Pekingese are generally very healthy. As with any of the toy breeds there are many things that CAN go wrong. Just like humans, health varies with an individual and many pekes develop health problems related to old age as time goes on. A peke's life span can be anywhere from 8 yrs to 20 years! Many people report their pekes to be 14-16 years and still going strong, although 12-14 years seems to be about the average life expectancy.
Common problems for the breed are eye ulcers and slipped discs. With the eyes, the large size of the eye on a peke, the location of the eye, and the shape of the peke's face, it is easier for their eyes to be injured than a breed with almond shaped eyes set on the sides of a long muzzled face. The main reasons for the eyes to be injured are rough housing, and rubbing their rolls (skin over the nose) on objects that will injure the cornea. This is an excellent reason to keep their roll clean, thus avoiding injuries.
With their backs, slipped discs seem to be the main problem occasionally cropping up. This may be a genetic predisposition or it could be due to injuries. Encouraging standing on their hind legs or leaping up and down (as in getting on/off the couch) should be avoided. Their build of large wide chests, heavier front ends, large heavy heads coupled with the slim lighter rear ends do not make these easy tasks on their bodies. (Swimming also tends to be an endeavor they should not undertake, so they should be kept away from bodies of water when unsupervised!
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