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.



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:



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,


I have spent a fortune at the vet this past month. My
Olde English is 1 1/2 years old. She has started gagging (like trying
to clear her throat or puke? Sounds like a bark) and coughing. This
goes on basically 24/7. The vet first gave her injections and benadryl
100 mg. 3 times a day. Now another steroid and hydroxizine 25 2x a day.
She is getting WORSE. I don’t know what else it is.



Hi Amy,

Your english bulldog is being treated as if she had an allergic reaction to
something in her environment.  If she does not have an allergy, steroids
and anti-histamines will have no effect on her gagging.

At a year and a half she’s just reaching maturity. She could have a congenital
problem with her elongated palate. Does her tongue and the inside of her mouth
start to turn blue? If so, she may be a candidate for palate surgery. This type
of surgery is not to be taken lightly but sometimes is the only way to cure this
condition. It’s called bracycephalic syndrome and the dog literally chokes on
her own palate and throat.
Here’s an overview of what is involved in this:

Or she may be experiencing problems with her esophagus. There are two
conditions that plague bulldogs: megasopagus and esophogeal motility
disorder. You can read more about them on my Q&A blog:

I hope this helps. Please write with any more questions.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Dear Jan,

We have a 4 month old Bull.  When we got her, the breeder gave her a Bortedella shot the day we picked her up.  4 days later she contracted pneumonia.  We treated her successfully with antibiotics and a vaporizer.  A week ago, on a follow up visit. Our vet suggested that she get an intra-nasal dose as we were taking her to conformation classes  and would be exposed other show dogs.  4 days later,  she began to  experience lethargy, elevated temp, and lose interest in eating and or drinking.  immediately I returned to the vet and he gave her antibiotics and in 24 hours she was back to normal.We also are worried as she has gotten pimples and redness on her head and eyes that looks like a skin infection.  Any thoughts???

Bob and Kathie


Hi Bob and Kathie,

Poor gal.  It sounds like she’s getting aspiration pneumonia from the nasal dosing,
so I’d be careful about doing that again.

As for the pimples on her face, she may have a staph infection.  You can try to
treat it with Neosporin or another anti-biotic cream.  But it could be a parasite
or a fungus which would be treated differently.

Because of her young age, I would take her to a skin specialist who would do
skin scrapings and determine what it is so it can be treated properly.

Pups don’t have fully developed immune systems and when weakened by disease
(pneumonia in this case) they can get other opportunistic infections.  That’s what
happened to my Vivy.

I hope this helps.  Let me know how she’s doing.

Your Bulldog Pal,

My Husband Has a Cold . . .

February 11, 2008

My husband is sick with a bad cold and cough can a dog get sick from a human?????


Fear not, you dog cannot catch a cold from your husband.  It’s
a good thing because many a husband would be sent to the basement
if that was the case!

Your Bulldog Pal,

Hi Jan,

I have a 3 year old English Bulldog. I take him to the vet about every week for his allergy shot. The vet says he has food allergies but no matter what food we try it does not seem to work. He is currently on Royal Canine. Do you have any suggestions for me, on what to feed him. He also has cysts appearing all over his body, shedding real bad and hair loss. Is this normal



Hi Tracey,

No that is not normal.  But it is common in bulldogs.  He may have demodex,
otherwise known as mange.  It is caused by a proliferation of mites that
live in the hair follicles of dogs.

The only way to know for sure is to have your vet do a skin scraping.
It is treated with a drug called Ivermectin.  Some vets recommend a
dip but I think this is very harsh and toxic for your bulldog.
You can also treat him with goodwinol topical cream.

But this could also be a symptom of food allergies.  So if your
vet has done a skin scraping and ruled out demodex or other
parasites, I would definitely suspect food as the culprit.

My belief is that these types of skin conditions are aggravated
by food allergies and can be treated effectively by simply
changing the diet in most cases (including mine!).

Centuries of inbreeding the bulldog line has led to some genetic
weakness that can cause a compromised immune
system which can leave them vulnerable to opportunistic diseases such
as demodectic mites that would not invade a healthy dog.

That said, there are many other things that can cause a depressed
immune system, such as stress, fighting an infection, and environmental
allergens.  And food allergies.

What sort of shots is your vet giving your bulldog?  I am not a fan
of prednisone shots because they only treat the symptoms and not
the underlying cause.  And they can contribute to weakening the
immune system.

I would suggest you switch your bulldog to a single protein source food
such as California Naturals or Canidae Lamb Meal and Rice.  The lamb
seems to be easily digested and the only other ingredient is rice.

Lots of people feed their bulldogs Royal Canin, but it’s primary ingredient
is chicken.  Chicken is one of the primary food allergens in dogs (along
with beef, soy, and fish) so I would definitely switch him off of that.

