"Pugs and eye disorders, recognising there's a problem

"Pugs and eye disorders, recognising there's a problem

Health & Safety

Pugs are one of the most popular dog breeds both in the UK and elsewhere in the world thanks to their adorable looks and their fun-loving, albeit sometimes mischievous natures. Owning a dog is a big responsibility and more especially if they are known to suffer from certain conditions and with Pugs making sure their eyes are healthy is essential. Pugs are prone to suffering from quite a few eye disorders thanks to the shape of their faces and the fact their eyes protrude so much which makes them a lot more vulnerable to injuries and infections.

Common eye issues seen in Pugs

The most common eye disorders seen in the breed are as follows:

  • Cherry Eye - a condition where a Pug's third eyelid bulges out because it has slipped out of its correction position. The cause is usually a weakening in the connective tissues that should hold everything in place and a Pug suffering from the condition would need veterinary attention and treatment as early as possible. If you notice any swelling or inflammation in one or both of your pet’s eyes, it’s time to get them to vet so they can be treated sooner rather than later
  • Inflammation - a Pug's eyes are super prone to irritation as well as inflammation thanks to the fact they protrude so far out from their faces. Again, veterinary attention should be sought if you notice any sort of inflammation or irritation in your Pug's eyes. The vet will refer to the condition as being Uveitis and it can be caused for all sorts of reasons which includes disease, damage to an eye or foreign bodies in a Pug's eye
  • Dry Eye is also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca and it is one eye disorder that is commonly seen in Pugs. The condition develops when the clear film covering and protecting a dog’s eyes is damaged, ripped or torn which leaves their corneas exposed and unprotected. The condition can also be caused when a Pug is undernourished and it is a very painful disorder that needs veterinary attention sooner rather than later
  • Corneal Ulcers are commonly diagnosed in Pugs and again it's because of their protruding eyes. A dog's cornea should be a clear membrane that covers the whole of their eyeballs. The membrane consists of three layers and if these wear down it turns into a corneal ulcer which is sometimes referred to as a corneal abrasion too. If the deepest membrane ruptures, a Pug's eye can collapse which means that as soon as you notice a problem a quick trip to the vet is essential for them to be correctly diagnosed and treated sooner rather than later

The importance of proper cleaning and care

Keeping a Pug's eyes nice and clean takes a bit of time and should be included in a daily grooming routine when dogs are still young so they get used to be handled and touched. It is also important to protect your Pug's eyes as much as possible and this means being extra careful as to what kind of household cleaning products you use around the home which may be irritants that trigger an eye problem in your pet.

How to remove something from your Pug's eye

If you think that something has entered your Pug's eye, you should remove the debris as soon as possible, but you need to do this very carefully to ensure you don't do more damage to their sensitive eyes. The best way to proceed is as follows:

  • Using a sterile cleaning solution specifically formulated for use on dog's eyes, gently open the affected eye and place 5 to 6 drops into the lower part of your Pug's eye
  • Next, let go of your dog so they can blink and the solution plus debris should come out of their eye every time they do. Gently wipe away any of the solution from around your pet's eye and their face using a clean bit of lint free gauze
  • Repeat as necessary

The importance of wiping your Pug's eyes every day

Daily cleaning will help ensure a Pug's eyes stay healthy and making it part of a daily routine from the word go, helps reinforce the bond you form with your dog. The experience should always be a good one which means that your Pug will love the one-to-one attention they are given when they are having their eyes wiped clean instead of it being a stressful situation every time. Below are some tips on how to go about cleaning your Pug’s eyes:

  • Always use a dog-specific solution on your Pug's eyes which you can either get from the vet or reputable pet outlets
  • When cleaning your Pug's ears, take extra care not to get any of the product in your pet's eyes
  • Like other breeds, Pugs shed the most hair in the spring and the autumn and it's at these times of the year that extra care should be taken when brushing them to ensure none of their shed hair gets into their eyes. It's a good idea to remove any hair that gets caught in the brush when you brush your pet as often as you can and to use a chamois leather on your Pug's coat which helps remove loose hair and prevents it from floating in the air which could then get in your pet’s eyes
  • Your Pug's eyes should be wiped clean several times a day using baby wipes or dog specific eye wipes which you can buy at reputable pet shops whether in person or online. A Pug’s eyes typically need cleaning first thing in the morning when more gunk tends to build up over-night. They need cleaning after meal times too because small bits of food tend to splash up around a Pug's short muzzle and face which can then also get into their eyes. It's important to use a different wipe on each eye to avoid passing any problems from one eye to the other
  • Always note down if there is any discharge or if your pet looks like they could be developing some form of irritation and if you are at all concerned, it's best to seek veterinary advice before doing anything else.
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