French Bulldogs LA is a French Bulldog Breeder located just outside Los Angeles in the Ojai Valley of Ventura County in Southern California. Blue french bulldog puppies, fawn, blue-fawn, pied, brindle, cream, and all colors.
As a pet parent, I always make it a point when I have the time to diligently read the news or follow blogs written by dog care professionals to help me understand and better take care of my french bulldog. One of the blogs I read regularly and refer to for troubleshooting is Caesar’s way. Cesar is an established dog care professional with his own TV show and many celebrity clients. More importantly, he posts information on the most uncanny insights into the nature of dogs and on pet care and training. One of my favorites is an interesting series of blogs by Cesar titled Natural Dog Laws like his Natural Dog Law No 5 which says that dogs are instinctively social pack animals.
When I googled this for more information I was indeed astounded to learn that the modern day domestic dogs ( including special assistance dogs, pet dogs, farm dogs and my beloved frenchie ) wolves, dingos, coyotes, and jackals all belong to the same scientific classification the genus Canis. So dogs species are Canis Familiaris, and wolves are Canis Lupus. That indicates that somewhere their origins lie in the same common ancestors. This is why their pack mentality comes to our pet dogs naturally. It’s in their genes. It’s instinctive.
All the pictures are first moments between older dogs and their new companion puppy.
We as humans cannot literally speak to our pets in their language but we can instinctively try and understand their personality and their needs believe me each dog has it’s own. It is important that we realize their instinctive nature and keep it in mind when we take care of them. Essentially, we care for our pets in our human way and not the pack animal way. Since there is no cooperation required from the pack from our pet dog for survival, frenchie does not really feel like a contributing member of the pack. After all what help could we need from our pet in emptying a box of pre-packaged pedigreed dog food into a bowl and placing it on the floor. Our pet’s pups are cared for by us. Illness is kept away at by vaccinations. This is more like human relationships than like the cooperation between animals within a pack.
The French bulldog is an intelligent pet. It is one of the few pedigreed breeds which have been bred and adapted over a period of time to live well with humans. Even so, the frenchie wants to feel belonging at an instinctive level. Also, Cesar in his blog states that since our pet dogs are originally descended from wolves they need the security and comfort of a pack. So french bulldogs, in fact, all dogs find comfort in numbers. Usually, three dogs are considered a pack but if not three even two ( a pair) find comfort in each other. Dogs much more than humans are social animals and find happiness and safety in numbers. A single dog is usually lonely, feels unsafe and unbalanced. It takes three to make a pack but even two together will do to beat the loneliness our pet feels sometimes even when we are around. If a dog had a choice he or she would much rather have more dogs around rather than be the only one. It’s not natural for them to be alone without a pack to belong with.
Pet parents with two or more pets at the same time, especially in the case of dogs, will confirm how much better behaved and happier their dogs are. With their pack or their partner, they get affection and attention not possible from human parents. You will find there are with a balanced happy pet less chances of coming home to a messy sofa or a house turned upside down by a restless lonely dog.This holds true for all breeds of dogs and french bulldogs are no exception.
This is also the reason many suggest that having two or even more pet dogs at one time together is better than having one.
While it’s not always possible given our own hectic lives and work schedules, to provide constant companionship to our pet French bulldog like a pack does, having two or more dogs as pets together at the same time helps solve this problem a lot I think. The companionship, rapport, and friendship between two dogs or a male and female pair of dogs can go a long way in producing happiness hormones in each of them and this leads to happy pet parents too.
So it was a Sunday afternoon and I was scanning through Netflix to find a movie I could watch with my pet dog. After much indecision and a struggle between animated cartoons ( my pet frenchie loves watching some of these ) and a movie, the one we finally settled down to watch was called A Dog’s Purpose.
Directed by Lasse Holstrom written by Bruce Cameron and thrice nominated this movie has many adorable dogs for its central canine character. The storyline of the movie follows a dog soul ( following the belief that all living creatures have an inner soul) through its many dog lives and the relationships with many owners or pet parents. Reincarnation and circle of life are both underlying themes throughout this movie which makes it a perfect chicken soup for the soul. I have not enjoyed crying during a movie so much since I saw Julia Roberts Eat Pray Love. It is cathartic to watch the two deep spiritual messages underlying this movie’s Hollywood feel-good flick plot. It could also be viewed as several short snippets or stories of humans and their pet dogs and the unique bond the dog soul shares with one particular owner. In each life, the dog soul carries something with him into the next life. So then what was the dog’s purpose you think? Well keeping in mind that each soul even doggy souls have a purpose to fulfil in their life I would say it was to provide companionship, love, and loyalty to their pet parents and in particular to help one struggling pet parent to find satisfaction and completeness in love.
A Dog's Purpose - Official Trailer (HD) - YouTube
The dog’s soul goes through many different lifetimes in the movie. Since a dog’s life span is much lesser when calculated in human years, seven dog years make one human year from the first lifetime to the last, in each lifetime irrespective of gender, looks or pet parent, the dog soul in different dog bodies brings…
to each of his or her pet parents. It shows the strength and courage of the pet and parent bond that we share with our pets.
