Food Allergies and Ear Infections
Does your dog lick her paws? Do his ears or paws smell yeasty—a little like Fritos corn chips? Does he scratch himself, shake or cock his head, or rub his bottom on the floor? If so, your hairy pal may be suffering from allergies and the skin irritation and infections that can come with them.
One of the most common culprits is allergies to food, often to the proteins in grains, but many dogs are also sensitive or allergic to familiar protein sources and their by-products, like chicken, beef, and turkey. Another allergen found in dried food sounds especially nasty and is virtually everywhere that dried food—breakfast cereal, pasta, flour—is stored: “storage mites.” These microscopic animals love kibble, but they cause many dogs to suffer severe and/or chronic allergic reactions.
So many of the dogs we get into rescue have had multiple untreated ear infections that come out of allergies to food as well as other things, and the results can be shocking to see. Take Brenda. Though we probably get a half dozen dogs a year who need to have total ear canal ablation (TECA), whether on one side or both, the cause is always frequent, untreated ear infections. In Brenda’s case, her chronic, untreated ear infections caused terrible scarring which blocked in the infections, leaving no way for the infected material to exit the ear canal. Can you imagine the pain? And someone had viciously mangled the job of cutting off her beautiful Frenchie ears, God alone knows why, and the outer ears were also infected when she came to us. By the time the surgeries were done, Brenda’s inner ears had been removed, and her outer ears were also gone, leaving her deaf and looking bizarrely mutilated. Though she has lost her hearing and her pretty ears, she is pain free for the first time in a long while.
Though Brenda’s case is a horrific example of owner cruelty and neglect, and most owners are far more observant and responsive, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your dog’s ears and do occasional cleanings to check for things like ear mites and yeast. Your dog may suffer seasonal reactions unrelated to food, so at least once a month, you should be taking a look and cleaning the ears.
If your dog does suffer from repeated infections or yeast, you may want to ask the vet to talk to you about an elimination diet. Some of our foster dogs are allergic to virtually all the meat and meat products found even in expensive kibbles, so we must look to proteins like goat. Some dogs can’t tolerate carbohydrates or sugars—even in vegetables—and you can help control yeast infections by controlling the amount and type of carbohydrate in their diets.
Ask your vet how often you should be cleaning your dog’s ears and ask her to show you how to do it with the product she recommends. If you decide to try feeding your dog home-cooked or raw meals, be sure to research the nutritional needs of your dog, according to weight and activity level. If you feed kibble, one way to control storage mites is to buy smaller quantities and keep the bag in the freezer.
Repeated ear infections are a sign that your dog is trying to deal with some kind of sensitivity and there is a problem with her immune response. Something is wrong.
Get help from your vet.
Dogs get loose. They just do. Whether it prances out through an unsecured gate, or it slips out between your feet, or the wind blows an unlatched door open and he follows his nose into the breeze--dogs get loose. You are fortunate indeed if you've never had to go looking for your dog, your heart in your throat, hoping to find him.
Dogs get stolen. French bulldogs are being stolen more and more often, particularly in cities. They are not held for ransom, but are either kept or sold on Craigslist or otherwise disposed of for money.
Once you buy the chip, have it inserted by your vet and then don't forget to register the chip number. Many shelters find strays with chips that have never been registered.
Having a chip on your dog can mean getting your dog back if it's stolen or lost. That alone is worth the cost and small amount of trouble to register your dog with the company.
Veterinary Costs Are Our #1 Expense
Thanks to Trevor Wood of the Nova Scotia Community College for putting this infographic together for us!
Like balloons, like yeasty dough, like young people's spirits in springtime, vet costs rise and rise. The better the technology and services available, the more clients pay, and that's a good thing! It's wonderful that we have MRI's available nearly everywhere nowadays--we remember not so long ago when MRI's were only for people, and animals had to be sneaked in after hours if at all.
Take a look at these numbers for routine procedures. If you live in New York or Los Angeles, you will laugh ruefully at the idea of a neuter costing only $350, but in much of the country, especially the Midwest, that is the going rate. For some people, the cost of a spinal surgery is way out of reach no matter where they live.
We are so grateful to our monthly donors and sponsors who help us pay the bills and make it possible to take in truly needy rescues who don't have anywhere to go. Thank you for your steadfast dedication to our Frenchies. We could not do it without our sponsors, donors, and friends.
If you are thinking of adopting a dog from us, be sure your expectations are in line with reality.
Many rescue dogs come with baggage, whether emotional or physical, and before you think about applying for a rescue dog, think about what you can manage. Rescue dogs aren't for everyone, and they are certainly not a way to get an inexpensive Frenchie. Many adopters find they will spend as much on a rescue dog in vet bills as they would had they bought a Frenchie from a reputable breeder.
