Bulldog Snoring and Elongated Palate

Hi Jan,
We had traded a few emails about a month ago regarding my then 7 (now he’s 8) English Bulldog named Tyrus. After reading your book and doing some research online about the breed and there breathing problems, I was wondering if it wouldn’t be to risky to at least have tyrus examined for any of those type of problems? i.e palate issue, etc…. Jan, His snoring is soooooooooo loud, seems to have gotten louder by the day. He has no other issues. No regurgitation, vomiting, none of that. But his breathing and snoring when he sleeps is a whole different story. Sometimes I feel I have to wake him up if I don’t here him. He’s always snored, never this loud. Is this just part of him getting a little older? Is it worth getting him examined for these issues? I’m so confused. I don’t want to have to put him through that, but I also would feel awful if there was something going on that I could have possibly looked into. Thank you for your time in reading this email, I know i’m like a worry wart, but this guy is my best buddy, and I want to do the right thing for him.

Chris

Hi Chris,


My personal opinion is that he’s probably fine, just getting older, since you say he
does not suffer fainting spells, gagging, coughing, or other palate issues, doesn’t get
blue gums or tongue when exercising, foam at the mouth or other signs of overheating.

All Bulldogs have elongated palates.  It’s a condition caused by breeding the nose/snout back into the head for bull baiting.  So the palate and tongue are forced back into the head. The Bulldog’s problems comes from not being able to cool off like a normal dog does by air passing over the tongue/palate. It can get worse with age.

Here are a couple links to more information on this Brachycephalic Syndrome:

My Vivy snored so loud I would awaken when she stopped!  The surgical procedures have improved since I had her and many vets as well as bulldog owners think this something to do to all bulldogs.  I tend to think if the dog is able to function well (no bulldog does well in the heat) then they should not be tampered with.  If the breathing issues are so bad that health is compromised then the surgery would be necessary.  You would usually know this at a pretty early age.  Since Tyrus is older and has been healthy I’d be inclined to forego any surgery.

You certainly can take him in for an evaluation but bear in mind a surgeon likes to perform surgery!

Keep me posted,

your bulldog pal,
Jan
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Mange in Bulldog – Hereditary or Stress Related?

I am getting a one year old frenchie and they said that she has stress mange and that it is haredity. vet said that spaying her should fix it so the people have had her spayed is this true will that stop her mange just wondered

It will help but it may not stop it.  Stress is definitely a factor is the health
of a dog, especially when it comes to skin disorders.  Mange occurs when
otherwise harmless little parasites live at the base of the hair follicules of
a dog.  When immunity is compromised these little critters multiply and
take over, destroying the base of the hair follicules and causing hair loss
and a ratty look.
Mange can be passed on from mother dog to pup although most breeders
would not allow this to occur.  Mange or demodex as it’s called in young
dogs may resolve itself on its own or may need treatment which usually
consists of a course of Ivermectin.
It can go away on it’s own in a couple months in a healthy dog but a
bulldog with a compromised immune system will need treatment.
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Help – My French Bulldog Puppy is Deaf.

hi jan

i’ve been speaking to you here and there   you’ve been helping me out  with lots of questions etc  well now  this  weekend  we  just found out that our new little puppy is totally deaf  help  ouch  what do we do about this
i’ve been looking around on the computer etc  and i see that there are  books and lots of information on this so i am not so scared seems as though we may be able to do this  i hope  are we panicking  or what  i’ve notified the breeder that we purchased him from and i haven’t heard back from him yet  because the computer also said to be sure and to notify the breeder so i guess maybe that they would stop breeding that female i think is what it said so i did notify them and mention all of this to them so we’ll see what they come back with.
have you ever had a deaf dog   have you ever trained one  i’m seeing  on the computer that there are hand signals so guess that we will go to that  what info can you give me  thanks  g  maybe just don’t panick and educate huh hand signals take care keeping in mind that he cannot hear be very careful etc gosh i am scared
thanks g

