Please go to my new blog, ask bulldog health for newer posts and answers to your questions!

I am in the process of getting a bulldog puppy. i already put a deposit down. so in about a month i will be bringing her home.

Well see my question is, i have 2 other dogs at home, shih tzus. one male and one female. ok, well my we just found out that my female is going to be delivering on April 30th. ok, well i will be bringing my bullie baby home a little before the birth.

My question is do you think that we might have a problem with this.? I will have a private place for the female shih tzu to whelp. How do you think a bull dog and shih tzus will get along with each other?  Is this a mistake.

From my experience of being around bull dogs they seems sooo easy going and loving, im hoping she will fit right in with our family, is this possible?

Stacy

——–answer——

Hi Stacy,

Introducing a new puppy to home dogs does take some extra care,
but a few simple steps should help.  And yes, english bulldogs in
general are quite mellow and loving.

I’m not a behavior expert but I’m happy to give you my opinion.

I think they should all get along fine.  It’s the dogs you already have that
may potentially be a problem and need to be introduced properly to the
new puppy.

If you keep your dogs in crates this process could go much smoother,
but if you don’t it should be ok if you are mindful of a few things.

Dogs are pack animals and their instincts kick in when they see a new
dog in their midst.  You now have 2 dogs but 3 dogs constitutes a pack
and there will be ‘ranking’ in that pack.

Remember that you are the true alpha, or ruler of your pack and it is
up to you to set the tone and keep everyone in their place.

The pregnant female is going to be instinctually protective of her unborn
puppies, so she’s the one I would pay close attention to.

Fortunatley puppies do not pose as big a threat as an adult dog would.
That said, you have a pregnant female and are bringing in another
female.  Statistically the female dogs fight for rank more than the males.

It is best to introduce the puppy to your current dogs on a neutral location
like a local park or your neighbor’s yard.  When they meet, be sure to praise
them in a cheery voice to reward the behavior.

Let them sniff each other.  The puppy will probably bow down, which is a
sign of “lets play”.  If your dog’s hair starts to raise up, that is a sign of
aggression and you should probably separate them.

If things go well, which they usually do with a puppy, you can bring the
puppy in the house.  Be aware that a puppy will want to play with the
adult dogs a lot – possibly more than they want.  Your adult dogs may
growl to tell the puppy to lay off.  This is normal.

If you current dogs respond to the puppy by biting him, this could
be dangerous to the puppy so you need to keep an eye on them until
they all seem to be doing fine in their new pack.

This might sound scary, but usually these introductions go really well
when a puppy is involved.  I introduced my first bulldog puppy into a
household with an Akita and a cat.  We introduced the two dogs in the
front yard and they got along famously.  It was the cat that became the
benevolent dictator of the pack.

I’m attaching a pdf document from the Dumb Friends League with
more information for you.

Congratulations on your puppy and let me know how it goes.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Jan

Hi Jan,

I am wondering what to do for my grand puppy Lucy. I have written to you about her before and since she is having yeast issues on her feet and face I thought I would revisit your articles, and I noticed that you wrote that your Bulldog had some of the same issues for a while. My problem is compounded by the fact that she is not my dog. I do dog sit for her during the day, so I share in the care of her! I can’t take her to a vet that knows Bulldogs better than the one that the owners take her to. Their vet said that she has yeast , but he attributed it to “getting her feet wet outside”!

Please review for me what I can do to help her! Their breeder told them to use baby wipes on her face, but that does not seem to be enough. I have tried the eyewash and even Lotrimin and Gold Bond on her and nothing seems to help.Lucy is now one year old. She is on the Royal Canine Bulldog food. She now has chewed a hole in the fur on one foot!

Thank you for being such a Bulldog enthusiast.

Marie

—–answer—–

Hi Marie,

Paw licking is a primary sign of allergies. In my opinion
that vet doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Her feet
are wet because she’s licking them all the time and she’s
licking them because she has allergies. Allergies are
caused primarily by a depressed immune system.

The best thing you can do for Lucy is to change her food –
get her off that Royal Canin, she’s probably allergic to something
in it.

Switch her to something like Prairie lamb and oatmeal or California
Naturals lamb and rice or Canidae lamb and rice. You should see
significant changes within a month.

You could also add probiotics and Omega 3s to her diet. They will
help boost her immune system. I give Archie Nordic Naturals Omega
3s and Optagest Digestive Aids – both purchased at a natural foods
store.

