Are Acorns Toxic for my bulldogs?

Hi Jan,
got another question for you.

We have read all about how walnuts and pecans can be fatal to our bulldogs.
We have acorns in the back yard and it is very hard to stop them from eating
them or at least chewing on them and the sticks.

They were outside, on leashes yesterday , but they always pick crap up,
well…to make a long story short, they were whiners last night and then this AM,
he had gotten sick in his cage, and then while I was gone for 1 hour to the dr. ,
she threw her breakfast up. …can it be the crap they are eating like the acorns?
Makes no sense.

Thanks for keeping in touch.


Hi Laurie,

Thanks for sending the photos. They are sooooo adorable!!

As for the acorns, I have read that they are toxic although not deadly to dogs.
This includes the buds and acorns. This is most likely why they both got sick.
Puppies do have a tendency to explore the world through their mouths and
test all kinds of things by chewing them.

A dog has a natural reflex to throw up undesirable foods, which is a good thing
because they are historically scavengers and eat all kinds of bad stuff. Chewing
the acorns probably irritated their stomachs.

The most common signs of plant poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea.
If they don’t get better within 24 hours, it would be a good idea to call your vet.
If they get woozy or seem disoriented, get them to your vet asap.

A safe guide to poisonous plants is to assume that any plant that has a
white or milky sap will be poisonous.

So I’d suggest you limit their exposure to the acorns or give them something
they like to chew more when they’re outside until they grow out of the puppy
chewing phase. Or confine them to a part of the yard where they cannot get
the acorns.

Here’s a link to an article on poisonous foods for dogs:

Your Bulldog Pal,


Luxating Patella (Floating Kneecap) in Young Bulldog

guess what i bought some seatone for my bully is name lennox
he is two but we are having trouble with back leg to which
we are told he has arthitis can u believe two my god well
lets hope these work for him he is so fabulous


Hi Joanna,

I haven’t heard of using Seatone as a supplement for arthritis – you might want to try
glucosamine supplements.

This could be what’s called a “luxating patella” or floating kneecap- a common genetic disorder in our bullies.
Unfortunately this type of injury can lead to arthritis even in a young bulldog because the loss of cartiledge
can lead to bone rubbing on bone.

He may need surgery to correct this and help prevent him from becoming lame and/or
suffering more arthritis.

Your can read a little more about it here:

Your Bulldog Pal,


Can a Bulldog Eat Eggs and Broccoli?

Hi Jan How are you today?

I have another question for you. How many eggs a week can a dog eat!
are they like people and can get too much cholesterol?

Also can they eat Broccoli?

Your Bully Friend,


Hi JoAnn,

Most experts say 1-2 eggs per week.  They are like people and can get too much cholesterol.
In fact, the dog genome is very similar to the human genome – which may help explain why
we love our dogs so much!
Eggs are one of those “whole foods” that have good cholesterol to counteract the bad.
They also have certain properties in the whites which help draw the good nutrients
out of the yolks, so I’d never just feed my bulldog (or myself) egg whites only.

Many of the raw diets include eggs. You can feed the eggs raw or cooked.  They also help
keep your dog’s coat shiny.

Exercise and weight control are very important in preventing heart disease in bulldogs.

Broccoli can be fed in small amounts.  Large amounts can be toxic but I always fed Vivy
a little broccoli when I was preparing it and never saw any ill effects.

Your Bulldog Pal,


Bulldog Head Nodding

Hi Jan,
I have a 18 month old boy called Boyce. Yesterday he started nodding his
head, well like his mouth was nodding, any Idea’s?




Hi Jackie,

From your description I think that “nodding” could be low blood sugar.
Sometimes during a growth spurt (which happens in a bulldog at 18 months)
the dog experiences low calcuim and glucose at times.

There’s an easy way to find out.  Give him a little yogurt or Karo syrup or
even ice cream and he should stop nodding within a few minutes if this
is the case.