In the first life the dog’s soul is born in a ditch as a stray puppy and it’s a short life as animal control takes him away and gases him along with the other stray dogs they have collected.
Without going too much into the afterlife or what happens after death the dog’s soul is reborn. The afterlife is simply a dark blank screen for a few seconds. The doggy soul’s second life he is born as a golden retriever to a doggy breeder but does not want to be in a cage and runs away when he is still a pup. He is picked up and put into a truck by a passing man who locks him up inside with the windows up and is in the verge of death by heat exhaustion in the truck when he is rescued by a lady and her son Ethan who name him Bailey. So Bailey is then a pet to Ethan who grows up to be a youth with a promising football career until an accident injures him and kills his chances of football scholarship and a football career. This is one of the dog souls favorite lives and this owner named Ethan the one his bond is strongest with. The accident destroys Ethan’s spirit and Ethan grows old to be a bitter lonely old man. Much before that Bailey lives to a ripe old age and passes away of an old age ailment when Ethan is a young college man.
The story is not over yet and the dog soul returns to Ethan being his owner towards the end of the movie in a beautiful caring way.
The third life of the doggy soul is that of a German Shepherd a police guard dog named Ellie and in this life she saves the life of her police officer trainer pet parent and a little girl from drowning. Her companionship is invaluable to the lovely police officer who handles her.
The next life of the doggy soul is that of a welsh corgi with his owner a college student named Maya and he is named Tino. He lives a full peaceful life with Maya through her youth and with her family and kids as she grows older and thanks her for one of his best life’s ever before he dies once again of an old age ailment. He loves Maya and her family and ya deeply loved by them in return.
The last life of the doggy soul in the movie is as a St. Bernard Australian shepherd mix breed. His owners are an abusive and negligent couple who keep him chained up in their tiny backyard all the time. He grows up from puppyhood chained like that to watch that was very cruel. He escapes from those owners and that life to walk past a dog park with a human there a lady with a child that has a very familiar cherished smell of the dog soul. He follows these humans he smelled at the park to meet Hannah his first owner Ethan’s high school sweetheart. He then finds( through his memories of his first life on Ethan’s farm ) his way from Hannah to his first owner Ethan’s doorstep and starts to live with him and unites Hannah and Ethan. Ethan calls him Buddy. The dog Bailey or Buddy brings faith and love back into his first owner Ethan’s life by bringing his long list college sweetheart Hannah back into Ethan’s life. The movie ends after Ethan and Hannah are married and Buddy in his special way lets Ethan know he is the same Bailey.
It may be difficult for some to sympathize with the story, some may find it too whimsical or others may just love it but all in all it’s a great family film.
Buddy and Bailey leave you filled with hope and faith in the mysterious loving ways of the universe.
I recently just purchased a French bulldog puppy and his name is blue he’s a very active little guy and he has a very healthy appetite. When you do the research on a French bulldog puppy you find that the dog has many possible health issues like all pure breed dogs do please do the research.
So when doing the research I was looking for a dog kibble that would satisfy all of the puppies nutritional needs. On the packaging, the ingredients looked amazing and the price was high but anything is worth it when it comes to the health of your animal. I used origin dog food, one of the most expensive foods on the market. My puppy blue was on this dog food for two weeks before I stopped it. He was bloated he had diarrhea he picked over his food he basically had no interest. I still left the food there for him to eat because it is costly you know and he still did not eat it. So then I tried cooking his food. I have a pressure cooker I started using fresh organic meat and vegetables and I would prepare this daily for him and he enjoyed that.
So in blue enjoying his food I did not see any health benefits. I just realize that he was full and happy. Then I started to think what about raw? Because when you cook your food all of the nutritional value is gone is dead it’s cooked out of the food. Raw food which is uncooked has all of the nutritional value in the food it’s alive and it has all of the living enzymes and organisms needed to heal. That’s a no-brainer. So I switched from kibble which is dead food to Raw food which is alive. In the four months that my French bulldog puppy blue has been raw his health is amazing. He’s very lean intergenic happy solid, shiny coat smaller stools improve digestion better weight management great dental health pink gums white teeth. For dogs who don’t suffer from health issues feeding a top-quality raw diet can enhance energy level behavior and a general good mood in any animal. Just think how do you feel after you eat a good healthy meal?
The truth about Raw…
Is this dangerous for your pet? Of course not! It’s their natural diet in the wild.
Since they are not in the wild but in our homes it’s still up to the owners that’s me and you to supply a well balanced Raw meal that will only enhance their bodies and wellbeing the correct way raw food goes directly where it’s needed and the body uses it all.
Do the research. I use all meats and organs some exotic meats too as well as all icky things fishnheads antioxidants pre and probiotics different oils and herbs the list goes on. The fun part for me is making my own raw dog food for my pets. I invested in a commercial meat grinder it weighs about 50 pounds and it does what I needed to do and that’s ground up meat and chicken bones to give to the babies. I really enjoyed creating healthy meals that they enjoy eating that’s nutritious and healing to their bodies. I will be posting videos of how I grind and prepare the foods that I get my animals. All of this can be quite frightening in the beginning but as time goes along it becomes really simple. Well, you’re asking what should dogs be eating a raw diet well your dog needs RAM muscle meet organs fatty tissue and bones.