Hi G,

I’m sorry to hear your little guy is deaf but it’s not as bad as you may imagine.
Dogs approach the world primarily through smell, then sight, then hearing.  He
will look to you for direction so you just need to use consistent hand signals.
One of my dogs went deaf when she was older and we didn’t know it for a long
time because I had trained her by voice while using my hands.
In fact I try to be as quiet around my dogs as I can as then they will be calmer.
I use hand signals to sit, come, stay.  It’s not as scary as it seems – he will
learn right away.  Again, consistency is very important: use the same signal
for each command each time.
The main problems arise when he’s outside.  He won’t hear cars coming, but
then dogs are not the smartest about cars.  He will still pick up the scent of
everything around him.
There are many books on the subject although I do not have one in particular
to recommend.  What I would recommend is you find a good trainer who can
help you with this.
Deafness in bulldogs is not especially common but it does occur with more
frequency with all white dogs.
I hope this helps.  Please let me know how it goes.
Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan
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Bulldog Puppy with Weakness in Back Legs

Hello

I just wanted to get your opinion on my bulldog Bitzy(Bo Bo).  She’s about 7 months old and has already been through her first heat.

For the last few months(4 or so) we noticed she babies her hind legs quite a bit, mostly when she gets up from sitting, and she doesn’t like for us to touch her hind legs,but mostly down towards the bend of her legs. She doesn’t yelp if we do touch them she just kinda pushes/licks our hand if we do. She also tends to lick and bite at her legs out of the middle of no where as if something has bitten her.

Once she’s up if there something she wants to stay up for like playtime,eating or to go to bed, then she stays up, but if she just gets up to go outside or to wonder around the house then she usually will sit down not much after getting up.

Although she has no problem running around the yard at full speed pickin on my twice her size old english buddy, or chasing the garden hose when it on. For a while we thought she was just being lazy maybe,or maybe overweight, but now as the time has progressed and she’s lost a little baby puppy pounds and we’ve noticed how she sometimes just want to lay and sleep were thinking it’s probably something a bit more serious. if you have any idea in what could be wrong with our bitzy bo bo please let us now asap.

thanxs very much.

Hi Dawnette,

English Bulldogs go through growth spurts at certain ages. During growth some
orthopedic symptoms can appear that will take care of themselves as she grows.
Since this has been going on since she was a puppy, there could be other causes.
There are some spinal conditions in bulldogs that could be affecting BoBo’s hind legs.
If she is showing weakness in the legs, I think you should take her to an orthopedic
vet for evaluation.
She may be biting at her legs when she gets a twinge of pain.  It’s often difficult for
us to tell when a dog is in pain because they are very stoic and do not like to show
any pain or weakness.  This is an instinctual response to pain left over from when
they lived in the pack in the wild.
Because of their breeding, all bulldogs have hip dysplasia to a certain degree.  That’s
the source of their charming “rolling gait” where their hind end sways when they trot.
Some bulldogs may even have their joints come out of the sockets.  Most show no
serious problems related to this but some can have pain.
There is also a spinal condition that can cause some nerve damage that can cause
weakness in the hind quarters.  It is also a genetic condition due to over breeding.
Sometimes they can get sore muscles like the rest of us but since she seems to have
had this for a while and she appears to be getting worse, she may be in pain.  Some
x-rays may be in order to rule out anything serious.
your bulldog pal,
Jan
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Can Water Cause a Urinary Tract Infection

Hi Jan,

I was just wondering if well water can hurt or give dogs bladder infections? We just moved here the end of November and we give Lucy water from the faucet that does not have a purifier on it. Should we give her bottled water?? We didn’t know if she is urinating more because of the water or her tail problem. I know you’re not a vet but I trust all of your input. We have just bought her Precise weight management dry dog food. She seems to like it.

Talk to you soon,

Cathy

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Hi Cathy,

I think if the well water is ok for you to drink it’s fine for her.  If you filter it, then give her filtered as well.  Bladder infections don’t usually come from water.  Bad water may have parasites and bacteria which would cause problems for you as well as her.  And bacteria is what usually causes a urinary tract infection.

It’s possible that her tail infection has caused a urinary infection.  A UTI starts with bacteria on the outside of the urethra that proliferates and then moves up the urethra to the bladder.  And it could be the same type of bacteria in the tail infection.

You might want to try adding a tablespoon of natural apple cider vinegar to her water bowl (Braggs makes one).  This will help change the ph balance of acid in her system and can help suppress some of these bacteria.  Give her fresh water daily in a ceramic, glass or stainless bowl (no plastic).

