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….

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Bulldogs are #1 Breed Again

With his precious wrinkled face and easygoing personality, its no surprise that the Bulldog tops Googles list of most searched dog breeds!

via 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2013 According to Google Searches | Pets – Yahoo Shine.

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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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How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Did you know that most dogs show signs of dental disease by age 3? Brushing your dog’s teeth is important but it’s usually low on our list of things to do.  Here’s a video describing how to brush your dog’s teeth.  It describes dental disease and how to care for dogs as well as cats.  Bad breath is often a sign of dental disease that may need to be treated by your vet.  Teeth brushing is the best way to protect your dog from serious decay or gum (periodontal) disease.  Be sure to make teeth brushing an enjoyable experience by giving treats and lots of praise.  And work them up to a full cleaning slowly.

 

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Bully Stick Warning!

Study finds bacteria and a hefty calorie count in the popular treat

JoAnna Lou | February 4, 2013

There are a lot of pet treats out on the market and it seems like every week a new brand is getting recalled. I don’t even touch any chicken jerky manufactured in China due to the widespread contamination problems.

More recently I’ve been choosing deer antlers and bully sticks, thinking that they’re safer since they’re all natural. But according to a study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal, there are two potential problems with bully sticks (also called pizzle sticks).

The first concern is an excessive amount of calories. The scientists calculated nine to 22 calories per inch, meaning that a 6-inch bully stick could represent nine percent of the daily recommended calorie count for a 50-pound dog or a whopping 30 percent of the requirements for a smaller 10-pound dog. This I’m less worried about as I usually adjust my pets’ dinner if they get a large treat during the day.

The second finding is much more serious. In testing 26 bully sticks, the researchers found one contaminated with Clostridium difficile, one with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and seven with E. coli. The scientists admitted that the sample size was small, but recommended that people should at least wash their hands after touching bully sticks.

I hope that they repeat the study on a larger scale, differentiating by finishing process. Some bully stick companies sun-bake their product, while others irradiate or bake the sticks indoors. I’m sure that these differences can affect bacteria levels.

It would also be good if they gave recommendations on how to get rid of the bacteria. I know that some people bake bully sticks in the oven before giving them to their pets, but it’s not a proven method.

I think that this study goes to show how careful we have to be in researching our pets’ food. I already know a lot about picking a good kibble, but this study has inspired me to do a better job at finding out the origin and manufacturing process for the treats I feed my crew. And it underscores the many benefits of making your own treats at home!

via Bully Stick Danger | The Bark.

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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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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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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

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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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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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Medications for Your Pet … Questions for Your Vet

Medications for Your Pet … Questions for Your Vet

Questions you should ask your veterinarian when medication is prescribed

  1. Why has my pet been prescribed this medication and how long do I need to give it?

  1. How do I give the medication to my pet? Should it be given with food?

  1. How often should the medication be given and how much should I give each time? If it is a liquid, should I shake it first?

  1. How do I store the medication?

  1. What should I do if my pet vomits or spits out the medication?

  1. If I forget to give the medication, should I give it as soon as I remember or wait until the next scheduled dose? What if I accidently give too much?

  1. Should I finish giving all of the medication, even if my pet seems to be back to normal?

  1. Could this medication interact with other medications my pet is taking?

  1. What reactions should I watch for, and what should I do if I see any side effects?

  1. When should I bring my pet back for a recheck? Will you be calling me to check on my pet’s progress, or should I call you?

If you have any questions during your pet’s treatment, contact your veterinarian.

Center for Veterinary Medicine

Animal Health Literacy > Medications for Your Pet … Questions for Your Vet.

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Dog Toxic Xylitol in Many Foods and Drugs

The dangers of chocolate for dogs are well known.  But not so well known is the extremely toxic sweetener known as xylitol.  You may have heard of it as a sugarless gum sweetener but it is also becoming very popular in many food and liquid drug items.

Dr. Khuly explains:  “xylitol is a menace to dogdom…How menacing? A few sugar-free breath fresheners, a pack of gum, a spilled tin of mints, a sugar-free dessert cup. It takes only a little of this toxin to send a dog into hypoglycemia-induced seizures, and just a little bit more to bring on liver failure.

