Archive for September, 2011

English Bulldog - Mouth and Gums

If you start when your English Bulldog is a puppy, keeping his teeth clean can be easy. Take some gauze from your first-aid kit and wrap it around your index finger. Dampen it and dip it in baking soda. With your Bulldog on his back in your lap, take that baking soda and rub it over your dog’s teeth, working gently over each tooth, the inside and the outside, and into the gum line, taking care not to hurt the dog. Talk to him as you rub and praise him for his cooperation.
The rubbing action of the rough gauze and the chemical characteristics of the baking soda will help prevent plaque formation and will get rid of the bacteria that form on the teeth and gums.
Do two or three teeth and let your Bulldog have a drink. Then work on a couple more. You may even want to break it into several sessions, doing half or a quarter of the dog’s mouth at each session.

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English Bulldog Toenails

All English Bulldogs living the modern cultured, domestic, protected existence must have their nails trimmed. Nail trimming should begin almost immediately after birth. At least every week the tip of the nail should be trimmed.
The only problem is that English Bulldogs’ nails are black. Even the tips are black. Because of this, it will be hard to see the quick (the end of the blood supply to the nail). If you cut the quick, you’ll hurt your dog and the nail may bleed. The best thing to do, then, is remove just the tips and clip more frequently.

Making Your Environment Flea Free
If there are fleas on your dog, there are fleas in your home, yard, and car, even if you can’t see them. Take these steps to combat them.
In your home:
– Wash whatever is washable (the dog bed, sheets, blankets, pillow covers, slipcovers, curtains, etc.).
Vacuum everything else in your home – furniture, floors, rugs, every-thing. Pay special attention to the folds and crevices in upholstery, the cracks between floorboards, and the spaces between the floor and the baseboards. Flea larvae are sensitive to sunlight, so inside the house they prefer deep carpet, bedding, and cracks and crevices.
– When you’re done, throw the vacuum cleaner bag away – in an out¬side garbage can.
– Use a nontoxic flea-killing powder to treat your carpets (but remember, it does not control fleas elsewhere in the house). The powder stays deep in the carpet and kills fleas (using a form of boric acid) for up to a year.
– If you have a particularly serious flea problem, consider using a fogger or long-lasting spray to kill any adult and larval fleas, or having a professional exterminator treat your home.
In your car:
– Take out the floor mats and hose them down with a strong stream of water, then hang them up to dry in the sun.
Wash any towels, blankets, or other bedding you regularly keep in the car.
– Thoroughly vacuum the entire interior of your car, paying special attention to the seams between the bottom and back of the seats.
– When you’re done, throw the vacuum cleaner bag away – in an out¬side garbage can.
In your yard:
– Flea larvae prefer shaded areas that have plenty of organic material and moisture, so rake the yard thoroughly and bag all the debris in tightly sealed bags.
– Spray your yard with an insecticide that has residual activity for at least thirty days. Insecticides that use a form of boric acid are non-toxic. Some products contain an insect growth regulator (such as fenoxycarb) and need to be applied only once or twice a year.
– For an especially difficult flea problem, consider having an exterminator treat your yard.
– Keep your yard free of piles of leaves, weeds, and other organic debris. Be especially careful in shady, moist areas, such as under bushes.

For clipping, you will need a nail scissors or a guillotine type clipper, or you can buy an electric grinder. The grinder takes more time, but if the dog is cooperative, there is less danger of grinding the nail too short.
Start as soon as you get your English Bulldog puppy. At first, trim just the very tips so you do not cause any pain. If you are lucky, the dog will accept this procedure reluctantly. But you can get it done. I’ve only had one dog who would present his paws to have his nails trimmed.
If you cannot trim the nails, then either your veterinarian or a professional groomer should do it. You must keep nails trimmed or your dog’s feet will become misshapen. A daily long walk on a rough surface (sidewalks work well) will make nail trimming necessary less often.