Did your vet check her for a urinary tract infection?

Signs of urinary tract infection are not always obvious but include increased drinking of water, and frequent urination often with little urine produced.  It’s best to test with a urine sample – you might want to have it checked just for peace of mind.  Since he’s seen her recently your vet may let you bring in a sample.

When our bulldogs get one infection, it takes a toll on the immune system and a suppressed immune system can lead to other opportunistic infections.  Keep her calm and safe.  It may sound strange but dogs can pick up our energy and she can tell if you are upset so try to treat her as if everything is normal.

Keep me posted.

your bulldog pal,

Jan

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Bulldog Tear Stains and Puppy Limping

Hi Jan,

First off, thank you again for your extensive knowledge that you pass on to us other bulldog owners!

Well I have 2 questions, the first; My wife and I have noticed our little guy, Travis, who’s 8 months occasionally limps when he runs hard or plays rough; the leg that is affected is the back left leg. Due to some excitement, he slipped on our tile and he started to limp again. I put him on his back as if i was going to rub his belly to inspect his leg. I stretched it out and it sounded/felt like I “pop-ed” it back in place. What can you recommend? He walks fine, but when he starts playing again, he starts to limp?

my last question is, he currently has those dreaded tear stains, which in turn became infected. I clean off the area 2-3 times a day and rub some triple antibiotic and its starting to dry out and heal fine. Can I start to use the over the counter tear stain removal pads even though the open wound hasn’t healed yet?

Thank you again for you time and generosity!

Cheers,

Anthony and Shelley

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Hi Anthony & Shelly,

It sounds like your bulldog Travis has two common bulldog conditions that I write about in my book The Healthy Bulldog, both of which will need vet attention to remedy.

The limping and popping of Travis’s leg is an orthopedic condition found commonly in bulldogs where the knee socket is malformed.  It is a genetic problem and bulldogs with this should not be bred.  It requires reconstructive surgery to correct.

There is a chance that it could resolve itself as he reaches maturity but ususally it does not.  You should consult an orthopedic specialist to find out exactly what it is.

Your description of Travis’s tear stains sound like he has one of the bulldog eyelash conditions which are quite common.  If his eyes run constantly they are probably being irritated by errant eyelashes.  If so, you need an opthamologist specialist to look at him.  They usually permanently remove the eyelashes.  This will stop the tearing and therefore stop the tear stains and infections.

Triple anti-biotic will not work on tear stains and you must be careful not to get it in his eyes as this can cause eye damage.

Unfortunately our bulldogs can require expensive procedures at times, especially when they have these genetic conditions.  That said, both are ‘fixable’ and Travis should live a full healthy life if you have them properly cared for.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Jan

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Severe Constipation Leads to Intestinal Blockage in Bulldog

Good Afternoon,

I have a question to see if you have experienced this or heard of this with other English Bulldogs.

Our 5 year old threw up her food (several X’s same day). Next day did same so we took her to vet. They did blood work, x-ray of stomach. There was a mass noticed. To make a long story shorter she ended up and had to have surgery. It ended up she had a stool blocking part of large intestine.  She couldn’t keep down even small amount food. They carefully massaged intestine, put anti-inflammatory and antibiotic to help prevent infection.

She’ll be at vet’s for several days so they can watch her, be available for any added medications and watch stool. Said she would have to push so to speak to get it out and they wanted to be able to do what might be needed for her to pass stool hopefully without problem.

Have you ever heard of one having this. I’ve heard of them not wanting to grunt a you might say and she is one we have to watch as she seems to get tight stools once in awhile and we have to give pumpkin to keep soft enough. If not, she’ll not complete job.

They did not open intestine and remove as they felt danger of infection etc was to great etc to great. Rest of everything looked good. No other blockage or foreign object.

Needless to say I have been a basket case, but now we’ll need to be even more checkful of this area.

Any suggestion to help prevent this from happening again. And how do you know if they’ve gotten cleaned out.

Thanks
Mary

—–

Hi Mary,

I have heard of several cases of intestinal blockage but not from
food alone.  Usually they ate something that made the blockage.  And
I have not heard of a dog being so constipated that they could not
defecate.  It sounds like she’s absorbing too much water out of her
food as she digests so they become hard and stuck.  This leads me to
believe she’s dehydrated.

