If you are looking for a dog that enjoys both long walks and cuddling on the couch, a Puggle is an excellent choice. With their wrinkly Pug and Beagle tail, they look a bit like a Mastiff that drank a shrinking potion. But keep in mind that with their unique heritage does come with some special concerns.
It is normal for your Puggle’s body to be colonized by a wide variety of microorganisms, (sometimes called the microbiome) including various forms of bacteria. These microorganisms live in a symbiotic relationship with your pup. Normally, your Puggle’s immune system will keep them in check. However, if the bacteria begin to multiply too rapidly and overwhelm your pup’s immune system, that’s when you have a , also known as .
All dogs get infections, but some breeds are genetically more prone to this than others. Unfortunately, this includes Pugs and Beagles. Some of these predispositions to are found in both breeds, such as hypothyroidism and canine atopic dermatitis, or , which can lead to a secondary . You probably have already guessed the other risk factor coming from the Pug side: that wonderfully wrinkly ! Any time folds over itself, there is an increased risk of including infections and fold dermatitis.
Causes of Infections in Puggles
Now let’s take a closer look at the possible causes of the in your Puggle. First, let’s talk about hypothyroidism since it tends to affect both Pugs and Beagles. The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in your dog’s body. It regulates their metabolic rate, which in turn affects all the other organs. If your Puggle has hypothyroidism, it means their thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone, and so the metabolism slows down. Hypothyroidism leads to, among other things, unhealthy fur and a . increasing the chance of your Puggle getting
Like hypothyroidism, canine is also more common in both Pugs and Beagles. It is sometimes called “hot spots” or atopic (atopy) , or, simply, allergies. Dogs react to allergens through their (rather than the nasal passages, like us) as they have a higher proportion of mast cells there. These mast cells release histamines whenever they encounter an allergen. This allergic reaction leads to a poor coat texture, itching, chewing, hot spots, and in extreme cases, self-mutilation, all of which increase the risk of a .
And now, on to the issues created by your Puggle’s wrinkles. First, let’s talk about . It is caused by a group of bacteria called staphylococcus. Staphylococcus is one of those bacteria that normally live on your Puggle’s without causing any problems. But if the becomes irritated, for example, from scratching, licking, and chewing, the bacteria can invade and multiply rapidly, and then you have a . . This condition may also be called staphylococcal or . is really just a medical word for a
on your hands. The most common place for this to occur is in your Puggle’s face, in particular the lower jaw, which tends to be moist. When a occurs here, it is called is another concern for your wrinkly Puggle. occurs when moisture and dirt build up in your Puggle’s wrinkles, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Before you know it, you have a lip fold .
How Infections Can Affect Your Puggle
Whatever the cause, the result of a in your Puggle is always the same: a truly miserable pup. They will be itchy, uncomfortable, and they may even have trouble sleeping. So better get them help right away!
Life Expectancy of a Puggle With a
The good news is, there is no reason for a to affect the lifespan of your Puggle. But you’ll want to make them comfortable again as soon as possible, so let’s move on to how to make your dog better again.
Signs That Your Puggle Might Have a
To catch a early, keep a close eye on your Puggle’s behavior. Excessive scratching, licking, itching, and chewing are all of a chronic . Also, watch your for signs of belly rash, red, itchy, inflamed , or . If there is an the may appear moist, flaky, or crusty, or may develop into so-called elephant , where the may become thickened or even scaly. In more advanced cases, you might find pus-filled lesions on the or patchy fur with bits of peeling . Another sure giveaway is the smell. If your Puggle has a musty odor and hasn’t just come in out of the rain, you may be dealing with some kind of .
One more thing to look out for are hot spots, or surface . These are most common during the summer months. They tend to appear suddenly and spread rapidly, so if you see them on your Puggle, quick action is needed. They often resemble an insect bite at first but then worsen quickly and multiply. Once more developed, they become painful, oozing sores, resembling a pimple or a boil, accompanied by a bad smell.
. So if your Puggle has an , make sure you ask your vet if there might be a going on as well. infections can also lead to a secondary
How To Care for and Treat Your Puggle for a
The treatment for your Puggle’s depends on the kind of , as well as the underlying cause, so we’ll deal with each issue separately here. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian before employing any of these.
Infections Due to Hypothyroidism
It is important to keep an eye out for signs that your Puggle is suffering from hypothyroidism. Indications of hyperthyroidism include weight gain, lethargy, and a lack of desire to exercise. You may also spot clues in their coat and , there’s a good chance hypothyroidism is to blame. . Look for dry, dull hair and an unusual amount of shedding. If you see these along with a
Hypothyroidism isn’t curable, but fortunately, it is easily diagnosed and very treatable. If you suspect hypothyroidism, ask your veterinarian to give your Puggle a total thyroxine test, which is a measure of the main thyroid hormone in their blood. If hypothyroidism is diagnosed, your veterinarian will prescribe a thyroid replacement hormone. This comes in a simple pill (stock up on their favorite pill treats!) You may then rest assured that, with this medication and additional thyroid tests at your veterinarian’s discretion, to ensure proper dosage, your Puggle can go back to living a long, healthy life. And, hopefully, that pesky goes away to boot.
Canine Infections Due to
Dogs have many kinds of allergies, but Puggles are most prone to food and environmental allergies. If an inflammation due to an allergy is to blame, then you’re possibly dealing with . Your vet can perform various allergy tests, such as a blood test or a simple test, where multiple antigens are injected into a shaved part of your Puggle’s , to test for a reaction. testing might require sedatives, so may be done by a board-certified veterinary dermatologist.
