Below are some of the documented problems that the MN Midwest Pug Rescue has encountered with mill rescues.
TeethPuppy mill dogs do not receive the proper nutrition. The sometimes receive minimal or no food at times. They are left with undrinkable or filthy water. They end up eating poop and anything they can find. Needless to say, when we have received mill dogs into the rescue their teeth tend to be the first thing that get looked at.
The picture on the upper right shows one of our mill pugs teeth. He had rancid breath. The foster was able to get some of the buildup off prior to dental work being done (lower right). Some of his teeth were only being held in by the hair and gunk wrapped around his teeth. Some of the teeth were broken and would need to be pulled at the time of dental cleaning.
Often times the pugs have or develop cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy or glaucoma. Sometimes these dogs are often blind or due to ongoing problems (such as leaving there eyes dry with no lubrication) will go blind.
Ear infections are quite common in puppy mill dogs. They struggle with chronic ear infections that are not treated. Some of the pugs end up losing their hearing. Mites are quite common as well. "Cauliflower ear" - is a collection of bloody fluid under the skin or between the cartilage layers of the pinna — the upright or floppy skin appendage above the ear canal. Left untreated, the hematoma will resolve in a few weeks time, usually resulting in a permanently wrinkled "cauliflower" ear (as seen below, compared with a normal ear on the left).
Puppy mill dogs can develop other health problems such as mange (a parasitic infestation of the skin of animals characterized by hair loss, itching and inflammation, all of which are caused by microscopic mites and requiring expensive, medicated shampoos and antibiotics to treat). Other skin issues can include open, bleeding wounds; tumors (both cancerous and benign); skin matted with feces - conditions that don't usually get treated.
Nails do not get cut, causing them to grow out and possibly curl up into the paw pad. In some cases, the dogs' paws can get caught in the wiring of the cage they may lose toes or the foot/leg. A very common problems is abcesses developing between the toe pads (from standing on wire), typically with draining and TLC the abcess heals. Sometimes anti-biotics are needed and/or surgery.
Female dogs are bred twice a year and are usually destroyed when they are no longer able to produce puppies. Mothers and their litters often suffer from malnutrition, exposure to extreme heat and cold, and a lack of adequate veterinary care. Breeders, brokers, and pet stores ensure maximum profits by not spending money for proper food, housing, or veterinary care.
Puppies are taken from their mothers and sold to brokers who pack them into crates for transport and resale to pet stores. Puppies who are shipped from mill to broker to pet store can travel hundreds of miles in pickup trucks, tractor trailers, and/or airplanes, often without adequate food, water, ventilation, or shelter. Young puppies who survive the unsanitary conditions at puppy mills and endure the grueling transport to pet stores have rarely received the kind of loving human contact that is necessary for them to become suitable companions.
Some of the pugs that are rescued from puppy mills are pregnant. When puppy mills are forced to get rid of their dogs their are times that we have received pugs that are pregnant. We do not actively search out these pugs, but we are thankful that we can take them in and help the mom and the puppies live out a life of comfort without having more puppies (since we believe in spaying all of our pugs) and being spoiled as they should be in their forever homes.
Jackie was from a mill or Amish farm. She had delivered a litter (it was believed she was bread with a french bulldog and had recent delivery).
This picture was the beginning of the prolapsed uterus. When she reached the emergency vet, it was completely out (the size of a nerf football).