Sweet Ol’ Gal

So if you follow my Facebook page, you probably know that I had to rush my sweet ol gal, Symone, to the vet this morning. Here’s the story…

I woke up in the morning, and let all four dogs outside, while I prepared their food. They came back in, and had their breakfast while I logged on to work. This is our normal morning routine. Once everyone is done eating, they are allowed out of their kennels. Typically they all want to go back outside again!

June 2014 052

Oscar and Lucy were chasing each other around the yard. Tooley was howling from the deck, pissed because she has to be on a leash (darn hound nose!). Symone mostly stands on the deck, but every so often runs down into the yard…I think it’s to make sure her boyfriend, Oscar, isn’t being harmed! Haha!

After about 15 mins, they’ve usually had enough and we head back inside. They all settle down on the cold kitchen floor for the next couple of hours until they get bursts of energy again.

That is when our normal routine differed this morning. I was on the phone, and I glanced back to see where Symone was. She was laying where I could only see her head, and it was shaking. I couldn’t tell at first if she was scratching herself, or what, so I went to check on her. That’s when I noticed that only her head was shaking, uncontrollably. Symone was able to get up and walk. She didn’t seem disoriented or confused, though understandably a bit scared. Thankfully the rescue president, and my good friend, is the person I was on the phone with, and she told me to hang up and film Symone. Best idea ever!

Symone2

Because it lasted several minutes, and she was clearly getting stressed, I rushed her to the vet. (She had an appointment for Thursday, so it was just a debate of taking her now vs later.) Of course, once in the car, Symone came back to normal, and stopped shaking. So glad I video taped the episode! I was sad to drop her off, knowing her age, and what the result could be.

July 002

After hours and hours of waiting to hear some news, we finally heard from the vet’s office. They did a full xray, and lab work. Everything was normal! Her bones actually look pretty good, minus some arthritis. Her lab work was great. So, basically this ruled out cancer and/or tumors, for now. The vet feels the episode was a focal seizure, which is why it only affected her head. What is really difficult, is not knowing if this has happened before & we just weren’t told, or if it is new to Symone. The vet has to rule things out, and so she made the educated assumption that this is epilepsy. We can only work with what we know, so that is what we are going with for now. I have to monitor her, keep track of any additional seizures to see how often they do/don’t happen, and we’ll go from there. My sweet ol’ foster girl is home now, resting at my feet.

photo 1 (37)

Now on to more info that I found out about Symone’s background, and I’d love to hear your opinions on this…apparently there is a local vet who has been breeding English Bulldogs for years. MULTIPLE dogs of this genetic line have had severe health issues over the years. These health issues include too short of a nose making breathing difficult; too short of a palate, making loud breathing and panting more pronounced; and epilepsy. Dogs have died because of being unable to breathe properly. Dogs have died because of these issues that are hereditary and linked directly back to this “family”, and this vet continues to breed them anyway. This makes me sad…angry…disappointed…disgusted.

I do not hate breeders. While it is extremely unfortunate that there are SO many homeless pets in shelters, dying every day due to lack of kennel space, this is generally not the breeder’s fault. It is the fault of the humans who committed to these animals, and them dumped them in shelters. That being said, I do believe there should be restrictions and guidelines for breeders, and there should be some kind of follow up with their dogs that they sell. I could go on and on, and I do know that there ARE some truly caring and responsible breeders out there. The thing that I want to say the most, is that this vet is well aware of the health issues that these dogs are having, so why does he keep doing it? How is this ethical? When you realize that you are directly responsible for a dog’s health issues, because of the genes that you are causing to be reproduced, shouldn’t you stop?? There is NO shortage of English Bulldogs, I assure you. Here are just a few of the rescues specifically for this breed:

http://www.floridaenglishbulldogrescue.com/

http://www.adoptabullrescue.com/

http://buddiesthrubullies.tripod.com/

www.floridaenglishbulldogrescue.com

Those are just a few that I saw at a glance, after googling for local bulldog rescues.

So tell me, do you think it is wrong that this “family” continues to be bred? Am I crazy to think that this is unethical? Help me understand!

Thanks for all of the good vibes, prayers, and well wishes that you sent via the FB. I told Symone all about your kind words! 😉

Goodnight, friends!

xoxo

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15 Responses to Sweet Ol’ Gal

  1. I’m glad you’ve got some answers and hopefully your sweet girl is feeling better.

  2. poor thing 😦 that can be so scary

  3. OhMelvin says:

    I’m so happy the news was better vs worse. So scary. We know about smushed noses and palate issues. We had Jake’s nostrils widened (during a tooth extraction procedure) and it helped a lot with his breathing (and ability to smell). I wonder if that is an option for her?

    • Surgery is not an option for her because of her age. They don’t feel she’d make it through and be ok afterwards. What was the recovery like for Jake after that? I didn’t know they could even do that!

  4. Allie says:

    How scary! It is wrong to continue to breed a dog with known genetic defects and it’s completely unethical for a Vet to knowing breed a dog who is not healthy and/or has genetic defects. A reputable breeder will have genetic testing done on their dogs before breeding. If someone is going to buy from a breeder do the homework and find a breeder that is being responsible.

  5. Ugh…there are so many issues with bulldogs and overbreeding. I’m so glad this sweet girl is ok! I totally agree with you it is unethical to continue breeding a bloodline with severe health issues. People just don’t get it.

  6. Kym says:

    Other countries (including England) have insisted that the English bulldog be bred with other breeds to modify it and make it a longer-lived breed with less health issues. Here’s a really long but amazing article from the NY Times about it.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/magazine/can-the-bulldog-be-saved.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Much love to Symone. The good news is that dogs can live just fine with epilepsy. Although I’m pretty sure she won’t be allowed to drive a car and you should keep her away from night clubs. 😉

    • That is an interesting and great idea! Thanks for the article. I will read & share! Thank you, I am glad she is ok. Epilepsy is risky for her, but definitely better than the prognosis I was expecting.

  7. Please read the ingredient panel on your dog food and if it applies, consider switching her to a food without rosemary or rosemary extract. It is commonly associated with seizures in some dogs. We have had a number of dogs who have been diagnosed with epilepsy (which basically just means they do not know what is causing the seizures- my dog growing up had this as well) who were switched to a new food and did beautifully, without another seizure to speak of. I hope that helps your sweet girl! She is lucky to have you!

  8. First I wanted to send healing purrs to symone from my cats. Second, yes it is unethical to continue to breed these dogs that have health problems. I would think as a breeder you not only have to provide care and proof of lineage but let people know there could be health issues. I have been how much people charge for purebreds so I can’t imagine paying that and then having to deal with er vet visits and regular vet visits because of health issues due to over breeding.

    • Exactly. These dogs are being sold for thousands, and then the owners are spending thousands more on vet care. It is sad, and I am sure part of why there are plenty of bulldog rescues!

  9. Abby says:

    Glad that Symone is OK; she looks like a sweetheart.

    I have strong opinions that bulldogs (and many, if not most, brachycephalic breeds) should not be bred at all, ever, until the AKC can get their *ish together and improve the breed standard so that these dogs can actually breathe, run, and live normal, healthy lives. My hair stylist had a 5-year-old bulldog; a month ago, she took him on a 10-minute walk in the park. He laid down in the grass afterward and died; his heart gave out and he couldn’t respirate properly. This should never, ever, ever happen. People should be deeply ashamed of themselves for continuing to breed such an animal.

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