Grooming and Treating your English Bulldog

Wrinkles

Bulldogs tend to have smushy face wrinkles. The older they get, the wrinklier they get. How often you clean these wrinkles depends on the dog. Some do very well if you clean the wrinkles a couple of times a week. Some need it on a daily basis. When you clean the wrinkles, wash his nose and apply a good rub of Vaseline to keep it soft. It's better to clean more often than you think you need to than not often enough. You can clean the wrinkles with a soft, damp cloth and then dry. Or you can wash them using the shampoo you use to bathe the dog. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry thoroughly. One of the best ways is to wipe the wrinkles clean with Baby Wipes with lanolin and aloe. Whatever method you use, be sure to get the deep nose wrinkle clean. You may need to put a soothing ointment in the deep nose wrinkle. If it is irritated Panalog will help to heal. Diaparene Ointment will soothe and dry the wrinkle. This contains zinc oxide, so before you apply it, rub Vaseline into the dog's nose. You will almost ce A sizable number of Bulldogs have "tear stains" of varying degrees of color. If the stain is bad, in addition to cleaning you may want to try to remove the stain. There are many treatments, you may have to try several before you find one that works for you. Some of the commercial products used are Showes "Pretty Eyes" Stain remover, Bio-Groom cream (to prevent re-staining) and Diamond Eye. You can make a paste of I Tbs. Hydrogen Peroxide and enough corn starch to make a thin paste (some Bulldoggers add I Tbs. Milk of Magnesia to the hydrogen peroxide and mix the cornstarch into that mixture). Apply to the stain, let dry, brush off excess. Apply on a daily basis until the stain in gone, then weekly to keep stain from returning. Another method is to rub the stain with a cotton ball soaked in Boric Acid. Daily until the stain is gone, then weekly. Or use NM Boric Acid ointment (10%) which can be purchased at Payless or most any drug store. Another remedy is rubbing a dab of Desitin into the stain to help dry it 

Fleas

The best way to treat fleas is to prevent them. Some dogs are allergic to flea saliva and can develop really serious skin problems so try to keep the flea population to a minimum. If you do get a bad flea infestation you may need to "bomb" your house and spray the yard. Frequent brushing is the first defense. Frequently changed bedding is very important. Flea collars are not very effective and many Bulldogs cannot wear them. If you do use one, do not put one on a wet or damp dog and do not allow the dog to wear a wet collar (this includes letting the dog out in the rain with its flea collar on).

You may need to give the dog a bath with a good flea shampoo or use an anti-flea rinse when you bathe. Blue Dawn dish washing liquid is good.  Topical drops like K-9 Advantix or Frontline is what I use on a monthly basis. Since these really are medications, it's a good idea to at least begin with ones from your veterinarian or that have been specifically recommended by an experienced Bulldogger in your area. Avon Skin so Soft mixed in the rinse water is an effective, non-irritating flea deterrent used by several Bulldoggers. You can also use the Skin so Soft mixed with an equal part of water in a spray bottle, or, if you feel that's a bit too strong, try two capfuls in a pint spray bottle. This is also reported to repel mosquitoes and ticks. Above all else, a clean environment, especially his bed, is the best flea prevention.

Problems and Treatments


The second best medical advice any one can give you is, "Find a veterinarian who knows and likes Bulldogs." This is one of the reasons why it's a good idea to join your local Bulldog Specialty Club. The members can usually refer you to a veterinarian who is familiar with Bulldogs and who likes them. Believe it or not - some veterinarians don't like Bulldogs, and no matter how good a veterinarian lie is, he's not a good one for your Bulldog. The very best advice is to know your Bulldog. Check the entire dog daily. Know if he isn't eating, if he isn't playing, if he doesn't seem quite right. Know immediately if something is wrong so you can take appropriate action.


There are several minor ailments you can treat at home. Remember that if a home remedy doesn't cure the problem in two days, it's time to take the dog to the veterinarian. Do not keep trying various methods of home medication.


Liquid Medications

The easiest way to give a liquid medication is with a syringe. You can get them from your veterinarian or most drug stores. You want at least a 2cc size. Discard the needle. Pull the proper amount of liquid into the syringe, open the dog's mouth and "shoot" the liquid onto the back of his tongue.


Pills and capsules

Open the dog's mouth, push the pill or capsule as far down his throat as possible, then hold his mouth shut and stroke his throat until he swallows. This has been known to work. Or wrap the pill or capsule in a bit of ground beef or cheese and feed it to the dog. This usually works.