Now the fun part begins how much raw food do I feed my dog?
You start off by writing down your dogs wait for example my French bulldog weighs 40 pounds so you calculate 2 to 3% of that number that would equal to a range of 0.8 to 1.2 pounds of food per day. So i feed blue one and a half pounds of food per day. If the dog weighed more weight it would be more food. OK now we’re in business now that we have determined how much dog food to feed your dog now we must determine your dog’s activity level…
Is your dog inactive?
Is your dog active?
Is your dog average?
Is your dog a working dog?
Where does your dog fall when it comes to considering activity level but let’s not get too hung up on that. Most dogs fall with the inactive or average categories starting with 2% of their body weight is a good course of action if you believe your dog is more active consider bumping their starting percentage up to 2.5 to 3% of your bodyweight.
I was browsing through Netflix late Saturday night looking for an interesting movie to watch and came across this documentary called Pet Fooled. It is co produced by Kohl Harrington and Micheal Fossat.
Pet Fooled describes the commercial pet food industry and the lack of transparency about what goes into the packaged pet food we give our pets. Being a new pet owner I have always looked for the best most healthiest pet food on the supermarket or pet store shelf for my little french bull dog. The documentary was an informative eye opener for me and I recommend it for all new pet owners. You must make it a must watch on your to watch film /documentary list.
Pet Fooled interviews veterinarians and pet owners about their knowledge on the true ingredients or raw materials found in packaged pet food and it’s impact on pet health and nutrition. The commercial pet food manufactured by pet food giants is made available for purchase in most pet stores or supermarkets in the United States. In fact, some of the more popular brands of commercial pet food is also available for purchase in many other countries across the globe.
The film also decodes with the help of experts the real meanings behind the food labels and ingredient list on the pet food packs we buy from our local pet store or the pets section of our supermarkets. It describes the negative impacts of such processed pet food diets on our beloved pets and discusses alternatives available nowadays.
While watching the documentary, just the thought of feeding poisonous substances to my cute little french bulldog puppy disturbed me. I was convinced that I should read more carefully food labels before buying or at least try my best to find a good source for healthy raw meat for my pets food. I am definitely going to ask my veterinarian their opinion on biological diets.
Usually, when one searches the internet for information on a pet problem or health condition even simple ones like rashes or itchy skin there is so much information it’s difficult to decide which source of information is scientific or the best source. This documentary educates pet parents on the way to read pet food package labels and to the alternative diets that are available in the market today.
It was also shocking to learn that not one pet food company had came forward transparently to be interviewed as part of the documentary. That itself speaks volumes. I feel terrible about what so many pet owners ( I like to call them pet parents ) went through in 2007 during the melamine caused pet food recall.
So what did I learn as a new pet owner, I have briefly summarised all of it for you below. Hope it helps you like it helped me better realise my pet parent responsibility.
The 2007 melamine-related pet food recall
In 2007 pet foods company Purina and Hills amongst others recalled many packets of pet food including the brand labelled Science Diet due to melamine contamination and the public outcry at the number of pets that had died or fallen sick from eating the pet food that had been recalled.
The internet research I read states that 70% of China’s pet food manufactured ingredients are imported to the United States and used by the pet food commercial corporations in their branded pet foods. In 2007 Taipei recalled 4 brands of pet food off the shelves for lack of promised protein / mislabeling.
In the United States in 2007 pet food was recalled for melamine contamination. Melamine along with cyanuric acid was found in the wheat gluten that contained ingredients from China.
This combination of melamine and cyanuric acid causes kidney failure in animals.
And consequently had led to several pet deaths after consumption. Some of the biggest pet food corporations in the United States were involved in the 2007 pet food recall including Purina, Science Diet ( Hills ) and Eukanaba.
And yet even today a similar problem seems to exist with some chicken jerky products for pets. However, unlike the melamine food recall this issue remains still unresolved.
So why would anyone feed their dog wheat gluten in the first place? I asked myself what was wheat doing in my french bull dog’s food? Is that a natural part of a carnivorous animals high protein diet requirement? And what about buying goods with Chinese origins? Does the label say made in China? Well, that’s a part of the problem actually. Under prevalent United States laws, the country of origin details for raw materials or ingredients used to manufacture pet food is not required to be disclosed on the food packaging. Furthermore, under United States laws a pet food product can be said to be made in the United States as long as it is put together or assembled in the United States.