While you make the switch, you can bathe her in a medicated
shampoo like Chlorhexiderm 3x a week and/or a rinse of
apple cider vinegar mixed 1 to 1 with water. Or you can just
put dilute apple cider vinegar on the most yeasty areas – it is a
natural anti-fungal. Avoid getting any of these in her eyes.
This should make her feel better.

Gold Bond is probably irritating her face. Just keep her dry and
maybe put a little Monistat in her nose folds. The change of food
should help immensely.

Explain to the owners that spending more on better food will save
on future huge vet bills and keep Lucy from suffering needlessly.

I hope this helps. Please keep me posted on her progress.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

Hi Jan,
Thanks for the email and I also ordered your book! I have a question about our 9-month-old bully, Mack. For the past 3-4 months he has started scooting across the carpet and spinning in circles while whining painfully.  I have noticed his tail is very tightly screwed into his body which is apparently causing him a lot of pain. We clean and disinfect his tail daily, however it is still inflamed and sometimes has little sores. We have checked his anal glands and had them expressed a couple times, but it does not seem to give the poor little guy much relief. It has now gotten to the point where he is almost acting psychotic and won’t stop spinning/scooting even when coaxed with treats or his favorite toy. Fortunately, he has a very good breeder who breeds champion bulldogs and we called him when we were at a loss of what to do. We brought Mack over to see him and after throughly cleaning his tail and seeing his behavior, he suggested we might want to think about tail amputation. Our vet has also suggested this. It seems like such a drastic move and I don’t mind paying the money as long as it gives him some relief. Do you have any suggestions of what to do?? Please help!

Jessica

———my answer——

Hi Jessica,

Since you’ve ruled out impacted anal glands as the source of Mack’s butt scooting,
it sounds like he has an infection in his tail pocket.  It can be quite painful and
life threatening if it cannot be cleared up.  He may have a severe yeast infection
in the pocket – does it smell sour?  The little sores could indicate a
bacterial infection such as staph.  A chronic infection can become systemic
and spread through his body.  This would be very dangerous.

All English Bulldogs have part of their tail still inside the body as an extention
of the tail bone.  Some have straight tails and some have screw tails.  An
inverted tail is a condition where part of a screw tail makes a loop inside
the body and then comes out.

This inverted tail is very tight and close to the body with a very tight tail pocket
and part of the tail constantly rubbing and festering in the pocket.  This is
not a fault of breeding, it just happens sometimes.

Sometimes constant maintenance of the tail pocket will keep your bulldog
healthy.  You need to clean out the tail pocket daily using warm water on
a washcloth in a circular motion and get deep into the pocket. Then the
area must be thoroughly dried and perhaps add some Gold Bond powder.

In your case it sounds like you have been very diligent in keeping Mack’s
tail clean and he still has chronic infections. So in this case it would
probably be best to amputate his tail.

This is a condition that happens on occasion with bulldogs, even from the
best lines.  And he will be much happier and healthier if you do the
amputation.

I hope this helps.  Please keep me posted on Mack’s progress.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan

Hi Jan,
I’m so glad you e mailed this, as a matter of fact my husband is responcible for purchasing our bullie. I had just lost my 14 yr old companion, an Old English mastiff, and was needless to say heartbroken. I took a little vacation to visit a friend, to help take my mind of my loss, only to discover when I arrived home this little bundle of cuteness awaited me. Being a dog lover since birth, at first I was angry at my husband, but after a day of sharing my space with this adorable creature, I was once again in love. Now if it was me purchasing a dog, I would have really investigated the breeders. Jim purchased Spike from an online breeder, I did some snooping, and although I get thousands of complements on Spike’s looks and friendliness, I am now dealing with some of the issues you mentioned in your  email.  He has terrible stains in the folds below his eyes, I am now treating this with medicine from the vet. I have also had his nostriles operated on because his snoring and breathing was so bad.  He is passing gas all the time, so bad that we have to leave the room. And I have noticed he vomits alot, I thought it was from me tugging his leash against his short throat. He is fed a product called Innova “puppie” which the pet shop in my neighborhood reccomended as it is all natural and suppose to be one of the best ( I say that with tongue in cheek) as I am a sceptic with all the commercial dog food products. I am a business owner and ashamed to admit I don’t have the time to cook for my family let alone my Spike. I have hunted the internet for any and all articles on bulldogs and I’m happy that I stumbled upon yours. I will go to all lengths for my animal, I’m happy that I can afford a purebreed and all I want is to give him the love and care that he returns to me everyday with his anticks and personality. THe bulldog is one funny critter, I can’t tell you the joy he has brought me. Owning a Mastiff was a very expensive endevor to say the least, he had skin issued, allergies, ear problems. So I know now how important preventitive care is. I could have put another child though 8 yrs of college with what I paid in vet expenses. I look forward to your reply and I want to thank you for your time to send me your emails. I was very impressed with your interviews and your knowledge.

