Ever Noticed Your Bulldog Gets Jealous? it’s true!

I always thought my Bulldog was acting jealous at times but now I know! New research proves dogs can get jealous

New research suggests that dogs can exhibit jealousy, a human emotion usually ascribed to squabbling siblings or the jilted third of a love triangle.A study by scholars at the University of California, San Diego found that dogs showed jealous behaviors when their owners displayed affection toward an animatronic stuffed dog that barked, whined and wagged its tail. The dogs snapped at and pushed against the stuffed dog and tried to get between it and the human.This may come as no surprise to any owner of multiple pooches who has seen them jostle for space on someones lap. And its not unusual for people to assign human feelings to their dogs, whose baleful eyes seem like deep pools of emotion when compared with those of, say, cats…

The dogs acted jealous when their owners petted the stuffed dog and talked sweetly to it as if it was real, although they displayed less such behavior when the owner showered attention on the pumpkin or read aloud from the children’s book, which had pop-up pages and played melodies.

In this way, the study suggests, the dogs’ jealousy was triggered by social interaction and not merely by their owners’ ignoring them for an inanimate object. Eighty-six percent of the dogs sniffed the butt of the toy dog during the experiment, so many of them may have seen it as real.

To read more about this study click hereStudy: Dogs can feel jealous, too – CNN.com.


Tail Wagging – What Does It Mean?

Of course you’re saying “but my Bulldog doesn’t have a tail”, true true. However I have found tail wagging interpretation extremely helpful when encountering another dog on my walks with Archie.When to beware and when to proceed.

from Dr Becker

Recent research suggests that when dogs feel stress, they tend to wag their tails to the left as a reflection of what’s happening in the brain. Activation of the left-brain causes the tail to wag to the right; activation of the right brain produces a wag to the left.

The research shows that dogs wag to the right side when they encounter something pleasant. When they see something threatening, for example, a strange dog exhibiting dominant behaviors, they wag more to the left side.

These results suggest that dogs notice another dog’s tail wagging and use the information to decide whether the dog with the wagging tail is friend or foe.

What do other tail positions mean (among dogs, at least)?

A tail held high is a sign of dominance. The dog will release more of their scent from their anal glands this way, thus making their presence known

A tail held high and wagging is often a sign of happiness

A tail held horizontal to the ground means your dog is exploring

A low-wagging tail is a sign of worry or insecurity

A tail tucked between the legs is a sign of fear or submission (this position also prevents his scent from being released)

via 10 Amazing Uses of Animal Tails.


Teach Your Dog to Sit, not Jump Up

Does your Bulldog jump up on you? It’s a complaint I hear a lot. Dr  Sophia Yin is a premiere dog behaviorist and trainer. Here she tells us the effective and bonding way to train your dog to sit and not jump up on you.  It CAN be done! My Archie never jumps on me. Some of my friends are a different story because they encourage him to jump up…

Dr. Yin explained that her approach is to train the dog that “Sit is really fun!” Once a dog learns “Sit is really fun,” when she comes running, she automatically sits and is then rewarded for sitting. If she starts to jump, Dr. Yin teaches pet owners to remove their attention in a very clear and obvious way by standing completely still with their arms to their sides, not looking at the dog. They dont need to turn their back to the dog, because if they do and she sits, theyll miss the opportunity to reward her. Its really very straightforward.Dr. Yin says its also very important that the appropriate behavior is trained first, because if you do the standing still thing when your dog starts to jump up on you, and she doesnt know any appropriate behaviors like “Sit” to perform instead, it could take her quite awhile to try to figure out what she should be doing. So its much more productive to teach the appropriate behavior first before teaching her that you will remove your attention when she performs unwanted behaviors.Dr. Yin explained that the way she teaches the sit behavior is with treats which often consist of food from the dogs regular meal. You should stand completely straight because your body posture must be very clear to your dog. Keep your arms at 90-degree angles so your hands are clearly out of range of your dog, and keep your hands centered against your body. As soon as the dog sits, you straighten your arm and pop a treat into his mouth. Give one treat for sitting, then follow with additional treats for remaining seated, because you want your dog to stay seated automatically without needing a verbal cue. You dont want him to sit and then immediately stand and start jumping. When your dog realizes this is a pretty fun activity, walk maybe five steps backwards very fast. Your dog will follow you. Repeat the exercise all over again.The goal is 30 reinforcements within a couple of minutes. With that many reinforcements in a matter of minutes, even the slowest dog will learn fast as long as his owner makes it clear what behavior is being rewarded. That means getting the treat quickly into your dogs mouth, then standing up straight again, and then in between treats, pulling your arms back to your body with your hands in front of your belly button. This is so your dog knows he wont get a treat when your hands are in that position, but only when your hand is right at his mouth.When you come home, for example, and you know your dog is going to run up to you, you have your treats ready. When your dog sits, you immediately reward him once for sitting and additional times for remaining seated. You practice walking away, he follows you, he sits, and he gets a sequence of rewards again. The goal is that when you arrive home, your dog knows “Were going to play this fun sit exercise where I sit, I get to follow you, and I get to sit again. I get to follow you, and I get to sit again.” The sit behavior becomes a game. The sit becomes fun. And as soon as he starts getting it you increase the interval between treats and decrease the total number of treats per session.And its not just about giving the treat. Its about delivering it in a way that makes it more interesting so quickly and moving in ways that make it fun. By moving and giving treats again when he sits, it makes the exercise fun for your dog.

