Dogs need dental care!
Unfortunately, dental hygiene for dogs
is sometimes overlooked.
Many people seem to just expect dogs
to have bad breath, and few people brush their dog’s teeth
frequently or do not brush at all.
Dental hygiene is just as important to your dog’s
overall health as things like nutrition or proper exercise.
Help keep your dog healthy and pay attention
to those pearly whites!
10 things you need to know
about Doggy Dental Care
1. The Breath Test Sniff your dog’s breath. Not a field of lilies?
That’s okay, a normal doggy breath
isn’t particularly fresh smelling.
However, if his breath is especially offensive
and is accompanied by smell or iron (blood),
a loss of appetite, vomiting or
excessive drinking or urinating,
it’s a good idea to take your dog to the vet.
2. Check the Mouth
Once a week, with your dog facing you,
lift his lips and examine his gums and teeth.
The gums should be pink, not white or red,
and should show no signs of swelling.
His teeth should be clean, without any brownish tartar.
3. Signs of Oral Disease
The following are signs that your dog
may have a problem in his mouth
or gastrointestinal system
and should be checked by a veterinarian:
Bad breath, excessive drooling, inflamed gums,
tumors in the gums, cysts under the tongue or loose teeth
4. Tooth Decay
Bacteria and plaque-forming foods
can cause build-up on a dog’s teeth.
This can harden into tartar, possibly causing gingivitis,
receding gums and tooth loss.
Only way to prevent this is by regular teeth cleanings.
5. Canine Tooth Brushing Kit
Get yourself a toothbrush made especially for canines.
Ask your vet for a toothpaste made especially for dogs.
Never use human tooth paste with dogs!
There are a lot of different dog toothbrushes available.
Personally I like the ones
you can fit on your finger
and I use special chewing toys
to do the rest of the work for me
6. How to start brushing
Taking these steps will make brushing
a lot easier for the both of you:
First get your dog used to the idea
of having it’s teeth brushed.
Massage the lips with your finger
in a circular motion for 30 to 60 seconds
once or twice a day.
Then move on to her teeth and gums.
When your pooch seems comfortable
being touched this way,
put a little bit of dogtoothpaste
on her lips to get her used to the taste.
A lot of doggy toothpastes
will have a nice taste to them for dogs
so they will see it as a treat
Next, introduce a toothbrush
designed especially for dogs.
Toothbrushes that you can wear
over your finger are also available
and allow you to give a nice massage
to your dog’s gums (see video).
The English Bulldog is known for
his unique face, a flat nose and wrinkly face.
These adorable characteristics
gives the Bulldog his unique appareance.
But unfortunately these cute wrinkles
can get moisture in them.
This causes the skin to get irritated
and when not treated it will get infected.
The area will become messy, dark and moist.
Also the infected area will stink,
which can really effect your cuddle time.
To prevent this you have to clean these wrinkles.
How often you clean them depends on the dog.
Some do very well if you clean the wrinkles only once a month.
Some need it on a daily basis.
Here are some tips
on how to clean those wrinkles
and what type of products to use.
Supplies Needed for Cleaning your English bulldog:
• Cotton balls or dry dog/baby wipes
• Sterile Eye Wash available at pet or drug stores
• Ointment for the nose
• Dry towels
Instructions Bulldog Wrinkle Cleaning
1. Clean your Bulldog’s wrinkles and skin folds with a cleansing wipe designed for dogs. Make sure the brand you use is soap and scent-free
2. Make sure the eye and nose area is completly clean
3. When you dry cleaned the wrinkles, wash it’s nose
and apply a good rub of ointment to keep it soft
4. Give your Bulldog a shower or bath using a hypoallergenic, soap-free cleanser. Pay special attention to those bulldog’s skin folds and wrinkles, rub your soapy fingers into the wrinkles, making sure to avoid the dog’s eyes.
5. Rinse your dog thoroughly to make sure that all soap and dirt are washed out from his wrinkles, then dry your dog with a towel. Make sure the skin folds are dry, trapped moisture can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
6. There are a lot of different products available, from shampoos to creams, sprays and tissues at the petstores, if you are unsure which products to use, consult your veterinarian.
The coconut tree, also known as the Tree of Life,
has been found to have many benefits not only for humans,
but for our best friends too.
