Have You Hugged Your Bulldog Today?

Bulldog Lovers already know this but now a study has proven it! People who hug their dogs have more of the “feel good” hormones and so do their dogs!

When it comes to keeping a pet healthy in body and mind, extra food and treats are a poor substitute for species-appropriate nutrition, physical activity, mental stimulation, attention and affection. In fact, a study2 published in 2011 concluded that the dog owners with the highest levels of oxytocin – the body’s “morale molecule” or “hug hormone” – had three things in common. They kissed their pet frequently, they viewed their relationship with their dog as pleasurable rather than a chore, and they offered fewer treats to their pet. In other words, they didn’t substitute food for attention and affection for their dog. And their dogs had elevated levels of oxytocin as well!

via Is Depression the Hidden Reason Why Your Pet Eats Too Much?.

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Safety Notice – Tainted Chinese Jerky Products

For years I have been advising my readers NOT to buy any dog treats or other food items from Asia, specifically China where there really is no compassion for our animal friends.

Safety Notice – Tainted Chinese Jerky Products.

Nearly 600 pets have died and more than 3,600 have been sickened in an outbreak of illnesses tied to contaminated jerky treats made in China, federal animal health officials said in an October 22nd statement. The epidemic is so severe that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is turning to vets and pet parents across the nation for help.

Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine said, “This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered.” Companion animals have exhibited symptoms within hours of eating the tainted treats, including decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, increased water consumption and frequent urination. About 60% of cases reported gastrointestinal illness and about 30% experienced kidney or urinary troubles. A significant percentage developed Fanconi syndrome, a specific kind of kidney disease.

Some pet kids suffered severe cases of kidney failure and gastrointestinal bleeding.

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Treat Your Dog’s Minor Cuts & Wounds

This article explains how to treat cuts, scrapes, and minor wounds your Bulldog may get just running around the yard by our friend Jennifer Coates at PetMd:

Next in our “How to” series, dealing with minor scrapes or cuts at home … emphasis on the minor! Any injury that fully penetrates the skin e.g., a bite wound and/or involves a large portion of the body or an especially sensitive area should receive immediate veterinary attention. We are talking about the equivalent of a scraped knee or shallow cut here. Even minor wounds should be dealt with promptly, before infection sets in.

If the skin around the wound is inflamed or pus is visible, more aggressive treatment than what you can provide at home is probably needed.If you have any doubts as to the severity of your pet’s injury, play it safe and make an appointment with your veterinarian. Only attempt wound care if you are confident that a pet will not react aggressively to the procedure. If need be, recruit an assistant to help with restraint, and use a muzzle.

Supplies Needed Water-based lubricant e.g., KY jelly – not VaselineElectric clippers, scissors, or razorWarm waterClean towels paper or clothAntiseptic solutionAntimicrobial ointment

Steps to Follow:

Place a small dog or on a table or counter in front of you or get down on the ground with a large dog. Have a second person gently restrain the pet if necessary.Cover the wound and surrounding area with a water-based lubricant. This makes removing shaved hair from the wound much easier and decreases contamination.Use electric clippers to shave the hair from around the wound. Scissors or a disposable razor can be used with extreme caution to avoid cutting the skin.

Wipe the water-based lubricant and hair away with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.Wash the area with warm water until all visible debris is gone, then pat dry.

Apply a non-stinging antiseptic solution to the area. Chlorhexidine is cheap, extremely effective, and readily available. I prefer a 2% solution to limit tissue irritation but 4% solutions are also widely used. Chlorhexidine is ideal because it kills the types of bacteria and yeast that are most commonly associated with skin infections in dogs and cats.

Apply an antimicrobial ointment to the wound. Traumatic injuries are best treated with a broad spectrum topical antibiotic like those containing bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B.

If yeast is of primary concern, for example in dogs with allergies that develop moist dermatitis, miconazole ointment is a good choice.

Prevent the pet from grooming the ointment off its skin for at least ten minutes; longer is even better. Take a dog for a walk or sit with a cat in your lap but do not apply a bandage over the area.

Two to three times a day, clean away debris if necessary and apply the antiseptic and ointment until the skin is healed.If the wound worsens at any time or fails to resolve within a week, consult a veterinarian.

original article here

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Natural Immune System Boosters for Dogs

Most Bulldog owners know are familiar with the breed’s immune function problems that include skin disorders, a tendency to infections, and even allergies.  My immune booster of choice for my Bulldog is Omega 3 fish oils.  Even adding a little olive oil (not on this list) to food can help boost immunity and remedy skin problems.  This article explains the immune system in dogs and how to boost it:

The immune system in canines is a complex structure that is made up of several cells and organs and plays the role of defending the dog’s body against various infections, toxins and parasites. If the immune system is weak, the dog is exposed to diseases and the body will not be able to respond to the attack. Consequently, it’s important to keep all components of the immune system healthy and provide boosters when needed.

The immune system is made up of:

  • The skin, which stops many bacteria and toxins from entering the dog’s system, containing also a few immune cells and producing antibacterial matter, which will play an important role in defending the pet
  • Tears, saliva and other secretions that contain enzymes that protect against infectious agents
  • The lining of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and genital tracts will also protect the body
  • The lymphatic system
  • Bone marrow
  • The spleen
  • The antibodies
  • White blood cells

The immune system can weaken due to:

  • Allergies, which will activate certain antibodies
  • Diseases and infections
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Surgeries or trauma
  • The administration of various medications such as corticosteroids or antibiotics

Natural immune system boosters may be administered to dogs that have a medical problem and require a strong immune system or simply to maintain the immune system strong and prevent any infections and diseases.

