Do Pugs Have Respiratory Problems?

Dog ownership is a joyful experience, but it can also be a scary one if your Pug seems to be sick! With all the snuffling and snorting our little Pugs do, it can be hard to tell if the noises they are making are the regular huffing and puffing or something more serious. 

So the question is, do Pugs have respiratory problems?

Do Pugs Have Respiratory Problems?

Pugs, like any other dog, can have respiratory problems and illnesses. A veterinarian should see any sick dog, but since Pugs are susceptible to breathing problems, it’s crucial to have them seen if you suspect respiratory issues.

do Pugs have respiratory problems

Here I want to talk about three respiratory illnesses that your Pug could have and what to look for. Unfortunately, this breed is prone to several breathing problems, so pet owners need to understand the respiratory issues that can cause problems.

Kennel Cough (Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis)

Kennel cough, or canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is an illness in dogs you may have heard about on the news but never experienced yourself. As the name suggests, kennels, and other places that have large congregations of dogs, are where your Pug is likely to pick this sickness up from.

Kennel cough is incredibly contagious. It can be spread through physical contact between two dogs, airborne droplets that your dog may breathe in, and from communal food and water bowls. 

Kennel cough presents with a few noticeable symptoms. Some of those are:

  • Loud “honking” cough
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • No appetite 
  • Runny nose with sneezing

The loud honking cough is usually a dead giveaway for kennel cough. If your dog is only experiencing this cough sporadically, try to get a recording of it to show your vet to help with diagnosis. 

The bordetella bacterium causes the majority of kennel cough cases, and the good news is that this specific bacterium can be vaccinated against. If your Pug is a regular patron of a doggy daycare or boarding kennels, it’s worth asking your vet about this vaccine. 

Less commonly, kennel cough can be caused by a different bacteria or virus, so unfortunately, the bordetella vaccine won’t prevent those cases.

Kennel cough is highly treatable with antibiotics, and in more serious cases, breathing treatments or nebulizers. If your Pug’s coughing is uncontrollable, cough medication may also be prescribed. 

You hear about kennel cough in the news and the newspapers so much because of how wildly contagious it is. Thankfully, treatment is usually easy, and your Pug can be back to full health in no time.

Common Cold

The common cold is an annoying fact of life for humans, but did you know that dogs can also have this annoying illness? If your Pug is having minor respiratory problems, the common cold may be to blame.

There are a few symptoms associated with the common cold in Pugs, but a word of caution, quite a few more serious illnesses present with these symptoms as well. Always consult a professional for any sickness your Pug is experiencing. 

Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Coughing
  • Runny nose with sneezing
  • Lethargy
  • Watery or gunky eyes

A cold, both in humans and in dogs, isn’t always caused by the same virus. Since there is no specific pathogen to cause a cold, treatment tends to focus on symptoms to help your dog feel better. The only real cure is time.

The common cold is inconvenient, but it is rarely dangerous. If you’re curious, dogs and humans can’t catch colds from one another, so cuddle up with your Pug if you’re both sick. Sometimes the best treatment is snuggling!

Canine Influenza

The common cold isn’t the only disease that can affect both dogs and humans. Dogs can get the flu, too! Canine influenza, also known as dog flu, is highly infectious in dogs, but the canine variety can’t be spread to humans.

Like other respiratory problems, canine influenza presents with the usual symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Watery or gunky eyes 
  • Coughing or sneezing

So many respiratory problems in Pugs share the same sort of symptoms. Which is why it’s imperative you take your sick Pug to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

There are tests to see whether your Pug has canine influenza, as well as vaccines if you live in a region where canine flu is prevalent.

Treatment consists of keeping your dog comfortable, well-rested, and hydrated while they fight off the dog flu. Influenza is a virus. Therefore antibiotics won’t be prescribed unless a secondary bacterial infection has also popped up.

Most canine influenza resolves within a few weeks, and dogs tend to recover remarkably well.

Canine influenza is hugely infectious, similar to kennel cough. It is transmitted by droplets in the air and the sharing of food and water bowls, as well as other contaminated surfaces. 

Dogs that have a cough or experiencing other signs of illness should be kept away from kennels, dog daycares, and dog parks.

More Serious Illnesses

Canine distemper and heartworms are two diseases that are not respiratory in nature that have the symptom of coughing. Both of these diseases can be prevented with vaccinations and monthly prevention medication.

These are very severe medical emergencies. This is why any dog showing signs of illness should be taken to the veterinarian immediately. It could be something much more dangerous than the respiratory disease.

Pugs And Respiratory Problems

Kennel cough, the common cold, and canine influenza are illnesses that can affect any dog. Unfortunately, with Pugs, any sort of respiratory problem can become more serious than with breeds with longer snouts.

Pugs are already noisy breathers, and their physiology, especially their squished faces, can cause various breathing problems even when they aren’t sick. When a Pug is ill, it can be difficult for them to breathe properly.

Final Word

Pug owners must be careful in monitoring their Pug’s general wellbeing because Pugs have a tougher time with respiratory illnesses. Fortunately, Pugs respond to medications just as well as other dogs. So even if their symptoms are more serious, they should be able to recover without difficulty.

Pugs are sturdy little dogs that are generally healthy. Your Pug should be able to handle any respiratory problem and be back to their silly self in no time. With proper diet, veterinarian care, and some time.