A lot of dog diseases and ailments can be reduced,
remedied or cured with the use of coconut oil
Hot spots, yeast infections, cracked paws or noses
can all be cured with a jar of extra virgin coconut oil
and it is also known to kill and prevent fleas and other parasites
What kind of Coconut Oil
can I give my Dog?
Virgin coconut oil means that it is unrefined,
and it can be used for both dogs and humans.
Important side note: The label “extra virgin”
applied to coconut oil
is meaningless in many countries.
Unlike for example olive oil,
there are no worldwide regulations
governing the purity of coconut oil
There are essentially two types of coconut oil
virgin and refined.
Virgin coconut oil, or VCO,
is made by pressing fresh coconut meat,
milk or milk residue.
Refined, bleached and deodorized, or RBD oil
is made from the coconut copra or dried kernel
and maybe chemically treated.
So how can you tell the difference?
VCO and RBD oils have the same milky white appearance
but VCO tastes and smells like coconut,
while RBD oil is essentially free of odor and flavor.
Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat
and has antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic
and antifungal properties.
It is also an incredible source of
medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs),
which have been shown to have many health benefits.
A short list of the many benefits
of Coconut Oil
Helps balance your dog’s metabolism rate
to keep his weight under control
Helps to moisten dry skin, noses and paw pads
Helps prevent infections
Helps to improve the condition of their coats
and removes bad odors
Helps to reduce allergic reactions
and improves skin health
Helps the healing and disinfects minor cuts, wounds,
hot spots, bites and stings when applied directly
Helps to reduce bad breath
Helps to improve digestion and nutrient absorption
Helps with administering pills
How do you give it
or apply it?
It can be given as a treat,
mixed into their water or applied externally.
According to most guidelines 1 teaspoon
for each 10 to 20 pounds of body weight of your dog.
Start small, by giving a small amount,
about a teaspoon and then increasing over time
and gradually work your way up.
My Bulldogs all loved coconut oil.
As soon as they hear me open a jar they will come running.
It works wonders for their skin and coats,
no more cracked noses or paws
and it’s a great way to give them their medication
hidden in a little lump of coco.
I would recommend it to every Bulldog owner,
especially when your Bulldog has skin problems.
I give about a teaspoon a day
and rub a little on their coats, noses and paws.
It has numerous health benefits,
they love it and your Bulldog will carry the lovely smell of coco.
I like to call them Bounty Bullies 😉
So in conclusion Coconut Oil is a Must Have
for every Dogowner
A Dog’s nose is supposed to be smooth and moist, not dry and crusty. A crusty Dog nose can quickly go from bad to worse, drying out even more and forming crusty scabs that flake off and bleed.
It is a commonly cited fact that if your dog’s nose is points to sickness or allergies. But a dry nose does not always mean your Dog is sick.
Despite a long standing myth, a Dog’s nose does not need to be wet and cold in order for the Dog to be considered healthy. The key element to take note of is that if the skin on the nose is dry without any other signs or symptoms, this is nothing to be concerned about. In a lot of cases it can occur when for example Dogs lick their own noses frequently, from weather and temperature changes or from rubbing their nose in blankets.
A dry Dog nose is uncomfortable for your Dog and it interferes with their ability to smell properly. A Dogs’ strongest sense is their sense of smell, in fact Dogs use their noses to analyze and understand the world around them. When Dogs can not smell as well this can cause them to become agitated or nervous. Even with Bulldogs who are not known for their sniffing abilities the sense of smell is still crucial.
Possible Causes for a Dry Nose
► Weather, extreme heat or cold can contribute to a dry dog nose. Exposure to the sun can cause your dog’s nose to become sunburned
► Allergies to food, plastic water dishes or toys, household cleaning products, and pretty much anything else your dog develops sensitivity to.
► Excessively licking their noses
►Underlying medical issues such as allergies, infections or skin disorders
The nose of a dog is very sensitive this means you should never use human, chemical or perfumed products as a treatment.
The following products got several high recommendations by our Baggy Bulldog community members: Coconut Oil, Vaseline, Snout Soother, Argan Oil and Dog Nose Butter.
Applying ointment to your Dog’s nose can be a real challenge. Again the Dog’s nose is very sensitive and products like Coconut Oil are just too tasty to not lick off their nose. Here is the golden tip: After dinner and a short pause/nap, clean the Dog’s face and get ready to walk your Dog, put on your shoes and coat, put on the dog collar and leash. Right before you go outside, you apply the ointment to the nose and immediately go for a walk. This will give your Dog the distraction it needs to not lick or rub the ointment of and enough time for the ointment to absorb.
