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Study shows high prevalence of gait abnormality in pugs
Out of the 550 pugs assessed, gait abnormalities were reported in 30.7 per cent of responses.
Abnormality may be linked to neurological issues

More than 30 per cent of pugs suffer from gait abnormality, according to new research.

A study published in Veterinary Record assessed 550 pugs registered by the Swedish Kennel Club. The dogs were all one, five and eight years of age.

Researchers sent an online questionnaire to the owners of the pugs, asking them to answer questions about the nature of their dog’s gait. The owners were also encouraged to send video footage of their pug, showing their dog walking back to forth, on the leash and walking from the side.

Researchers found that out of the 550 pugs assessed, gait abnormalities were reported in 30.7 per cent of responses. The most common sign of pain described by the owners was a reluctance to go for walks (56.7 per cent).

The researchers also found a link between abnormal gait and age, with gait abnormalities being more prevalent in older pugs. An association between abnormal gait and dyspnoea was also found, with dyspnoea being significantly more common in pugs with gait abnormalities.

The researchers said that whilst abnormal gait could be the result of orthopaedic conditions, it may also be a consequence of neurological issues.

“Although this study did not aim to differentiate orthopaedic from neurological causes for gait abnormalities, the high prevalence of wearing of nails reported in the questionnaires, and the fact that lameness was not a common finding in submitted videos, suggest that the majority of gait abnormalities in the pugs were indeed related to neurological rather than orthopaedic disorders,” the authors write.

The authors conclude that the prevalence of gait abnormalities was high and increased with age. This suggests that gait abnormalities are a more significant health problem in pugs than previously reported.

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”