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Taking a Pug to the Vet

Updated on October 7, 2010
My Pug, Ozzy, at the Vet
My Pug, Ozzy, at the Vet

The General Care of Pugs

Pugs are one of the most lovable breeds. They are the squishy-faced, snorting lapdogs that will not leave your side. They're known for their silly antics which many Pug owners will recognize as Pugtona. Basically, they dash madly from room to room in their happiness before collapsing at your feet or in your lap. Instead of Pugtona, I call it Ozzfest. My pug is really good at starting a mosh pit, I tell you. In between his Ozzfest moments, he is a sweetheart who is content to just sit on you and adore you with big ole brown eyes.

As with many breeds, though, they have their problems. Pugs can be expensive to take care of. This is worth noting, because their lifespan can be considerably shortened if you do not take care of them right.

Here are some of the things my little guy needs:

  • The wrinkles on his nose needs to be cleaned out regularly with q-tip and water. Sometimes, that is all that's needed. Other owners will advise peroxide, which may not be the smartest idea because their skin is so sensitive.
  • Their eyes are buggy. So, check on them frequently and keep their eyes moist with doggy eye-drops.
  • They are notorious for allergies. So, less grainy fillers and more healthy food. They're not obnoxiously picky, but their skin says otherwise. My guy will get bumps all over his face if I'm not careful.
  • Keep your pug from jumping off of furniture. Ozzy is, for some reason, a long-legged pug. Most pugs are short and stout. However, I've noticed that the black pugs tend to be miniature pugs, while maintaining long-leggedness. In general, any pugs can have bad joints into early age.
  • They breathe hard and snort often. This may be cute, but it's not funny when you consider the risks. Many pugs are at risk for palate or nostril problems that restricts breathing. Sometimes, they do have a medical emergency where they need a surgery for that. They need oxygen and easy breathing flow as much as the next dog does. Keep your pug from getting overly excited or they will hyperventilate into shock.
  • They overheat easily. Enough said.
  • There is advice upon advice on anal glands expression for pugs. There is a reason for that. While many dogs need their anal glands expressed, some only need it done twice a year. For many pugs, though, they need it done a little more regularly. This got done at the Vet appointment, and after observing it with some squeamishness, I advise that you let your Vet do that. Some Vets will show you how it is done, but it is still advisable that you allow them to do that job, despite the extra fee.
  • Their neck is almost non-existent! Use a harness to take the pressure off of what your dog already has problems with.

Buggy eyes! He is partially blind in that eye because it was recently hit by something.  We do not know what, but it was a neat little puncture.  It healed nicely and he can see around it, just not directly through it.
Buggy eyes! He is partially blind in that eye because it was recently hit by something. We do not know what, but it was a neat little puncture. It healed nicely and he can see around it, just not directly through it.

A Pug Gets Neutered

That's right, folks.  My poor guy had to get snipped recently.  I gained some new perspective with his recent trip to the vet.  While sometimes I feel neutering is bordering on abuse, the biggest abuse is with animals that have no home and are often left to fend for themselves in a man-made world.

Here are several other, lesser thought of reasons why Pugs should get neutered or spayed.

  1. They are overly excitable and already have problems breathing.  Getting that stuff taken cared of lessens the risks of hormonal stress and calms their breathing down a lot better.  I really vouch for this, by the way.
  2. Because of less oxygen and a lot of hormonal surge, especially with our female dogs around, he started fights with our neutered male schnauzer.  With a lot of gentle and, then, eventually more assertive techniques, he still would not calm down and stop picking fights.  He had to be isolated.

Some Tips to Consider When Getting a Pug Neutered

The costs of neutering or spaying a pug may be higher than you expect. That's because the vets are more careful with them. For one, they are stout, little things with rolls of fat. Well, mine has too much energy, so he is a stout little thing with a skinny body. Second, the all-too-familiar breathing problems.

When a Pug goes under, there is no knowing how well they will continue to breathe. My vet said they would try not to raise my price up and they said, at best guess, he would get anesthesia. However, in their concern, they gave him a catheter down his throat and in his nostrils to help him breathe much better while he was under for the surgery. I truly appreciate this.

Because of the catheter, as well as his stitches, I was given a package of antibiotics to provide for him on a 12-hr schedule. His throat will still be sore for a little while, along with the unmentionables. The antibiotics are helping him recover much better. The little guy is quite alert and he no longer sits verrrry carefully.

Also, your dog will be staying with the vet for the rest of the day of their surgery until he/she recovers well and they've monitored any reaction to their satisfaction. That will also put in a staying fee.


Please note!

All of the above is not a professional advice.  It is the experience of an owner with a pug (or a pug with an owner, more like).  Please consult with your vet before following any advice.  Also, consult with your vet about the pricing and what your pug really needs.


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    • C McNairy Wight 1 profile image

      Carol McNairy Wight 3 years ago from Provo, Utah

      I enjoyed your article. I , too , have a pug. We got him as a rescue dog. How could anyone abandon a cute little do like him?

    • Bizziebee profile image

      Bizziebee 7 years ago from La La land, California

      I have been wondering about this, great stuff!

    • Tankadin profile image

      Tankadin 7 years ago

      I love reading about these adorable dogs. I am a dog lover and have a little Maltese.