Xylitol is a great product. It’s a natural extract from the birch tree, and it takes only a little bit of this stuff to sweeten a whole lot. It’s therefore less expensive than other sugar substitutes. And it happens to taste better than most of them. Diabetics everywhere can rejoice! The tooth fairy, too.

The human versions of drugs, especially the children’s elixirs, are now being formulated with xylitol for greater pediatric palatability. Unfortunately, the lower doses in the kids’ meds are exactly what some of our smaller animal patients require.”

You can read the entire article here:
Dog toxic xylitol in gums, mints, desserts … and now drugs | PetMD.

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Dr Khuly’s 7 Favorite Home Remedies

Dr Khuly is a pet advocate and vet who is very passionate about animal rights and proper dog care.  In this blog post she writes about her favorite home remedies for pets.  I’ve used some of these on my Bulldog and even learned about some new ones.

  1. Epsom salts for swelling
  2. Chamomile tea as natural disinfectant
  3. Petroleum jelly to help move unwanted stuff through the intestines
  4. Canned Pumpkin for constipation or diarrhea
  5. Borax powder for flea control
  6. Oatmeal Cereal bath for itchy dog
  7. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda for odor control, including skunk

To read details follow this link:
My top seven favorite home remedies | PetMD.

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Sailing with My Bulldog

The puppy(she) is now almost 3 months old.This coming summer I plan to take her on my sailing yacht for 4 weeks.Do you have any tips?
Dick

Hi Dick,

I think she would be fine on your yacht.  Keep in mind she can’t swim so
if she’s on deck with any possibility of going overboard, you might want to
get a life jacket for her.

There is the possibility she could get seasick you can take along some

Benadryl (smallest dose, dye free – pink box).  She could also get sunburned so I’d limit her time in the noon day sun.

Have a great adventure!

Jan

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Concerning Vaccinations for Your Bulldog

My Bulldog Archie had a bad reaction to his last rabies vaccine and I have serious doubts about my local laws about rabies vaccination frequency.  Since he lives in an urban area with very minimal exposure to wild creatures who could carry rabies, I’m reluctant to re-vaccinate.

The Rabies Titer Test is a good way to find out if your dog really needs a rabies booster (see #5 below), but there’s more to this story and Dr Kay has a good article stating other considerations for vaccination, including:

  1. Educate yourself about available canine vaccinations and the diseases they are capable of preventing (in some cases treating the disease, should it arise, might be preferable to the risks and expense associated with vaccination). Learn about duration of vaccine protection and potential side effects.
  2. Figure out which diseases your dog has potential exposure to.
  3. lert your veterinarian to any symptoms or medical issues your dog is experiencing.  It is almost always best to avoid vaccinating a sick dog — better to let his immune system concentrate on getting rid of a current illness rather than creating a vaccine “distraction.”
  4. Let your vet know if your dog has had vaccine side effects in the past. If the reaction was quite serious, she may recommend that you forego future vaccinations, necessitating an official letter to your local government agency excusing your pup from rabies• related requirements
  5. Consider vaccine serology for your dog.  This involves testing a blood sample from your dog to determine if adequate vaccine protection still exists (remember, vaccine protection for the core diseases lasts a minimum of three years).  While such testing isn’t perfect, in general if the blood test indicates active and adequate protection, there is no need to vaccinate.
  6. Ask your veterinarian about the potential side effects of proposed vaccinations

Read the entire article:
Vaccinations for Your Dog: A Complex Issue « speakingforspot.com.

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Bulldog Swallows Part of Kong – Has Intestinal Surgery

Jan,

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.

Gonde

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,

Jan

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Gotta Love This Little Girl

Gotta love this little English Bulldog Gal, from blogger I am Your Canadian Boyfriend

pretty little girl by Your Canadian Boyfriend

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Swelling on My Bulldog’s Ear Flap

Hi Jan,

We have not spoke in a while I hope all is well with you and you bully.  I have a concern that I wonder if you could help me with. I noticed this morning a swelling or puffiness in my bully’s ear. I called my Vet but he won’t be in until tomorrow. When I described what I saw to the nurse she said she is pretty sure it is a hematoma and that he would need surgery.