The big corporations and their bottom lines
When we walk into our favourite pet store or even the local supermarket there are a variety of pet food brands available for sale on the pet store shelves. However, despite the variety in brands and mixes there are actually just four or five multinational corporations out there who manufacture most of these various brands. The best known brands belong to pet food giants like
amongst others. Each of these commercial corporations manufacture or put together from imported raw materials or ingredients, commercial pet food which is then well packed and placed on the shelves for sale. In some cases, it’s just a matter of repackaging for example chicken jerky pet food products are simply repackaged and sold. While there appear to be a variety of brands and types of chicken jerky which are different looking on the shelves of the pet store, in fact, the film states that they were all at one point sourced from a production unit /factory in china and are simply repackaged under different brands for retail sale. While no one has been able to pinpoint or trace the exact ingredient in the chicken jerky which leads to the medical problems of many pets it is thought to be the chicken jerky products. This is the ongoing issue with several brands of chicken jerky affecting pet health which is not yet resolved.
Also, it is astounding to know that the base ingredients of almost all of them have very little differences. Also, the film points out that most of these commercial pet foods list as their main ingredient carbohydrates like soya, wheat and corn with a minimum of meat and added dry chemical vitamins. And that’s the tip of the iceberg, there are issues on rendered meat and it’s sources. No checks on meat quality or by product that’s being processed to make into rendered meat raw materials. There is also the issue that some pet food formulations when processed at high temperatures in factories lead to the creation of acrylamides and other carcinogens. And all of this is what we are feeding our pets. I hesitate every time I put commercial pet food into my frenchie’s dinner bowl with all these thoughts rushing into my head.
What do these pet foods do for our pets?
Well despite all the fantastic packaging and photos I am concerned at the nutrition that my french bulldog puppy gets at the end of the day. The packaging promises extra
In come cases organic and natural is also written. Not to mention all the photos of happy healthy pets that are on the packs. Is this food really healthy. While your vet is the best person to consult about the choice of pet food and to discuss the pros and cons of a raw meat diet for your pet there are many differing opinions on this amongst veterinarians themselves as well.
I for one am now wiser for all this glossy advertising and want to know what I am exactly putting into my french bull dogs plate of food.
Decoding the labels on your pet food
So the regulators and AAFCO ( the full form is Association of American Feed Control Officials) have the following meanings attached to the use of the certain descriptive words in packaged pet foods wrappings or covers. AAFCO is not a government authority neither a regulatory one. Certainly, these meanings are not the regular dictionary ones and most consumers of the pet food end product do not know these word associations. I for one am now wiser and look out for these words before buying. While I do prefer to follow a raw diet I also keep some pet food for emergencies and cases with time constraints.
The word ‘With’ in the package indicates that the buyer should expect a 3% chicken or meat content. The words ‘Formula, dinner or nugget’ on the package of pet food suggest that the pet owner buying should expect 25% chicken or meat content. The word ‘dog food’ on the pack indicates a 95% meat content. And what then about the pet food products with the words natural or organic I was thinking. Well ‘organic’ can be used in. Sort food package with even with only 3% organic chicken content. The word ‘natural’ as per the AAFCO definition includes rendered meat.
And all this, by the way, is not fresh for human consumption first grade FDA approved meat but it is mostly rendered meat or by product. What’s that? Well, I sure had not heard of these terms before? Well by product is the leftovers of an animal carcass after the parts fit for human consumption have been removed from it. It is biological waste which slaughter houses look for hygienic and non contaminating ways to dispose. This quantity of useless meat leftovers is the highest in red meat eating countries with high meat and beef production.
Rendered meat is meat basically smashed and ground by machines that is sourced from a variety of places and includes by product from slaughter houses, butchery left overs. Dead animals from farms, ranches or elsewhere, road kill, undisposed carcasses are all included in the sources for meat rendering factories. Once it’s all smashed and minced it all looks identical and generic and comes neatly packaged as a raw material to be used for pet food factories.
What do the veterinarians say?
Pet Fooled while filming took the expert views of many veterinarians like Dr Barbara Royal and Dr Karen Becker. There is one faction of veterinarians that recommend a diet of raw meat for your pet. They state that our pets in particular our pet dogs are canine in origin like wolves and so biologically they are carnivorous. Biologically appropriate foods are the best for our pets. So what is the biologically appropriate food for my pet dog? Raw meat!
Traditionally however vets have always advised against raw meat primarily because of the bacteria it contains as being harmful to the pets and also to humans. Even so, some vets feel the traditional vets prescribe commercial pet foods and other packaged foods simply because they don’t know better or due to a lack of awareness about raw meat diets.
Ironically there are no regulators for the pet food industry as of now. In the United States, AAFCO is a private organisation consisting of and funded mostly by the big pet food manufacturers. They do come out with a manual or standards in one can call it that every year after many discussions. By and large, it’s what most pet food makers refer to. While AAFCO does set the standards every year and also publish minimum requirements for pet food AAFCO is not a regulatory government authority but instead, they like to call themselves a pet food ingredient quality checking laboratory. Other than AAFCO the only other regulatory authority looking into pet food regulation in the United States although indirectly is the compliance policies of the United States FDA for feed manufacture.
After watching this interesting documentary, I for one am now a firm believer in raw meats. That’s what I am going to give my little french bull dog. Also, I will remember to read all my ingredient labels and do my homework before I purchase and feed my little frenchie any processed or packaged treats or pet food.
