This is not going to be a straight step-by-step guide to finding a vet but more of a report about my own experiences with vets with both a very sick dog as well as with routine care of a pretty healthy one.
Vets are an important and frequent part of our pets’ lives and finding the right one means finding someone we trust and our pets like – or, well, at least accept. 🙂
Vets are real doctors but after all veterinary medicine is also a business. That is important to realize as the owner of a pet. Seeing it this way is not a bad thing because it means vets are also business people aiming for happy customers to return for their services.
This is the best chance for us as owners to do our own part and take action: ask questions, be skeptical, be informed and consider even unpopular advice and not just the quick and dirty solutions at some point.
Finding a vet with good customer ratings today with the help of the internet and online reviews does not seem to be such a hard thing to do. But it is actually important to first know as an owner what we are really looking for in order to find the right vet for our Bull Terrier.
Today I want to talk about allergies in dogs and treatments from my personal experience, knowledge and understanding. This article is not and does not replace professional advice. But it may be able to give some owners a first slightly deeper understanding of what they are up to when a dog is dealing with skin allergies.
Bull Terriers are sadly known for being prone to skin conditions. Our last Bull Terrier, Fancy, was suffering from very bad skin allergies and we went the entire route of confusion, questions, misconceptions, trial and error all the way down to steroids and Apoquel.
A large part of the information in this article is based on my personal experience and much of it is the result of extensive research for years because our dog was suffering so badly.
First of all because I often hear that question. Let’s make this clear:
There is NO cure to an allergy except either
1) lifelong suppression and/ or relief of the symptoms, which is done by different medications, such as steroids and immunosuppressive meds (Apoquel)
2) removal of the trigger (if possible)
Before I start with this topic I want to tell you something very personal: 95% of the things in this blog are not only thoroughly researched by me but they are actually based on my own experience. And that means that they are also based on mistakes I made myself. It has happened more than one time in my life that I asked myself: “Why did I not know this sooner? Why did I not ask the right questions?”
But at the end of the day there is no reason to beat yourself up about mistakes made of the past.
We always have the chance to learn from them.
So, when you read this and you find yourself doing things now or in the past I describe here as not so good, please don’t take it personal and don’t feel judged. I’ve been there and I have done them myself.
Allergies, especially skin allergies, sadly are part of many Bull Terrier’s lives. This breed – once rated among the healthiest dog breeds in the world – is actually not so healthy anymore.
I blame this on different factors, such as irresponsible breeding, environmental changes and highly processed modern day food. But most of these are topics for another article.
For many Bull Terrier owners it takes a long time to realize that the health problems their dog is suffering from are actually related to allergies.
Today, I want to talk about a pretty serious matter with you guys – the ingestion of objects.
Let’s be honest with each other, even the most cautious and watchful owner will probably at some point run into such a situation: Doggie has swallowed something it shouldn’t have.
If we are lucky it is a small, blunt object that is likely to pass the stomach and intestines without causing any harm or even better it is digestible and not poisonous.
But most of the time – that’s just Murphy’s law – it will be something that raises concern, meaning we are talking about something that is either sharp/pointy or big or both of it (worst combination) and can cause harm “inside”.
Many people, especially the ones, whose dogs have pink noses like many Bull Terriers do, are asking themselves: Can dogs get sunburn?
The answer: Yes, dogs can get sunburn (and even skin cancer)!
So, how can we determine, If our dog has a sunburn?
Basically the same way we do it as humans: Press one finger on the skin, release and watch how quickly the skin returns from light color to pink or reddish color. The faster the change and the darker the red, the more sunburned is the skin.
Note: Dogs with pink noses, such as Bull Terriers, also tend to get red noses from elevated blood circulation especially in warmer environments, for example when they are active or very excited.
If the red disappears quickly once the dog is back inside and calming down, the suspected sunburn may as well turn out to be the typical Bull Terrier “red excitement nose”.
However, it is always wise to be cautious.
For several different reasons some owners may not want their female dogs to get spayed. For the owner of such an “intact” female some knowledge about the heat cycle is helpful to prevent “accidents”. In this post you will find information on the heat cycle in dogs, signs to look out for and measures to take.
In this relating article I am introducing a neat way to keep the bloody messes under control during your dog’s heat – with the dog heat suit
If your female dog is not spayed, you are probably dealing with some messy issues during her heat cycles.
Introducing: A great piece of dog apparel to handle the messy side of a dog’s heat:
The Dog Heat Suit
Originally invented for dogs after surgery, this suit also aids in treatment of skin conditions, covers wounds for better healing, aids light incontinence problems and is great for dogs in heat.
People often use doggie diapers during a dog’s heat cycle. I have been using one in the past for Mila either.
However, you probably know the following challenges: The diapers getting fixed around her hips, do not only cause Mila discomfort. She obviously just does not like the feeling of the diaper around her hips. As a result of her trying to get rid of that thing by rubbing against walls, curtains and chairs, not only is the house always a mess during this time. The diaper also becomes leaky every now and then, leaving spot on the floors and the couch.
If you witness your dog scooting on her butt across the floor or desperately trying to reach for her back, all that accompanied by a fishy smell, you may likely be dealing with some anal gland (= anal sac) issues.
Or maybe you just notice that fishy smelling “souvenir” on the couch after your dog has left her favorite hangout spot. That may be a sign that the glands eventually emptied on their own, after they probably did not during your dog’s last #2 potty business.
Dogs have different grooming needs regarding their coats, depending on the breed. Long haired breeds usually need brushing and sometimes even cutting, while the short haired breeds, such as Bull Terriers are comparatively low-maintenance with their coats.
However, there are some things in dog grooming every dog benefits from, when it comes to hygiene and body care:
Nail clipping, dental care, bathing and ear cleaning are important to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Some dogs need to get their nails clipped frequently. If you do it yourself make sure to use the right tools.
The best tool I know is a nail clipper especially made for dogs.
The proper dog vaccinations and parasite control depends a lot on the area you live in with your pet. Areas with very different seasons have different requirements than areas with very warm weather year round, for example. Therefore, if you are planning a vacation with your dog or moving to an area with a very different climate than the one you have lived before, it can be a wise decision to ask your vet, if any changes to your dog’s current vaccination and parasite control schedule are advisable.
In many countries several vaccinations are required by law. For example, all states of the U.S. have their own regulations due to rabies vaccination for dogs.