A study has found that almost one-in-three pugs suffer from gait abnormalities, including lameness and poor co-ordination, with the prevalence of these abnormalities increasing with age.
The study by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, published in Vet Record, was based on responses from 550 pug owners who had registered with the Swedish Kennel Club in 2015/16 and who owned pugs aged one, five or eight years old. Fifty-nine of the pug owners sent in video footage of their dogs walking which was analysed by researchers.
The research suggests gait problems are a “more significant health problem than what previous published scientific literature has suggested”.
As a member of the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), the BSAVA said it is collaborating with relevant organisations in the UK to address some of the health and welfare challenges posed by these dog breeds.
The BWG is chaired by Dr Dan O’Neill of the Royal Veterinary College and is comprised of representatives from the Kennel Club, relevant breed clubs, leading animal welfare charities, researchers and veterinary organisations, including BVA and BSAVA.
The BSAVA said it is also hosting a canine brachycephalic stream at its Congress in April that will highlight the latest thinking and clinical advice.