via Behavior Therapy: Is This Dog Training Fit for Your Dog?.


Dog Anxiety Symptoms and What to Do

When I had my first Bulldog I also had a Chocolate Lab.  Once there was a tremendous lightening storm directly above my house with loud thunder and torrential rain. Suddenly lightening struck my neighbors tree, went through my house and back out through my other neighbor’s tree.  My hair stood on end. My Bulldog reacted by running to the front door to investigate; the lab ran and hid under the kitchen counter.  Two different reactions to the same event. If your dog suffers from anxiety or phobias you’ll find this article very informative:

If your dog briefly startles at loud sounds or hangs back when approached by a stranger, chances are he’s exhibiting a normal stress response that is entirely healthy. A short-term reaction to a stressful or unfamiliar event allows your dog to prepare to fight or take flight if necessary. In the wild, the fight-or-flight response keeps animals alive in the face of threats to their survival.

Unfortunately, in todays world, maladaptive stress responses – chronic, long-term anxiety and phobias — are a growing problem for companion dogs. These fear-based conditions often take the form of separation anxiety, storm and/or noise phobia, or aggression.

A chronic, prolonged fear response can cause both physical and emotional disease processes that can potentially shorten a dogs life and negatively impact quality of life. Chronic stress can depress your dogs immune system, putting him at higher risk for opportunistic infections. It can trigger the development of compulsive behaviors, and it can also alter blood flow to vital organs.

A dog can be assumed to be anxious and/or fearful when she exhibits certain behaviors. These include:Crying or whining Loss of appetiteDrooling PacingEars held back PantingHiding ShakingInappropriate elimination Tucking tailLip licking VigilanceLooking away from a threat Yawning In addition to these behaviors, if your dog has a storm phobia, during thunderstorms she may also tremble, try to stay close to you, engage in destructive behavior, or try to harm herself.

via Is Your Dog Over Anxious? 14 Tip-Offs….


Reverse Sneeze: Bulldog

Sometimes my Bulldog is wheezing by inhaling air and may appear to be choking on something.  The first time you see this in a Bulldog it’s really scary. In fact it’s called a “reverse sneeze” and is harmless.  Here’s an explanation from Dr Becker.

Another condition common in small breed dogs and also brachycephalic breeds is the tendency to reverse sneeze. While it is indeed a sneeze rather than a cough, the sound a dog makes while it’s happening can be mistaken for coughing or choking.Reverse sneezing is caused by a spasm of the throat and soft palate that is triggered by an irritant, which can include simple excitement, exercise, a collar that’s too tight, pollen, or even a sudden change in temperature. In a regular sneeze, air is pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is instead pulled rapidly and noisily in through the nose. The sound of a reverse sneeze can be startling, and many dog parents wonder if their pet is choking or having an asthma attack. Most dogs that reverse sneeze also assume a telltale stance — elbows spread apart, head extended or back, and eyes bulging.Most cases of reverse sneezing require no treatment. However, it’s a good idea to try to keep track of when the episodes occur so you can determine what the probable triggers are and try to avoid them. If the sneezing becomes chronic or episodes become more frequent or longer in duration, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out other potential health problems.

via Coughing: This Symptom Could Foretell a Deadly Disease.


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?.


