Dogs and Sunburn
Every summer we post a homepage article about the particular dangers summer poses to Frenchies. About the hazards of heat for Frenchies: Don't leave your dog in the car in summer, even for a few minutes. Leave your dog at home when you run errands--what if your a/c quits? What if you run inside for just a minute and while in there, you a. have a stroke; b. get shot by an armed robber; c. slip on a puddle and crack your head and wake up with amnesia? Don't do it. Don't walk your frog in the heat of the day. Don't let your dog (or kids) swim in an algae-filled pond or lake. We've covered all that stuff, plus what to do if your dog DOES get over-heated, God forbid.
Here's a new one on us, though. Dogs can get sunburned. Especially dogs like Frenchies.
White ones are particularly prone to sunburn, and just as it can for people, repeated sunburn can set your frog up for skin cancer.
If you have a black or brindle Frenchie who likes to sunbathe on his back with his belly up, beware. That tender skin is really prone to burning, and a burn on a dog is no less painful than the burn you get. If your dog has had or has a skin condition--lots of our rescued Frenchies have had mange, for instance, and then the secondary skin infection that follows--your dog is more likely to have sensitive skin. Dogs with an autoimmune disease or condition must take special care to avoid sunburn
What to do, what to do? If your dog is lolling about in the sun for more than 20 or so minutes at a time (really, that's not a good idea, but we know it's hard to interrupt what is obviously giving them pleasure!), be sure to put some SPF waterproof sunscreen 30 or a zincy sunblock on their ears, what passes for their nose, and their tummies. Don't let them sunbathe from 10-2 at all. If they have thin hair from past skin problems, seasonal allergies, or thyroid issues, put some where the hair is thin. If their tails are bald, as some Frenchies' tail nubbins are, give their tails a squirt and massage that stuff on. If you are suspicious about the chemicals in sunblock, get a toddler's shirt--polo shirts are great for Frenchies' big ol' heads and thick necks--and stuff them in the shirt before they go out. Pay no attention to the dirty looks.
Finally, keep an eye on your dogs. They may not seem to be getting overheated and they may not seem to be uncomfortable, but think back to your sunbathing days--you didn't feel the burn while it was happening, did you? Neither do they, and even if they did feel it, as one of our Frenchie-loving friends said when we doubtfully asked, "Well, but wouldn't they just come out of the sun if they got too hot?" "No," she said, "God love them, they don't have the brains God gave grass." Neither did we, if our baby-oil frying habits of old are any indication, but that's neither here nor there.
With luck, your dog will not get sunburned this summer, but if he does get a burn, move him to a cooler area and put room temperature or just slightly cooler water or a cool compress on the burned area (hose water is probably too cold). If the burn is severe, get the dog to the vet. Your dog might need cortisone or antibiotics. Needless to say, if your dog overheats, don't waste time with home remedies, just wrap him in a cool, wet towel and go to the ER vet!
For more information about sunburning and pets, you can check out this article. Some of the information here comes from that article.
Jessica Campbell, one of the website writers and an enthusiastic volunteer for FBRN, passed away in Boston this week. Jessica did not own a Frenchie, but she loved them, and she looked forward to the time when she could have one of her own. This photo was taken at an event this spring. Jessica's friendliness, her positive attitude, her generosity with her time, and her kindness will be remembered and missed. We are so proud to say she was a volunteer for FBRN, and we offer our most heartfelt condolences to Jessica's family and friends, for whom this tragic loss must be such a terrible blow.
Tobacco and Frenchies
Mark Twain reportedly said, “Quitting tobacco’s the easiest thing in the world. I’ve done it 1000 times.”
Lots of us are ex-smokers. Lots of us are would-be ex-smokers. Lots of us are smokers. And we all know it’s not good for us. We may be aware that it’s also not good for our pets, on account of the second-hand smoke.
Brachycephalic dogs and cats are already prone to respiratory problems, and if you smoke around them in an enclosed space, like a well-insulated house or car, cigarette smoke can make their problems worse.
We might know or assume there’s an increased risk of lung and nasal cancer in animals who live with smokers. Dogs living in a smoky environment have a 60% higher risk of getting lung cancer—and those numbers are likely higher in brachy dogs, like Frenchies. Imagine hearing that your dog has a cancer that is likely caused by your nicotine habit. The guilt would be terrible. And so awful to watch your dog suffer!