Take a week or two to switch the food, starting with just a small part of the
lamb and rice, then up the proportion slowly until it is all the new food.

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

Your Bulldog Pal,


Ringworm in Bulldog

February 10, 2008

How do you treat ringworm in bulldogs?


Hi Sandra,

Ringworm is a fungus, not a worm, and is characterized by crusty sores
that make a circular pattern. It lives in hair follicles and the skin.
It can cause the hair to fall out around the affected areas of your bulldog.

Often it is spread by contact with cats, who seem prone to carry this fungus.
It can also be carried by rodents and even found in the soil in some areas.

The only sure way to know your dog has ringworm and not some other
parasite or fungus is to have your vet do a skin scraping and grow a
culture from it.

It can be treated with topical creams like miconazole (Tinactin) or clotrimazole
(Lotrimin) that you can purchase without a prescription. If it’s really
bad, it may need oral antifungals or a different medication prescribed
by your vet.

Be aware that it is contagious and can spread from your dog to you or
members if your family. It is not highly contagious, but be careful not
to touch the affected areas of your dog.

If your bulldog does have ringworm you and your family members
should wash your hands after contact with your dog.

This fungus thrives in dark areas like the hair of your dog. So when
your dog sheds it can leave the fungus around your house. It would
be a good idea to vacuum daily and change the vacuum bag every day.

You can also clean counters with a 1:10 dilution of bleach and water.
Sunlight is also a good killer of this fungus, so put dog beds and
even your dog out in the sunlight.

Here’s a detailed description and history of ringworm:

Your Bulldog Pal,
————-follow up question——–

My vet suggested a medicated dip for six weeks to treat this  fungus. Is that good for a bulldog?

Also, I can’t find Pinnacle dog food in the upstate of SC. Can I purchase it on line?


Hi Sandra,

Does he have a particularly bad case with sores all over his body?
If so, the dip may be the best way to go.  It is made of lime and
sulpher.  It will keep the fungus from shedding into your environment.

I’d prefer topical treatment if it’s a mild case.  You could try

* Clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex)
* Miconazole (Micatin)
* Terbinafine (Lamisil)

any of which can be purchased over the counter.

There are also oral treatments if he has it all over his body.

Oddly enough ringworm usually goes away on it’s own after about 4
months.  And some dogs fight it off better than others, depending
on the strength of their immune systems.

I always try to treat with the least amount of ‘invasion’ to my dog,
so I’d try the topical first.

My bulldog Vivy got ringworm when she was a puppy.  She had little sores
all over her body and was treated with the oral medication Fulvicin.
Vivy had been ill and we were concerned that she might not be able to
overcome it without meds. The puppy that brought it into the
house got over it on his own.  None of us got it.

So it’s a tricky question as to what to do.   It depends on what you
are comfortable with.

Here’s another site with information on ringworm:

As for the Pinnacle, it’s made by Breeder’s Choice and is available
online.  You can shop online or search for a retailer on their site:

Good luck and let me know what you decide to do and how it
works out.

Your Bulldog Pal,

Hi Jan,
got another question for you.

We have read all about how walnuts and pecans can be fatal to our bulldogs.
We have acorns in the back yard and it is very hard to stop them from eating
them or at least chewing on them and the sticks.

They were outside, on leashes yesterday , but they always pick crap up,
well…to make a long story short, they were whiners last night and then this AM,
he had gotten sick in his cage, and then while I was gone for 1 hour to the dr. ,
she threw her breakfast up. …can it be the crap they are eating like the acorns?
Makes no sense.

Thanks for keeping in touch.


Hi Laurie,

Thanks for sending the photos. They are sooooo adorable!!

As for the acorns, I have read that they are toxic although not deadly to dogs.
This includes the buds and acorns. This is most likely why they both got sick.
Puppies do have a tendency to explore the world through their mouths and
test all kinds of things by chewing them.

A dog has a natural reflex to throw up undesirable foods, which is a good thing
because they are historically scavengers and eat all kinds of bad stuff. Chewing
the acorns probably irritated their stomachs.

The most common signs of plant poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea.
If they don’t get better within 24 hours, it would be a good idea to call your vet.
If they get woozy or seem disoriented, get them to your vet asap.

A safe guide to poisonous plants is to assume that any plant that has a
white or milky sap will be poisonous.

So I’d suggest you limit their exposure to the acorns or give them something
they like to chew more when they’re outside until they grow out of the puppy
chewing phase. Or confine them to a part of the yard where they cannot get
the acorns.

Here’s a link to an article on poisonous foods for dogs:

Your Bulldog Pal,