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Pug with a Cold

Question: I recently brought home a Pug, her name is Topsy and she is 5 months old. I have been reading a lot of tips and info about Pugs and general dog care on the web. I understand that Pugs generally tend to suffer from colds more frequently, than the other dogs with normal snouts. 
 
I would really like to know if its a cause of concern and is it required to visit a vet every time my Pug shows symptoms of cold? 

She is otherwise very active and in good health. As an alternative I would like to know if there is a home remedy for such frequent colds and runny nose. Am I right that Pugs can get a lot of colds?

Thanks for your answer.
Answer: This is a very good and important Pug dog question, as one must keep a close eye on a Pug showing possible cold symptoms. 

Studies have shown that Pug dogs do not suffer from colds more often than other dog breeds. Why do people think they do? Because with the Pug the symptoms are stronger and more noticeable. 

When another breed gets a cold, they may have a bit of a runny nose. But when a Pug dog gets a cold, it is extremely noticeable. As you say, their snouts are different that most other dog breeds. There is often a lot of congestion and a lot of related noises such as even more snorting, wheezing and snoring than usual. 
Pug dog not feeling well
Other conditions may mimic a cold -  When a Pug shows cold symptoms quite often, this could actually be allergies. Dogs can suffer from allergies just as humans do. The symptoms can be the same as a cold. If she is sneezing, has a runny nose, is coughing and/or making more than normal heavy breathing noises...she may be allergic to a seasonal trigger, an environment factor, inside allergens such as dust mites or even contact allergies.  

With canines, colds due to virus easily turn into infection and with the Pug being a brachycephalic breed with compacted nasal passages, this is even more common.   A cold can develop into respiratory and/or nasal infections which require antibiotic treatment.

Finally, there are other less common diseases and viruses that have cold-like symptoms including kennel cough and distemper. 
When should you bring her to the vet? While you don't want to bring your puppy or dog to the vet for every case of minor eye or nasal discharge, you will want to keep in mind some signs that do warrant further testing:
  • Cold symptoms that last longer than 3 days. This includes runny nose, coughing, loud breathing and other
  • Any worsening or additional signs including fever, not eating, not drinking, severe weakness, hacking severe cough
Testing will be done to look for allergies or other sources of the cold-like symptoms and treatment will vary depending on the findings.  Antihistamines are often given for these types of issues and antibiotics are needed for a wide array of infections including an ear, nose or throat infection that a Pug may have developed.  More serious disease such as kennel cough and distemper will need to be ruled out. 

Regarding home remedies for dog colds: You may find some across the web, but please be careful. The Pug dog is extremely sensitive to what he ingests and we strongly suggest never experimenting with home remedies. You can do a few simple things that one would do for humans: Allow your Pug to rest a lot, encourage drinking fresh clean water and limit exercise until she is feeling better. Be sure to keep up with wiping any discharge from the face, including the eyes, snout and facial wrinkles. 
To sum it up: 

1)  Bring her to the vet to rule out allergies - Steps can be then taken to eliminate the trigger and treat the symptoms

2)  If she is indeed suffering from common colds, there is no need to rush to the vet each time if it is only a matter of a slight runny nose or other minor issue

3)  Bring her to the veterinarian if she is not better in 3 days or shows severe symptoms - she may need antibiotics
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