If this works then you know what to do the next time it happens.  This
should just be a phase he’s going through and he should outgrow it.

If it doesn’t work and/or if you are still concerned you should take him
to your vet for a full blood count to rule out other causes such as seizures.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if I can help you any further.

Your Bulldog Pal,



How To Find a Good English Bulldog Vet In Your Area


I was wondering if you know of any places I can find a list of vets
in Northern NJ who specialize in english bulldogs….
my bully is constantly sick and I don’t feel the vets in my area are
well read on the breed….
if you have any suggestions please let me know. Thanks!


Hi Renee,

I’m sorry to hear your english bulldog is having so many health

To find a vet in New Jersey, I’d recommend you ask other bulldog
owners in your area. Ways to find them would be to find your
local chapter of the Bulldog Club of America: the Bulldog Club
of New Jersey

For those of you who read this and are located in other areas
go to the Bulldog Club site and look for your local chapter.
You can also do a google or yahoo search – just type in
your state + bulldog club

They should have a lot of bulldog owners in your area. And
I would just contact some of the officers or go to a meeting.

Another thing you could try is to find a local vet school. Vet
schools tend to be well versed in the latest techniques and
equipment. And most vets study bulldogs in school because
of their unusual breed characteristics.

You could also call your breeder if they are located in your
area and ask them where to find a good vet.

Finally, you could go to and do a search for
an english bulldog group in your area.

Your Bulldog Pal,


Hip Dysplasia in English Bulldog Puppy

Hi Jan,

I have some bad news regarding my 6 month old Bulldog Biggie, it seems he
has hip dysplasia, when he walks or sits the hip joint makes a loud popping

We are devastated considering he is from Champion bloodline from a breeder
with 40 years experience. What do you know about it? Do you have
advice regarding going back to the breeder, our goal was to show our dog and
to breed we have been considering starting our own line eventually after a
learning curve of course. From my understanding this malady would most
likely occur with backyard breeding and such. I am anxious to hear what you
think about it. I know we will need to get him neutered and most likely he
will eventually need a hip replacement, but ANY and all preventative
measures since it is early would be greatly appreciated.

I have really enjoyed the videos you have sent. Thanks for all of your



Hi Sherry,

I’m sorry to hear that about Biggie. This definitely does not sound good.

Unfortunately all bulldogs have hip dysplasia to a degree because of their
specialized breeding. It is not exclusive to back yard breeders although they
would not be as careful as reputable breeders.

Championship breeding lines don’t guarantee your dog won’t have genetic
disorders. There are only so many bulldogs and they are very inbred.

The good news is Biggie is still young and some bulldogs grow so fast they
their joints can’t keep up with their bones and will manifest some hip problems.
When they mature the hip ligaments strengthen and the problem goes away.
This may resolve itself with time, or it may stay the same, or it may get worse –
only time will tell.

I would definitely tell the breeders about it because they need to know which
of their dogs passes this on. It is a genetic disorder and any dog that’s passed
on this gene should not be bred. It is possible that both parent dogs did not
show any signs of dysplasia and it was a recessive gene that was passed on,
so the breeders would have no idea this would happen.

A couple of suggestions about him would be to be sure you are not feeding him
too much because if he’s growing too fast the problem could worsen. Also,
don’t let him jump up and down on the furniture, car, bed, etc.

If he’s in pain there some medications you can give him, but be sure to consult
your vet before giving them to him.

You could also try acupuncture.

Here’s a site with some good information on hip dysplasia:

I hope you don’t give up on the breed because of this!

Your Bulldog Pal,



Hi Jan,
Thanks so much the information you gave me is so helpful.  I feel more
adamate than ever that I would like to comit my life to breeding HEALTHY
bullddogs.  I am so in love with the breed that I cannot imagine having any
other type of dog.  They are high maintence though!  This gives me hope, I
am feeding a little more than the suggested for his wieght and I will take
it down to the minimum amount, but a wieght control diet wouldn’t be
suggested for a puppy would it?