Thank you again,

Rosemarie Tinsley

———-answer——–
Hi Rosemarie,

I’m not familiar with that breeder – did a quick search on the internet, but didn’t learn much.
Many breeders do their breeding for looks and for the money.  And many of them love the
breed but don’t really know what they’re doing.  Usually when I hear from someone, it’s
because they are having problems.

The problems you list are common, although in my opionion, they can be bred out of the
breed lines by conscientious breeders.But you love your bulldog so now what you need
to do is cope with what you have.

The eye problems are probably caused by eyelashes that are irritating Spike’s eyes.
I recommend you take him to an ophthalmologist who can treat them.

The gas can often be cured by elevating the food and feeding 3x a day instead of
once.

The vomiting is another thing that may be cured by elevating the food, but can also
be a more serious issue known as megasphagus.  You can read about that on my
blog:
https://bulldoghealth.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/bulldog-megasphagus-and-esophageal-motility-disorder/

I think Innova is the very best brand.  It is rich and can cause some digestive things
like gas and soft stools.  But it is particularly high quality.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if I can help you any further.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Jan

Jan, another question.

I have read conflicting reports on the net about Bullies and Rawhides. Roxie absolutely loves the Pig Ear style and small stick rawhides. When she has them, we always monitor her and never leave her alone or put one in her crate with her. Is it OK for her to have them, or is it too risky, as some say they pose a high risk for choking?

Erik

—–answer——-

Hi Eric,

My opinion is never let an English Bulldog have a rawhide, pig’s ear, or greenie.
Not even if the rawhide is the particulate type. Bulldogs do love them because
they are quite tasty but to me it’s not worth the risk, even if you are watching
Roxie she could swallow it whole.

The problem is the bulldog tends to inhale, not chew, and they can get lodged in the
throat or worse in the stomach or intestines. Rawhide expands in the stomach and can
kill a bulldog who swallows chunks of it.

I learned this the hard way, twice having to do the heimlich on my first bulldog. She
inhaled a rawhide and it got stuck in her throat. On another occasion she dug up my
neighbor’s dog’s rawhide and ate it without my knowledge.  She regurgitated it
onto the carpet about 4 hours later.

A dog has a reflex at the back of the stomach that causes the to throw up
things that cannot be digested, but it does not always ensure your dogs
won’t be harmed by ingesting the wrong thing.

As for greenies, they don’t dissolve when swallowed whole and can get stuck in
a bulldog’s intestines. I’ve heard of a case from my breeder where a Greenie had
to be surgically removed from a bulldog puppy’s stomach (at a cost of $3000).

Rope toys may be shredded and if they eat them, you can
get the same stomach problem. So you need to keep an eye on them with a rope
toy.

I’ve found the Kong toys to be the most durable. You can put something tasty
like peanut butter inside and it will keep Roxie occupied for quite a while.

I’ve found it best to err on the side of caution.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Jan

Jan, I am a new english bulldog owner of a wonderful 9 week old we’ve named Roxie.
I have read a lot of internet information, and have become somewhat of a
hypochondriac worry about her well-being.  We just took her yesterday for
her initial vet visit, and was informed that she has Toxicidia.  The vet put
her on a 10 day oral antibiotic.  He said that otherwise she appears to be
healthy.  I am going to order your book, in hopes that it will relieve some
of my concerns.  She is our second dog, but has absolutely captivated our
hearts in the short time we’ve had her.  Will stay in touch.

Eric

—–answer——-

Hi Eric,

I’m sorry to hear your english bulldog puppy has parasites.
Did you mean Coccidia?  It’s a parasite that’s found in soil and feces.
It’s fairly common along with other parasites that can infect dogs.
It usually affects puppies and is highly contagious from dog to dog.

From what I understand it is fairly common and often clears up on
it’s own, but with a bulldog or any puppy it needs to be treated
because they do not have fully developed immune systems.

Here’s a couple links to more information:

http://www.petsandparasites.org/dog-owners/coccidia.html

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_coccidia.html

She should recover fine from this but I’d be wondering if all the puppies
of this breeder are also infected.

And you should be careful to clean all bedding and any feces from
your yard so that she doesn’t get reinfected.

Glad to hear you’re ordering the book.  Bulldogs are great dogs and
you just need to know what to look for in their “special needs”.

Your Bulldog Pal,
Jan