We are not talking about how smart and trainable Pugs are, but rather some serious problems that can occur in the central nervous system or brain of the Pug.

Nerve degeneration and Epilepsy, along with PDE (Pug Dog Encephalitis) are the common troubles.

Nerve Degeneration - this syndrome of older Pugs doesn't have an official name and little is known about how or why Pugs get it. Owners of affected dogs may notice their Pug dragging his back toes, staggering in the rear quarters, and having trouble jumping up or down. The back sometimes gets progressively more arched and the dog may become incontinent. The dogs don't appear to be painful and they often get worse very slowly. Often, the front half of the dog is still in good shape and is strong and some of these dogs can do well with a special cart for their rear halves. Anti-inflammatory medications don't seem to change the course of the progressive weakness. Luckily, Pugs are portable, easy to pick up and easy to pick up after, so owners can often help maintain a good quality of life for these dogs.

Epilepsy - not all Pugs who have seizures have PDE. We see a number of Pugs who have idiopathic epilepsy, or seizures for no known reason. Many of these dogs can be controlled quite well on anticonvulsant medication, such as Phenobarbital or Potassium Bromide. The goal of therapy is to decrease the severity and frequency of the seizures. You will need to work closely with your vet to determine the correct drug and dosage for your pet.

Go here to read more on pug brains health concerns.

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Comment by Timmy The Pampered Pug on August 10, 2011 at 10:51am

I am on here for my dog Timmy who has Epilepsy...he got it in the summer of 2010...but I think he may have had small signs of it before then thinking back.  He has recently started raising his foot up and often this week his skin seems to crawl when you try pet him.  Esp. his lower back and legs, the left back leg seems to be sensitive but I don't feel or see anything....he isn't on meds because he doesn't get siezures very often, thank goodness!!!  He doesn't do it all the time, in fact the leg/back stuff seems to be before bed.  His episodes are like a humping action and he doesn't throw up or drool...in fact he is alert and comes to get me.  I don't know whats going on with him and vets don't seem to be very helpful....though i am going to call tomorrow...timmy is 5.  thoughts!!!???? poor guy can't lay still and relax...i keeps bothering him.


My parents pug Homer recently started developing a "tick"...he gets excited, squeels, and rubs his but around while moving his lpower half/leg back and forth...whats going on???  Homer is 9.

Comment by Donna Scalia on October 24, 2010 at 3:37pm
When my pug Lucy dragged her back legs I first thought she was just being lazy, but then started to notice how her nails were wearing. Took her to a vet after many test and x-rays she was diagnosed with
Degenerative Lumbar Sacrum Stunocis. Not a good thing. Her spine gave way one year later, when she was 5 years old. Now this morning I noticed Dory dragging her front legs during our walk. I hope it is not the same thing.;
Comment by mary milton on April 24, 2010 at 9:20pm
hi my pug Milo just passed away from PDE it can only be diagnosed by a necropsy to be certain but all the signs we there for me seizures to start then circling and such they can do a spinal tap to ck for encephalitis unfortunatly there is no cure for PDE but it can be managed by chemo or steriods
Comment by Cat B on March 11, 2010 at 9:22pm
One of my cousin's pugs was just diagnosed with Pug Dog Encephalitis and its the rapid kind. In a matter of one week, she has lost sight to one eye, lost most of her muscle strength, her seizures are controlled by medication. She just lays there most of the day. She still has however; a lot of will and pep when she is helped getting up. Has anyone had this with their pugs and do they overcome this? How long does this last?
Comment by Rebecca on May 2, 2008 at 11:18am
Duke has the same problem (Nerve Degeneration)and we were initially recommended a whole schwack of tests and surgeries but have opted for the chiro and acupuncture and home physio (feet ticklin'! fun!) he hasn't gotten any better but I'm not sure that he's getting any worse. I'll be happy if he just stabilizes.
Comment by Twirly on February 29, 2008 at 5:48am
As tragic as it may sound, all these illnesses are part of the pug species , too.
Comment by Dee on February 28, 2008 at 4:40pm
My Old man Benee has the Nerve Degeneration. He is still able to get around but he when it's time to go number 2 he doesn't realize until it's almost coming out...he still tries to run for the door and he makes it out most of the time.
I have and am taking him for chiropractic and acupuncture treatments and it has helped tremendously! His back is starting to arch and his back legs drag and his back side does sway. Some days are better than others...it's sad but it doesn't stop him! He's still perky and likes to play and walk.
I'm considering starting him on the wheels to get him used to it for when the time comes when the acupuncture and chiro aren't effective anymore..

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