The biographies of our dogs are extensive, so you should have a good idea of whether the dog is good with kids or other dogs, whether the dog is house trained and crate-trained, and any ongoing medical concerns he may have.
Once you apply, you should be prepared for a call from the foster parent, and you should know we'll be calling your vet to make sure your animals are well cared-for. If the calls are positive and your family seems a good fit for the dog, we'll move on to a home visit. It's important you know that this is a required step. A volunteer will come to your home and make sure the fence (if there is one) is in good shape, make sure everyone in the family is on board with the idea of a new dog, make sure the house doesn't have any dangerous plants or wide-set railings a dog could fall through, and go over your questions with you.
Once the home visit is completed, the application and home visit are forwarded to the Board of Directors, who will look over the documents and vote whether to approve the adoption.
When your adoption is approved, pick up can be arranged. You'll be asked to sign a contract that assures FBRN that in the event you can no longer take care of the dog, you will return the dog to our care.
When you arrive to pick up the dog, it's a great idea to have a tag with your information on it ready to go. Many dogs are lost during transports, and having your current information on the dog will be key to getting the dog back. There will likely be toys or some personal items coming home with you from the foster family residence.
Try to take a few days to settle in with your dog. If you have a dog, for the first day or two allow the Frenchie to hang out with you in a room separate from other dogs. Be calm and let her come to you. If she wants to stay in her crate, let her. You can stop by with treats from time to time. Let her get used to the new sounds and smells and the rhythm of the house. Your dog's foster parent will describe slow introductions to resident dogs to you.
Start familiarizing your Frenchie with her new schedule as soon as you can. You should absolutely expect the stress of changing homes may cause your dog to lose her housebreaking for a time, and you may have to go back to square one, crating when you aren't paying attention, taking her outside immediately, giving exuberant praise for pottying outdoors, etc. Being realistic about the fact that most dogs are not plug and play will prevent stress and disappointment.
If you have children, it's key that all interactions between dogs and kids must be supervised, for everyone's safety. Children aren't born knowing how to be with dogs, and even if you already have a dog or two, not every dog is the same. While one dog will allow a child to poke him in the eye and pull his lips and ride on his back, others will object. If you can't be in the room with your child and the dog, the dog should be in a room by himself or safely in his crate with a toy. Children are especially liable in the first days following adoption to be excitable and to want to carry the dog or show them affection. Difficult as it is to ask your kids to restrain themselves, your dog will be happier if you can ask children to remember to be calm and gentle.
Wait a few days to introduce your new dog to your friends. Let him get to know and trust you first, then widen his circle of familiar and trusted people.
Sign up for pet insurance.
Dog-thefts are on the rise all over the country. It's not safe to leave your dog outside in the yard unattended. Dog-doors are not safe, either. Many areas are experiencing a rise in coyote and cougar sightings, and we recently heard of a California family who lost two Frenchies to cougars on two different occasions. Walk your dog on a lead or exercise him in the yard in your company.
Be aware that dogs take time to reveal themselves. For the first 3-6 weeks, dogs are learning who's the boss, where the treats are, what the routine is, who is a good belly-rubber, and who to avoid. Their true personalities may be evident right from the start, but it's likely that your new dog will be holding back until he is confident of his place and the routine.
Remember, you are adopting a rescue dog to give a homeless Frenchie a second chance. Adoption is something you do to make both your lives better. Keep in mind that your Frenchie wants to fulfill his purpose to be a loving companion dog, but his first instinct in the first few days will be to survive and be sure the new place is safe for him and that you are trustworthy. By the time you take your dog home, FBRN will have been convinced you are a trustworthy family, but your dog has to learn that too.
Tucker in IA
Tucker has two very important questions for any potential adopters: 1) Do you have a ball? 2) Can you throw it? If you answered yes to both of the above, then congratulations—Tucker wants to be your dog! This pretty pied boy with the delectable freckles is feeling much more secure now that he’s got a firm leader and a consistent schedule, and his silly Frenchie personality is really shining through. If you can provide a structured environment free of any canine competition (along with a ball and the ability to throw it), then Tucker might be your perfect match. Why not check out his bio and see if he’s the dog for you?
Gold Paw Sun Shield Tee
We’ve been fielding requests for a summer-weight popover for years and we’ve finally found the right fabric – a lightweight stretch jersey with a UPF50 rating that blocks 98% of the sun’s UV rays. Super comfortable indoors and out and perfect for all sorts of applications beyond sun protection too: skin conditions, wound care, topical medications, and as an anti-anxiety calming aid that can be worn all day.
FBRN's mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home French Bulldogs in need from commercial breeding kennels, import brokers, public shelters, private rescue groups, owners or Good Samaritans. Our organization is comprised solely of volunteers who nurture and foster these dogs as well as provide education and training. Our goal is to place healthy and happy French Bulldogs into forever homes.