Herbs can be used to boost the immune system and keep diseases at bay, without having any negative effects as other types of medication. The most commonly herbs used to improve immunity in dogs include:

  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis), which contains various vitamins and minerals such as A, B, C and D, iron, zinc, magnesium, lecithin or potassium
  • Echinacea is a natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral solution
  • Ginger root
  • Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)
  • Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), which is known to detoxify liver and the entire system, containing powerful antioxidants
  • Burdock root, which has effects similar to steroids, but none of the side effects
  • Green tea, which is an antioxidant

These herbs may be used in the form of tinctures that can be added to the dog’s meals or applied on the dog’s skin, to provide protection. Teas may also be prepared and served cold instead of the dog’s regular water.

Other natural ingredients used in dogs with weak immune system include:

  • Fish oil, which contain numerous fatty acids that have various benefits for the immune system
  • Whale fat, which also strengthens the immune system.
original article here
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Inherited diseases in English Bulldogs

I did a search for Bulldog inherited dog diseases from the University of Cambridge  Veterinary School and found some surprising results.

English Bulldog Inherited Diseases:

Cryptorchidism: Failure of descent of testes. Coupled with failure in maturation.

Hemophilia: inadequate blood clotting

Hemivertebrae: Wedge shaped asymmetric thoracic vertebrae with persistence of the mid line dorso-ventral septum. Severe kyphosis kinking of the vertebral column with spinal cord compression, hind limb weakness and pain.  These are malformed vertebrae in the spine, also found in French Bulldogs

Neoplasia – Mast Cell TumourComments: Excess of mast cell tumours.

Pulmonic stenosis: Pulmonary valve dysplasia and stenosis giving reduced tolerance of exercise and increased risk of congestive heart failure.

Spina bifida: Congenital spinal anomalies which result from defective closure of the neural tube.

Prolapse of the nictitans gland: The nictitating gland associated with the third eyelid is displaced forward and becomes visible.

here’s the database

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Bulldog Thefts are Very Real Threat

No one wants to think of the possibility that their English or French Bulldog could be stolen, but it happens regularly.  These dogs are expensive and thieves think they can make a quick buck stealing them or worse turning them into breeding machines.  Here are some helpful tips on prevention and recovery of stolen Bulldogs:

Here’s a short list of things that owners can do to help protect their dogs against theft, and ways to help increase your chances of getting your dog back if they are stolen.Microchip your dog.

Without a chip, we would never have gotten Ruby back after she was stolen. A microchip will be almost universally accepted by most law enforcement and shelters as positive proof of ownership. Make SURE to keep your microchip contact information up to date. If you move, or change your phone number, notify the company which maintains your chip’s database. A chip can’t help if the company can’t reach you.

Put a tag on your dog with your phone number and a notice that your dog is microchipped. Provide your microchip manufacturer’s 800 phone number on the tag, in case they are picked up by an individual, or a shelter without a chip reader.Keep your dog’s chip number and other identifying information on file someplace in your house – and also on your cell phone.

Keep two or three accurate, up to date photographs of your dog on file, for use on missing posters and email list. A head shot, a body shot, and a shot showing any easily identifiable markings or patterns. I can’t tell you how many people contact me about missing Frenchies who do NOT have photos they can also supply.

Consider adding a note on your dog’s tag about a ‘special medical condition’ – and about a reward for their return.

Downplay your dog’s value to strangers, tradespeople and overly interested parties. Anyone who asks you too many pointed questions about the worth of your dog should be treated with suspicion. It might hurt your ego to refer to your dog as “Just a worthless neutered pet with bad knees and a horrid case of worms”, but if it keeps them safe, play it up.

In particular, make it really clear that your dog is FIXED. A dog who can’t be bred is a dog who is worth less money.Breeders should think twice about having obvious signs outside their property advertising that you have purebred dogs in your house.

Keep kennels, runs and yards screened from the street, keep breed specific paraphernalia outside the house to a minimum, and signs about ‘puppies available’ does anyone do this anymore? are a definite no.

Don’t leave dogs unattended in yards – I know of a few Frenchies who have been stolen by someone simply unlatching the gate, walking inside and picking up the dog, all while their owner was home inside of the house. Put simple locks on gates that allow people access to your yards.

via French Bulldog Thefts

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Use of Honey and Sugar to Treat Dog Wounds!

If your dog has a large wound that is difficult to treat you could try an anchient treatment of honey!  I know local honey is useful for treating allergies as the pollen comes from local plants and helps build up immunity to the associated allergen.  But honey also has anti-bacterial properties as explained here:

When a companion animal has lost a significant amount of skin and subcutaneous tissue to a fall from the back of a pickup truck — burns, aggressive infections, etc. — the cost of modern wound dressings can be prohibitive. Sugar and honey are cheap enough to save pets that might otherwise be euthanized because of the costs associated with their treatment.

Sugar and honey work because of the way in which they change the local wound environment. When sugar is applied to a lesion, it draws water out through the tissues and dissolves. The resulting sugar solution is so concentrated that it inhibits the growth of bacteria. Honey works in the same way but also produces hydrogen peroxide that kills bacteria. In addition, sugar and honey both draw white blood cells to the area that work to clean the wound, speed the sloughing of dead tissue, and aid in the formation of a protective layer on the wound’s surface. Overlying bandages need to be changed and sugar and honey reapplied frequently to maintain their healing properties, but this is no different from what needs to be done when using commercially prepared wound dressings.

via Old Advances in Veterinary Medicine Still New | Old School Veterinary Medicine | petMD.

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Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

our bull dog has cushing disease? we need help.also she has low thyroid. Thanks jackie

Hi Jackie,

Cushing’s Disease or Syndrome is a hormonal disorder in which the dog produces too much cortisol, the stress hormone produced in a “fight or flight” situation. Often your dog’s symptoms are unusual skin growths and a “flea bitten” look to the coat. Left untreated your dog’s prognosis is not good.

There are two kinds: one is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland, a small very important gland deep in the brain which controls the adrenal glands that produce cortisol as well as the thyroid gland and all hormonal functions of the body; the other (rare) is caused by a tumor on the adrenal glands causing it to produce more cortisol.