Here’s a story told by one of our volunteers who adopted a dog from a family of smokers: “I adopted a retired show champion at age 4 from a couple that both smoked, and immediately noticed breathing problems, but it was not his nares or palate. His diagnosis was a scarred, severely narrowed trachea. He had to be managed medically, and we added one med after another. He was retaining fluid around his lungs and heart, so he was on lasix. (Aside form the dog's obvious discomfort, think of the inconvenience of a dog on lasix, a diuretic!) To help move more air, he was on oral theophylline (a bronchodilator) and an albuterol inhaler (albuterol interacts with neurotransmitter receptors, and side effects include racing heart rate and muscle tremors). Frequent bouts of pneumonia required heavy-duty antibiotics. Toward the end he had a home nebulizer chamber for the albuterol, and we added a flonase inhaler.
Both his regular vet and the cardiologist were very clear that in their opinion the problems were created by exposure to second-hand smoke during the first several years of his life. In the end, the drugs he needed to breathe were causing seizure activity and it was time to say goodbye, just shy of two years after he joined our family. Frenchies have enough inherent problems with out adding to them, so please think about how your behaviors are affecting your pets.”
But there’s more than the smoke to worry about: particulates from cigarettes cling to every surface of the house—the dogs’ beds, the couch, the carpet—everything they touch. Those particulates stick to pets’ coats, too, and the animals ingest them as they clean themselves.
And as if Frenchies—already susceptible to allergies—needed another source of dermatitis, cigarette smoke is linked to allergic dermatitis as well.
No doubt you know this, but ingesting nicotine can kill an animal, so be alert to nicotine dangers even if you aren’t a smoker; don’t let your dog chew on a discarded cigar butt he may find on a walk. After a party, clear away any glasses with cigarette butt “tea” your guests may have left behind. And never let your dogs get hold of stop-smoking aids, like gum or patches.
Listen, we know you don’t need a lecture. But here’s some advice on how to minimize the impact of your habit:
Don’t leave your butts where a dog can get them. Same goes for your nicotine patches, nicotine gum or your discarded chewed gum or chewing tobacco.
After you smoke, before you pet your critters, wash the particulates off your hands.
This might sound extreme, but consider changing your clothes when you come in, or smoke in a smock or coveralls of some kind—those particulates will be clinging to you and you’ll transfer them to your animals.
Most of the people we know who smoke would like to quit. If you would like to quit and you haven’t been able to manage it for your own sake, consider doing it for your pet.
A Proud Moment for FBRN
Volunteer. Donate. Review.
We're proud to say that Guidestar, an organization that provides information about non-profits and charities to prospective donors, has recognized FBRN as one of 157 top-rated non-profits for 2014. Top-rated organizations are well-reviewed by donors, beneficiaries, and volunteers. Thank you to everyone who took a moment to comment on their experience with FBRN. We're delighted to have received this distinction.
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.
Dogs Are Disappearing
All Over the Country
Do you leave your dog outside for a while as you are getting ready for work or after you come home? Do you have a doggy door your dog can use to come and go while you are out? God forbid, is your Frenchie tied out or left out in the yard?
You may come to regret your choice to allow your dog to be outdoors without supervision. From Missouri to Idaho to Minnesota to Tennessee to Iowa and who knows how many other places, dogs are being stolen. We don't want to think about what is happening to them.
You may have heard the story of the French bulldog who was taken at gunpoint in Florida?
People have become aware that the popular French bulldog is an expensive breed, and Frenchies are being stolen to be sold on Craigslist or given to family members. Don't leave your dog outside alone, don't leave him in the car while you run in to do an errand, and be sure to microchip your dog. If it's stolen and recovered, the chip may be your only proof of ownership.
Forewarned is forearmed. Keep a close eye on your dogs.
Did ya ever want a dog who likes to set on the porch, sip sweet tea, chew on a piece of straw, and listen with all his heart while you spin a tale or two in the shade? Nikolas is smart, handsome and old enough to listen to any kinda story you care to tell. He’ll play if you like, or just gaze at you lovingly for hours and hours. This gentle frog is polite, housebroken, and prefers people to dawgs. You have probably dated people with less finesse. I know I have.
The Rubit (roo'-bit') Dog Tag Clip is a simple, stylish, and secure clip that let's you swiftly transition tags to different collars. When you want to change collars, you just unclip the Rubit from your old collar and clip it to the new one. It's that easy!
Check them out HERE!
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.