Vomiting

For minor upset stomach Pepto Bismol or a similar medicine works best. Dose is according to the dog's weight. If there is hard vomiting or if the upset lasts more than 24 hours, take the dog to your veterinarian.


Diarrhea

Kaopektate is most usually prescribed for minor diarrhea. Dose amount depends on the dog's weight. If the diarrhea continues longer than 24 hours or if there is blood in the stool, take the dog to the veterinarian.


Hot Spots

These are red, weepy, itchy spots. No one seems to really know what causes them. It could be fleas, food, allergies, etc. Clean the area thoroughly. You can wash with shampoo, rinse and dry. Or clean with Baby Wipes with lanolin and aloe. Or wash with Bigeloil. Then apply a medications such as Panalog, Bag Balm, Sulfadene, Schreiner's Healing Liniment (from a feed store) or 1% cortisone cream (you may need to get this from your own doctor). Clean and apply medication daily. You should see improvement by the second day, if not, take the dog to the veterinarian.


Interdigital Cysts

This is another problem that no one seems to be sure what the cause is But you'll know one when you see an angry red swelling pop up between the dog's toes. First examine the paw carefully, especially the underside between the pads to be sure there is no foreign matter (a thorn or such). If there is, take it out. Clean the area. Remedies include: (I) Soaking the paw in warm water and Epsom Salts or Massengale Douche solution, dry and rub in Panalog. (2) Desenex foot powder. (3) ,Preparation H. (4) Division 5 Bulletin formula. Have your veterinarian make this up for you One part 60% DMSO, one part Gentavet solution 50 mg. per ml. Apply one drop per day; rub in with a Q Tip. Do NOT use more than one drop, do NOT apply more frequently than once a day. If you start application at the first sign, this solution will prevent the cyst from developing. With all these treatments, it's best to continue the treatment for two to three days after the cyst is gone.


Fungus Spots

These are somewhat like hot spots, but they are not weepy. Be sure you clean away all the "scabby" material. Wash the area and treat with Panalog, Keflex, or any good anti-fungal ointment. You can use Demorex shampoo or a sulfur based soap for the washing.


Facial Acne or Eczema

Bulldogs are forever putting their faces into all kinds of strange places. Some are susceptible to topical bacterial infections. The dog gets pimples on his face and chin. Usually you can clear these up just by washing and rubbing in an anti-biotic ointment. Or you can try OXYIO (benzoil peroxide) which you can purchase at a drug store. If they persist, you will need to get an oral anti-biotic medication from your veterinarian.


Eyes

Dust, wind, pollen, the things that make your eyes burn and water have the same effect on your Bulldog. You can rinse the eyes out with a solution such as Clear Eyes. If the eyes are badly irritated, use a contact lens ointment such as Bausch & Lomb Duolube. For any other eye ailment, take the dog to your veterinarian.


Cherry Eye

The gland which normally resides under the lower eye lid at the inside corner of the eye will sometimes "pop" out. This is not as horrible as it appears to be and does not require emergency treatment. It does require treatment at the earliest possible time by a veterinarian recommended for "Cherry Eye'. The quicker the dog gets treatment the better the chance for successful treatment without removing the gland. Removal of the gland often results in a "dry" eye.


Tail

Some Bulldog's have their tail set in a pocket. If yours does1 you will need to make a special effort to keep that pocket clean and dry. Wipe it out frequently. You may need to use cotton balls rather than a wash cloth if the pocket is tight. Be sure to dry it thoroughly and apply an ointment such as Panalog, or a drying powder.


Temperature

You take his temperature just as you take a small baby's - rectally. Use a good rectal thermometer, lubricate generously with Vaseline, insert gently, hold onto the thermometer dogs have been known to "suck" them in!, wait about five minutes, pull out and read. Normal temperature for most dogs is from 100.5 to 101.


Ice

Start giving your Bulldog pieces of ice to eat when he is still a small puppy so that he learns to like it. Luckily, most Bulldogs do. This is a great way to cool down a hot dog. Blocks of ice make a great summer time toy. A pan of ice in or on top of his crate helps keep him cool.


Insect Stings

If your Bulldog is stung by a bee or other insect, give him Benadryl (either capsule or liquid) and watch him closely for the next half hour. You may also apply an ice pack to the area where he was stung if you know where it is. If the area around the sting swells and hardens, if hives appear, if he seems to have difficulty breathing - rush him to the veterinarian. This is no time to dally, your dog's life depends on quick treatment.