Your vet can do blood tests to determine which kind of Cushing’s your Bulldog has. Cushing’s is controlled with medication that supresses the production of cortisol. You will need to do follow up blood tests regularly to make sure the medication levels are appropriate.

Since your Bulldog has low thyroid the cause of his hormonal disorder is most likely from a problem with the pituitary gland. This is manageable but she will need medication for the remainder of her life.

Here’s an article from the FDA with more information: Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

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Introducing Your Bulldog to Your New Baby

Hi Jan
My wife and I are having our first baby in a few months and we were wondering if having a bulldog around a newborn is a good idea. If you could give me any advice on whether bulldogs are in general good around babies or we risk to have a big problem.

Hi Pablo,

If your Bulldog has a nice disposition, gets along with dogs & people, especially infants, and has not shown territorial aggression, you should have no problems. In general Bulldogs are very good with families.

Keep in mind your Bulldog has probably been the center of attention in the house and now will have a “sibling” come into the pack. He probably knows something’s going on because of your excitement about the upcoming birth.

There are ways to introduce them to ease any stress the new baby presents. Be sure to give him the usual attention, keep the routine as normal as possible including meal times and walks, praise him for being good. If he’s currently well mannered and obedient things will be easier. Be sure to stay calm since he’ll pick up on your behavior and supervise him.

“An infant is the ultimate wild-card for a dog,” says Jennie Willis Jamtgaard, owner of Animal Behavior Insights and instructor at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

“It is a big transition for everyone and preparing ahead of time is really the key — when a baby comes home, that is not the time to start to work with the dog,” Jamtgaard adds.

Beaver and Jamtgaard agree there are not one, but two important transitions that occur when a baby arrives: first, the initial introduction, and, second, when the baby becomes mobile.

While toddlers tend to antagonize their pets out of healthy curiosity and can set the stage for the most severe accidents, more tension tends to be associated with the initial introduction. Experts say it is best to begin training the dog as soon as you know you are expecting.

Make sure you work on the basics, such as sit, stay, not barking or pulling on a leash before the baby comes into the picture, says Jamtgaard. “If the dog is not behaved without the baby, of course it’s going to be more difficult once the baby is around,” she says.

Here’s an article written by Bulldog owners with a new baby on how they did it: http://vivyland.com/articles/bulldogandbaby.htm

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Poisonous Foods and Plants

It’s always good to be reminded of what food dangers lurk in your kitchen that could make your dog seriously ill.  We are familiar with a lot of them like chocolate and sugar-free gum (for the artificial sweetener xylitol), and grapes.  But there are more.

Onions, parts of apples (seeds, stems, leaves), bread dough! and more.

And if you have a puppy, be extra vigilant as they tend to chew on everything.

Here’s the entire article:

An apple a day keeps the doctor away — unless you’re a dog or cat, in which case a crunchy Golden Delicious can prove poisonous! Lots of “people food” and pretty plants can have harmful, even fatal effects on our furry friends. Keep them safe with this checklist of natural toxins; you might be surprised at what you find.

FOODS
Apples: All the non-meat parts of an apple — the stem, leaves, and seeds — contain cyanide, which is poisonous to animals and humans.

Avocado: Avocadoes contain persin, a toxic fatty-acid derivative that can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory distress, fluid around the heart, and even death. All species — domesticated animals, cattle, even fish — are susceptible, so keep the guac well out of reach of your pets.

Baby food containing onion or garlic: Baby food is often recommended for ill felines; Layla Morgan Wilde, cat behavior guru and founder of the Annex Cat Rescue, notes that it’s “excellent for cats that have lost their appetite, but check the ingredient labels” first to make sure no onions lurk within.

Bread dough: Cindy Wenger, animal communicator, comments that “a little bit of bread dough can cause a big problem.” Why? “A dog’s stomach creates the perfect warm environment to allow bread dough to do what it does best, and that’s rise,” Wenger says. “Bread dough can quickly expand in a dog or cat’s stomach, causing it to distend beyond its capacity, cutting off its blood supply.” On top of that, fermenting yeast can produce ethanol; once that’s absorbed into the bloodstream, your pet may appear uncoordinated and disoriented. (Drunk, in other words. Not good.)

Chocolate: Large amounts cause stomach cramping and vomiting in dogs and cats. (Keep in mind too that, for a cat or small dog, a couple of mini Special Dark bars is a large amount relative to their size.)

Grapes/raisins: It’s unclear how many grapes or raisins your pet would need to eat to cause kidney failure — some sources think it could take as few as four — but why risk it?

Mushrooms: All kinds — not just the sketchy-looking ones in your back yard — are poisonous to dogs.

Nuts: Macadamias and walnuts contain a toxin that affects the digestive and nervous systems of dogs, and could cause seizures.

Onions: In raw or cooked form, onions — and their cousins, like chives and leeks — are toxic to cats and dogs. They contain thiosulphate, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and shortness of breath in pets. What’s worse, says pet expert Steven May of The Daily Growl, “Typically the symptoms won’t show up for a day or two.” May recommends taking your pet to the vet right away if you think she’s eaten onions; better safe than sorry.

Sugar-free gum and mints: Sugar-free snacks and candy sometimes contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s the enemy of your dog’s liver.

PLANTS
Aloe: A wonderful topical treatment for humans, it’s bad for cats and dogs.

Baby’s breath: Also poisonous to cats and dogs. Keep bouquets out of pets’ reach, or just pull this “filler flower” altogether before putting flowers in a vase.

Bulbs: Including tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths.

Carnations.

Chamomile: Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.

Grass: “But my dog/cat eats grass all the time! It’s what dogs/cats do!” And usually it’s fine — unless, says Wilde, “it’s sprayed with pesticides.” Natural grass is okay, she says. But if you don’t know what the lawn guy put on the grass, don’t let your pets nibble it.

Hyacinths: Not just the bulbs; the rest of the plant is poisonous as well.