When the Dog’s nose is really dry try to apply it 3 to 4 times in a day with one application in the morning and the other at night. Once your dog is healed, you can make it a habit and apply ointment at least once a day to prevent nose dryness.
Scaling and crusts may be tempting to pick but this may not be a good idea. Dry crusts that are still stuck on may detach and cause bleeding and discomfort to your dog. It is however good practice to try and clean off your dog’s nose before applying ointment. This will help to remove any food debris that may be stuck on the crusts. Here is how to clean a crusty dog nose with warm water.
► Wet a soft wash cloth with clean warm (not hot) water
► Carefully wipe the nose without dislodging pieces of crust that are not ready to shed
► Apply ointment after every wash
Note that it is best to allow the crust to fall off by itself. Rubbing too hard will leave the skin raw and exposed risking the development of secondary infections.
Hope this blog helped you and your Dog. If you have any questions or know other good dry nose remedies, please leave a comment.
The knee is a joint consists of three bones: The Femur bone (the long bone extending down from the hip), the Tibia bone (the bone between the knee and ankle) and the Patella (the kneecap). These bones are joined together by a number of ligaments. Two ligaments crisscross in the joint from the femur to the tibia and are called cruciate ligaments. The one towards the front of the leg is called the anterior cruciate ligament and the one crossing behind it is the posterior cruciate ligament. These ligaments prevent the ends of the femur and tibia from moving back and forth across each other.
When the anterior cruciate ligament ruptures, the joint becomes unstable and the femur and tibia can move back and forth across each other. The anterior cruciate ligament is commonly torn when the dog twists on his hind leg. The twisting motion puts too much tension on the ligament and it tears. This often occurs if the dog slips on a slippery surface or makes a sudden turn while running. Obesity puts too much weight on the knee and overweight dogs tend to have more occurrences of ruptured cruciate ligaments. It appears that in most dogs with the problem, the ACL slowly degenerates and becomes weaker until it ruptures, without any sudden injury. Certain breeds appear to be at increased risk of ACL degeneration and include the Newfoundland, Labrador Retriever, Sint Bernard, Rottweiler and also the English Bulldog. Many dogs with a degenerating ACL will have the condition in both knees.
Dogs who have ruptured their cruciate ligament will appear suddenly lame, and usually hold the foot of the affected leg off the ground or only tip toe with the injured leg (the 2nd video in this blog shows a good example at 2 minutes and 39 seconds). In time, the dog may start to use the leg again, but often lameness returns. Dogs with a degenerating ACL may also show some pain and can have swelling on the inside aspect of the knee.
The diagnosis of a ruptured cruciate ligament is made by a veterinarian through observing movement of the joint. The vet will place one hand around the femur and one around the tibia in a precise manner. By applying pressure on the knee, the veterinarian will feel the bones move abnormally in what is called a ‘drawer sign.’ If an animal is in a lot of pain, or very nervous, the muscles near the knee may be so tense that they prevent the drawer movement from occurring. If a veterinarian suspects a ruptured cruciate ligament in a dog but cannot elicit the drawer sign, the dog may be sedated to relax the muscles and then re-examined for the drawer sign.
If the ligament is completely torn, your dog will need surgery. There are several different methods used to repair the knee joint when an anterior ligament is torn.
TPLO stands for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. Basically the TPLO surgery changes the bones of the knee joint to make them work in a different, more “level” manner. A portion of the tibia is cut, moved, and reattached to a different portion of the tibia using plates and screws. By changing the conformation of the tibia, the joint is stabilized. This is a technically difficult surgery but it has shown to produce excellent results, often with less arthritis. The recovery period is similar to that with the other surgical procedures.
TTA stands for Tibial Tuberosity Advancement, a procedure where the dog’s knee joint is manipulated to provide stability without the use of a functional Cranial Cruciate Ligament (or CCL). This is another surgery in which a different portion of the tibia is cut, and allowed to heal at a different angle to change the mechanical stresses on the joint. As with the TPLO, this surgery is more complex.
TTO stands for Triple Tibial Osteotomy, combines different aspects of the TPLO and TTA. Similar to the TPLO and TTA, the TTO involves cutting the tibial bone to change the angle of the knee joint.
If the dog’s exercise is restricted as instructed, and overweight dogs return to normal body weight, the prognosis is good.