Thanks again,


Hi Sherry,

A puppy does tend to eat a lot, about 3 cups, but if he’s chubby, I’d
cut it down.
You always want to see his waist when you look down on him from above.
You should be able to feel his ribs under his skin – this takes some practice
on a bulldog!

A puppy can get overweight because they are always hungry and we have
trouble denying them.  But a lean dog is always healthier, especially in terms
of orthopedics because too much weight stresses a dog’s joints.

A lot of people thing a puppy should have a belly but I disagree with that
philosophy.  They should have a contoured body.  An overweight puppy
will be an overweight adult.

The puppy food has the extra calcium and nutrients a puppy needs when fed
in normal amounts.  You don’t need to feed him more than the recommended
for his weight.

That’s my opinion!  I keep my guys lean and I exercise them every day.

Your Bulldog Pal,


Bulldog Megasophagus and Esophageal Motility Disorder

Hi Jan,

Perceval has a neuromuscular disease called myasthenia gravis. He was diagnosed at the end of March of this year. It is the underlying cause of another condition called megaesophagus that has caused his esophagus to dilate and lose muscle tone. Food or water taken by mouth will not move down to his stomach, but instead sits in his esophagus until he regurgitates. There is a very high risk of aspiration into the lungs when this happens and that can cause pneumonia. He has already had two bouts of it – the first one almost killed him.

When he was first sick, they put in a feeding tube and he still has it. He is taking prednisone, as this is the best shot at putting the disease into remission. If and when that happens he should be able to start eating and drinking normally. Even after remission he can relapse, and I will always have to watch for signs of pneumonia, so there are no guarantees. He’s had some ups and downs but he has been doing well the past few weeks. He has gradually regained his energy, and is bright and always so cheerful. He never fails to make me laugh.



Hi Lorna,

Vivy had “esophageal motility disorder” which I think is the similar.
When I elevated her food to the two step platform I talk about in the book,
she never threw up again. It let gravity do the work of getting the food
down to her stomach. And although she did get pneumonia several
more times I got really good at recognizing the signs and she lived to be
12. I never had her on prednisone.

And no activity like running around or going for a walk for 30 minutes after eating.

I wish the same long life for Perceval.

Your Bulldog Pal,


Hi Jan

This esophageal motility disorder is most interesting. I’m going to see what info I can find on it. I have read so much about megaesophagus so maybe I can find out more helpful info. I have a little platform ready and waiting for him once I get the go ahead to feed him by mouth.

When I got my German Shepherd I read that it was recommended to wait approx 2 hours after feeding before walking or excercising to minimize the chance of gastric torsion. I have always taken the same precaution with Perceval just to be safe. And by the way, despite all precautions I took, my Shepherd had gastric torsion 1 1/2 yrs ago. Thankfully I knew the symptoms and got him to the emergency clinic in time and he pulled through.

Very frightening thing that is.



Hi Lorna,

In Viv’s case, she would often throw up right after eating.
She would eat, then vomit, often coughing, and had a foamy
discharge. And she snored really loudly.

And she had aspiration pneumonia several times. I took her to
my local vet who suspected she had an esophageal problem
and wanted more tests to confirm. So I took her to the
CSU Vet School in Ft Collins (she was 5) and they did a lot
of tests – much cheaper than my regular vet.

They radiographed her larynx which showed it to be normal.

They did an esophagram using liquid barium and found that
“contrations of the esophagus were weak throughout its length.”
They found a diverticulum and that her esophagus stradded over
the thrachea in places.

They concluded she had a neuromcuscular dysfunction that
included diverticulum esophagus, poor motility esophagus, and
weak contraction esophagus.

They did not use the word megasopagus as I recall, but that
means an enlarged esophagus, which is what a diverticulum is
and sounds like a broad term for what she had.

They also tested for myasthenia gravis and did a thyroid panel.

It was my local vet who recommended I try elevating the food.
First step for front paws 4″, then food on second level 6″ higher.
At CSU they agreed I could try that and if it did not work I could
give her a medication before eating (Cisapride).

That simple act of elevating the food and letting gravity help
move the food down worked immediately and she never again
vomited after eating!

I hope this helps. Perhaps your case is similar.

Let me know how Perceval is doing.

Your Bulldog Pal,


Hi Jan

There are similarities between Viv’s situation and Perceval’s especially what would happen after eating.
Although he is fed exclusively thru his PEG tube he has had some episodes of regurgitation and vomiting
but it is happening far less frequently now. He does have foamy discharge once in a while too. I take him
to a University veterinary teaching hospital and his next appt is in 2 weeks for a recheck.
Thanks for the info about Viv and what you did for her. I am happy to find out all I can. Although the
diagnosis is not exactly the same it is similar enough that I can use your experiences to try to help my
Thanks again Jan. I will keep in touch.



Car Chasing Bulldog

How do you break one from chasing cars?


Hi Catherine,

This is really a training issue and I deal primarily with health issues, but I can
offer some advice.

Dog have an instinctual tendency to chase after moving things. This comes
from early days when they needed to chase down prey in order to eat. So
it is your dog’s natural behavior at work here.

Your bulldog needs some obedience training. I’m not sure of his age,
but the earlier this is done the easier it will be.

First of all, never let your bulldog off the leash or he will get run over
by a car.

Personally, I always hire a puppy trainer so I can get my dog (and me) on the
right track. The essentials are come, sit, stay, heel, and walking on leash.
If you have properly trained your dog, you can give him commands to
stop chasing and barking behavior.

You can also take your bulldog to obedience classes. I do think it’s
best to get professional help because you need to learn the best ways
to train your bulldog.

Once your dog knows you are the boss, you can more easily control his
behavior. Dogs are pack animals and always look to the “alpha” leader
for guidance.

Chances are your bulldog does not know you are the leader, so training
is essential to stop this car chasing behavior. You must spend time every
day training him to get the results you want. 40 minutes a day of walking
and training will be a good start. Do this in two 20 minute sessions.

Here’s a link to a site with more dog training resources:

I hope this helps.

Your Bulldog Pal,


Bulldog Panting: Phlegm, Choking and Turning Blue. Heat Stroke?

This email series is taken from a much longer thread from one of a few
Yahoo Groups on Bulldogs that I participate in, called Bulldogfx.

It concerns a danger to your bulldog concerning the elongated soft
palate.  Unfortunately many bulldogs suffer health problems because
of their unusual palate.  Most problems arise when the bulldog gets
overheated, but as you will see it can just come on suddenly.
Hi All,

I had to rush Joe to the vet today because is really flemy he tried to vomit went through the whole motion and could not breath as he was trying to vomit he turned Blue then really white he fell over it was Very scary it seemed forever but was only seconds. I did not know what to do except to open his mouth and try to pull this egg white flem stuff out he never did vomit. The vet told me it is because of his pallet which he will be going in for I do have some questions for the vet I am waiting for him to call me I did not take him to my Bulldog vet today. Is there any specific questions I should ask I do not think this vet does Laser is that good or bad?? they gave me pred to give him prior to having this done 5 days worth. Any suggestions would be Great..



Hi Jen,

I’m sorry to hear about Joe, but the good news
is current vet surgical techniques are really good.

When this happens you can squirt lemon juice in his mouth
to cut the phlegm and help him breathe. The lemon needs
to be full strength.

It works because phlegm has a lot of glucose in it
and the lemon is acidic so it separates it from the
other proteins in the phlegm.

I had this happen with Vivy a lot, usually when she
overheated from too much exercise. She had a very
loud snore which is a sign of palate problems.

The bulldog gets hot and cannot cool
down like a normal dog (through the nose) so they
start to pant harder in an attempt to cool off.

As they struggle to breathe the tongue goes back into
the airway because of the elongated palate. This produces
phlegm and inflamed airways, which cause more severe
panting and the cycle can turn deadly.

Blue lips means oxygen is not getting into the lungs.
It is definitely a sign of hyperthermia (overheating)
and is a very serious sign of upper airway collapse.

I never had the palate surgery done
because in those days it was knife only and many
bulldogs died from the post surgical swelling that occurs.

The laser surgery is much better because it cauterizes
while it cuts and there is less swelling.

Now vets have a lot more experience in this palate surgery.
And I don’t mean to say a surgeon who uses a knife is bad,
just that given the option I’d choose laser.

The prednisone does reduce swelling but it’s a steroid
and should be used as little as possible.

And I’d definitely have him under 24 hour watch because
the first 24 hours are the most critical.

Good luck, Joe should be better soon, and keep us posted.

Your Bulldog Pal,


Hi All,

When Joe did this whole vomit thing he was sitting watching me take down the xmas tree along with Luci , Bill  he was not excited or anything just got up and started to get sick



Hi All,

Joe goes in on Weds for his pallet surgery the vet told me to put him on pred Three days Prior to?his procedure. I know Pred makes them urinate more drink more hungrier and all that stuff But does it make them Sleepy Joe has been sleeping all day today and yesterday ?? I started him on it yesterday. I have used pred before But I do not recall ever having a dog so sleepy on it??

Jen & Bullies Houston Tx


Hi Jen,

It usually has the opposite effect.

But meds do work in unusual ways in some dogs.

I’d suggest you ask the vet to check to make sure Joe hasn’t contracted aspiration pneumonia when he had the ‘choking’ episode.  Pneumonia is slow to manifest and it would make him really tired when it starts to spread in his lungs.  The other symptom of it is he would have difficulty getting comfortable.

Since he wasn’t exerting himself when he had that episode, I also wonder if he had an allergic reaction to something that made his throat swell.

I always try to err on the side of caution with our bullies.

Keep us posted.

Your Bulldog Pal,


Bulldog Butt Scooting: Anal Glands Need Attention

Hi Jan,

Recently, my 20 month old female bulldog , sits and drags her bum across a
rug. If we use a medicated wipe on it, it seems to help. Is there anything
else I should be doing?



Hi Linda,


Butt scooting is a sign of impacted anal glands that need to be “expressed”.
You can take your bulldog to the vet or you can remedy this yourself.

Warning: there can be an unpleasant smell associated with this procedure.

If you attempt this yourself and she shows any signs of pain be sure to call
your vet to have it done.

Anal glands are small glands to the left and right and just below a dog’s anus.
They normally secrete a little fluid onto the stools when she defecates.
They can become impacted and uncomfortable for your dog, so she tries to
relieve this discomfort by scooting across the carpet.

There are two ways you can do this yourself.

First put warm water on a washcloth and clean the anus area.
Put on latex gloves. Hold a tissue outside the anus to collect
the fluid that’s “expressed”.

Method #1:
Press the sides of the anal gland together by squeezing with your thumb
and forefinger. You may have to try a few angles on the gland to get to it.
You can use moderate pressure. You will know it’s worked when a foul
smelling brownish fluid comes out the anus.

Repeat for both sides.

Method #2:
Lubricate your gloved finger with vaseline.
Put your finger inside your dog’s anus and with your thumb on the outside,
squeeze the gland by drawing your thumb and finger towards the anus.

Repeat for both sides.

Here is a website with an illustration of where the glands are located
and instructions on this procedure:

The anal glands normally express themselves with the movement of the
stools in your dog’s intestines.

There are a couple things you can do to try to prevent this from occurring again.

Be sure there’s enough fiber in your bulldog’s diet. Oat bran and flax and
raw vegetables such as carrots are good sources. Check the fiber
percentage on her food – you may want to switch to a food with higher fiber content.

Regular exercise is good to keep things moving and it’s good for her heart

Your Bulldog Pal,