A couple of days ago, I was searching the internet for 2016’s best and most popular breeds of pet dogs. Amongst breeds like golden retrievers and terriers, I came across the breed of French bull dogs which were very much in demand with photos of French bull dog puppies, which by the way are the cutest ever puppies, with their flat squashed noses, round face and big eyes. As I read more and more I began to understand the popularity of these dogs. It was so difficult to resist their cuteness quotient that would melt the toughest heart, when they saw pictures of the cute bluish purplish black puppies with the most beautiful soulful brown eyes, Blue French Bull Dogs do truly have the cutest pups. Blue French bull dogs have been very popular over the last two centuries, as pets and companions especially amongst the rich and famous including many Hollywood celebrities not to say the least.
A bit about the American Kennel Club and FBDCA Breeding Standards So why don’t they qualify ? Well, the American Kennel Club in its breeding standard clearly states that
brindle and white,
fawn and white,
white and brindle,
white and fawn,
cream and white,
fawn brindle and
are recogonised colors. All other colors being disqualified colors, such as chocolate, mouse ( but not mouse grey like in the French breeding standards), liver amongst other colors. The American Kennel Club recognized markings are ticked, brindle markings, black mask, piebald and white markings. Even so blue brindle French bull dogs or blue french bull dogs can still be registered with the American Kennel Club as pets and even with the Kennel Club in the UK and in the future as blue French bull dogs grow healthier and healthier they may qualify soon with the American Kennel Club.
Famous French Bulldogs and their Famous Owners
Even so none of this controversy has in any way affected the popularity of blue French bull dogs as pets, companions and even commercial and sitcom stars. Their popularity and their facebook fan following continues to grow. Hollywood celebrity and actress Reese Witherspoon who was recently declared by PEOPLE magazine as amongst one of the most beautiful women of 2016 has a beautiful blue grey French bull dog named Pepper who is the latest addition to her family of lovable mutts. TV Sitcom actor, Zach Braff who is the star of the popular television show Scrubs also has as a second pet, a friendly blue French bull dog called Scooter. Lady GaGa’s pet blue French bull dog named Asia has a luminous bluish purplish coat. And thats not all, the number of Hollywood celebrities who fancy this regal and very expensive French bull dog pedigree breed is many more. Hugh Jackman’s pet french bull dog named Dali is a beautiful fawn color with bluish undertones to his coat. Leonardo di Caprio’s pet French bull dog is named Django and is also a fawn blue French bull dog. Christina Ricci and her pet dog named Ramon, Martha Stewart with Bete Noire and Creme Brulee ( and her previous french bull dogs, Francesca and Sharkey) the list is endless and it is heartening to see that all these beautiful dogs are cherished pets and companions.
That’s not all, there are many French bull dogs who are celebrities in their own right and not vicariously through their famous owners. From being the stars of commercials for Audi, and vintage ones for Jaguar to facebook pages live uploads and huge facebook fan followings and also appearances as stars of TV sitcoms and Hollywood films.
The first time I heard about a blue french bull dog I was surprised. A blue dog I thought that has to be either a funny nick name with an interesting anecdote behind it or definitely a rare unusual breed of dogs. As I researched french bull dogs in particular blue Frenchies, as they are popularly nicknamed, I understood that blue French bull dogs were indeed a rarity.
They are popular for their rarity and their dark blue grey overtones in their coat. Even so I think its their beautiful big eyes which make them adorable to look at that makes them loved and popular home companions, sometimes brown eyes and sometimes leaning towards a hazel green their big eyes usually grow into a brown color as they grow out of puppyhood. The fact that they are rare and born less frequently as compared to other varieties of French bull dogs makes them more popular.
The Controversy Clarified
These beautiful almost regal dogs and their pure bred bloodlines are rare because of the diluted black gene they carry which the American Kennel Club breeding standards say are not optimum for breeding. This was believed to be because generation after generation of French bull dogs were being inbred and because of this line breeding over many years in past times where related dogs were bred together to create the color of the blue french blue dogs
the black diluted recessive gene and
other recessive genes
that may cause weak health were created. There is no medically proven research or information for this above belief. In recent times it does not hold true any longer since related blue french bull dogs are no longer bred with each other.
The gene pool is now large enough to have several healthy non related blue french bull dogs which can be bred with each other to create healthy blue puppies. So the health problems they face in recent times are pretty much the same as those faced by other non blue French bull dogs. So now a days the general belief that the puppies born from the blue French bull dog bloodlines are born unhealthy has changed as things have changed over time.
FIVE French Bulldogs in Ojai, CA. - YouTube
The Dilution Gene Dilemma
So what’s all the fuss about ? The blue French Bull dog’s bluish coat are the result of a recessive black dilution gene ( lets call it the ‘black’ gene) or the dilution gene as it is sometimes called.
It is this black dilution gene that gives the blue French bull dog its beautiful bluish grey coat.
So if a blue French bull dog which has the black gene from its parents is bred with another non related blue French bull dog also carrying the black gene then the puppies in their litter post breeding will all be blue French bull dogs all of whom will be carrying black dilution gene and will so express their blue characteristics with their bluish coat. If a blue French bull dog carrying the black gene is bred with a non related non blue French bull dog then chances are that perhaps half the puppies will be blue puppies and will be carriers of the black recessive gene will express the characteristics of the bluish coat.
