Finding a Healthy Bulldog Puppy

6 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Bulldog Puppy

1.  Don’t ever buy a Bulldog puppy from a pet store. The Bulldog’s popularity means he’s often found in pet stores, puppy mills and in the hands of people more interested in the thousands of dollars a Bulldog puppy commands than the well-being of the dogs themselves. The lucrative trade in Bulldogs has even interested international crime syndicates, and some puppies advertised as “locally bred” may have in fact been imported from overseas puppy mills.

2.  Look for a good, reliable Bulldog breeder. While the Bulldog Club of America is usually a good place to find a responsible breeder, the traits that make a Bulldog a show ring success are the very ones that lead to many of the health problems common in the breed. Look for a breeder who abides by the club’s Code of Ethics and seek out one whose dogs are active in agility, obedience and other sports that require athleticism and good health, and not just ribbons from the show ring.

3.  Don’t fall for a bad breeder’s lies. Many breeders who have no motive other than profit will try to take advantage of people seeking a healthier Bulldog. These breeders seem too good to be true – because they are. They will brag that they’re trying to breed an “original” or “genetically improved” Bulldog, so don’t be fooled.

4.  Ask your breeder for the the results of genetic screening tests. Those include testing for the spine, hips, elbows, knees, thyroid, hearing and heart from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), and for eyes from the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF).

5.  Puppy or adult, take your Bulldog to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.

6.  Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with “puppy lemon laws,” be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.

via Finding a Healthy Bulldog by Embrace Pet Insurance.

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Want a Bulldog? Know the Genetic Health Risks First!

Bulldogs have many genetic conditions that may plague them over their lives.  And if you get insurance they will not be covered.  So know what you’re getting into before you purchase a Bulldog.  And be very careful where you get your Bulldog.

Health Issues Common to Bulldogs

Bulldogs’ hips and spines are often malformed, as are their mouths. They suffer from a long list of respiratory ailments. Their many wrinkles and folds, and tightly curled tails, mean lots of skin infections. Cherry eye, inverted eyelids, cataracts and dry eye are just a few of the eye abnormalities that can affect the Bulldog.

Many conditions have no screening tests, even though they’re known or believed to be genetic. These include seizure disorders, allergies and skin problems, several kinds of bladder stone, a long list of airway defects, birth defects, infertility and cancer, and more. Bulldogs are also at high risk for “bloat and torsion,” where the stomach twists on itself, trapping air inside, and requiring immediate emergency surgery.

Condition Risk Profile Cost to Diagnose and Treat

Pulmonic Stenosis

High $1,000-$7,000

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)

High $1,500-$7,500

Elbow Dysplasia High $1,500-$4,000

Aortic Stenosis Medium $500-$1,500

Colitis High $500-$3,000

Entropion High $300-$1,500

Deafness High $100-$300

Fold Dermatitis Very High $300-$2,500

via Finding a Healthy Bulldog by Embrace Pet Insurance.

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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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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.

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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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