Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) is a serious brain inflammation condition that is exclusive to Pugs, as the name implies. Incidence is slightly higher in female Pugs. PDE affects primarily adolescent and young adult Pugs, although it has been reported in middle-aged Pugs.

Cause of Pug Dog Encephalitis

The cause of the condition is not known — it is not believed to be caused by infection. It is believed to be a genetic condition.

Prognosis of Pug Dog Encephalitis

PDE is a rapidly progressing disorder for which there is, sadly, no cure. The prognosis for a dog afflicted with PDE is not good as PDE is fatal. Treatments and medications, such as anticonvulsants to help control seizures and corticosteroids to reduce brain inflammation, may be able to delay and help with some of the symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Pug Dog Encephalitis

Dogs with PDE will show signs of brain and nervous system disfunction, such as:

  • Seizures
  • Walking in circles
  • Staring off into space
  • Pressing their heads against the wall or furniture
  • Ataxia (unsteady movements – staggering gait / walk)
  • Apparent blindness
  • Neck pain
  • Depression
  • Intermittent screaming

See your veterinarian immediately if your Pug displays any of these signs. Your vet may choose to do a spinal tap and/or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as diagnostic tests.

To order a report on Pug Dog Encephalitis by Dr. Greer at Texas A & M University (one half of the profits go to PDE research) commissioned by the Pug Club of Canada:
http://www.pugcanada.com/PDE%20Ad.pdf PDF

Later addition:
Dr. Greer, Texas A & M University, can take donations directly. Checks need to be made out to "Veterinary Pathobiology" with the memo line indicating "Dr. K Greer- PDE research" and sent to:

Canine Health and Neurological Disease Genetics Research
TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine
Dept. of Vet Pathobiology
4467 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4467

Donations may be tax-deductible. It is suggested to contact the Texas A&M Foundation for paperwork proving you've made a tax deductible contribution. Their phone number is: 979-845-8161.

Be sure to enclose a letter with names if donations are in memory of someone (e.g., your beloved Pug). Dr. Greer's contact information and other details can be found at Canine Health and Neurological Disease Genetic Research. Thanks for the work you and your team are doing, Dr. Greer!

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