I am very scared of surgery because I know how risky it is with Bulldogs. I have been reading all kinds of things on the internet, one thing I read was that old fashioned Vets don’t rush into surgery they suggest boiling water and adding sea salt and bathing the ear every hour, or using witch hazel.  Do you know anything about this and can you give me any advise on what I should do I am very frightened.

Thanks,  Your Bully Friend, JoAnn

—-

Hi JoAnn,

It sounds like it’s an aural hematoma which will probably need to be drained if it doesn’t go away using the methods you know about.  It can be caused by either an insect bite, ear mites, an ear infection, or from being irritated by scratching and/or injuring the small blood vessels in the ear flap.

I think you need to have it looked at to find out what it is and proceed from there.

It would not be a surgery that should require being under anesthesia very long.  There is always a risk but if your vet is familiar with bulldogs and knows which type of anesthesia to use and the smaller breathing tubes, and if your dog is in good health, it should go fine.

You should ask him about the cures you’ve heard of.

Here’s some information on aural hematomas from The American College if Veterinarian Surgeons

Overview

An aural hematoma is a collection of blood within the cartilage plate of the ear and the skin and usually arises as a self-inflicted injury from scratching and head shaking.

Causes

Underlying causes include all conditions that result in otitis externa (infection of the external ear canal). Hematoma formation has also been associated with increased capillary fragility (e.g., as seen with Cushing’s disease).

Incidence and Prevalence

Aural hematoma is the most common result of physical injury to the pinna (the “flap” of the ear). The condition is common in dogs with chronic otitis externa, and less common in cats.

Signs and Symptoms

Swelling associated with aural hematoma is most apparent on the concave inner surface of the pinna. (Figure 1) The swelling is soft and warm in the early stages. With chronicity, fibrosis and contraction will thicken and deform the ear, resulting in a cauliflower contracture.

Risk Factors

Sources of irritation to the ear have been implicated in the development of aural hematoma. These include inflammation, parasites, allergies, and foreign bodies. Most patients usually have an associated otitis externa. Recurrence of the condition is common if the underlying condition is not resolved.

Treatment Options

Treatment options included needle aspiration and bandages, tube drainage systems and incisional drainage.  Apposition between the tissues should be restored and maintained with bandages, with fibrin sealants, with the aid of sutures, or with tissue welding using laser.  The goals of surgery are to remove the hematoma, prevent recurrence, and retain the natural appearance of the ears.

Let me know what you decide.

your bulldog pal,

Jan

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Let Your Baby Snuggle & Kiss Your Bulldog

When I was a child we had lots of pets.  My mom loved cats and I even go to see kittens born!  We also had a couple dogs.  Alas, none were bulldogs – my love affair with English Bulldogs started when I was an adult! None of us suffered from allergies and now science may have discovered why!

I read this post from Dr Marty Becker, from his new book The Healing Power of Pets

New evidence suggests that exposure to pets early in life might actually help the body build defenses against allergies and asthma, thereby protecting children from developing reactions, rather than triggering them.

“Kids exposed to animals seemed to be better off,” said Christine Johnson, Ph.D., a senior research epidemiologist with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Christine Johnson’s study… tracked 833 children over seven years and found that exposure to two or more cats and dogs at one year of age made children less susceptible to other allergy-inducing substances by the time they turned seven, and that the exposure even improved some boys’ lung functions.

Other research since then has supported these findings, but it’s not just allergens; it’s germs, too. It’s part of what’s known as the “hygeine hypothesis,” the idea that as standards of household cleanliness have been raised, children are being exposed to fewer and fewer germs and allergens, and their immune systems are not as robust as they would be if raised with dust, dirt, farm animals and, of course, “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.”

One important note: It’s very important that you start early. If you have pets from birth or as toddlers, great. If you wait until you’re a teenager to get a pet to reduce allergies or asthma, not only does it not work, it may make these conditions worse.

Find out about Marty’s book at this link The Healing Power of Pets

And be sure to let your small children cuddle with your bulldog – it’s good for both of them!

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