Those unique-looking skin folds that give your pug's face a distinctive appearance present health challenges. You'll want to consult your veterinarian if sores develop on your pug's face; sometimes they're minor and other times they require medicine. In some cases, it's possible to treat facial sores using natural healing methods.
The Brachycephalic Pug
The pug, a breed in the toy group of dogs, weighs between 14 and 18 pounds when fully grown and sports a one-of-a-kind look. His masked face is brachycephalic, or short-snouted, but he has just as much skin as a long-snouted dog. This creates his characteristics skin folds, which look like deeply grooved wrinkles. Although they add to the breed's endearing look, these folds can spell trouble. For example, the skin folds can provide a breeding ground for infections and sores to develop.
The pug's facial skin folds can incubate bacterial and fungal infections that cause sores and other symptoms. Some of these infections include pyoderma, atopy or atopic dermatitis, and ringworm. Flea bites and allergy reactions can also cause facial sores. Signs of sores include itchiness, foul odor, redness, moistness, scaly skin, hair loss and oozing discharge. Pugs might try to scratch the sores and surrounding area, which can create further problems.
Natural healing methods can be helpful either on their own or as a supplement to non-natural treatments such as medications. The milder the problem the more feasible natural healing can be. Hire a groomer to gently clip the hair in the area where the sores are. Clean the affected area with mild soap and wash the skin with something soothing like oatmeal shampoo. Spray or dab some chilled chamomile tea onto the sores and the area around them. This should be soothing and may combat yeast fungus and bacteria. Homeopathic and herbal remedies can prove helpful.
If your pug's facial sores are caused by a food or environmental allergy, changing the pug's food and removing exposure to allergens are the standard means of healing, and it's natural. Keeping your pug's overall health strong through strategies such as a nutritious diet can help to prevent many health problems, including facial sores.
Cleaning Skin Folds
Prevention is key. Keep the skin folds and entire face dry. Also clean the folds by gently dabbing them with a cotton ball or swab moistened with water. Then dry with a dry cotton ball or swab. Clean the folds not just when you bathe your pug but any other time food, dirt, dust and other debris have made their way near or into the skin folds. Thoroughly examine your pug's face at least a couple times per week.
If natural healing strategies aren't successful at treating your pug's face, it's likely advanced to the point that it needs prescription medication. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best treatments. Some possibilities include antibiotics, antifungals and corticosteroids.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Judy Wilson has writing and editing expertise in health, technology, pets, business and travel. She has contributed to USAToday.com, SFGate.com and numerous other publications. Wilson earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed Mini Medical School.