Lastly if two non related french bull dogs who are not showing a blue color in their coat but are both carriers of the black gene are bred it may be likely that one fourth of the puppies from their litter will be blue puppies and will show all the characteristics of blue french bull dogs. In this last case some part of puppies in the litter may also be non blue french bull dogs and and some may be carriers of the black dilution gene but will not express the characteristic bluish grey coat.
There is a growing popularity of this rare breed of French bull dogs in particular as now they are healthy blue French bull dogs with genuine pedigreed bloodlines.
As I understand hopefully in the near future the AKC will change its breeding standards and the blue french bull dogs will qualify as there are now many generations of healthy blue french dogs growing healthier and healthier who are bred by responsible breeders who no longer do in line breeding. And if Hollywood celebrity Reese Witherspoon who was declared as one of PEOPLE’s most beautiful women in 2016, is a good standard to go by then blue grey French bull dogs make great lovable and good looking pets.
My own dog was confined for weeks and suffered. This could have been prevented!
This is Dr. Marika writing to you here on my guests article about IVDD. If you happened here by chance then you will be surprised to learn what it is many pet owners have to deal with related to their french bulldogs back. I personally never had this experience in 15 years until recently. I have a 4 year old rescue named Angel. And she is white like an Angel. She is deaf. I was not even certain she was a full blooded french bulldog when I initially adopted her. What set her apart from my other 5 french bulldogs was her ability to jump over the tallest buildings. Just kidding about buildings, but the point is that is her spirit. I had to heighten a whole fence line to keep her in. She sprinted like a gazelle over fences I never believed a french bulldog could clear. I was told that she was “just an athletic frenchy”. I was never warned to STOP her activities or CURB them. If only……..
One day a couple of months ago I came home to her leaning against a wall with her hind quarters trembling. What began and a possible pulled muscle was actually an inflamed spinal injury that was pressing on her nerves. She was in excruciating pain. She whimpered and panted for several days. It was miserable to watch her suffer. I, the person who doesn’t like drugs would have jammed anything into her system to help her misery. I even had the worst possible thoughts of putting her out of her misery. The torture she was suffering seemed endless. In hindsight we suffered for 4 weeks. Two of those she was entirely isolated in a pen to lay down all day. She got depressed and would barely eat. We were taking medications twice daily. I lived each day to be on time for those meds because I could sense pain coming on if I missed a does by even an hour. It was all horrific.
In the end now, I have peace of mind because of this back brace that I found on line. It reminds here to inhibit her movements. Maybe she will wear it her whole life. Just for the record, Getting here was only possible with large doses of Cold laser therapy, a sort of acupuncture with light. It helped her too tremendously. I found this amazing doctor, Dr. Mark Bitan in Malibu at theholisticvet.com. Take a moment sometime to follow that link and read about this man’s work WITHOUT surgery.
So what are the chances that the creator of this back brace lives in my home town here in Ojai, CA. Lisa, the developer of the Wiggleless Back Brace came to my house and demonstrated her compassion for this disease and her back brace by showing me better how to fit it and gave me an extra to try out and when she left I felt that I would be thrilled to encourage people learning about her product by publishing her story here on my website.
If you are reading this before you have an issue then just soak it up and start better practices in your home and inhibit your frenchie from jumping like a rabbit everywhere. Use stairs up to furniture and even call me to learn more. I hope to help others with all this information. I don’t wish what we went through on anyone and can’t now stress enough to new puppy owners to start good habits right from the beginning.
Check out these stairs too. They are attractive and worth every cent.
Navigating the World of IVDDDachshunds to French Bulldogs
From Canada to Scotland or France to Australia, pet parents everywhere may end up navigating the complex world of IVDD at some point in their pup’s life. The French Bulldog is one of the top 10 most popular dog breeds because they are amusing, affectionate, intelligent dogs but their adorable, stout appearance, is also a red flag for potential back pain.
IVDD, or Intervertebral Disc Disease, is a degenerative disease that affects countless breeds at various ages and activity levels. It occurs when discs in the spinal column begin to shift so much so that they protrude outward, pressing against the spinal cord and its nerves. The discs are thick plates—or disc-like cushions, which lie between the bony vertebrae in the spine. They are composed of a fibrous outer layer called the annulus fibrosus and a pulpy, gelatinous center called the nucleus pulposus. They help to cushion the spine as your dog walks, trots, runs, twists, or decides to do the “zoomies” or the Frenchie 500!
As time goes by, the discs start to degenerate as the blood supply to the disc decreases, making the tissues not as vital and resilient as they once were.
The soft, gelatinous central material is replaced with harder cartilaginous material, which is more easily ruptured.
Type I can affect dogs at any age, and is mostly seen in (but not limited to) chrondrodystrophic dogs, or dogs bred to be shorter and stockier. (Examples of chondrodystrophic breeds are the French Bulldog, Dachshund, Pekinese, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, Basset, Beagle, and Poodle.) This type occurs when a dog’s spine experiences a sudden impact that causes the disc to shift out of place.
