PugPugs are easily recognized by the black “mask” on their muzzles along with their wrinkled skin and curled tails. The Pug is one of the oldest breeds of dog, dating back to ancient Asia where they were long favored as pets in Buddhist monasteries. Pugs are very even-tempered, having a friendly personality and a desire to please. Because they are small, this breed adapts well to small spaces and requires little daily exercise. Pugs have short, soft coats of fawn, apricot or black fur that is prone to shedding but requires little grooming. These dogs make great family pets and they are generally a very healthy breed, likely to live well into their teens.

Though Pugs are, for the most part, a hearty breed they are susceptible to brachycephalic syndrome and skeletal problems such as intervertebral disc disease and patellar luxation. In addition to these problems, Pugs are also prone to obesity. Setting a regular dietary routine composed of healthy foods, along with regular veterinary check-ups, is the key to maintaining a healthy weight. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.

Brachycephalic Syndrome
Many short-faced breeds like Pugs suffer from brachycephalic syndrome, a condition which may manifest in the form of an elongated palate or pinched nostrils. Dogs with this condition may snore or snort and may also breathe through their mouths. As a result of this condition, Pugs are also prone to overheating in even mild or warm weather. Surgery is generally required to shorten the palate and or correct stenotic nares, or malformed nostrils, and procedures can cost anywhere from less than $1,000 to over $2,000.

Intervertebral Disc Disease
One of the several skeletal problems Pugs are likely to encounter is intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), a condition in which the discs that cushion the spine begin to degenerate, causing pain and possible paralysis. Treatments for this condition generally involve a combination of rest, medications and surgery which can reach a total cost between $3,000 and $5,000.

Patellar Luxation
This condition is fairly common in Pugs and it is characterized by a luxating patella, or knee cap. The patella in a healthy dog sits within the femoral groove but, in dogs with patellar luxation, the patella slips or pops out of the groove, causing pain, arthritis and even lameness. In mild cases, the patella may pop back into place on its own but severe cases often require surgery to repair the joint and to relieve painful symptoms. Surgical repairs for this condition generally cost between $1,200 and $4,000.

Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.