We have read that many beaches in Florida and Mississippi have closed to swimming this year, and the beaches in Mississippi remain closed at this writing as a consequence of fresh water pouring into the Gulf following flooding. The blue-green algae that has killed dozens of dolphins on the Gulf Coast this month can also kill your dog and wildlife as well as domestic animals like cattle, if they get access to ponds or lakes and drink water with blue-green algae floating on the surface. The algae affects the liver and can cause organ failure, but more frighteningly, drinking blue-green algae water can kill a dog within 60 minutes if it affects the nervous system. Be particularly careful around areas where farmers overuse fertilizers or there is fertilizer run-off, since fertilizer contributes the nutrients in the form of phosphorous and nitrogen. Sometimes blue-green algae is especially evident at the down-wind part of a lake or in sheltered, shallow areas. You may see green pond scum on the rocks or out of the water, up around the edges of the lake, and if so, you should walk farther away to keep your dog's paws off the scum--you don't want him to lick his paws after walking on the green stuff. Blue-green algae can be found anywhere water is stagnant, including water features in backyards and birdbaths.
Vigilance is required when you are walking with your dog. Keep her on lead, don't let her drink from ponds, lakes, or other stagnant water, and if she does drink from brackish water with algae on the surface, watch your dog for symptoms on the way to the vet. Among the symptoms you might see are weakness, excess salivation, seizures, or diarrhea. If your dog drinks algae water, quick action is essential. Your vet may induce vomiting, they could give your dog charcoal, or they may "pump the stomach".
Most Frenchies aren't really built for sunny summer outdoor activities, since they don't handle heat very well. Still, we do know some Frenchies who love to go boating and sailing and hiking. If your Frenchie is one of those, keep an eye open for algae in the lake or pond and have fun out there!
Florida Frenchie Owners:
Beware the Cane Toad!
Most Florida residents are well-aware of the invasive species of toad that can grow to nearly a foot in size and which spews a poisonous white fluid that can sicken people and pets alike.
The downpours this spring have resulted in larger than usual numbers of toads in multiple breeding cycles, the most recent just this week.
Some Floridians, particularly those near the Miami area, can barely walk in their yards without stepping on the toads or encountering them in near-misses.
If your Florida Frenchie has a strong prey drive – or can't resist taste-testing things they find in the yard - consider fitting them with a special basket-type muzzle meant for brachycephalic dogs. If your dog does encounter a cane toad and gets some of the toxin in his mouth, immediately and thoroughly rinse his mouth out and either call your vet or hie thee and your frogdog to the ER vet right away. Time is of the essence! Rinsing the toxin out of his mouth can buy you time to seek medical advice but might not be enough on its own to prevent illness -- or worse.
An Orlando Weekly article from March 22, citing the University of Florida, advises residents to humanely euthanize as many toads as possible. Dog owners would be wise to patrol their yards at least once a day wearing gloves and prepared to euthanize these invasive creatures. Another option is to call a trapper (https://public.myfwc.com/HGM/NWT/NWTSearch.aspx) . “If you see a cane toad, you're most definitely encouraged to destroy it. According to the University of Florida, the most humane way to euthanize a cane toad is to ‘rub or spray 20 percent benzocaine toothache gel or sunburn spray (not 5 percent lidocaine) on the toad's lower belly.’ This will apparently make it become unconscious, which at that point UF says to put it in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer for 24-48 hours. A cold peaceful death. Just be sure to wear gloves.”
Be careful to leave ordinary, harmless toads alone! The photo below will help you identify the differences—apart from enormous size—between the cane toad and the native southern toad, a friend that consumes lots of bugs and does not poison our pets or even cause warts. Here’s a photo from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to help you correctly identify the visitors you come across.
Isla in VA
Are you a devotee of drowsing? A supporter of snoozing? Do you suffer from fear of missing out…on adequate rest? If so, then you and Isla might be the perfect match. This sweet girl is looking for a full-time snuggle-buddy, who will make sure that she gets off the couch once in a while for some exercise and physical therapy. Isla has weak hindquarters and must wear a diaper to prevent accidents, but she’s worth that bit of extra work. So have a stretch, grab some coffee, and apply for her today!
Gold Paw Stretch Fleece
Our superb year round popover jacket is the best you’ll find anywhere! This is truly a fantastic and useful garment that you’ll reach for over and over again. All of our solid colors contain recycled polyester and 7% spandex for 4-way stretch. The finish is unbelievably soft, like velvet. It’s a piece of cake to put on and moves with your dog, making it the most comfortable coat around. Washes like a dream! Check them out HERE!
Gold Paw Stretch Double Fleece
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.
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