Type II is more gradual but the results are the same: pressure on the spinal cord and its nerves caused by a bulging disc. Type II IVDD affects older dogs between the ages of 8 and 15 by its very nature, and isn’t targeted to primarily chrondrodystrophic breeds. In the Type II disc disease, the tear in the outer layer is smaller and tends to occur gradually over a period of time. The central material tends to bulge up into the spinal canal but then falls back into place between the vertebrae. This second Type tends to occur in breeds with normal cartilage.
No matter what age they are when diagnosed, for both types of IVDD, rest, laser light therapy, anti-inflammatories, and even surgery are the common protocol and can aid in helping to manage, if not completely relieve, dog back pain. However, older dogs suffering from Type I are less likely to rebound as quickly as younger dogs and are more likely to experience continual back problems throughout their lives.
When my dachshunds Henry and his younger sister June were both diagnosed, I didn’t quite understand how she and Henry could have the exact same diagnosis—June was much younger and far more active. When June started showing symptoms, I rushed her to the ER where the vet administered Rimadyl for inflammation, Tramadol for back pain, andRoboxin to relax muscles. She was also put on confined rest for a month! I soon started researching more about the “chondrodystrophic” breed, which means a dog with short legs and long spines — learning quickly that these short-legged fluffs of love are prone to IVDD. When the vet told me that June’s back was like a “ticking time bomb” and suggested spinal surgery or maybe even euthanasia, I panicked! Henry also being diagnosed with the same thing made me examine the disease more closely and soon after, dedicate my time and energy to helping other dogs and owners alike.
Once I started my journey into the universe of IVDD, I started learning more about other breeds and met countless other dogs suffering from this dreaded disease. I had no idea dog back problems were so prevalent in dogs! French Bulldogs were at the top of the list due to their genetic predisposition towards back problems and as a dwarf breed, French bulldogs’ discs are more vulnerable than other breeds due to age-related degeneration.
Frenchies are small but solidly built, with a muscular physique, so one might think their backs would be super strong but it is quite the opposite, as being low to the ground means when they make impact, from jumping off the couch or running up and down the stairs, they come in with a hard landing!
The French Bulldog also has an odd way of sitting with his hind legs spread out — thus the nickname “frog dog.”
Although this cute stance doesn’t necessarily signal future back pain, posture is something to consider, since French bulldogs are predisposed to IVDD and Hemivertebrae (bones of the spine that are abnormally shaped).
Dogs need to be active, so I had to find a way to keep my Dachshunds from wiggling so much! Frenchies enjoy lounging around, but they are a bit like Dachshunds. Although they are low to the ground, they want to live a fun life! The most important goal for my pups became recovering them to a happy, pain free life, so they could bounce around again. The journey was long with my first two dachshunds. Thankfully understanding the world of IVDD, and managing the pain our pups can sometimes feel, is becoming easier to do as we learn more and more about the disease and the many preventative and supportive measures we can take as pet parents. We are also sharing more stories of how we can make strides towards wellness and bring relief to our fur babies.
Our lives changed forever when June and Henry were diagnosed with IVDD and a big part of my life revolved around finding ways to make their pain go away. Emergency room visits, strong medication and complete crate rest were not what I’d envisioned when we brought our sweet puppies home. Caring for a dog with IVDD can be draining emotionally, as well as financially. It was disheartening for me to watch my pups not be able to play and jump around like ‘normal’ dogs, hear them whimper in pain, and watch them have muscle spasms. No pet parent wants to see their pups not feeling well, especially when they are in physical pain.
French bulldogs might not bark much, but they do like to talk, so it is important to pay special attention if you notice any of the following signs, as they can be early warnings signals of a bigger issue, and you may need your Vet’s immediate input.
· Neck pain and stiffness (reluctance to move the neck and head)
· Lowered head stance
· Back pain and stiffness
· Yelping unexpectedly when touched or moving
· Abdominal tenderness or tenseness
· Arched back (hunched posture, called “thoracolumbar kyphosis”)
· Sensitivity to touch (possible aggression)
· Sensitivity to movement
· Impaired, incomplete or inappropriate urination
· Dragging one or more legs when walking
· “Toeing over” or “knuckling over” when walking or standing
· Stilted gait; tentative gait
· Reluctance to rise
· Tremors, trembling, shaking
· Lack of coordination (“ataxia”)
· Abnormal reflexes
· Paralysis in one or more limbs
There is so much helpful advice these days on the web to help you and your little angles live a high quality life with IVDD— the key words being HIGH QUALITY LIFE!
Here are a few tips I found especially helpful during recovery:
Diet—maintain your dog’s healthiest weight to reduce stress on their backbone and neck. Making sure they have the proper nutrients and supplements is paramount during the healing process and your Veterinary can offer guidance if you are unsure what your dog’s optimum weight level should be.
Food—moisten kibble or feed them wet food. Chewing can cause stress on the jaw and neck, which can result in pain. Same goes for chew toys or treats. Abstain from these during the recovery period.