Depending on the amount of injury to the knee and length of time between the injury and correction of the problem, degenerative joint disease may occur as the pet ages.
Most surgical techniques require two to four months of rehabilitation. A second surgery may be required in 10 to 15 percent of cases, because of subsequent damage to the meniscus (a crescent-shaped cartilage located between the femur and tibia in the stifle). Regardless of surgical technique, the success rate generally is over 85 percent.
Reverse sneezing (also called pharyngeal gag reflex, inspiratory paroxysmal respiration or mechanosensitive aspiration reflex) is a phenomenon observed in dogs, particularly in those with brachycephalic skulls. It is a fairly common in dogs. Its exact cause is unknown but may be due to nasal, pharyngeal, or sinus irritation (such as an allergy). With this condition, the dog rapidly pulls air into the nose, whereas in a ‘regular’ sneeze, the air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. The dog makes a snorting sound and seems to be trying to inhale while sneezing.
Is it dangerous?
Although it can be alarming to witness a dog having a reverse sneezing episode, it is not a harmful condition. The dog is completely normal before and after the episode.
How to recognize Reverse Sneezing In a regular sneeze, air is pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is pulled rapidly and noisily in through the nose. For some dogs, it’s a more or less normal event. Just as sneezing is a part of life, reverse sneezing is also a part of many dogs’ lives. The sound that accompanies reverse sneezing is kind of a sudden, startling sound that makes many dog owners think their pet is either choking or having an asthma attack.
A dog who is reverse sneezing typically stands still with his elbows spread apart, head extended or back, eyes bulging as he makes this loud snorting sound. The strange stance on top of the strange snorting sound is why many dogs end up getting rushed to the veterinarian or the emergency clinic by their panicked parents. Episodes of reverse sneezing can last from a few seconds to a minute or two. As soon as it passes, the dog breathes perfectly normally once again and behaves as if nothing happened.
Reverse sneezing is caused by a spasm of the throat and soft palate. The spasm is triggered by an irritation to the throat, pharynx, or laryngeal area. The most common triggers are excitement, exercise intolerance, a collar that’s too tight, pulling on the leash, an environmental irritant like pollen, perfume, or even a household chemical or cleaner, room sprays, or even a sudden change in temperature. Rarely, there can be a respiratory infection or chronic post-nasal drip that causes the condition. Brachycephalic breeds, like pugs and Bulldogs, with elongated soft palates, occasionally suck the palate into the throat, which can also cause an episode of reverse sneezing.
Diagnose Even though reverse sneezing is not dangerous to your dog it is important to rule at any other problems that might be causing this. The diagnosis is based on medical history and clinical signs. Try to make a video of the symptoms when going to your veterinarian and pay attention to when the reverse sneezing occurs. If you can figure out what’s triggering your pet’s reverse sneezing episodes, you can work to reduce or resolve the problem. Your veterinarian will rule out other causes of abnormal breathing and snorting, such as an upper respiratory tract infection, collapsing trachea, nasal tumors or polyps, foreign bodies in the nasal passages or mouth, and so forth. Occasionally your veterinarian will perform blood tests, allergy tests or radiographs to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms.
Most cases of reverse sneezing require no medical treatment. If your dog experiences a reverse sneezing episode, you may gently stroke the neck and try to calm the pet. Once the dog exhales through the nose, the attack is usually over. In certain cases, your veterinarian may choose to prescribe anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine or decongestant medications to help with your dog’s condition.
When and why to the veterinarian?
If the reverse sneeze isn’t harmful why or when do I need to see the veterinarian? If your pet’s reverse sneezing becomes a chronic problem or episodes are becoming more frequent or longer in duration, I recommend to make an appointment with your vet to rule out things like a potential foreign body in the respiratory tract, nasal cancers, polyps or tumors, nasal mites, a collapsing trachea, kennel cough, or a respiratory infection.
If your pet is experiencing prolonged episodes of reverse sneezing, bloody or yellow discharge from the nose, or any other accompanying respiratory problems, it’s time to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Just as dogs sneeze intermittently throughout their lives, most dogs have at least a few reverse sneezing episodes during their lives as well. In the vast majority of cases, the episodes are temporary and intermittent, resolving on their own, and leave the dog with no aftereffects to be concerned about.
Some more video information about reverse sneezing
Neutering means surgically preventing pets from reproducing. In males, the operation is called castration and in females it’s called spaying.