As for remedies, I think that diet could make a difference.  Dry kibble is very
dehydrating and can actually absorb water out of the stomach and intestines
and lead to very firm stools.  Maybe you should add some warm water to her
food.  Or switch her to canned which has a higher moisture content.  food.

Do you add the pumpkin at every meal?  It’s a good solution, perhaps you
should add more.

You could also try adding fiber to the food.  Psyllium is a natural fiber – it
needs to be given with lots of water!  You could also try adding some oil to her
diet in the form of fish oil or even olive oil.  Milk is another remedy if she can

tolerate it.

Finally fresh pureed vegetables added to her food may help her.  Vegetables
have lots of fiber.  They must be pureed to be properly digested by a dog.

Finally exercise is good for proper digestion.  Be sure she is getting enough
exercise.  Take her for walks a couple times a day or throw the ball for her to chase.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Jan

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Interdigital Cysts – What Are They & How To Treat.

Hi Jan:

Do you have any experience with persistent paw yeast infections?  My son’s bulldog has one in between his toes that won’t go away.  It only flared up again when the pills prescribed by the vet were used up.  The MalAcetic Otic they gave us isn’t working.  I hestitate to go back to the vet again and waste more money.
Any suggestions?  I don’t like to bother you, but I’m at my wit’s end.

Attached is a photo of his paw.

interdigital cyst

There seems to be a couple of bumps and it’s yeasty.  On November 4, the vet injected him with Dexamethasone and gave him Enrofloxacin pills.  It seemed to calm down.  Now that the pills are all gone, it has flared up again.  I was soaking it in warm water and salt, plus pouring peroxide on the wound today which I think made it worse.  The vet put him on a special diet because he has a stomach infection – Medi-cal Gastro formulated for gastrointestinal conditions.  He was throwing up everyday and had loose stools.  He’s no longer throwing up since on this kibble.  The stools are better.
Have you seen this condition before in between the toes?

Thanks, Debbie

Hi Debbie,

The photo is not very clear but that looks like an interdigital cyst to me.  If so, they are notyeast, they are either ingrown hairs that get infected or a fungal infection – there is some debate.

The medical term for them is interdigital furuncle.  I think they are an ingrown hair that gets a mild infection.  They usually clear up on their own and I am of the opinion they should not be punctured because that can lead to infection.  And I wouldn’t go the antibiotic route because I think it not necessary unless there is a bad infection.  And I’ve found that the least amount of fussing with the sore is best.

Your vet prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic for the perceived infection.

Here is some advice from various bulldog owners and breeders on how they treat them:

As for the cysts, I have used part of the process you’ve included: we usually soak the affected paw in Epsom salts water. I don’t worry about applying Panalog or other creamsunless the vet has recommended it.

Generally with a cyst or any lesion on the paw that I am just starting to treat, I just start with soaks. That way I clean the foot and can get a really good look, and Epsom salts helps to soften and start the lesion draining if it needs to. If it’s a cyst, is there a need for Panalog or other anti-bacterial (antibiotic) ointments or creams? Not necessarily, only if it’s infected. So, if draining it and/or keeping it clean is enough, then why bring in antibiotics and tinker with resistance and such? If pus drains, then I do use ointment, usually triple antibiotic or Bacitracin. Like you, if soaks (with or without ointment) don’t work in 2-4 days, or if it worsens, it’s off to the vet we go!

–Margaret

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What I have found is that many cysts are caused by ingrown hair. I soak the affected food in Epson salts for about 5 minutes. When drying the paw if you look on the underneath side of the foot between the pads on the toe that is effected you will probably see an area that appears to have a black head. You can usually use a tweezers and pull the hairs out without causing your pet much discomfort. This has always worked on my dogs.

——

a long coarse of antibiotics usually cephalexin. and give it some time. i have two that got cysts between the toes and used antibiotics 1 dogs went away and hasnt come back… the other girls cyst has been back several times now i dont even put her on antibiotics anymore, i keep it clean use panalog oint and basically just keep popping the cyst to drain it and within a week it starts to go away her last cyst i did this and it hasnt been back in over a year. i am a technician at a vet clinic and ive seen surgeries removing these cysts and 90% of them ive seen return anyway after several surgeries and alot of money it is very hard to get all of the stalk inbetween the toes so you often get regrowth any way…

well thats my 2 cents

chrissy

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There are as many interdigital cyst remedies as there are Bulldoggers. I think the cysts have multiple causes including fungus advancing to infection as the cyst develops.

