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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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VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

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Duchess of York stars in charity calendar

The National Foundation for Retired Service Animals (NFRSA) has released its charity calendar for 2024, featuring Sarah, Duchess of York and a selection of the retired service animals the charity supports.

The 12 images were taken by animal photographer Gerry Slade and include retired police dogs and horses, a former border force detector dog, and a retired fire investigation and urban search and rescue dog.

Sarah, Duchess of York, who is a patron of the charity, appears alongside retired police dog Jessie in the photograph for December.

So far this year, the charity has given more than 40,000 in grants to help former service animals with their veterinary care. After retirement, they receive no financial support from the Government and obtaining affordable insurance can be difficult.