Pigmentary keratitis in pugs in the United Kingdom: prevalence and associated features

S Maini*, R Everson, C Dawson, Y M Chang, C Hartley, R F Sanchez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Pigmentary keratitis (PK) is commonly recognised in Pugs, but its aetiology is not completely understood. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and associated features of PK in Pugs in the United Kingdom (UK).

RESULTS: A total of 210 Pugs (420 eyes) were recruited from 12 UK dog shows and social events. The median age of Pugs recruited was 2.50 years (range 0.25-16.25 years). Pigmentary keratitis was detected in 369/420 (87.8%) eyes and in at least one eye 193/210 (91.9%) Pugs, of which 17/193 (8.8%) were affected unilaterally and 176/193 (91.2%) bilaterally. Pigmentary keratitis was typically mild to moderate (46.3 and 49.9% of eyes, respectively). Detection of PK was significantly associated with increased age (P = 0.002) and the presence of medial entropion of the lower eyelid (MELE) (P = 0.001). Severity of PK was significantly associated with the grade of MELE (P < 0.001). There was also a correlation between the presence of limbal pigment and PK (P = 0.036) that warrants further study.

CONCLUSIONS: This study estimated a high disease prevalence of PK in UK Pugs, and demonstrated significant associations with age and the presence of MELE. These associations, which have not been previously reported, offer an insight into the underlying pathophysiology of this condition in Pugs. The results encourage further population research, such as prospective longitudinal studies. These findings also support the development of clinical and breeding strategies based on the reduction of MELE and, possibly, limbal pigment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number384 (2019)
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019


  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases/epidemiology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Keratitis/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology


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