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English Bulldog - Bath Time

English Bulldogs do not need frequent baths, but instead need bathing when they are dirty. Frequent brushing will do much more for a healthy, shiny coat than bathing.
Most English Bulldogs really enjoy a bath, though. If your Bulldog is introduced to bathing when he is a puppy and is allowed to have fun during the process, he will enjoy the bath throughout his life.
Use baby shampoo or a shampoo made for dogs. A dog’s skin is more sensitive than yours, so do not use harsh shampoo, medicated shampoo, or flea shampoo unless directed by your veterinarian. Be careful, and avoid getting shampoo in his eyes, ears, or nose. Wash his face as you do each morning and bathe the rest of the dog starting at the shoulders and going to the tail. Rinse well.
Let the dog shake off the water, then lift him out of the tub and finish drying him off with a towel. I don’t like using a hair dryer, because the heat tends to dry the coat.

How to Get Rid of a Tick
Although many of the new generation of flea fighters are partially effective in killing ticks once they are on your dog, they are not 100 percent effective and will not keep ticks from biting your English Bulldog in the first place. During tick season (which, depending on where you live, can be spring, summer, and/or fall), examine your dog every day for ticks. Pay particular attention to your dog’s neck, behind the ears, the armpits, and the groin.
When you find a tick, use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as close as possible to the dog’s skin and pull it out using firm, steady pressure. Check to make sure you get the whole tick (mouth parts left in your dog’s skin can cause an infection), then wash the wound and dab it with a little antibiotic ointment. Watch for signs of inflammation.
Ticks carry very serious diseases that are transmittable to humans, so dispose of the tick safely. Never crush it between your fingers. Don’t flush it down the toilet either, because the tick will survive the trip and infect another animal. Instead, use the tweezers to place the tick in a tight-sealing jar or plastic dish with a little alcohol, put on the lid, and dispose of the container in an outdoor garbage can. Wash the tweezers thoroughly with hot water and alcohol.

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English Bulldog Grooming – Daily Ritual (Part II)Ears

Check the ears next. Observe the insides of the ears and look for dirt, excess wax, or any redness that might indicate an infection. A healthy ear will have a damp smell, while an infected ear will have a bad odor.
To clean the ears, fold one ear flap up over the dog’s head so that the ear flap rests on his head. Dampen a cotton ball with witch hazel and, using your finger, gently swab out the ear, getting the cotton ball into all the cracks and crevices of the ear. Do not reach into the ear canal. You may want to use two or three cotton balls per ear, especially if the ear is dirty. Leave the ear flap up for a moment or two so that the ear can dry. Then repeat on the other ear.

Eyes

If your English Bulldog’s eyes have some matter at the inside corners, just wipe them gently with a clean, damp cloth. If there is a continuing problem with excessive tearing or swollen lids, the lids may be turned in, a condition called entropion. In these situations, the eyelashes are rubbing against the surface of the eye, and this may require surgical intervention. See your veterinarian if you suspect this might be the case.

Those Hard-to-Reach Places

The Bulldogs wrinkle-covered face is certainly his trademark. But this is a trade-mark that requires daily care to keep the dog comfortable. Use mild soap (a soap you would use on your own face), warm water, and a soft cloth to wash between the wrinkles. Then dry the areas.
If your English Bulldog has a heavy nose wrinkle, lift it carefully and wash underneath, rinse, and dry. If it is especially dirty and inflamed, treat it with a medicated powder, baby powder, or cornstarch. It may be necessary to wash the wrinkles more than once a day. Use care and caution with powder. Be sure not to get any into the dog’s eyes or nose and be sure it does not contain poisonous substances.
While you are cleaning the wrinkles on the dog’s face, there are two more areas that must be cleaned. Most breeds of dogs care for their own personal hygiene by licking themselves. The Bulldog’s stocky body makes it impossible for most Bulldogs to lick their private parts.
The female cannot reach her vulva to keep it clean. So after all the wrinkles are washed, wash Lady English Bulldog’s private parts, rinse, dry, and powder if inflamed. If there is inflammation, watch closely for discharge or odor. If this persists, a visit to the veterinarian is in order.
Mr. Bulldog cannot take care of his own personal hygiene, either, so check the inside of his hind legs. If there is evidence of dirt or discharge, wash thoroughly with soap and water, rinse, and dry. As with the female, if inflammation is present or a discharge has a foul odor, have your veterinarian check his condition.
Finally, one more area is a English Bulldog problem. If his tail is tight to his body, twisted and curled almost in knots, or is totally absent, then regular inspection and cleansing is the order of the day. Cover your finger with a soft, warm, soapy cloth and get under the tail. You will discover there is loose hair and flaking skin and other debris under the tail where it emerges from the body. Cleanse carefully and gently –  dry and powder using whatever you used for wrinkles. Follow this same procedure in the knots and twists. If there is no tail, there is usually an indentation where the tail should be. This indentation will contain dead hair, dandruff, and other matter. This, too, must be cleaned.
Keeping this area clean and dry will help to prevent infection. A severely infected tail may have to be removed, which is expensive and painful. Prevention may be a nuisance, but it is less expensive for you, and certainly less painful for the dog, than treating an infection.

