Pekingese - Health Characteristics
The average life expectancy of this breed is between 10 and 15 years, but there is increased health risks associated with the breed which pet owners should be aware of.
Common Health Issues
The leading cause of death for Pekingese, as for many other toy breeds, is congestive heart failure. When diagnosed early and treated with the proper medication, a Peke with this condition can expect to live many years. A heart murmur is a potential sign of a problem, and must be evaluated by a veterinary cardiologist. Very often, the problem does not surface until the dog is six or more years old.
Pekes other main problems are eye issues and breathing problems, resulting from its tiny skull and flattened face. An especially common problem is eye ulcers, which may develop spontaneously. Pekes should never be kept outside as their flattened faces and noses can develop breathing problems, which makes it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature in really hot or cold weather.
Their long backs, relative to their legs, make them vulnerable to back injuries. Care should be taken when picking them up to give Pekes adequate back support. Short legs give some Pekes difficulty with stairs. Older dogs may not be able to go up or down stairs alone and may need to be picked up.