Leptospirosis: deadly bacteria

Leptospirosis or Lepto as it is often called is a potentially deadly bacteria found in many suburban as well as rural areas.  Your dog can be infected by swimming in infected, usually stagnant water or in the urine of infected animals or by eating a diseased animal.  It enters the bloodstream through small cuts or through the mucous membranes in the nose and eyes and mouth of your pet.

Here are the symptoms as described by veterinarian Dr. Coates:

“a dog will first develop a fever and then about a week later evidence of kidney and/or liver failure dominates the clinical picture. Lethargy, poor appetite, muscle and joint pain, vomiting, increased thirst, the production of abnormally large or small amounts of urine, yellow mucous membranes, and bleeding or bruising are common. Routine blood work and a urinalysis can often diagnose kidney and liver failure, but specific tests are needed to identify leptospirosis as the underlying cause.”

If you suspect your dog has been exposed or is exhibiting symptoms consistent with Leptospirosis, get him or her to your vet for testing.

via Leptospirosis: Part 1 | Fully Vetted | petMD.


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


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Excessive thirst
Panting or shallow breathing

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


What the Dogs Ate – X-Rays of Stuff in Dogs’ Stomachs

If you think your Bulldog won’t eat anything other than food, take a look at these x-rays of things dog ate from the annual contest called “They Ate What? 2011 X-ray Contest Winners” from Veterinary Practice News.  Bulldog lovers will like the last entry 😉

Pay attention to why the owners brought their dogs into the vet so you can learn some of the symptoms of your dog eating a foreign object.

I’m only showing the two Bulldog entries:

A 6-month-old bulldog, Tinkerbell, ate a training collar off another bulldog in their house.  The owners had no idea until she ate a second metal slip collar and then proceeded to become seriously ill.  Doctors were surprised to find two slip collars in her stomach.

And my personal favorite.

Prince Edward, a 9-year-old bulldog, ate his owner’s false teeth when he found them in a bowl that had ice cream in it. The teeth were returned to the owner and she is smiling again!

Bulldog that ate false teeth

To see the rest of the entries visit the Veterinary Practice News website


Bulldog Seizure Management

This article casts new light on an old problem of seizures in dogs.  Many Bulldogs display “head nodding” or “head bobbing” behavior that is usually just a phase and can be treated with a little glucose (see this post).

If your Bulldog has a seizure disorder it’s a different and painful process finding medications that work.  This article is a repost from Dr Jennifer Coates:

Do you have a dog or cat that has seizures? If you do and the problem is serious enough to warrant treatment, chances are you are giving your pet phenobarbital or potassium bromide, either alone or in combination. In the majority of cases phenobarbital and potassium bromide do a great job of reducing seizure frequency and severity to acceptable levels (at least with dogs; seizures in cats can be really bad news). Up until recently, however, pets that did not respond well to these medications were out of luck. Thankfully, that situation is changing.

First, a bit of background. A seizure is a symptom, not a disease in and of itself. Sometimes veterinarians can find an underlying cause for a pet’s seizures. Electrical activity in the brain may be disrupted by tumors, inflammatory diseases, infections, metabolic abnormalities, and more.

If this is the case, treatment should be aimed at the primary problem, although medications to control seizures may also be necessary for either the short or long term. If no underlying cause for a pet’s seizures can be found, he or she will be diagnosed with primary epilepsy, in which case seizure control (not eradication – this is rarely possible) is the main goal of treatment.

Phenobarbital and potassium bromide have long been, and still are, the go-to drugs for seizure control in veterinary medicine. But they don’t work well in all situations. The problems associated with the drugs typically fall into two categories:
1. Pets continue to have frequent and/or severe seizures despite having serum levels of these drugs that fall at the high end of the therapeutic range.

2. Pets have unacceptably severe side effects, typically sedation, ataxia (difficulty walking), increased appetite, thirst and urination, or pronounced elevations in liver enzymes.
When phenobarbital and potassium bromide are not suitable options, it is time to look to the newer drugs like felbamate, gabapentin, levetiracetam, pregabalin, topiramate, and zonisamide. These have the advantage of fewer side effects even when used at the relatively high doses that may be needed to control a pet’s seizures. They can be used alone or in conjunction with phenobarbital and potassium bromide, in which cases the doses of the older drugs can often be lowered dramatically, which reduces their adverse effects.

But don’t run out and ask your vet for a new prescription if your pet’s seizures are well-controlled on phenobarbital and/or potassium bromide. I strongly believe in the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach, and most vets have so much experience with these older drugs that we know what problems to look for and how to deal with them if they arise. The same cannot be said with the newer medications that we are “borrowing” from the human medical community.