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English_Bulldog_Grooming_Daily_Ritual

Stand the English Bulldog puppy on a bench or table, or any flat surface that is the best height for your comfort. Assure the puppy that he isn’t being punished and this is a special time just for him. Note the sheen in his coat. Check for any bare spots in his coat or skin lesions. Are his eyes clear and free of discharge? Is his nose soft and free of crust? Are the insides of his ears smooth or is the skin rough, flaky, and inflamed? Note his feet – are they swollen, especially between his toes?
This seems like a lot of checking, but before you realize, it will become a regular habit to observe all these points, and you will immediately be aware of any abnormalities that can indicate potential problems.
English Bulldogs enjoy grooming because they are people dogs and enjoy anything that involves attention from those they love. Grooming is an exercise in observation and prevention, providing a healthy, happy, clean dog. I have recommended daily grooming, but if your skills of observation are keen and your dog does not have any problems, it is no sin to reduce the frequency to two or three times a week.

Brushing

The next step in the daily grooming ritual will be brushing. How much and how long will depend on the condition of the coat. Your dog’s coat is a good barometer of his health. Is the shedding minimal or is it excessive? If the shedding is not seasonal excess, then there must be another reason – stress, worms, fleas, diet? All these and more can cause excess shedding, and only your veterinarian can make an accurate diagnosis.
Only seasonal shedding will subside on its own. Excessive loss of hair for other reasons must be treated. Excessive shedding leaves English Bulldog hair on the furniture, on your clothes, in fact everywhere. And Bulldog hair is difficult to get off, because it sticks.
A small pumice stone (two by four inches) helps remove the dead hair during heavy shedding. Brush with the stone in the direction of the hair growth. Complete the grooming with a slicker brush (a brush with many fine, slanted wire teeth) or a grooming glove (a cloth glove with textured pads on the palm), both of which can be purchased at a pet supply store. When the shedding is normal, a daily brushing with a slicker brush or grooming glove should be adequate. Loose hair, dandruff, and dirt will be removed, leaving the coat bright and shiny and the hair follicles stimulated.

New Products in the Fight Against Fleas
At one time, battling fleas meant exposing your English Bulldog and your-self to toxic dips, sprays, powders, and collars. But today there are flea preventives that work very well and are safe for your dog, you, and the environment. The two most common types are insect growth regulators (IGRs), which stop the immature flea from developing or maturing, and adult flea killers. To deal with an active infestation, experts usually recommend a product that has both.
These next-generation flea fighters generally come in one of two forms:
– Topical treatments or spotons. These products are applied to the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The product is absorbed through the skin into the dog’s system.
– Systemic products. This is a pill your dog swallows that transmits a chemical throughout the dog’s bloodstream. When a flea bites the dog, it picks up this chemical, which then prevents the flea’s eggs from developing.
Talk to your veterinarian about which product is best for your English Bulldog. Make sure you read all the labels and apply the products exactly as recommended, and that you check to make sure they are safe for puppies.

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