We all look forward to this time of year! Hot sunny days at the cottage, Swimming at the beach and basking in the hot summer sun! All this sounds wonderful but can be potentially deadly for your Bulldog. This page will tell you about how to enjoy summer with your bully friend and keeping him safe on those hot summer days!
SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION IN YOUR BULLDOG
To test for dehydration, put your finger under your dog’s upper lip and feel for wetness. It should be moist and slippery. If his gums feel tacky, he’s lacking in saliva, and could be dehydrated.
Skin turgidity can also be assessed to estimate dehydration. The skin over the shoulder blades is pulled away from the body and released. The time taken to fall back into a normal position increases with escalating dehydration.
In a well-hydrated dog, the skin will snap quickly back into place. Don’t use the skin over the neck for testing because this skin is less pliable than that over the shoulder, so it naturally goes down more slowly.
The last test for dehydration is looking at your dog’s eyes. If his eyes are sunken, he is extremely dehydrated.
What you can do if you Bully becomes Dehydrated
If your dog is seriously dehydrated it's a good idea to get more electrolytes into his system FAST. Our favorite way to do this is by using Pedialyte, a liquid supplement used for small children..
We use a small syringe that we get at no cost from our local pharmacist and squirt some into the dogs mouth for quick dehydration. Use apex. 2 tablespoons per 10 lbs of weight every hour. Additionally, we add some to our dogs drinking water for maximum results. Note: Generic Pedialyte may be available in your store, is less costly ass works just as well.
Another option :
Offer your dog a few ice cubes to lick and add a few to their drinking water. It's not as fast as Pedialyte but can be helpful if your bully is responsive to licking the ice cubes. Some will readily lick ice cubes when they are dehydrated, even if they are reluctant to drink water. Float the ice in their water bowl.
How to Prevent Dehydration in Dogs
You Bully gets hydrating moisture from his drinking water AND his food. Make sure he has ample FRESH water and a balanced diet to prevent dehydration.
Always carry water with you and offer some to Fido regularly when the weather is hot outdoors or you are exercising. Stop and rest frequently in the shade.
While dehydration can generally be reversed quickly, if unchecked, untreated and severe, it can lead to your dog's death.
So get outside today and take your best friend for a walk. Just remember to carry a bottle of water and a small cup .
CAN ENGLISH BULLDOGS SWIM?
We get asked this constantly! And the answer is NO! Please DO NOT leave your Bulldog near any body of water. Swimming and Bulldogs do not go hand in hand ALL Bulldogs will eventually go under. Some seem more Buoyant than others especially when they are younger because they don't weigh as much, but please trust us they will all go down eventually if not wearing a life vest. Even with wearing a life vest be very careful, they do not have a snout to hold above water if at the beach with waves ect.
Can Bulldogs Swim at all? Well Sure... They can swim..., but they are top heavy and those can swim cannot swim longer than a few feet without eventually going under. Sure you can let him go and he may go 10 feet but even the most water loving Bulldog will eventually GO UNDER!
HEARTWORM PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
The heartworm test: You probably think of it as a formality, a necessary procedure before your veterinarian dispenses the preventive medication. Unfortunately, this year you get a surprise – your dog has tested positive.
Before you hit the panic button and have nightmares of your dog dying with worms writhing in his heart, have the diagnosis verified. Test results can be in error. Your veterinarian may want to do a different type of test to confirm that your dog is truly infested.
If the second test also comes back positive, your dog has heartworm and needs to be treated.
At this point, you may be wondering why your dog seems to be healthy
SYMPTOMS OF HEARTWORM
The symptoms associated with heartworm infestations depend on how many worms are present and how long they have been there. Dogs with just a few worms can carry them for years without showing any symptoms. On the other hand, dogs with many worms often develop serious heart, lung, liver and kidney problems, with symptoms such as weight loss, coughing, fever, poor hair coat and inability to tolerate exercise. Dogs like this die unless the worms are eradicated.
If you have been testing your dog every spring, you know he was ‘clean’ last year. This means the infestation is quite new. It also means treatment will be easier on him than for a dog with severe symptoms.
TREATMENT OF HEARTWORM
The most common medication used for treating heartworm is melarsomine (brand name Immiticide®). When it became available about 15 years ago, melarsomine replaced the more toxic thiacetarsamide. Both medications contain arsenic to kill the heartworms.
A single injection of melarsomine kills 90 per cent of male heartworms and 20 per cent of females. Followed by another injection 24 hours later, this double whammy kills 100 per cent of the males and 98 per cent of the female worms. It is used in Class I and II dogs. (See sidebar for grading system.)
