find the cause and fix it. Not only will this ease their symptoms, but it will prevent the root issue from getting worse and causing more problems down the road.
Below we briefly look at the three most common causes of skin problems for pugs.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that commonly manifests as a ring-shaped lesion. It looks like a patchy and crusted bald spot. Normally, healthy adult dogs will not get ringworm. But, if your dog has a low immune system then it has a good chance of getting ringworm.
The fungus can be picked up from a variety of places such as the park or in the soil. Because the fungus likes warm, moist areas, the folds on a pug's skin offer it the perfect breeding ground. Once it has taken hold, it will quickly multiply and spread across your pug's skin.
It is important to know that you can catch ringworm from your pug. Ensure you take precautions for yourself when you come into contact with your dog such as keeping your skin clean and dry. You should also sanitize all of their toys, beds and other things they come into contact with to ensure the fungus doesn't spread.
Because treatment depends on the severity of the ringworm, a veterinarian visit should be scheduled to determine how bad the infection is.
Allergies are very common in sensitive little pugs and can occur from the environment, insect bites and certain foods. Signs of allergies include scratching and biting themselves, which may create little bald patches on their fur from the constant scratching.
The technical term for this is Atopy, which refers to the genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis (eczema). This is often associated with heightened immune responses to common allergens, especially inhaled allergens like pollen, and food allergens.
Just like humans, springtime can be hell for allergic pugs as the pollen increases dramatically. Medication may be needed for this type of allergy since limiting exposure is very hard.
A food allergy is very common among pugs, and it is usually an allergy to the meat source or grain in their food.
Often switching the diet to a meat source that is not used as often (such as lamb) and eliminating grains from the diet completely is the answer to allergies. However, other nutritional factors such as fat content or lack of nutrients can cause skin issues as well, so it is important to serve high-quality food that has only a few, high-quality ingredients. Then, food can be added back into the diet to determine what food the dog is allergic to.
It is also not uncommon to find your pug is allergic to fleas. If they have this they have a huge reaction on their skin when they get bitten. Luckily there are many products on the market to protect your dog from fleas including flea collars and spot-on treatments (we look at the best here)
Demodectic mange is another common issue with pugs. It is a result of the Demodex Canis mite. While many dogs are immune to mites, dogs with a low immune system can easily develop demodex mange. A weak immune system can be a result of many factors, including genetic and old age, but it could also be a sign of a more serious issue such as cancer.
In the case of mange, lesions can be all over the body or just in small area. Hair will be missing, inflammation will occur, cracks that open and ooze can appear, and a pug's appetite may become affected in a negative way.
It is important to take your dog into your veterinarian to have a skin scraping sample examined under a microscope. Doing this will reveal whether there are mites and lesions occurring, and help determine a course of action to treat the mange including shaving all hair off from infected areas, bathing with special shampoo, and applying a solution that kills mites. Your vet can also determine if your pug's immune system is low, and why.
The above three issues can occur in all dogs, but it they are very common as dog skin problems. Often, food allergies are the cause of skin issues; however, dogs can easily develop skin issues from the environment, insect bites, low immune system, and fungus infections.