English Bulldog Hygiene. Part 1.

Minding the hygiene of the puppy and the adult dog are rather trouble-free. It is reducible to, firstly, the daily checking of the dog’s eyes, ears, feet, nose, flews, mouth cavity, fur and the area around the tail. Secondly, it has to do with very simple hygienic procedures that allow you to keep your dog healthy without spending large amounts of your time and your money.

Let’s look at the, fur care.
To take a good care of your dog’s fur you should comb the dog’s fur with a rubber brush and rub him down (from time to time) with a woolen cloth. By combing the dog with the brush you also give him a good massage that facilitates blood flow to the skin and aids skin metabolism. You should preliminarily wet a woolen cloth in some vinegar solution (dilute a dessert spoonful of table vinegar in 0.5 liters of water) and wring it out before using. Use the cloth like you use the rubber brush. If the smell of your dog bothers you, you can wet the woolen cloth in the solution of 1/3 vodka, 1/3 table vinegar and 1/3 water. The “dog smell” will disappear. You shouldn’t wash your bulldog with soap and shampoo without any real necessity. If such necessity indeed arises (the dog, for example, has been wallowing in something especially foul smelling and as a result looks “gorgeous”), it is better to use a quality child shampoo. It will save your dog from unwanted allergic reactions and will be a lot cheaper than those special shampoos for animals.

The flews should be checked on daily bases. If there is an inflammation, you should wash the flews, dry them and powder the surface under the fold and inside of it (if it’s a double one) with either potato starch or talc. Any extra powder should be removed from your dog’s skin using a cosmetic brush. In case of severe inflammation you should use chitosan (see the section about mineral supplements). You should apply the contents of a chitosan capsule on the washed and dried surface of the fold and spread it out evenly. In case of very severe inflammation you should mix chitosan with a small amount of bepanthen cream. Mix them either with a plastic (or wooden) spoon or with a finger. Under no circumstances should you mix them with a metal spoon. The mixture should be applied to the area of inflammation several times a day until the inflammation disappears completely.

The ear care.
A healthy dog should have ears that are pink and dry (small amount of brown earwax is normal).

Do not be too obsessive with cleaning your dog’s ears. Healthy ears should be cleaned only when they become dirty (usually, not more than once in 3-4 weeks). Frequent ear cleaning is rather unwholesome. Every dog’s ears contain small hairs inside of it that through their movements push the earwax towards the opening of the ear. Constant pouring of different solutions into the ears and frequent cleaning of them with q-tips leads to the disruption of the normal functioning of the hairs. The natural removal of the earwax stops. Constant irritation to the ear surface causes increase in wax discharge and leads to the formation of a wax plug in the auditory pathway. This may lead to Otitis (inflammation) and you will find yourself in a vicious circle – the more you clean the ears, the worse it gets. Ear inflammation is serious business. The skin inside the ear becomes red; there is a sloshing sound from the ears; the dog shakes its head, scratches its ears and yelps when you touch them. If you never had such a problem, it is better to seek professional help. It is vital to determine the cause of inflammation and not try out every available medicine in a hit-and-miss fashion.

But if you do have some experience in dog care and are confident in your knowledge and skills, we can share with you a recipe of a home-made medicine that we use to treat ear inflammation. We mix of 1/3 gentamicin, 1/3 xylometazoline and 1/3 prednisolone. In more severe cases you can use Tetra-Delta (designed for mastitis, but works perfectly for ostitis as well) or similar medications. You should drop 3-4 drops of the medication into the inflamed ear twice a day. Take care not to apply the medication to a dirty ear.

But what are the proper ear care procedures for your dog? Below we will illustrate the proper care technique using the ears of one of our English bulldogs.

Position your dog so that its head is approximately on the same level as your chest.

With your left hand hold the dog gently under its neck. Now the dog is ready for the examination. The examination is performed once a day, but during summer, when your dog spends more time outside, it is advisable to examine the ears twice a day, as different harmful creatures (like ticks, insects, etc.) and objects (splinters, grass, etc.) could find their way into your bulldog’s ears.

If the ears are warm, pink and clean on the inside – do not touch them at all. Cleaning is due if thick brown wax is visible. To clean the ear, take a cotton pad, wet it slightly with some hydrogen peroxide, put the pad around a finger and carefully clean the visible part of the ear.

There is a general rule to remember: always clean the ears moving your finger in the direction of the opening of the ear canal (do not push the wax back into the ear). Never use any other objects (besides your finger and a cotton pad) to clean your bulldog’s ears, so that there is no accidental damage to the lining of the ear canal and the eardrum.

After cleaning with hydrogen peroxide repeat the procedure with a dry pad. After the cleaning is done give your dog a treat – this is for the patient behavior on his part. If the dog is shaking its head, especially after waking up in the morning, stretch the ear a bit and drop several drops of special ear cleaning lotion into the ear canal.
Pull the ear up a bit so that the lotion drips down to where the wax is accumulated. Then gently rub the base of the ear.

The majority of the dogs will find the procedure quite enjoyable. Let the dog shake its head. Then take a cotton pad or a piece of gauze to collect any of the liquid dripping from the ear canal. Remember that the tiny hairs inside the ears will move up the wax themselves. Our mission is to collect the wax accumulating on the auricle itself.
If you found a tick inside of your dog’s ear, under no circumstances pour vegetable oil or use any other home remedies that the newcomers to dog care tend to use. Take any kind of forceps and grip the tick as close to the dog’s skin as possible. When you have a solid grip on the tick, try to detach it with circular motion. Disinfect the place where the tick was attached.