Dr O’Neill conducted a study of over 16,000 pugs in Britain and found the breed was over 50 times more at risk of brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome and narrow nostrils, all of which lead to two respiratory problems, than non-pugs.
Out of 40 common health conditions, Pugs are at increased risk for 23 of them, including a 13 times higher risk of eye ulcers and an 11 times higher risk of skin fold dermatitis.
Pugs are also more likely to be obese. One in six pugs are obese, compared to one in 15 other dogs.
“The flip side is that Pugs, French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs are often very beautiful dogs in terms of personality and temperament. It’s almost to their disadvantage, because they’re actually such nice dogs,” Dr O’Neill added.
“We should, as humanity, be able to put on our big girl and boy pants and make the decision to get races that have innate base health traits – blink, breathe, s’ mating, giving birth and comfortable skin are not big demands.
“Owners of these dogs will often say they are special dogs, but they are special because their health needs are far greater than those of other dogs. That might make them unique, but probably not in the right way. sense.
A recent study by RVC found that French Bulldogs have the shortest lifespan of any breed, at just four and a half years. Jack Russell terriers live the longest, at an average of 13 years.
Other flat-faced breeds – English Bulldogs, Pugs and American Bulldogs – were among the bottom four, alongside French Bulldogs, none of them expected to live longer than eight years at the time of birth.
“The public has failed to understand the connection between the dog’s higher risk of health problems, their decision to buy this type of breed instead of a more moderate breed, and the fact that they impose a life of suffering to these dogs,” said Dr. O’Neill.
The new results are published in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics.