9 Year Old Bulldog with Arthritis on nsaids

Hi Jan,

Thank you for your regular and most helpful information that we receive on a
regular basis.

We have a Bulldog who’s name is Gilbey, and he’s almost 9 years old (see
picture attached). We have had Gilbey since he was a pup and he has always
been in fairly good health. However, he has developed a rather severe case
of arthritis as he has become older and has come to the point now where he
can hardly walk sometimes. Other than this he is in very good health and
although he gets regular exercise and we watch his diet (currently weighs
around 30kg) it is sad to watch his mobility and lust for life be eroded by
this awful disease as time goes by. We have him on the Hill’s F/D Diet and
we supplement this with a product called Mobiflex to assist with the
deteriation of his joints. We have heard that magnets can help with
arthritis but we’d like to find out what we can do to make life a little
better for Gilbey. Can you possibly assist in this regard?

Kind Regards,

Sam Taylor


Hi Sam,

Congratulations on a long lived bulldog – he looks like a real love!

You can give Gilbey a dog supplement with Glucosamine and
Condroitin.  Cosamine DS or In Clover’s Connection

You can also give him a baby aspirin instead of the Mobiliflex
(ask your vet first).

Mobiliflex is a nsaid anti-inflammatory drug with some powerful
side effects such as nausea, dizziness and even pancreatitis.
My Vivy nearly died after being put on Rimadyl – another drug
in this class of anti-inflammatory.

I’d suspect the nsaid if he has become less active after being on it.
It is possible he is feeling bad from the side effects:

Be sure your vet tests his liver function when on the anti-inflammatory drug.

Exercise is good for him so keep him moving.

I would also say that Hills is not a very high quality food and I’d
suggest you switch him to something from one of the very high
quality brands like Innova or Nature’s Variety (Prairie).

I don’t know about the magnets, have not tried them but have
heard of people using them with success.

One other option you could try is acupuncture – it is known to
work really well on dogs with arthritis.

I hope this helps.  Please let me know how Gilbey does.

Your Bulldog Pal,


English Bulldog on a Sailboat – is this okay?

When I finish my schooling I am planning on traveling long-term by sailboat (cruising) to various parts of the world, starting with the Caribbean. At first my immediate thought was, “A bulldog should be better suited to a 42 foot sailboat than any other breed, seeing as how they are mild-mannered dogs who just lie around most of the time. Until I bought your book I didn’t really grasp just how serious heat stroke is in bulldogs. I knew they were more prone to overheating, but I had no idea they could develop heat stroke in 80 degree weather. That’s what really shocked me. We have air conditioning in the sailboat, but only when we are plugged into a marina. When out sailing the air can’t run off batteries of even wind or solar power. So we are pretty much limited to fans in warm weather while under way. This is the only thing that poses a real problem in my getting an english bulldog. I don’t believe exercise would be a problem because we would spend more time in marinas than sailing, so going for walks wouldn’t be an issue. The thing is when we are sailing from one location to the next, would my bulldog overheat in the warmer hours of the day? This is killing me! I am in love with sailing, and I am in love with english bulldogs. I just can’t bring myself to choose one or the other. I just wish there was some way the two could go together and keep my bulldog comfortable as well. This is why I was curious about miniature bulldogs. But I am really only interested in the english bulldog. I have seen various products that aid in keeping your dog cool in warm weather such as cooling pads that the dog lies on, cooling bandanas, cooling vests, etc. Do you think it is possible to keep a bulldog cool on a sailboat with no A/C, but lots of cool shade in the cockpit and of course in the cabin if we avoid temperatures over 90 degrees while keeping fans on the bulldog during warmer hours of the day, along with lots of cool freshwater for him to drink, possibly a cooling pad for him to lie on, maybe even a kiddie pool in the cockpit for him to lie in? What I’m saying is I am willing to do anything to make it possible to keep an english bulldog comfortable on a sailboat. Keep in mind it would only be warm in the afternoon hours while making a short 1-2 day crossing from one location to the next. The majority of the time we would be in a marina running the A/C. I would worship this dog, and would never leave him in a situation that may harm him. And if it is absolutely impossible to keep a bulldog cool and comfortable with no A/C for a couple of days at a time, then I would do the responsible thing and not get a bulldog, even though it would break my heart.

What is your view on my situation? Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated.


Hi Lori

In your situation I think you could manage a bulldog.
I’d be especially careful in choosing one with minimal
breathing problems – this requires careful research of breeders.

Then if you keep your bulldog in the shade with a breeze and possibly
a cooling vest or wet t-shirt, he should be ok.  Stuffy heat or
ourdoors over 80 just laying around is very dangerous.
A cooling pad would also be a good idea.

And you could also invest in a life jacket for your bulldog.  They
do not really swim well because of the large head and chest.
But they do love the water, so a life line attached to a harness
would also be a good idea.
I live in Denver and when it gets over 80 degrees inside my home,
I notice that my Archie starts to lay around and sometimes just
pants.  I turn on the air conditioning for him when it gets this warm.
He’ll gravitate to the cool tiles and hardwood floor in the heat, and
avoids his fleece bed.

Sometimes I take my Archie outside when it’s 90-something and
I’m hosing down the deck.  I host him down too, but I don’t let
him run around for more than 10 minutes.  And I keep a very
close eye on him.

You can tell when they start to overheat.  They start panting
really hard with tongue extended way out.  Or they vomit.
This are both signs to take action immediately in cooling
them off.

A bulldog can overheat in the winter if they get too excited
and run around the house with other dogs.  I’ve had this
happen with Archie at Thanksgiving.  But I can tell because
he starts to pant.  They don’t know they can’t keep up with
the other dogs!

I have heard of many bulldog deaths where some ignorant
owner has their dog chasing them while they mow the lawn.
The dog collapses and dies before they can get them to the
vet.  But this is because they did not know about the over-

Anyway if you are knowledgeable about the symptoms and
if you just observe you will learn pretty quickly what your bulldog’s
limits are.

So I think you’ll be fine sailing the seas!  It would make a good
news story!

Let me know when you get one.

your bulldog pal,



My English Bulldog is Throwing Up a Lot . . .

Hi Jan,
I was wondering if you could help me? Gracie my bulldog seems to throw up alot.
Is there something I can do? Do you think there is something wrong with her?
I am very worried about her..
Thanks so much,
Hi Janice,

It depends on what sort of vomiting.
There is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation.
If your dog is simply throwing up food right after eating,
food that has not been in the stomach, it is probably simple

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

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

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

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

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

If you suspect she has eaten the stuffing out of a teddy
bear or a similar item, you can withhold her food for
about 7-8 hours.  Then give her some white bread with
the crust cut off.  It’s really gooey and can catch
what’s clogging her and pass it through.

Be sure she gets small amounts of water frequently
or sucks on an ice cube to keep her from getting
dehydrated.  Then give her a couple pieces of white
bread, broken up into small pieces.  This will bind with
the stuffing and allow it to pass through.  If she throws
this up as well, call your vet immediately.

Vomiting is characterized by the dog heaving for a while
before the stomach contents come up.  When they do, they
may also come through her nose.

If your dog has been vomiting blood or bile, you need to
take her to the vet right away.  Vomiting is dehydrating
which is very dangerous long term.

Throwing up can be an indication of serious illness in
the liver or kidneys or pancreas.  Your vet should be
able to do some simple tests to determine this.

If your bulldog has been “vomiting” for several days,
if she is still doing so, I think it advisable to take her to
the vet to make sure she does not have anything lodged in
her stomach or esophagus.  And make sure it is not a more
serious illness.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you need some clarification.

your bulldog pal,