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Pug Health Guide


This is educational information only and is not intended
to replace advice or treatment from your veternarian.

Please discuss any health problems or concerns
you may have with your own veternarian.


Pug Skin


Pug skin is covered with TONS of hair that seems to always be shedding and that is normal. However, there are some skin problems that Pugs seem to be prone to.

Allergies - some Pugs can get seasonal allergies. They often are quite itchy and sometimes chew their feet. This can start out during a limited time of the year but it can also expand to problems year round. Sometimes antihistamines, steroids and special shampoos are needed. A veterinary dermatologist can test your dog to see what the offending substances are and make up special allergy injections to desensitize your dog. Food allergies aren't terribly common but a trial on a hypoallergenic diet might be ordered by your vet.

Demodectic mange - usually a problem in young Pug puppies, this mange, caused by the Demodex mite, appears as patchy hair loss in 1 or more areas. The skin is sometimes pink and there may be an odor. There can be a secondary bacterial infection associated with this disease which can make the condition itchy. It is diagnosed by a deep skin scraping. It is not thought to be contagious. There are many treatments available. It is thought to "run" in families so dogs that are affected should not be bred, especially if they have more than 1 or 2 small patches as puppies. Demodex can appear in older dogs but they often have compromised immune systems or other diseases as well.

Staph infections - Staph is a kind of bacteria that is commonly found on skin. Some dogs will break out in pimples and infected hair follicles if their immune systems are stressed. The lesions can look like hives because they make the hair stick up on the bumps. On non-haired areas, the lesions can look like ringworm - a circular patch with a crusty leading edge and sometimes a dark center. Your vet will usually prescribe oral antibiotics and medicated shampoo.

Yeast infections - if your Pug stinks like dirty feet, is very itchy and has blackened, thickened skin, his problem could be a yeast infection. This problem can often be seen in a dog which had a previous Staph infection and was treated with antibiotics because the drug kills off the bacteria and the yeast takes over. The most commonly seen locations are in the armpits, on the feet, in the groin and on the underside of the neck. When there is a yeast infection in the ears, there is usually a foul odor and excessive light tan or golden wax. Your vet will need to do skin scrapings and ear swabs. There are special anti-yeast medications and shampoos available.