With castration both testicles are removed which takes away the main source of the male hormone testosterone.
With spaying, both the ovaries and the uterus are removed which means the female is unable to become pregnant.
It is a medical fact that in some cases spaying and castration can prolong the life of our pets and may reduce the number of certain health problems in later life.
A female pet will live a longer, healthier life. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs.
Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases. Neutering greatly reduces the risk of them getting breast cancer, particularly if carried out before the first season, and infection of the womb (called pyometra). Both of these are seen quite often in older, unneutered dogs and they can be fatal.
Many unneutered female dogs have a false pregnancy after a season and, although this is natural, it can cause behavioural and even medical problems. Neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer and several prostate problems.
Your spayed female pet will not go into heat. Your male dog will be less likely to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate, including finding creative ways escape from the house. Once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other male animals. Your neutered male may be better behaved.
Unneutered dogs are more likely to mark their territory by spraying strong smelling urine all over the house. Your dog might be less likely to mount other dogs, people and inanimate objects after he is neutered. Some aggression problems may be avoided by early neutering or can be reduced.
As with any surgical procedure, immediate complications of neutering include the usual anesthetic and surgical complications. These risks are relatively low in routine neutering; however, they may be increased for some animals due to other pre-existing health factors. Spaying and castrating dogs may increase the risk of obesity if nutritional intake is not reduced to reflect the lower metabolic requirements of neutered animals.
Studies of cardiac tumors in dogs showed that there was a 5 times greater risk of hemangiosarcoma (cancer of blood vessel lining), one of the three most common cancers in dogs, in spayed females than intact females and a 2.4 times greater risk of hemangiosarcoma in castrated dogs as compared to intact males. Spaying and castrating is associated with an increase in urinary tract cancers in dogs, however the risk is still less than 1%. Neutered dogs of both sexes have a 27% to 38% increased risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations. However, the incidence of adverse reactions for neutered and intact dogs combined is only 0.32%. Neutered dogs have also been known to develop hormone-responsive alopecia (hair loss).
Specific to males
About 2% of castrated male dogs eventually develop prostate cancer, compared to less than 0.6% of intact males.
Neutering also has been associated with an increased likelihood of urethral sphincter incontinence in male dogs.
Specific to females
There is some weak evidence that spaying can increase the risk of urinary incontinence in dogs, especially when done before the age of three months.
Up till 12 months of age, the risk decreases as the age at spaying increases. Spayed female dogs are at an increased risk of hypothyroidism.
The surgeon makes a small incision just in front (towards the pet’s head) of the scrotum (sac that contains the testicles).
Each testicle is removed separately, and the blood supply and vas deferens (spermatic cord) are ligated (tied off). The subcutaneous layers are sutured together with an absorbable thread, then the skin is closed with either skin staples, absorbable (hidden) sutures, or sutures that will be visible and need to be removed 10-14 days after surgery.
Spaying a female dog is the surgical removal of a female dog’s internal reproductive structures including her ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterine horns (the two long tubes of uterus where the fetal puppies develop and grow) and a section of her uterine body.
Basically, the parts of the female reproductive tract that get removed are those which are responsible for egg production, embryo and fetus development and the secretion of the major female reproductive hormones (oestrogen and progesterone being the main female reproductive hormones).
After Surgery Care
We strongly recommend to keep your pet confined in a crate or small room the night after surgery. This will give your dog the time to recover in a safe and quiet environment.
• Your pet may be groggy when you get home, experiencing a hang over from the anesthesia. Your pet will typically require 18-24 hours to recover from the general anesthesia. Most animals will be back to normal when the anesthesia leaves their system entirely
• Your pet may sleep much more than normal for 18-24 hours following surgery
• Your pet may be a little agitated or aggressive due to the after-effects of anesthesia. Avoid handling the animal too much as he/she might be uncomfortable and needs rest
• Isolate the animal from children and other pets. He or she maybe more prone to snapping or nipping at other pets or even children due to the after effects of anesthesia and if he or she is happy the dog might get to excited or playful in the company of other dogs which can cause problems for the stitches and the overall recovery.
• Your pet may have poor balance. This will make climbing stairs or getting in and out of the car more difficult than usual, so be ready to assist. Help your dog in and out of the car as sudden movements can damage his stitches. Lift the dog by wrapping your arms around the dog’s chest and back legs.