For Class III dogs, an alternate protocol is often employed. One injection is given, then one-to-two months later, the two-injection protocol is followed. The reason for the early single dose is that the treatment can be very hard on the dog.
Though the medication itself can be toxic, the main issue is the possibility of thromboembolism – worms die and end up blocking the narrow arteries. This effect is minimized by keeping the dog quiet and using anti-inflammatory medications such as prednisone. Using the early single dose technique stages the worm kill and lessens the chance of death.
Treatment of severe heartworm disease is time-consuming, hazardous, costly and not always successful. It is much better to prevent infestation from happening.
Dogs become infested with heartworm if they are bitten by parasite-carrying mosquitoes. The mosquito injects tiny heartworm larvae into the dog’s body as it feeds. These microscopic larvae burrow into the dog’s tissues, emerge into blood vessels, and eventually travel to the dog’s heart and pulmonary arteries.
Once there, the worms mature and grow up to 30 cm (12 inches) long. Adult heartworms then mate, producing new larvae called microfilariae. These circulate in the dog’s blood, waiting to be picked up by biting mosquitoes. They mature in the mosquito, ready to infest the next victim, and the cycle begins again.
RISK OF EXPOSURE
The areas of Canada that are endemic (a risk) for heartworm are southern Ontario, southern Quebec, southern Manitoba, and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It is transmissible only in warmer seasons, when it can mature in the mosquito.
Find out if there is a heartworm threat in your area. Your veterinarian is the best source of information about this. If you travel to the U.S., research your destination to see if there is a heartworm issue there.
Protecting dogs from heartworm is easy with either a monthly medication or an injection that lasts for six months. These are prescribed by your veterinarian. The adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies to this parasite. You don’t want your dog to have to go through heartworm treatment
BULLDOGS AND HOT SPOTS
Almost every Bulldog owner has heard of, if not seen, a “hot spot.” This slang term describes a host of skin disorders (summer sores, moist eczema, acute moist dermatitis and pyotraumatic dermatitis) that have one common feature – dogs can’t leave them alone.
No matter what the trigger for skin irritation, the dog’s response is the same – to lick, bite or scratch the site while trying to soothe it. Unfortunately, this aggravates the skin further and the site becomes more irritated (pruritic), which makes the dog lick, bite and scratch with more intensity.
Developing of Hot Spots in Bulldogs:
As inflammation builds, the skin’s superficial layer (the dermis) loses its impermeability. Fluid rich in nutrients oozes through the surface, providing the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply. Ultimately, this leads to the formation of a hot spot – a reddened, raw-looking area of thickened, infected skin.
Though the end point of this self-perpetuating cycle is always the same, several factors contribute to its onset. The main players in this drama are bacteria, inflammation and moisture.
Bacteria flourish in every hot spot. As soon as the skin’s natural defences drop, bacteria that are normal residents of the skin, typically staphylococcus (staph), grow. Infection causes more pruritis, which stimulates more licking.
In some dogs, a focal skin infection can be a trigger for a hot spot. In such a case, the infection causes itchiness that initiates self-trauma and inflammation.
The main suppressor of skin immunity is inflammation. A minor trauma such as a scratch or abrasion can initiate inflammation that leads to a hot spot. More commonly, inflammation is generated by reactions to food, fleas or inhaled (atopic) allergens (such as pollen and house dust) that cause histamine release in the skin surface. Inflammation not only sets the stage for infection, it initiates pruritis that stimulates dogs to lick and bite.
Moisture is another factor that compromises the natural defenses of the skin, allowing bacteria to multiply. For this reason, veterinarians see more hot spots during rainy, humid weather than during dry weather. Bathing or swimming can also predispose a dog to hot spots.
BULLDOGS ARE MORE PRONE TO HOT SPOTS
Certain breeds are more prone than others to developing hot spots. Bulldogs tend to develop superficial, easily treated hot spots that are triggered by allergy-induced inflammation. In contrast,Bulldogs tend to get primary skin infections that initiate the inflammatory processes leading to hot-spot formation. In this breed, bacteria are quicker to penetrate deep into the skin layers, so hot spot treatment is more complicated.
TREATMENT FOR HOT SPOTS
How will your veterinarian manage a hot spot? First, he will shave the fur over the entire affected area. This is a necessary step in assessing the size and severity of a hot spot (which can be masked by hair). Because clipping and treating a hot spot can be very painful, some dogs need to be tranquilized (or even anesthetized) before the task can be performed.
Once the site is shaved, your veterinarian will clean it by scrubbing the area with an antibacterial soap to remove the liquid and crusted exudates and expose the skin surface. Alternatively, he may employ hydrotherapy, especially if the site is particularly painful to touch. Hydrotherapy involves spraying the site with body-temperature water for about 10 minutes, with a hose or water sprayer. This procedure not only cleans the skin, but also stimulates blood flow to the site.