Eliminate stress on back and neck—raise food and water bowls so that your dog doesn’t have to bend down to eat or drink; keep the crate your pup is recovering in at a higher level so that he doesn’t have to raise his head to look at you or his surroundings. There are some great products on the market which allow your dog’s to comfortably retrieve their food with minimal effort.
Acupuncture Therapy—this is particularly good for dogs that respond poorly to or cannot tolerate medication. Surgery may not be an option due to health or finances. Acupuncture may be one option to look into, as it regenerates neurons mobilizing stem cell regrowth.
Laser Light Therapy—although costly, LT has been proven to reduce tenderness, pain and speed up the tissue healing process. Be sure to research this method and talk to your Veterinary before considering this as an option.
Back support—after a period of recovery, it is important to keep your dog’s back stable and straight. Wearing a back brace such as WiggleLess® puts less pressure on your dog’s spine and may help him or her to have a more enjoyable and normal life.
Environment—lots of love, comfort, warmth, encouragement, and a peaceful environment. Soft bedding, ramps, extra cushions and support will make your dog less likely to be in a position of distress. Dogs get stressed out just like us humans do. Stress makes it hard to heal!
Treatment options range from rest and conventional medicine to surgical procedures. The protocol will vary depending upon the severity of the disease and Corticosteroids or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants or other drugs may be prescribed to alleviate inflammation. If medical management does not control the dog’s pain and symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Once a dog’s pain is stabilized, cage confinement for up to 6 weeks is essential to a dog’s successful recovery! Dogs may act as if their pain has subsided once the medication takes effect; however, the medication is only masking their symptoms and if allowed to roam prematurely, more damage could be done.
Despite the desire to cuddle our fur babies, owners need to be consistent in confining their dogs for the full period recommended by their veterinarian. Dogs recovering from IVDD should be on well-padded beds, and those unable to move should be turned every few hours to prevent development of sores.
Prescription pain and anti-inflammatory medications will be reduced gradually over time and dogs with IVDD should do minimal exercise while recovering. ‘On-leash’ walks and using a harness instead of a neck collar will help, while physical therapy, such as swimming or other water exercise, allows comfortable mobility when working key muscles. Other techniques to aid healing, such as massage therapy, may help to reduce overall pain and stress. Acupuncture or acupressure techniques and use of herbal or other supplements can also alleviate pain. The goal with any healing practice is to increase circulation, ease pain, speed healing and promote wellness, while keeping your loved one calm.
Many dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease do very well without surgery, especially if their disease is caught and treated early and owners are consistent about strict cage confinement during the entire recovery period. Your veterinarian will determine the best medical protocol for IVDD and your dog. If your dog is in severe back pain due to IVDD, one or more of the following medications may be prescribed:
Steroids: They are anti-inflammatories and immune system suppressors. They are good especially if given in the vein the first 8 hours or by shot in the muscle, and followed by pills at home. The most commonly used are: prednisone and dexamethasone. Accompany with a stomach protector such as Pepcid (famotidine).
NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): they are anti-inflammatories, and also have pain killing properties too. They must never be mixed with steroids or the NSAID aspirin. The most commonly used are: Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Previcox or Metacam. Accompany with a stomach protector such as Pepcid (famotidine).
Muscle Relaxers: During a herniation a dog can have nasty muscle spasms. Muscle relaxers help prevent them and they also help keep the dog calm while in crate rest. The most..
Giving your dog a bath can either be a fun enjoyable experience, or an absolute nightmare. Puppies will either love or hate the water and unfortunately there is NO middle ground. When you are giving your Frenchie a bath you need to consider a few things. You should know how many times per month your puppy should be bathed. Washing a dog too frequently can strip their skin and coat of the essential oils that are needed to keep their skin healthy and coat shiny.
Before you begin you need to be prepared with all your
The last thing you want to do is carry a soaking wet dog through the house in search of a clean towel!
Begin bathing you Frenchie when they are young so they can get used to the idea and acclimate to being submerged in water. Place the puppy in a deep sink or a bathtub and reward them with praise for staying still. Give them treats to reinforce the good behavior.
Use lukewarm/tepid water and avoid getting soap in the ears and eyes at all costs. Take some water in your hands and pat their head/nose gently. Make sure you wash their head last because that will reduce their urge to shake water off during the bath creating a huge mess and rinse very well.
Pet odor is caused by many different things. On long haired dogs, fur will become matted and collect dirt. Infected dirty ears can cause an unpleasant odor as well. Make sure to check the ears during bath time for any signs of infection or excessive dirt. Dental problems can also be a source of bad odor. Check teeth during bath time, look for swollen gums or missing teeth. Call your vet if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Nail clipping should come after the bath unless you have a groomer regularly tend to your French Bulldog’s nails. Massage your puppies paws and praise them for staying still. Gently squeeze the paw to extend the nail to differentiate between the nail itself and the quick. If you cut too far down it will hurt and the quick will start bleeding. Make sure you have some Quick Stop on hand to stop any bleeding that may occur. If you are unsure how to clip the nails, have a professional show you how to clip the nails without hurting them.