Hydrangea.

Lilies: Bruce Silverman, VMD of Chicago, IL deems lilies “probably the most common natural toxin I see ingested by cats.” Lilies “are toxic to a cat’s kidneys after a cat licks or chews on any part of the plant or flower,” Silverman says, and the cat will need IV fluids and other professional care “to try to get the kidneys back into healthy condition.”

Poinsettias: Now that the holidays are over, poinsettias pose less of a danger, but some folks do replant them outdoors.

OTHER OUTDOOR AGENTS
Insects: Often harmless, but Dr. Silverman relates a funny story about dogs and cicadas: “A few years ago half the dogs in the Chicago metro area went crazy scarfing down cicadas during their 13-year-cycle. Between the diarrhea and vomiting, and the twisted ankles from all the dogs jumping into the air to catch the cicadas mid-flight, the veterinary community had its hands full.” The occasional moth shouldn’t be a problem, but if your pet is snacking on a pile of bugs — or you live in an area with poisonous spiders — keep an eye on any bug snacking.

Rock salt: De-icing salt can cause burning and cracking to paws. If it gets stuck between your pet’s toes and he licks his feet to work it loose, it could irritate his stomach. If your pets go outdoors (and cats generally shouldn’t), add a quick paw rinse to your wintertime post-walk routine, and check the animal’s feet to make sure uncomfortable boluses of salt or dirt haven’t gotten trapped.

COFFEE, BOOZE, AND CIGARETTES
Alcohol: “Some people think it’s cute or funny for a pet to drink, i.e. a beer, not realizing alcohol is toxic to both cats and dogs,” Wilde says.

Caffeine: Could cause collapse and seizures, among other symptoms, in pets.

Nicotine: Smoking kills — secondhand smoke is bad for pets, too — and nicotine in any form, whether cigarettes, patches, or gum, can cause heart and respiratory failure in pets.

MEDICINES
Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, prescription drugs, and medications intended for use by humans should never be given to pets. Topical preparations for humans — sunscreen; bug repellent; rubbing alcohol, e.g. — should also be kept well out of their reach.

And drugs and medicines that are intended for your furry friends should be administered as directed. Do not borrow prescriptions from friends, or freelance the dosage; do as your vet advises, and if you aren’t sure how to give a medication, call and ask.

SYMPTOMS TO WATCH FOR
Excessive thirst
Lethargy
Panting or shallow breathing
Seizures
Vomiting/diarrhea

If your pet doesn’t display these symptoms, but you saw the cat nibbling a daffodil or the dog is behaving oddly after digging in the trash, don’t take chances. Call your vet, an emergency-care clinic, or an animal poison-control hotline right away.

original article here

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Want to Keep Your Bulldog Around Forever?

Warm Hearts and Freeze-Dried Pets

It looks like now we can keep our beloved pets forever.  There appears to be a growing industry specializing in the preservation of our “best friends” by freeze drying them.

And there is an entire tv show on Animal Planet called ‘American Stuffers’ devoted to the subject:

while taxidermy is merely fascinating, pet preservation, as the practice of memorializing pets by freeze-drying them is more delicately described, makes for truly riveting television. What a narrative: there are the grieving owners, invariably in tears; the stricken animal (frozen, not in the rictus of death, but in actuality, as Mr. Ross asks that deceased pets be kept chilled until they are brought to him); and the epic life story of each pet (like Chatters, the 40-pound raccoon, who gnawed cabinetry and snuggled in bed, or Sam, the bad-tempered Chihuahua, who ate toenail clippings).

Then, months later, because freeze drying takes time (up to six months for large animals like dogs, though the show telescopes that process into minutes), there is the spectacular reveal, as Mr. Ross, a former auto body specialist, presents his deft handiwork: the pet, revivified. (Well, almost.)

“Freeze-drying love,” as the show’s teaser promises. “One pet at a time.”

It seems to me that most of the attachment to my bulldogs is their personality, the way they come up to greet me, the click click click on the hardwood floor.  But some of us may want to just keep what’s left of them around forever.

You can read the entire article here: ‘American Stuffers’ Family – Warm Hearts and Freeze-Dried Pets – NYTimes.com.

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Genetics of the Bulldog Reveal Surprising Relatives

Recent advancements in genetic testing have revealed which dog breeds are closely related.  It is well known historical theory that the Bulldog was bred from the Mastiff.  Early illustrations of fierce Bulldogs reveal their similarity to the Mastiff.  When bull baiting was banned in England the Bulldog almost disappeared.  Fortunately for us the breed was saved and the present day incarnation was formed.

Early bull baiting bulldogs

Bulldog Puppy from 1903

Bulldog Puppy 1903

Bulldogs Play with a Ball

Contemporary Bulldogs

We can thank Victorian England with it’s passion for dog shows as a favorite passtime for the revival of our breed. Now genetic testing has revealed the close proximity of the Bulldog not only to the Mastiff, Bull Terrier, French Bulldog, and Boxer as well as some surprises.  A portion of the study defines our group:

The new third cluster consisted primarily of breeds related in heritage and appearance to the Mastiff and is anchored by the Mastiff, Bulldog, and Boxer, along with their close relatives, the Bullmastiff, French Bulldog, Miniature Bull Terrier, and Perro de Presa Canario. Also included in the cluster are the Rot- tweiler, Newfoundland, and Bernese Mountain Dog, large breeds that are reported to have gained their size from ancient Mastiff-type an- cestors. Less expected is the inclusion of the German Shepherd Dog. The exact origins of this breed are unknown, but our results suggest that the years spent as a military and police dog in the presence of working dog types, such as the Boxer, are responsible for shaping the genetic background of this popular breed.

If you want to read the entire scientific study, go here.

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Natural Home Remedies For Fleas

I’d never heard of this simple remedy for fleas, but it’s certainly worth a try before subjecting your dog to strong chemicals.