Frequent cleansing of a hot spot, even every few hours on the first day, significantly speeds healing.
Once the site is clean, your veterinarian will pat the skin dry and apply a topical antibacterial ointment, or one that has an antibiotic as well as a steroid to decrease the inflammation. To be beneficial, the ointment must contact the skin surface, so preliminary cleaning is vital.
Other Options for Hot Spots:
In some cases, a hot spot is deeply infected or so inflamed that a dog continues to be irritated despite treatment. In the former case, the patient needs oral antibiotics, and in the latter, oral steroid therapy is required to get the inflammation in check.
Topical management, cleaning and ointment application, as well as oral medications (if indicated) must be continued at home. After two days of treatment, most hot spots look markedly better, but a few may take a week to finally look like they’re going to heal. Once the oozing has ceased, the cleaning frequency can be decreased, but ointment should still be applied on a regular basis.
A hot spot recognized very early in its development when it’s superficial may be possible to successfully treat without shaving the dog’s fur. The trick is to clean the skin well to remove secretions, then thoroughly dry it. A steroid-containing antibacterial ointment is then applied at least twice a day.
PREVENTION FOR HOT SPOTS
Hot spots can be prevented by addressing the factors that trigger their formation. To improve skin health and its ability to keep bacteria in check, most veterinarians recommend a high-quality diet for their patients.
When fleas are an inciting cause of inflammation, regular flea control is needed. Dogs should be treated with a topical product that will kill fleas before they have a chance to bite and set off an allergic reaction.
A dog with a food allergy that predisposes him to hot spots should be fed a hypoallergenic diet. Veterinarians prescribe special diets with novel protein sources such as fish, venison or pinto beans, to name a few.
When a dog suffers from recurrent hot spots due to atopic allergies, antihistamines can sometimes control skin inflammation. Adding supplemental omega fatty acids can also help reduce skin inflammation from allergic reactions. Salmon oil is rich in these particular fatty acids. According to Dr. John Angus, a dermatologist in Arizona, the daily dose is one 1,000-milligram capsule for each 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds) body weight.
Several prescription foods made for dogs with skin allergies contain extra omega fatty acids. During their allergy seasons, some dogs are managed with steroids to reduce skin inflammation, while others are given injections to hyposensitize them to specific allergens
WHAT TO DO:
If hot spots are occurring after a dog gets wet, the solution is simple – dry him well after bathing or swimming. A vigorous toweling may be adequate, but for long-haired dogs, a hairdryer is often needed. Some owners trim the long hair on their dog’s belly (where it can’t be seen) to make drying easier. During the summer, it may be beneficial to clip a dog’s hair very short over his entire body.
The best defense against hot spots is to be on the lookout for them. If your dog is paying too much attention to a specific site on his body, or if you find some fur that’s wet with saliva, investigate it. You may be able to clean and dry the area before it becomes inflamed and infected
BEE STINGS AND BULLDOGS
Benedryl…..for allergic reactions to bee stings, spider bites, and such. Every Bulldog we have ever known is allergic to bee stings and can quickly die from them. Read the directions on the bottle or box to determine dosage for the weight of your dog. We prefer using liquid rather than pills because we believe the liquid acts a bit faster. We actually have gone further in this case. Our veterinarian has provided us with the Benedryl injection for immediate action, but you do have to get it from a veterinarian. Whenever you have to administer Benedryl for something such as a bee sting, keep track of how much you gave the dog, and when you gave it. Then get the dog to the vet as soon as possible so follow-up care of further Benedryl dosage and a steroid booster shot can be administered. Do not mess around and decide to wait to see what will happen. Usually what will happen is the dog will die.
KEPPING THOSE FLIES AWAY
During the Summer Months particularly during those hot and humid days the Flies are everywhere! Including on our beloved Bulldren. I have noticed especially in the country the Flies are a lot worse than if you are a city dweller! I have seen these Flies sitting on our Bullies ears biting them till they have drawn blood and nothing I have put on their ears seems to stop these pesky Flies from biting.
Recently we was told a "olde wives tale" if you will on how to keep these Flies away. Now being a old wives tale I was very hesitant on having any luck with it,but gave it a bash anyway! The Trick.... Zip lock Bag, Water and Pennies! That is it! We filled several Zip Lock Bags half with water with 4 pennies in each bag, we then zip lock tied the bags around the outside of the home where the dogs spend most of their time on the deck and sunroom (Snoozing).. Within hours I noticed only a few flies hanging around and it has continued to keep them away! Hopefully if you are having the same trouble it will work as well for you, as it has for us.