French Bulldog with Severe Allergies – Any Suggestions?

Thank you for such a quick response.  I look forward to any information you might have regarding the “frenchie”.

My little bulldog is miserable.  Her one ear continually has a redness to it, causing her to shake her head.  I take her to the vet and she is prescribed anitbiotics and ear drops.  It goes away for a short time then it returns.

She is constantly doing the sit and spin.  Her eyes are watery.  She constantly licks her paws which are red and inflamed.  And occasionally, her underbelly toward her back legs breaks out in a rash with little red bumps.

I recently stopped giving her processed or purchased dog food and started making meals for her myself.  I omitted anything to do with corn, included baby food, brown rice and hamburger or chicken with shredded vegies or potatoes.  It appeared as though she was getting better, then all of a sudden it all comes back again.

I bathe her once a week with oatmeal soap to keep her clean enough to know that her fur is not collecting anything.  She is primarily an inside dog and goes outside occasionally.

Someone suggested a product that I can purchase on line that controls the yeast levels.  Do you know anything about this?

Judy

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Hi Judy,

That certainly sounds like allergies.  Keep up with the healthy food, it can
take a while.  Paw licking is the definitive sigh of allergies.
The rash could be the result of a “contact allergy” in which she lays on
something that irritates her belly.  Eliminate any harsh detergents and
get the ‘free and clear’ version, and don’t use any dryer softening towels.
Same with carpet cleaners & floor cleaners – nothing harsh.
I’d recommend you continue with the ear drops in case there is yeast
building up.  Clean them daily as the head shaking has to do with yeast
deep in the ear canal.  And you can treat the patch on the ear with a
soothing ointment.
Sitting and spinning is a sign of either yeast in the tail pocket or the
need to express the anal glands.  You can clean her tail with some witch
hazel on a cotton pad daily.
There is a simple home remedy I have used with my bulldog to help
control yeast.  Add 1 Tbs Braggs apple cider vinegar (available at natural
foods stores) to her water bowl each time you fill it up.  It changes the
ph balance and can help control the growth of yeast.
Also, you might want to reduce the amount of bathing as it can actually
dry out the skin and contribute to irritations.
And when she takes antibiotics be sure to give her some probiotics
(human or dog variety) or a little yogurt with live cultures to help counteract
the effect of the antibiotics.
Finally, has she been checked for mites?  Demodex is very common in
young dogs and a simple skin scraping by your vet will rule this out.  They
will cause little bumps and make small areas of hair fall out.  Often they
resolve on their own within a month and no medications are necessary.
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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Natural Treatment for Giardia

Hello Jan,

Do you know how any natural ways to cure Giardia?
I have heard Oil of Oregano or Grapefruit Seed extract?

Thank you

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Hi Giancarlo,

Giardia is a parasite that is fairly common in dogs in certain areas.  It usually goes away on it’s own.  If it’s chronic or persists over two weeks or there’s a lot of blood in the stools or if your dog gets listless, then you should seek vet treatment.

The danger of giardia is dehydration from too much diarrhea so be sure he gets enough water. To encourage him to drink you can add some broth to his water – he should then lap it up!

You vet will most likely treat the infections with Metronidazole (Flagyl), an anti-fungal medication which is effective but not a good long term solution.

Oil of oregano is pretty hard on the stomach so I wouldn’t recommend using it. One I do use is a herbal remedy with black walnut, clove, and wormwood variations which you can get at a natural or health food store.  Get the liquid form so you can control the dosage. I haven’t tried the grapeseed oil but have heard of people using it.

Personally I’d do the black walnut treatment and wait to see if it resolves itself.  I would also work on boosting his beneficial bacteria to and boosting his immune system by adding probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and L-Glutamine (an amino acid to aid digestion) to his food.

Both are available at natural foods stores.  Bear in mind the normal dose is for a 150lb human so change for his weight.  You should  also add omega 3s in the form of fish oil or flaxseed oil.  These should help boost his immune system and prevent more infection.

your bulldog pal,

Jan

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