Along that reasoning, I use a Nolvasan Surgical Scrub solution; 5% Surgical Scrub, 95% water, applied with a spray bottle and massaged onto the affected area. I apply twice daily and I’ve never had it last more than three days.

Nolvasan Surgical Scrub is a bit pricey,perhaps $55.00/Gallon, but a gallon will last a lifetime (Or more) It’s very effective for hot spots and simple skin problems. Most importantly, It’s an anti-bacterial agent and an effective fungicide, not an anti-biotic. A simple solution for a complex problem.

Walt

—-

I agree with Walt’s solution –

That’s a great idea

I also use a home made concoction we fondly call “Oden’s Foot” It is 50% rubbing alcohol, 50% water – you boil the water and ad 2 heaping tablespoons of salt till it dissolves. Let is cool a bit then mix with the alcohol put in a sprayer bottle and spray several times a day –

this dries up themoisture and the cyst – this is a people remedy given my son when he had severe fungal infections of the toe nails – it works great you just need to be consistent and spray frequently

Kathy J

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The most common home remedy I read about was to soak or compress the affected foot several times per day, then apply antibiotic ointment. A few people recommended applying Preparation H or other hemmorhoid creams. We decided to do a bit of each.

Three to four times per day we’ve been soaking Elliott’s foot in Epsom salts. The easiest way we’ve found to do this is to fill the laundry tub up with 2 to 3 inches of fairly warm water, to which we’ve added a cup of Epsom Salts. We then stand Elliott in the tub, and sit beside him for ten minutes or so. Luckily for us, he’s a good boy, and just stands there patiently so long as we give him the occasional head scratch.

After ten minutes or so have elapsed, we put Elliott on a thick towel and gently pat his affected foot dry. I then fill a large, wide coffee cup with about an inch of hydrogen peroxide, and hold his foot in the cup for a few moments. The affected areas on Elliott’s foot, in particular the cyst itself and the surrounding hair follicles, respond to the hydrogen peroxide with bubbling, whereas the rest of his foot does not.  This shows that there is catalase enzyme present in these areas, which is one of the components released when blood or damaged cells are present.

After soaking in hydrogen peroxide, we again pat Elliott’s foot dry. I then apply either Panalog ointment, or Anusol hemorrhoid ointment.

We’ve been treating him using the above method since Saturday morning, and in that time period his swelling has reduced by approximately 40%, and the redness is almost completely gone. With any luck, it will be completely gone within another day or so, and with no antibiotics. Of course, if it doesn’t clear up, or returns, then we’ll try traditional Veterinary treatment and oral antibiotics.

Frogdog blog

And here are some links to more information and photos on the topic:

http://www.bulldogsworld.com/DigitCyst.html

http://www.provet.co.uk/Petfacts/healthtips/interdigitalcysts.htm

Good luck, let me know how he’s doing.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Jan

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Bulldog Has Greenish Discharge from Nose

Hello,

I need some advice and I’m hoping you can help me please.

We have an almost 3 mo old puppy. About 8 days ago we noticed a runny nose. The discharge is very snotty (greenish). She doesn’t have as much discharge during the day. We mostly notice it when we get up in the morning. She can hardly breathe and her nose is blocked up with snot. Poor baby. We do run our a/c at about 75 degrees most of the day. I try to turn it off at night but sometimes we do run it when it’s too warm. She plays outside in the evenings when it’s cooler. Her demeanor is still the same. Except for the early mornings when she can hardly breathe. She’s eating & pooping well.  Is there anything that I can do to get her better or should I just take her to the vet?

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Dayna

—-

Hi Dayna,

You need to take her to a vet today.  A greenish discharge usually indicates
infection in the lungs.  It is worse in the morning because she has been laying
down at night and the lungs fill up with fluid.  Because of their anatomy and
breathing problems, Bulldogs are prone to aspiration pneumonia and it sounds
to me like that’s what she may have.   It can be very serious and life threatening.

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