• Make sure your dog has a comfortable spot to sleep in a confined, secure, quiet place. Once they are settled, they are more likely to sleep it off and will be fine upon awakening.
• There should be no drainage. A very small amount of redness/swelling at incision may occur.
• If animal allows, check incision site once daily for one week. Check for excessive redness, swelling, discharge, blood or if incision site is open.
• Do not clean or apply any topical ointment to the incision site.
My opinion and experiences
The topic of neutering dogs is one that is always filled with a lot of heated discussions; should all male and female dogs be neutered? What is the right age to neuter a dog? Will there be changes to the dogs character or energy levels after the surgery?
A lot of questions come up. This is what I can tell from my own experiences. First of all I am an advocate to neuter all dogs, not only because of the overpopulation of dogs and the amount of dogs looking for a loving owner in shelters but even more so because of the medical benefits. Especially for the female dogs it can prevent a lot of fatal diseases and it will also have the practical effect that your dog will no longer be in heat (so no more troubles at the dog park with male dogs trying to mount her) and no more blood loss around the house or having to wear doggy diapers.
I do think it is best to wait till puberty and with females to do the procedure before her first heat cycle. With male dogs it can prevent unwanted behaviour like mounting or humping other dogs, marking outside or even inside the house and the loss of moisture.
Some people worry that their dog’s personality will change. In my experience this does not happen, you might see a fall in certain behaviour, but those are mostly the unwanted behaviours like roaming, mounting, fighting or spraying urine. People also worry that their pet will get fat. Neutered animals might have slightly lower food requirements so you just need to feed them a little less. Neutering your dog will have an effect on the production of hormones but it will not effect the dogs character or energy levels.
Make sure to find a vet that specializes in the Bulldog breed. Cause of their short noses the Bulldog requires specialized vet care when it comes to anesthetics. Talk to your vet and let him or her inform you about the surgery, the risks and benefits and make sure to prepare a safe and quiet recovery place at home.
Seasonal flank alopecia is when a dog loses hair in the flank area. It is a skin condition not a disease. Dog breeds that are most affected are Boxers, Airedales, Schnauzers and Bulldogs although numerous other breeds have been affected too.
The hair loss is generally confined to the flanks but can sometimes show on different places on their body. The skin typically is darkly pigmented in the areas of hair loss and can become dry and crusty. Usually the dogs will grow their hair back in two or three months. Sometimes the hair re-grows in a different color than the original hair and some dogs never re-grow their hair.
At this time nobody knows with a 100% certainty why this occurs. Two of the most heard theories are that the cause is:
– a hormonal problem disrupting hair follicles
– related to vitamin D deficiency, lack of sunlight exposure
In 95% of the cases this skin condition will not bother your dog, it does not hurt or become irritated or itchy. Sometimes the hair will fall out and can leave bald spots. The most common treatment is Melatonin, this can be helpful to induce hair growth and is given daily for two or three months until complete hair growth occurs. Restarting melatonin prior to anticipated onset of hair loss may prevent recurrence.
The prognosis for hair growth is unpredictable. Hair growth can be incomplete and new hairs may be different in color and texture.
There are a lot of home remedies like different kind of oils (fish, coconut), a special diet or sunbathing, but what works for one may not for another and the question will be if the treatments worked or that the condition healed over time.
The important thing to know that this is a cosmetic disorder which does not affect the dog’s quality of life.
Elongated soft palate is most common with brachycephalic breeds (brachycephalic means short headed) like the Pug, Pekinese, Boxer, Shit-zu and the Bulldog. The soft palate is a flap of tissue which closes of the dog’s airway during swallowing or exercise. With an elongated palate the palate overlaps the windpipe, partially or temporary, obstructing the Bulldog’s airway.
An elongated palate is a congenital and hereditary medical condition. This means that dogs are born with this condition and that dogs who have this condition should never be used as breeding dogs. Many dogs live with this condition for a while with only excessively loud breathing noises as a symptom. But when an affected dog becomes hot or excited, the palate swells and more of the windpipe opening is blocked. The dog has difficulty breathing, makes loud clattering breathing noises and can even collapse or faint. Untreated elongated soft palate causes poor quality of life, inability to enjoy a normal and active dog life and can even result in death.
Heavy mouth breathing
Coughing up slime or gagging
Throwing up when eating or when excersized
Complete examination which usually requires anesthesia to do a thorough laryngeal exam.