To Eliminate Fleas

Try: Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. To kill fleas on dogs without using toxic chemicals, add a small amount of Dawn dishwashing liquid under running water to fill a sink or bathtub and give your dog a bath in the soapy solution. Work the lather into your pet’s coat and let it soak for more than 5 minutes. The soap penetrates the exoskeletons of fleas, killing them, and works more effectively than some prescribed flea shampoos.

Dog Health: Natural Home Remedies For Fleas | Prevention.com.

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Bulldog Vomiting Bile and Food

A French Bulldog owner contacted me concerning his health.  She did all her research into a good breeder
and it sounds like she had a very good one. But stuff can still happen.

We have been in contact with the breeder several times, and visited her house prior to the day we got to take him home. She also made a few surprise visits to our house to check on his progress.

I am still very concerned for his health however. He has been vomiting occasionally.  We have been keeping him on a diet of red meat or chicken necks and some dried food.

He usually eats twice a day, which we have recently changed to just dried food, a smaller meal in the morning and a larger portion at lunch time. We also give him an occasional “natures energy treats”. They are just a dried food treat, and he probably has 2 of these a day.

He will sometimes get up in the middle of the night to be sick (according to my son) and I will sometimes find vomit around the place, which appears to consist of bile. He has vomited entire meals up almost immediately after eating on occasion. He has been off and on his food recently, and he appears to have lost a little weight and his energy levels seem to be a little low, which I can only assume is from a lack of food. The dried food seems to suit him a lot better, and since we’ve switched to that he seems to be holding it down. We are trying to find meals that suit him, and if you could offer any advice, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance ,

Marisa

—-

Hi Marisa,

From your description it sounds like Jean-Baptiste may have a couple things going on: vomiting bile and one of the esophageal disorders that are fairly common in Bulldogs.

Since the French Bulldog is a dwarf English Bulldog there is a high probability of these disorders. A bulldog puppy vomiting yellow bile in the morning is fairly common and not usually cause for concern.  It happens because the dog hasn’t eaten for a while and stomach acids have accumulated overnight.  These acids irritate the stomach lining and cause him to vomit.

Try giving him an evening meal and see it this helps with this.

In my French Bulldog Health book I go into detail about the esophageal disorders. They sounds scary but there may be an easy fix.  First of all, there is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation. If your dog is simply throwing up food right after eating, food that has not been in the stomach, it is probably simple regurgitation from the esophagus (throat).

Bulldogs tend to gulp their food and sometimes eat so fast that the food can’t get down the esophagus properly and so they throw up.

There is a condition common in Bulldogs called esophageal motility disorder, where the normal constrictions of the esophagus don’t work properly and cause the bulldog to not “swallow” properly and often regurgitate.

There is a simple way to alleviate this condition that I recommend in my book.  Elevate your bulldog’s food dish.  This lets gravity take over and help get the food down his throat.

To soothe an upset stomach you can feed him a little canned pumpkin with his food – be sure it is pure pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie mix which is loaded with sugar.

You can also feed him more frequently, smaller meals and see if he holds it down better.

There are, however, other things that can cause vomiting, including food allergies, metabolic disorders, ulcers, or even obstructions in the throat, or if he has something lodged in his stomach like a rawhide bone or teddy bear.

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Hives in Bulldog – What Do I Do?

Jan, I am enjoying your e-mails and love learning about my bully!  Last night he got hives, which he still has today.  I’m not sure if it was because of the terrible storms we’ve been having or if he found something old and disagreeable to eat in my teenager’s bedroom.  Do you have any thoughts on hives?

Thanks,

Carol

Hi Carol,

Hives are an allergic reaction that manifests in the skin.  They show up as small elevated areas that are warm and inflamed.  They usually appear quickly after contact and sometimes go away quickly when your dog is removed from the source.

Hives can be caused by contact with an allergen such as harsh chemicals in the carpet  or seasonal pollens from trees or grasses.  They can also be caused by food, insect bites, or medication.

It’s important to notice what your Bullie was doing before the incident.  If you can find the source you simply keep him away from it.  For example if his bed was washed in a new detergent that could be the source.  Only use “free and clear” laundry detergents.

For treatment you can give him a small dose of Benadryl (pink box, smallest dose – do not buy liquid).  This may clear it up.  If not you may need to take him to your vet for a cortisone shot if he has a really severe case.

You can also bathe him in cool water and oatmeal shampoo to remove any allergens that may be on his coat.  Do not use hot water as the hives are already ‘hot’ and this can aggravate them.

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Beware of Blue or Chocolate or Black and Tan French Bulldogs!

Want a blue or chocolate French Bulldog? Think again!  This warning applies to all so called “special” Bulldog breeds like “miniature” or “black English Bulldogs”.   Read this post from Frog Dog:

Due to requests, I’m compiling a list of “Bad French Bulldog Breeder Warning Signs”, which you’ll find serialized here, and on the new! improved! French Bulldog Z website.

Warning Sign:Breeder offers “rare” colors, such as Blue, Chocolate, Black and Tan

Why is this an issue? “Rare” colors are nothing more or less than a marketing scam. There really is nothing rare or unusual about any of the colors listed. In actual fact, they are uncommon simply because ethical breeders choose not to breed for them, because they are ‘DQs’ a show term which is short for ‘disqualification’.  Dogs in DQ colors cannot be shown in conformation show events, thus breeders who compete in conformation and who register their dogs with their country’s body of registry are unlikely to intentionally breed for them.

Additionally, most ethical breeders choose to belong to their national or regional breed clubs, and almost all French Bulldog clubs do not allow intentional breeding of DQ colors by their members.

Any breeder can, by accident, get a puppy of a DQ color in a litter. Reputable breeders simply place these puppies as pets, for the same price as any other puppy. In fact, past breeders who had DQ colors appear would usually place the puppies for free, since their color was considered undesirable.

