A common feature of Pugs is that they wheeze. Some owners find it adorable. Others may become concerned if their Pug keeps wheezing without end. In this article, we’re going to answer the question “why is my Pug wheezing” and what to do about it.
Why Is My Pug Wheezing?
Do you need to worry? Pugs typically wheeze due to a few different factors. It may because of seasonal allergies, a build-up of mucus, or something more serious like trachea collapse.
Unfortunately, this brachycephalic dog breed is prone to breathing problems that every pet parent should know about.
Is My Pug Wheezing Because of Asthma?
Some pet owners may worry that their Pug suffers from asthma. While asthma is typically triggered by allergens, it is possible for a dog to have it.
In most instances, a dog will have a case of asthma if they are forced to breathe in things like smoke, air fresheners, household cleaners, mold spores, pollen, fertilizer, perfumes, pesticides, deodorizers, and even sometimes the scent of a burning candle or a cooking pot.
Asthma occurs because the allergens invoke the production of mucus. Yet too much mucus may be produced. As a result, the dog is unable to breathe because the mucus blocks the respiratory passages.
You’ll hear your Pug giving a wheezing sound as it struggles to break through the mucus in order to breathe.
Some symptoms of asthma attacks are an increase in panting and wide-mouth breathing. This is when your dog pants hard and long with its mouth open wide.
You’ll also notice that the dog’s chest expands wide in order to help airflow.
They may also experience a lack of energy and have a reduced appetite.
A sign that your dog needs to be taken to a vet immediately is if their gums start to turn blue or pale. It means they are basically suffocating.
A vet will be able to X-Ray the dog and offer medications to help them breathe easier.
Prevention is also possible. You’ll want to smoke outside and away from the dog. For those who want to burn candles or a fireplace, then you might want to opt for an electric one that doesn’t actually burn wood.
You can also replace household cleaners by cleaning hardwood and tile with white vinegar. Either dilute it with water or use it straight from the bottle.
Removing carpet is also an option. Carpet can hold a lot of allergens in it for both humans and pets.
Finally, you can also bathe your dog normally to help remove any pollen or dust that may be triggering their asthma.
Is My Pug Wheezing Because of Seasonal Allergies?
Like humans, dogs are also subjected to seasonal allergies. If anything, they may suffer even more because they have a greater sense of smell.
In particular, the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons are those typically associated with seasonal allergies. This is because plants grow, pollinate, and then die during these seasons.
Since these processes can release allergens into the air, it’s possible that your Pug may experience allergies and start to wheeze. Here are a few signs that your Pug is experiencing seasonal allergies.
One sign is if their eyes are red and discharging some liquid. Just like humans, dogs will have watery and red eyes when they’re allergic to something. You’ll notice a discharge running down the corner of their eyes near their nose.
You may also notice a discharge from their ears. This may or may not be coupled with head-scratching or ear scratching. This is a sign that their inner ear canal has become inflamed. They may be feeling some discomfort and try to remove the problem.
Another common sign that your Pug is experiencing seasonal allergies is if they sneeze or have discharge from their nose.
Wheezing, coughing, and gagging are responses to the allergies and may increase when they’re suffering from an attack.
Finally, they may also start to lick, chew, and scratch themselves frequently. Sometimes they may even lick or scratch to the point where they create a hot spot in their skin or make themselves bleed.
Prevention of seasonal allergies can be easy. One step is to wash your Pug regularly to keep the allergens off their skin and hair. Make sure you’re using a dog shampoo that is specifically for Pugs to avoid further irritation.
You can also receive medications from the vet that can help their symptoms.
Is my Pug Wheezing Due to a Medical Problem?
One unfortunate aspect of a Pug and Bulldog is that they both can suffer from trachea collapse. Due to the shape of their nose and their size, Pugs are especially in danger of undergoing trachea collapse.
In dogs, the trachea is a C-shaped cartilage that makes up their windpipe. This windpipe is closed by a flexible membrane. However, in dogs like Pugs, the membrane can become too floppy or loose.
As a result, the Pug has difficulty in breathing because they can’t push enough air through the windpipe. Sometimes the problem can be made even worse when they are excited or after receiving exercise.
What To Do?
Your Pug wheezing uncontrollably can be a frightening experience. The first thing to do is to contact your veterinarian. They will run a physical exam to find out whether your Pug is suffering from allergies or “reverse sneezing,” which can sometimes look like asthma.
Even if your dog has preventative checkups, they may experience difficulty breathing and other respiratory issues. Here are some more tips you can do when your Pug can’t breathe properly.
When my Pug would experience her wheezing attacks, I would rub her belly and just sit beside her. Eventually, she would overcome the attack and everything would go back to normal.
Final Take Away On My Pug Is Wheezing
If your Pug is wheezing every once in a while, it may be totally fine. That being said, if you experience a Pug wheezing attack on a daily basis, you definitely want to take your Pug to the veterinarian.
Most Pug parents will not have to do anything, except give their dog time to get over the wheezing attack.
References and Further Reading
PetMD – Dog Wheezing: Causes and Treatment Options
VCA Hospitals – Catherine Barnette, DVM; Ernest Ward, DVM – Allergies in Dogs