If you or your veterinarian suspect a food allergy is responsible for your Puggle’s , you might want to consider a change in diet since food allergies tend to develop with exposure. Wheat, dairy, and beef comprise 80% of food allergies in dogs and so should be avoided.
You might also want to consider a hypoallergenic dog food, as these tend to include less typical proteins, like venison, rabbit, and duck, as well as less common kinds of fish. If the store-bought hypoallergenic dog foods aren’t cutting it, or if you simply want to be adventurous, you might want to think about cooking for your Puggle. You’ll want to consult with your veterinarian first, to make sure you don’t miss any essential vitamins and nutrients and to make sure your Puggle will have a balanced diet. Once you get the go-ahead from your vet, you may find that making homemade meals for your Puggle not only dramatically improves their health, but that it is tremendously satisfying as well. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy cooking for their best friend? And once your Puggle catches on to what you are doing, they will love watching every stage of the preparation.
Another thing to consider is a so-called “hydrolyzed protein diet,” in which the protein undergoes a special process to reduce it to tiny fragments. The concept is that once the protein is small enough, your Puggle’s immune system won’t recognize it, and so it won’t trigger an allergic reaction.
If your vet determines that you are dealing with an environmental allergy, such as pollen, mold, or dust, the best thing is to reduce your Puggle’s exposure to the allergen. A dehumidifier, or activated charcoal put on the dirt of your house plants, can reduce the humidity in a room and so help prevent mold. An air purifier with a good HEPA filter can help with dust and pollen (it might make you feel better too!), and you might want to limit how much you have your windows open. When it comes to taking your Puggle out for a walk, avoid early mornings or afternoons (a great excuse to sleep in!), in particular in the spring, as this is when pollen counts are highest. You can also check a pollen forecast and limit your time outside when the pollen gets too severe.
Your veterinarian can determine if your Puggle has a by doing a swab or a biopsy. If are found, they will prescribe a suitable . Be prepared for a long haul here, as it may take three to six weeks to bring the under control. Your vet might also recommend an antibacterial shampoo or a spray to help with the .
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about your Puggle infecting your other pets (or you, for that matter!) as you all have staphylococcus living on your naturally, as part of your natural microbiome.
Occasionally, a Puggle may develop another shortly after finishing treatment. This is sometimes because of an allergy to the staphylococcal bacteria, also called staphylococcus hypersensitivity. Treatment for staphylococcus hypersensitivity may include routine injections of the staphylococcal bacteria to train your Puggle’s immune system not to overreact to this naturally-occurring microorganism. Injections are usually daily at first and then anywhere from every three days to every two weeks. For this reason, your vet may train you to do it home. Veterinarians have found that these injections often work wonders for treating this condition.
If severe , they may prescribe . In very severe cases, folds are sometimes surgically removed.-fold is to blame for your Puggle’s itching, your vet will probably prescribe some medication to soothe the and fight the . They may also recommend antibacterial wipes for cleaning your Puggle’s folds. In the case of a
While you’ll need the assistance of your veterinarian if your Puggle gets -fold , there is a lot you can do at home to prevent the from occurring in the first place. The most important thing is to keep your Puggle’s folds clean and dry. Be particularly vigilant with their facial wrinkles, nasal folds, the wrinkles under their armpits, and around the tail fold. The best thing is to regularly wipe out the folds with a dry cloth or paper towel; you may also use cotton balls or baby wipes if you prefer. After bathing, it is crucial to dry the folds thoroughly.
How To Help Your Puggle Live a Fulfilling Life Despite Their Predisposition to Infections
The key to helping your Puggle avoid infections, as well as other , is to take good care of their and coat. Dry is prone to cracking and therefore increases the chance of an dry on your Puggle, you might want to consider a natural topical treatment. Vitamin E oil is a great choice, as it’s not only a moisturizer but also a powerful antioxidant. Coconut oil, olive oil, and aloe can also work wonders. You might also want to try some essential fatty supplements, like . If you notice patches of Omega-3 or Omega-6. These will not only improve the overall quality of your Puggle’s , but they have the added benefit of being both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative.
While good grooming is essential for all dogs, it’s especially important for dogs prone to infections. Daily brushing will remove dander and dandruff and keep foreign objects out of their fur. You’ll also want to bathe your Puggle once a week. A mild shampoo can work wonders for removing allergens and excess bacteria from the ou might want to ask your vet about a
We already talked about hypoallergenic diets, but even if your Puggle’s allergy isn’t food-related, a good diet is still essential for the health of their . You’ll want to avoid poor-quality commercial dog foods and look for dog food with limited ingredients, lots of essential fatty acids, and a good amount of vitamins and minerals. Supplements may also be helpful for your Puggle, but you should discuss these with your vet first.
Like Pugs and Beagles, Puggles are prone to overeating, increasing their risk of obesity. You should determine your dog’s ideal calorie intake and measure their food carefully. It’s also better to spread out their meals, doing three feedings per day, if possible. And of course, this leads us to exercise. Puggles are active dogs. They need at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. But always keep your Puggle on a leash, as they might have inherited the Beagle tendency to wander. Also, because Beagles are hunting dogs, they are known for ignoring commands once they pick up a scent. This makes a fenced-in dog park a good option, especially as there is a good chance your Puggle is a social pup.
Just remember the healthier your dog, the more likely they are to fight off infections on their own. And of course, a healthy dog is a happy dog, and that makes us happy too.