By pushing these colors as ‘rare’,  Fad Color breeders are attempting to inflate their value, and their price. They want you to become convinced that these puppy have some sort of value added, by virtue of their color, and that this makes them worth a higher price.

They are taking advantage of the naivete of novice owners, who might be attracted to the idea of owning something ‘unique’, and who don’t understand the truth behind ‘fad’ colors.These breeders understand full well that they are scamming you into paying a higher price for a puppy that, years ago, would have been given away for free. Many of them brag, in private, about how the ‘stupid pet people‘ are ‘paying off their mortgages twenty years early‘ actual quote from a private email that was shared with me.

Some fad colors have been linked to health conditions, specifically, Blues with a condition called color dilution alopecia this condition is so common in Blue dogs of every breed that it is often referred to as “Blue Dog Alopecia”.CDA can result in hair loss and chronic skin inflammation. This inflammation can lead to skin ruptures, cracks and injuries, leaving the dogs afflicted by it prone to Staph infections, or even MRSA.

In Collie puppies, blue dogs an suffer from an immune linked disorder which can cause them to die within the first few weeks after birth.Early breeders noted all of these factors, and declared “Blue”, “Mouse” and “Grey” all of which are now believed to be the same, genetically in French Bulldogs to be a disqualification because they did not want to see breeding stock afflicted by these devastating conditions.Only a breeder who truly cares about nothing more than the money would resurrect them, at the potential detriment to the breed, and to the puppies produced.

A well thought out breeding program, in French Bulldogs or any other breeds, is essentially a pyramid.The base of our pyramid is our stable foundation – health and temperament. They are the base on which all else must balance. Above that, we put conformation, then above that movement which requires both proper health and proper conformation to exist. Above that, we put fanciful preferences, like color or pattern.

Imagine, now, if we invert that pyramid, and try to balance our ENTIRE breeding program on that tiny, unimportant tip? We will never be able to achieve balance, symmetry and harmony in our dogs, and our pyramid will crumble into a heap of unhealthy, improperly conformed, ill tempered dogs.Color fad breeders don’t care if their breeding program crumbles or fails, because, by the time it does, they will be on to the next new money making scheme. They will leave the breed, and the owners who bought from them, to fend for themselves.

via French Bulldog Breeder Warning Signs, Part One – Fad Colors : Frogdog Blog.

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Bulldogs: “Notorious Droolers” ??!!!

I found this post on the vpi website under the pet breeds section.  “Notorious Droolers”??? where’d they get that idea?  I’ve never had a bulldog who drooled, except Archie who turns into a fountain when he smells me open the peanut butter jar!  Anyway, the rest of the description is good and the photos are really cute.


Bulldogs

Notorious Droolers are Family Favorites

Bulldogs make an immediate impression. With a large head, shortened muzzle, undershot jaw and a strong, square build, bulldogs appear formidable.

Don’t be fooled. These drooling, heavy breathers are softies at heart and are one of the most popular canine companion choices in America. They are also on the AKC’s top 10 most-wanted dog breeds list year after year.

Bulldog History

Descended from the mastiff breed, the bulldog was bred to guard, control and bait bulls during the Middle Ages, using its wide lower jaw to clamp on to the bull’s nose like a vise. The bulldog’s short muzzle allowed the dog to continue breathing while clinging to the bull.

The bulldog is known to be dominant and courageous, with a seemingly high tolerance to pain, characteristics of which have been attributed to the breed’s fighting dog ancestry.

Bulldogs are Family Dogs

Bulldogs also have a gentle and patient nature, making them ideal family pets that notably behave well with children and other pets.

They rarely whine and usually bark only when there is a good reason to do so. While bulldogs are not very demanding by nature, they can be stubborn and will often not complain if they are injured, ill, suffering from thirst, hunger or cold.

As a result, bulldogs require attentive owners who can properly take care of them.

Chewing can be pronounced in bulldogs, so training is essential to curb this behavior.

Bulldog Behavior

Known as perpetual puppies, bulldogs reach maturity by 36 months of age, as compared to the average 12 to 18 months in most dog breeds. Although they may be particularly needy as puppies, don’t worry; bulldogs mature into calm adults.

Case in point: Bulldogs prefer to spend their days lounging as much as possible. You may never convince a bulldog to enjoy outdoor sports; a bulldog would rather exercise his jaws chewing on foreign objects. Chewing can be pronounced in bulldogs, so training is essential to curb this behavior.

Bulldog Breeds

There are a variety of bulldog breeds, although they share similar characteristics and health conditions:

  • Alapaha Blue Blood bulldog
  • American bulldog
  • Aussie bulldog
  • Banter Bulldogge
  • Buldoque Campeiro
  • Ca de Bou
  • Catahoula bulldog
  • Dorset Olde Tyme bulldog
  • English bulldog
  • French bulldog
  • Olde English Bulldogge
  • Olde Boston Bulldogge
  • Victorian bulldog
  • Valley bulldog

Common Bulldog Medical Conditions

While these may be common medical conditions, your bulldog will not necessarily develop any of those listed below.

  • Extreme sensitivity to temperature variations and difficulty breathing in hot temperatures due to a shorter muzzle. Good ventilation and air conditioning are essential with this breed.
  • Skin infections, hip and knee problems.
  • Abnormal dentition placement, number and development of teeth.
  • Brachycephalic upper-airway syndrome: Signs are noisy or open-mouth breathing, snoroing, panting, exercise intolerance, vomiting and difficulty eating. An exaggerated movement of the dog’s abdomen during breathing is commonly seen in more severely affected animals.
  • Distichiasis: This occurs when eyelashes grow in the wrong spot and cause an eye irritation even to the point of scarred corneas. Treatment options your veterinarian can offer include manual removal, electrolysis, electrocautery, cryotherapy and surgery.

