High prevalence of gait abnormalities in pugs

Vet Rec. 2018 Feb 10;182(6):167. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

The objective of this prospective study was to determine the prevalence of gait abnormalities in a cohort of Swedish pugs by using an owner-based questionnaire targeting signs of gait abnormality and video footage showing the dog's gait.

This study also evaluated associated conditions of abnormal gait, including other health disorders prevalent in the breed. Five hundred and fifty (550) pugs registered in the Swedish Kennel Club, of one, five and eight years of age, in 2015 and 2016, were included in the study. Gait abnormalities were reported in 30.7 per cent of the responses. In the majority of cases, the character of the described gait indicated a neurological cause for the gait abnormality.

An association was observed between abnormal gait and age, with gait abnormalities being significantly more common in older pugs (P=0.004). An association was also found between abnormal gait and dyspnoea, with dyspnoea being significantly more common in pugs with gait abnormalities (P<0.0001).

This study demonstrated that the prevalence of gait abnormalities was high in the Swedish pug breed and increased with age. Future studies on the mechanisms behind these gait abnormalities are warranted.

KEYWORDS: brachycephalic; dog; movement; neurologic; orthopedic