Together with my friend Petra who is a passionate keeper of flat-faced dogs, I prepared a brief summary on how to take care of flat-faced dogs or how to recognize something is not all right and how to deal with it. Petra’s household is managed by two bulldogs – “directors” Zuzanka and Boženka. Petra says she belongs to the happiest families, her girls are completely healthy and do not need any special care. Unfortunately, this does not hold true for all dogs of this breed.
Bulldogs and other flat-faced dogs often suffer from allergies and the related problems with skin, hip dysplasia, brachycephalic syndrome – a breathing problem, vertebral malformation, cleft palate and last but not least also problems with eyes because of their size. This is a scary summary! Therefore, you can also easily come across many articles where authors recommend not getting this and other similar breeds. However, if you are able to recognize health problems in time, there is no reason to worry, almost everything can be healed and you’ll find on your own that they are the best dogs you can have at home.
Short noses and what is related to them
Grunting is cute, during the day. It is annoying at night. What else to say about that. If your beloved pet grunts and snores during nights, it does not have to mean anything. A vet will check the flat-faced dog if everything is all right. If (s)he finds out your pet has obstructed airways, it is often dealt with during a surgery. The price is around 3,000 CZK. In the event you don’t deal with this problem in time, there is a risk of digestive problems and in summer when flat-faced dogs suffer from overheating, there is also a risk of heart problems.
Your dog may also suffer from the itching of its wrinkles around its nose or damping its nose. Both can be recognized when the skin turns red, the dog scratches and rubs its nose using the corners of walls and furniture, etc. I definitely recommend consulting a vet or dermatologist. A plastic surgery is not recommended it in this case. The nose needs to be wiped, disinfected and creamed. For better breathing, a few drops of Vincentka, salty water and humidifier are recommended.
Allergies and problems with skin might be other problems flat-faced dogs suffer from. In this case, I really recommend going to a vet without hesitating. A flat-faced dog might have problems with skin not only around its nose but also on its whole body. Grain-free dog food that do not pose burden to the organism and might help avoiding the occurrence of a problem is recommended for dogs with allergies. For example, you may try dry dog food Brit Care Sensitive Venison & Potato.
With regard to creams and other products that might come in handy in this case and therefore you should have it in your dog’s first-aid kit, the following are some examples: QUERI – SKIN SOOTHER balm, zinc cream, betadine, vaseline, tezanym cram, Peruan herbs, aloe vera wet wipes, boric acid, Skingel, wipes with clorexyderm and immunovet.
Flat-faced dogs also have problems with eyes and ears.
Like if it weren’t enough, the flat-faced dogs do not only suffer because of their nose but also because of their eyes and ears. Mainly their ears are prone to inflammation. I will also recommend you visit a vet because of this. (S)he will teach you how to properly take care of its ears, how to dip into them and wipe them. A possible cause might be an allergy which you are not aware of yet. Sometimes even changing the food might help (see above). Some people say that frequent cleaning of ears is harmful for dogs. It’s not true, by neglecting the care of your dog, you risk a strong inflammation in flat-faced dogs. Various creams might be useful also in this case, e.g. Otifree, Clorexyderm, baby oil Surolan, Mitex, Aurisal Forte, Otofin, Otodine, nasturtium or various homeopathics.
Unfortunately, even their beautiful big eyes pose a health risk, it is most commonly conjuctivitis. It is not only caused by viruses and bacteria but also by dusty environment, strong wind and caryopsis. If it is really conjuctivitis, immediately see a vet. It is recommended to check the dog’s eyes regularly after each walk. Rheum doesn’t have to be a problem; these little loves’ eyes only tear a bit more. However, a problem comes when the eyes are red. It might be caused by allergies, dust and other impurities in eyes. In this case, human eye drops are not recommended. If the situation is urgent, you can wipe your dogs’ eyes and they drop boric acid, eyebright decoction or Vetericyn into its eyes.
Even the largest problems can be solved and a great example is set by Nikola Jursova, the owner of one of the happiest bulldogs – Roza. If you want to read her stories, visit her Facebook page Frbul – francouzský buldoček/french bulldog team. Because love conquers all. :)