The newer meds are also more expensive than phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Thankfully, some are now available as generics, which puts them within financial reach for many more pet owners.

If your veterinarian is unfamiliar with or uncomfortable using these newer anti-seizure medications, ask whether a consultation with a veterinary neurologist might be in your pet’s best interests.


Overweight Bulldog Cannot Breathe

I need some advise…. For some time now our bulldog Buster has been suffering from breathlessness when doing very little exercise, sores on his feet and NOT wanted to go out. He is picked on by other dogs often when he does go out even though he does nothing to justify being picked on.  He has obviously taken him to the vet for answers and we have found out he is approximately 36kg, apparently quite a lot overweight. From taking him to the vet he was referred to a specialist based on strange blood results, an xray showing a potential enlarged heart and a echo something or other showing a potentially strange heartbeat. The specialist is saying his heart is perfect, nothing to worry about, he does not have heart/lung worm which he is being treated with as a precaution but thinks he may have a problem with his throat and possibly needs his soft palette reducing to help with his breathing. My question is, should I give him time to lose some weight or go ahead with the recommended surgery of throat and soft palette surgery?  If he wasn’t so over weight as has been suggested would he even be presenting with the symptoms in the first place. I don’t want to rush into surgery if all he needs to do is lose weight…..


Hi Anita,

Some Bulldogs have breathing that is so compromised it becomes a danger to their health.  If Buster cannot get enough oxygen due to soft palate problems then he may need surgery.  If he suffers fainting spells or his gums are constantly bluish in tone you may not want to wait.

If he is not in immediate danger then I’d recommend you put him on a diet and see how he does when he’s a proper weight.  Cut down his food and give him NO treats unless they are vegetables.  An overweight Bulldog has extra stress put on his heart which when combined with an already compromised breathing/cooling system is a recipe for disaster.  Don’t feel bad if he looks hungry – you are saving his life.

Consult your specialist about how urgent his breathing problems are.  From what you say it sounds like his main problem is he’s overweight and it’s true that a correct weight may reduce his distress significantly.

Here’s a photo of my Archie – you can see his waist indents just behind his ribs. You want to be able to see a waist on him when you look down from above. I exercise him daily and keep him trim.

A healthy Bulldog has a waist

As he loses weight you’ll be able to walk him more.  Start slowly and stop if he starts to breathe heavily.

Concerning his being picked on. Is Buster neutered?  I have found that intact dogs do get picked on by other dogs.  Otherwise he may be timid or lack confidence (each dog has it’s unique personality)  and they sense that.  A trainer could help you work on this.


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.


Bulldog Vomiting and Diarrhea – Extreme Danger

My Bulldog Archie has just come home from a couple of days in the doggie
ICU. Here’s what happened.

Sunday night he vomited – no I don’t think it was the Superbowl ads 🙂
This is not out of the ordinary in a dog’s life. But then he vomited again at 1am, 3am and 5am. This was not ordinary.

At first I thought he had ingested a foreign object – he does like to chew.
And dogs have a reflex at the back of the stomach that will make them
vomit up something that’s trying to move through to the intestines.

But there was nothing in his vomit. By morning he was clearly not feeling
well. He wouldn’t eat or drink and was lethargic. Definitely bad signs.
Knowing that dehydration can be life threatening for a dog, I gave him
some water by pouring it in his mouth.

I called my vet and took him in. There are some things that you just can’t
take care of at home. They did x-rays and didn’t see any objects in his
intestines but did see an enlarged area.

They said I could take him home and monitor him but because of the danger
of dehydration I decided to let them put him on an IV drip in the ICU.

Boy am I glad I did because they called that evening and said he had vomited
two more times and then overnight he started having bloody diarrhea.

Luckily his blood work was “perfect” except for a high blood protein level
consistent with dehydration.

The vomiting stopped but the diarrhea went on for the next day and then
he gradually started to improve.

They thought he had a condition called Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis HGE
which is a fancy name for bloody diarrhea from inflamed intestines.

Now he’s back home and resting (a lot) comfortably.

The lesson here is that if your dog vomits more than once and especially if
it’s accompanied by diarrhea and lethargy and no interest in food, it’s
imperative to get him to the vet immediately.

When a dog dehydrates (this also applies to overheating that can lead to
Heat Stroke) the blood starts to thicken and he goes into shock. The thick
blood will start to make small clots and lead to organ failure and death. If
this clotting starts it is irreversible.