As with any pet, be sure to regularly consult a veterinarian for routine care and medical advice for your particular four-legged friend.

bulldogbreed

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Blue Gene Bulldogs – Good Color or Not?

jan do you know of any books or info about blue genes in bulldogs?

the only thing I know is the “blue genes” are recessive ‘d’ genes that when
combined will produce a bluish color instead of black. They are more common
in French Bulldogs where breeders try to hype them up.  They are not up to
the French Bulldog Club of America standards and cannot be shown.  Some
breeders are now touting them as special.
I do not know of any English Bulldogs with these genes but if there are,
they are not a normal genetic make up and not a breed standard.
Read this update for the truth about certain breeders
Here’s what the French Bulldog Club of America has to say about blue genes:

COLOR AND THE FRENCH BULLDOG BREED STANDARD

The Constitution of The French Bull Dog Club of America says: “The objects of the club shall be . . . to urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by the American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which French Bulldogs shall be judged

Our Standard has included basically the same color requirements and disqualifications since they were added in 1911. During the intervening 97 years, it has listed the following as disqualifications: solid black, black and white, black and tan, liver and mouse color. In the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) Standard, the term “mouse grey” is used (Mausgrau in German, gris souris in French). Since our color disqualifications were added the same year that a Conference of French Bull Dog Clubs of Europe, at which our club participated, developed the European countries’ standard, it is clear that the “mouse” in the US Standard referred to the mouse-grey coat color shown by dogs expressing the recessive “blue dilution” (D/d) gene.

The genetics of canine coat color is complicated because there are several genetic loci involved, some of which control the color and intensity of the pigments, and some of which control the pattern of distribution of these colors.

Briefly, there are two types of pigment in dogs— a light pigment (phaeomelanin) which may range from reddish through yellow to pale cream; and a dark pigment (eumelanin) which is either black or brown. French bulldogs should carry only the gene for the black type of dark pigment and therefore should have only black noses, lips and paw pads. Brown pigment in the coat or nose/lips/pads is unacceptable (and is the “liver” that our Standard deems a disqualification; it is also a DQ by the FCI standard). The light pigment gives rise to a range of fawn coat colors — all phaeomelanin, but in various degrees of concentration to produce the range of pigmentation from red through fawn to cream. Some fawn Frenchies have a black mask, which is a recognized and acceptable coat.

There is a “pattern” genetic locus that gives rise to brindle coats. Brindle Frenchies have a base coat of fawn hairs through which black hairs extend in bands to produce a coat ranging from a “tiger” brindle in which the fawn hairs predominate, to the more common dark brindles in which the black hairs predominate. In some of the latter, the black hairs are so numerous that there may be only a small number of fawn hairs arranged in one or more bands. Our standard refers to “a trace of brindle,” which should have enough fawn hairs to demonstrate this pattern. There is no such thing as a “brindle hair” since brindle is a pattern consisting of a mixture of black hairs and fawn hairs.

Another ‘pattern” gene produces pied (piebald) in which the coat is white with

pigmented patches most commonly located on the head, tail base, and “saddle”. The pigmented patches may be either fawn or brindle, but in a brindle pied dog there must be enough fawn hairs visible in at least one of the pigmented patches to provide the brindle pattern, so that it is not the disqualified “white with black.”

Another pattern gene gives rise to black-and-tan (black with tan points), also a disqualification in both the US and the FCI standard. While there have been some black and tan Frenchies, these are rarely seen.

The color that has become more widespread in recent years, and which some are promoting as “rare,” is the “blue” coloration caused by the recessive gene called “Blue Dilution” (D/d). This gene can act on both the dark (black or brown) and light (red to yellow) pigments.

In a brindle or a brindle pied dog, what should be black hairs (as well as black pigment on the nose, and paws) is a slatey blue-grey color. In a fawn or fawn pied (white with fawn markings) dog, the fawn hairs are a silvery fawn and the nose, the dark mask (if there is one) and paw pads are slatey blue-grey. Any French Bulldog that has mouse colored hair – whether on a brindle or a fawn dog – should be disqualified as mouse. The coat color constitutes a disqualification – as does the nose color.

Although some people find blue Frenchies attractive, neither they nor their offspring should be sold for show or for breeding, as they all carry a disqualifying genetic fault. If a blue dog (d/d, with two copies of the recessive “blue gene”) is bred to another blue (d/d), all of the resulting puppies will also be blue (d/d). If a blue dog (d/d) is bred to a non-blue who is NOT a carrier of the blue gene (D/D), ALL of the puppies will be carriers of, but will not express, the blue gene (D/d). If a carrier of the blue gene (D/d), is bred to a non-carrier (D/D), 1/2 of the puppies will be normal non-carriers (D/D) and 1/2 will be carriers (D/d). If two carriers are bred together (D/d X D/d), 1/4 of the puppies will be blue (d/d), 1/2 will be carriers (D/d), and 1/4 will be normal non-carriers (D/D).

Some people mistakenly believe that even though a dog may have a blue dog in its ancestry, that if no blues have been produced in several generations that means that their dog can’t be carrying the blue gene. This is wrong. It is not like mixing paint in a bucket, progressively diluting out the undesirable gene. A recessive gene will keep passing hidden and unchanged through an infinite number of generations of carriers. The insidious thing about a recessive gene is that carriers pass the gene on to about 1/2 of their offspring, producing another generation of carriers; then those carriers pass it on to 1/2 of their offspring, and so forth, so that the gene spreads unnoticed through the gene pool as people unaware of an affected ancestor breed its descendents. It will only surface when a carrier is bred to another carrier (or to a blue), which happens when people do

linebreeding. This is one of the beneficial things about linebreeding; it exposes the presence of undesirable recessive genes in a line, so that responsible breeders can undertake to eliminate them.

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Does Your Bulldog Eat Stuff Like Cardboard?

Pica is a term used to describe a dog’s behavior of eating things that are not really nutritious.  I call my Bulldog Archie the “napkin thief” because he loves to snatch and eat napkins and tissues.  He will also tear a cardboard box to shreds but he doesn’t really eat it like some dogs would.


