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From: Callie (
Subject:         That's kind of general
Date: November 4, 2009 at 4:45 pm PST

In Reply to: advice posted by June on November 4, 2009 at 9:33 am:

Do you HAVE a pug?

I have a pug. She was a rescue -- pugs can be very very prone to several ... no let's say MANY, health issues.

The HUGE HUGE HUGE thing is to get a well-bred pug. You will NOT get a well-bred pug for anything under $1000. YOu will not get a well-bred pug quickly from a breeder. The GOOD breeders are typically booked years in advance.

1. Demodectic mange - it's a genetic immune flaw. It surfaces in puppies of all ages, but the root problem is a genetically flawed immune system that allows a particular mite to proliferate.

2. Eye problems -- those cute little bug eyes -- they can be prone to eyelid problems and particularly dry eye (spendy drops they need every single day or they can go blind)

3. Skin problems are HUGE -- in addition to the demodex, allergies can be a huge problem, as can yeasty infections (ear infections, infections in the snouth skin folds, and general allergy-caused infections).

4. Typical problems associated with the bracheocephalic (push faced) breeds. Lots of respiratory problems can happen.

5. They do NOT tolerate heat well -- and I'm in Florida. WE have to be SO careful that she's not outside in the heat for any length of time (this is mostly part of the bracheocephalic thing)

6. They can be seizure prone.

7. If allowed to be overweight that can exacerbate skeletal weaknesses.

Other general things:

A. EXTREMELY SOCIAL -- these dogs do not do well alone as an 'only' dog if they are alone all day. They need companions. Now -- mine is fine since I work BUT I have 3 other dogs for company. All are crated but the crates all touch each other and they are with each other all the time.

B. HIGH ENERGY -- I try not to let her get overweight -- but honestly most pugs are very active. Run? YOU BETCHA. I have a basset beagle mix and Tinkerbell chases her all over the place. They GOTTA get that energy out.

C. THEY SHED - oh boy oh boy do they shed.

D. Those eyes are delicate. They have virtually no muzzle to protect the eye -- the eye is VERY vulnerable -- so things like rose bushes and thorny things can be a real hazard to them (because the eye contacts things before any other partof their body can warn it's sharp)

E. They are clowns at heart -- but are very sensitive. Tinkerbell has been an absolute delight. She has an inate sweetness that quickly made her beloved -- not just by my husband and I but by the other animals in the household.

My husband and I took Tink **because** she had demodex. WE've done work with demodex dogs for years, and Tink was turned in as a really severe neglect case to a pug rescue. They didn't think she'd live and we travelled to Texas to get her. (we flew there and DROVE back to FL because she was too sick to fly)

So I'm under no illusions -- we know Tinkerbell is not at all well bred. So unfortunately I can tell you chapter and verse about all the breed related health issues.

FIND A GOOD BREEDER. Please do not buy at a petshop or a casual breeder. The breeder you choose should be as picky about you as you are about the breeder. Maybe even more so.

FIND A GOOD RESCUE GROUP. Please -- rescue rather than getting a puppy. It can be a great way to go -- you will likely know of any health issues rather than getting a surprise.

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