Pugs undergo a range of checks and grading schemes to assess them for the breathing problem known as BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome). The Kennel Club and University of Cambridge have developed a grading scheme specifically to assess Pugs, along with Bulldogs and French Bulldogs. They will be graded on their nasal roll, nasal stenosis and body condition score, along with an assessment of their respiration.
As part of the respiration assessment, Pugs over the age of 12 months, will be graded on their respiratory noise, inspiratory effort (pre-exercise) and dyspnoea. The grading and explanation of each is shown below. More information on the respiratory grading assessment can be found on the Kennel Club’s website – click here.
The assessment process
During the assessment, Pugs will be assessed by a specifically trained vet, they will use a stethoscope to listen to the Pugs breathing while they are calm and relaxed. The Pug will then be required to undertake moderate exercise for a period of 3 minutes, otherwise known as an exercise tolerance test (ETT); the vet will then listen to the Pugs breathing again, a list of criteria will then be used to grade the respiration.
BOAS Function Grading in Pugs
The table below shows how Pugs will be graded during the assessment; they will be graded on:
– respiratory noise pre-exercise and post-exercise
– inspiratory effort pre-exercise and post-exercise
– dyspnoea pre-exercise and post-exercise
The Pug is clinically unaffected and is currently free of respiratory signs of BOAS.
The Pug is clinically unaffected but does have mild respiratory signs linked to BOAS. These signs do not affect their exercise performance.
The Pug is clinically affected and has moderate respiratory signs of BOAS, they should be monitored and may require veterinary treatment.
The Pug is clinically affected and has severe respiratory signs of BOAS, they should be seen by their own vet for a thorough veterinary examination with treatment. It is not recommended that the Pug be bred from.
The grades have an expiry date and Pugs should be assessed every 2 years for their lifetime, or until you stop using them for breeding.