If you want to read more about HGE, the Whole Dog Journal has a very good
article on it at this link:

Yes, it was expensive and I do have pet insurance which I’m hoping will
cover it. And yes, it could recur. But if I had waited a day to see if he would
get better he probably would have died. And that would have been tragic.


Reverse Sneeze Often Occurs in Bulldogs – video

If your Bulldog has ever had a reverse sneezing episode you know that it can cause panic in the viewer.  My  English Bulldog Vivy had them fairly regularly which I attributed to her elongated palate.  When she did this I would hold her head up and stroke her throat from the chest area up towards her head and she would usually stop.

Here’s a good explanation of a reverse sneeze and a video demonstration.

“Reverse sneezing” occurs when a dog feels a tickling sensation in the back of their throat. It is somewhat equivalent to a person clearing their throat. However, when dogs reverse sneeze, the symptoms appear ridiculously overly dramatic. They assume a stiff posture with head and neck rigidly extended forward. This is accompanied by forceful, noisy inhalation and exhalation that can last for several seconds, even minutes. Check out the example of reverse sneezing in the video below.

Here are some examples of other behaviors/symptoms that should prompt you to grab your cell phone and shoot some video (if you can think of others, please let me know):

1. Weakness
2. Trembling
3. Incoordination
4. Falling down/collapse
5. Episodes of pain
6. Symptoms associated with passing urine or stool
7. Making odd noises (in this situation audio taping is a must along with video)
8. Coughing (again, adding audio is great)
9. Labored breathing
10. Limping/lameness
11. Odd behavior

Videotaping for Your Vet « speakingforspot.com.


Bulldog Swallows Part of Kong – Has Intestinal Surgery


Just wanted to give you a brief of something that happened to my bulldog, Buffy.  She managed to chew off the top of a small kong and swallowed it.

She managed to completely swallow it, it passed through her stomach and lodged about 3 inches into her intestines.  She had to have major surgery from this.

The worse part of it was how very sick she became like all at once.  She began throwing up continuously.  She had a x-ray and ultrasound and because of the kong being rubber it did not show up on these.

She was sick like this for about 4 days and then finally the vet and I decided it was time for exploratory surgery and that is what they found.

She is recovering wonderfully, but just thought I would pass this onto you.


Hi Gonde,

That’s a harrowing story.  Intense and unremitting vomiting is definitely a sign of intestinal blockage and I do hear of cases on a regular basis.  Anything from toys to stuffing to blankets to bottle caps and even rocks.

If you see a bulldog chewing on anything they shouldn’t be sure to check in the mouth and keep an eye on poop passage for a few days.  One day I saw a piece of rope in Archie’s stool and was very thankful it hadn’t lodged inside his intestines.

This is the first time I’ve heard of a bulldog being able to chew apart a Kong – I’ve always considered them indestructible.  I’m very glad to hear she’s ok now.

your bulldog pal,



Introducing My Bulldog To Another Dog

I have been asked if i would care for 3 yr old female bully i already have 5 yr old male do you think it would be ok to have this dog or do you think i will have problems.

It depends upon the temperament of both dogs.  I’ve found males to be more tolerant of new females coming into their territory than the reverse.  You should let the dogs meet in a neutral territory (don’t just bring her into his house) and see how it goes.

Dogs are very social animals but they also have a pack mentality and sometimes they just don’t like a new dog around their space.  If the dogs meet and bow down to each other playfully that’s a good sign.  If they stand rigid or the hairs on the back of the neck go up then things aren’t going so well.

Also give the dogs lots of positive reinforcement for good behavior.  Don’t be nervous because your dog will pick up on your feelings and that can complicate things.

Here’s an article from the Humane Society on how to introduce pets: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/introducing_new_dog.html


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,

Bulldog Puppy with Weakness in Back Legs


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,

My bulldog licks my leg, the floors, and more!

Hey Jan, I was wondering if you have any insights  into my Frenchie ,Max who is constantly licking the floors, my legs, pretty much anything is game for him.  He seems to be in very good health, so, any ideas as to why this behavior is happening?



Hi Diane,

I’m not exactly sure but I think many dogs like the taste of lotion on the legs.
As for the floors, it could be something you’re using on the floors.  It could
also be a sign of boredom and I’ve heard it may have something to do with
weaning him as a puppy.

Here’s a site with more answers:

your bulldog pal,


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