Because brachycephalic syndrome can seriously damage a dog’s health, veterinarians usually recommend a surgical procedure in which the soft palate is cut laterally, the excess tissue is amputated, and the remaining palate edges are fused together with a laser. The patient is held for observation for a few hours in a private recovery room with his/her owner. Many brachycephalic animals experience immediate and significant improvement in their breathing and overall wellness thanks to this procedure.
From my experience I would definitely recommend everyone who has a Bulldog with this problem to do the surgery. It will give your dog a much longer and enjoyable life. Imagine if you would have to fight for every breath and still wouldn’t get enough oxygen, or imagine that every time you wanted to eat you would throw up and choke? This condition needs surgery and there is no way around it. Make sure to go to a veterinarian who specializes in the Bulldog breed.
Below you see a photo of my Bulldog Twister who had this surgery done by Dr. Strikkers (a well-known veterinarian in the Netherlands and Bulldog breed specialist). Even though she had hours of surgery (besides the soft palate she also needed other surgeries to make her a healthy dog again) she was already a different and happier dog after two days of recovery. You could hear the difference, we could take longer walks together and she was obviously enjoying the walks way more than she did before. She became more active and playful. She would still snore like a Grizzly Bear but she could finally breathe normally.
About a decade ago you could state that the majority of Bulldogs suffered from this condition. Fortunately this condition affects the breed far less now, than it did a decade ago but still many Bulldogs suffer from this condition. But then again a lot of Bulldog owners and breeders are still in denial and just claim that Bulldogs are supposed to sound like that. Of course the Bulldog is known for its flat face but over the years breeders exaggerated the breed specific looks which causes these health problems. So it is our hope that with new breeding standards that will be more focused on health than looks, this condition will soon be history.
Idiopathic head tremor
is a condition that effects all dog breeds
and is frequently seen in Labradors, Boxers and Bulldogs.
Idiopathic means a disease
that is of uncertain or unknown origin.
That means the exact cause of head tremors
has yet to be determined.
When a dog has idiopathic head tremors it
will shake its head without having any control over it.
No one really knows why this occurs,
most dogs show symptoms of head bobbing
(usually up and down but it can also be side to side).
In most cases the symptoms occur at the age from 6 months to 3 years.
Usually a typical idiopathic head tremor episode
will generally last around three minutes.
Once the head bobbing is over,
your dog should return to normal,
as if the tremors never occurred at all.
If your dog does appear to have been affected,
contact your local veterinarian immediately.
This condition is totally unresponsive
to seizure medications and the best way to handle
an episode seems to be to focus the dog’s attention
on a toy or treat. Episodes tend to get milder
and less frequent with age.
It is very important to let a veterinarian
make an official diagnosis
because the same symptoms occur in other diseases!
These symptoms may also occur with epilepsy,
brain tumors or other neurological diseases.
It will be important to have an experienced,
reputable vet for this
since some vets incorrectly diagnose
head tremors as seizures and will put the dog
on medication for the rest of it’s life.
When your dog has these symptoms
you can help the vet with his diagnosis
by making a video of the head tremors
and to make notes and log exactly when
and for how long the head shaking occurs.
Officially there is no known cause
but here is a list of possible causes/triggers
supplied by our members
who have dogs with idiopathic head tremors:
females during the heat cycle
from eating a particular food
from being given a particular supplement
after flea and/or tick treatment
after being given heartworm medication
after an intensive work out or from being stressed
Again there is no medical treatment
but here are some things you can do
to help your dog through it.
First of all make sure your dog is safe
(remove sharp objects around him and make sure he doesn’t fall).
Second of all be calm, if you panic
your dog will sense it and panic too.
Keep in mind that even though it looks bad
your dog is not in any pain.
And third distract your dog
with a treat or toy try to keep the dogs attention.
The current theory is that the tremors are a result
of dysfunction of the proprioceptive fibers in the neck.
Abnormal sensory input, causing alternating contraction
and relaxation of muscle groups, may be responsible.
This explanation, while almost impossible to prove,
would explain why those affected stop shaking
if something is done to focus their attention
on an object such as a toy or treat.
A lot of people give a little bit of honey
or other sugary treats (peanut butter, vanilla ice cream)
allthough there is no medical proof this works
so many of our members said it worked
so it might be worth trying.
Also gently massaging your dogs head and neck
seemed to work for a lot of dogs.