Pica was first used as a term for a perverted craving for substances unfit to be used as food by Ambrose Paré (1509-1590). Pica is the medieval Latin name for the bird called the magpie, who, it is claimed, has a penchant for eating almost anything. When we say a child is suffering from pica, we are really calling him a magpie.

No one is quite sure why dogs do this and there is lots of speculation. Unfortunately our four legged friends can’t tell us why they do it.

Dr Khuly has some advise for pet owners whose dogs like to consume cardboard, paper napkins, tissue and other oddities.

So what’s a veterinarian (or pediatrician) to do?

In Slumdog’s case, as for most of my patients, the issue comes down to several major points of order:

1. Is the animal receiving appropriate nutrition (calories and nutrients)?

2. Is the animal suffering from any discernible biological imbalance?

3. Is the animal allowed sufficient opportunities to display normal chewing behavior?

4. Does the animal display any other behavioral abnormalities that might be relevant to this one?

5. Is the animal’s health threatened by this behavior?

The approach here is to rule out other conditions — especially those that have a discreet treatment pathway — and when none are identified, to decide between the following options: (a) stop the behavior at all costs; or (b) ignore it.

In Slumdog’s case the penchant for paper has rarely proved dangerous. Though I do my best to keep bathroom doors closed and paper napkins from hitting the floor, paper products will invariably go astray in a household whose thirteen-year-old member hasn’t yet acquired an adult sense of responsibility in these matters.

You can read the entire post here:
Pica: The funny little word for a potentially serious pet behavior problem | PetMD.

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Travel Training for You and Your Pets

One thing to always remember with a Bulldog is the problem of heat.  Bulldogs are very susceptible to heat stroke and can die in an environment that’s over 75 degrees, especially if in a stressful situation like an airplane cargo hold.  Bulldogs are Number 1 in deaths on airplanes!  read my earlier post:  http://www.askbulldoghealth.com/?p=142

Ask CVM: Travel Training for You and Your Pets

by Ashley Steel, Contributing Writer, Communications

With the summer months rapidly approaching, vacation season will soon be here. We all need a little time away from the monotony of an everyday routine, so as you get ready to retreat, it’s important to know how to care for your four-legged friends traveling with you. Most of us travel by car or plane, but each option brings certain drawbacks for pets.

Car Travel

Car travel is usually less stressful on pets because it allows Freckles and Champ to be close to you, so you can monitor their well-being and come to their aid when needed.  If you choose to drive to your destination, here are a few helpful hints to make the trip more enjoyable.

Motion sickness: It’s common for pets to experience motion sickness while traveling in a car. To help avoid an upset stomach, don’t feed your pet a large meal before travel. Cracking a window to allow fresh air to circulate through your vehicle also helps. If Champ is prone to motion sickness or if Freckles’ sensitive stomach acts up again, you may want to put them in the front seat next to you.  Riding up front helps because less motion is felt in the front of the vehicle.

Bathroom breaks: While Champ may snooze for the majority of the trip, it’s still important to give him frequent bathroom breaks. Traffic is unpredictable, so if it has been more than a couple of hours, stop and give your dog a chance to relieve himself and stretch his legs.

Sedatives: While sedatives may make your pet seem less stressed during car trips, these medications also have a tendency to dull the senses and lessen your pet’s ability to react to the environment, which can be dangerous in an emergency. When traveling by car or by plane, avoid giving your pet any type of sedative.  If you think Champ or Freckles really needs a sedative to travel, talk to your pet’s veterinarian before your trip.

Air Travel

For people, flying is often quicker and easier than driving, but flying can be a more stressful experience for your pet. If you decide to travel by air, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

Cargo travel: While you’re snacking, reading, and sleeping in relative comfort up in economy seating, Champ is usually traveling in the cargo area below, subjected to temperature fluctuations and loud noises. A cat or small dog may be allowed to travel in the plane’s cabin, as long as the pet is kept in a crate and the crate fits underneath the seat.  Check with specific airlines for more information about cabin travel for your pet.

Check on your pet: Make sure to tell the plane’s Captain or flight attendant that you have a pet on board. If the flight staff knows about Champ in cargo, they are better able to check on him for you, especially if an unusual situation occurs, such as an unscheduled landing, extended taxi time, or long layover.

Walk your dog: If you and Champ have a connecting flight, try to walk him before that connecting flight departs. Many airports provide dog parks just outside the terminal. A bathroom break and a short walk will help Champ relax and stay calm during the remainder of his journey.

Crate your pet: During flights, most pets are housed in pet crates provided by their owners. It’s important to prepare your pet’s crate with safety in mind.  Pet crates should provide ample space for your pet to move around and should also meet the requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) and the International Air Transportation Association (IATA).

When your pet is crated, remember to include:

  • A bowl of dry food;
  • A bowl or other container of frozen water that will melt over the course of the trip, giving your pet constant access to cold water;
  • Appropriate bedding, such as a soft towel or blanket, or shredded newspaper or wood chips if the traveling pet is a hamster, gerbil, or guinea pig; and
  • A label on the outside of the crate that is clearly marked with your pet’s name and your contact information.  You should include both your home contact information and your destination contact information.

Be Prepared: If you plan to stay in a hotel while traveling, contact the hotel ahead of time to make sure it is pet friendly.

Before your trip, research veterinary hospitals in the city or town of your destination in case of a pet emergency during the vacation.

Hawaii and Abroad: Traveling outside the continental United States with your pet requires advanced planning.  For international travel, contact the appropriate country’s embassy or consulate at least 4 weeks before your trip.  Different countries may require different documentation for your pet’s entry. The state of Hawaii also has entry requirements for arriving pets.

For more information about traveling with your pets, please check the following Web sites:

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter > Ask CVM: Travel Training for You and Your Pets.

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