GENERAL HEALTH

Titer testing (Vaccination)

Recent vaccination guidelines from the American Animal Hospital Association have reported that side effects from vaccines can vary from lethargy, lack of appetite and fever to more adverse effects such as allergic reactions, autoimmune problems and even tumours.

Most of the mainstream experts agree that vaccinations are critical to the overall health and wellbeing of our dogs but many also agree that giving vaccines when not required exposes the animal to unnecessary hazards. Titer testing can ensure protection and minimise the side affects of over vaccinating.

A “Titer” is a method of measuring particular antibodies in the blood. A blood sample is taken from the dog and run through a Titer test. Titers are usually expressed as a ratio, if the ratio of antibodies is high, it means the dog does not require a vaccine as it has enough antibodies in its blood to naturally fight off the disease/diseases, basically it is already immune. Having this information can really help you to know when is best to top up your dogs vaccination.

Follow the link below to find out where you can get your dogs tested

Raw feeding



Raw diets are becoming increasingly popular. Raw meat is what the canine of yesteryear lived on, the ancestors to the modern day dogs have, for millennia, lived and evolved by hunting other species.

The benefits of raw diet include:

Improved digestion – Dogs are able to absorb raw food easily, resulting in less faecal matter. There is less time spent on digesting food as raw is digested much faster than kibble.
Allergies – Less ingredients could mean less allergies. Raw can help to rule out what the dog is allergic to by tailoring it to your dogs diet. There would also be a reduction of processed foods and chemicals with a raw diet.
Healthier physical appearance – A high protein diet will enhance the dogs’ physical look and help with natural muscle growth as apposed to a carbohydrate diet.
More energy, a decrease in fillers and carbs is like removing junk food from a diet; this will automatically help with energy.
Healthier coat & teeth with more natural vitamins and minerals the dogs coat will l
ook, and in some cases, even smell better. It also helps to keep teeth cleaner and reduce foul breath.

 

Diseases and Disorders Common in many Bullbreeds

 

It is common for a number of conditions/defects to be passed genetically down through generations.  One of the hardest parts of genetic inheritance is that a dog could carry a defect without its ever becoming physically apparent meaning it can be easily passed on to his offspring who may then develop it further.  Each breed will have conditions more common for their breed. For bull breeds any of their possible conditions are caused trying to achieve the characteristics that are most desirable within the breeds.

Below is some example of possible health problems and defects many bull breeds experience.

Skin Conditions

Acne:  unfortunately just like humans, our dogs can suffer ache around their muzzle and lip areas.

Fold dermatitis: This is when the facial skin folds become infected. A common causes is excessive or unusual skin folds, especially in breeds which have loose skin. Bulldogs in particular are very susceptible on their face and tail areas.

Folliculitis: where hair follicles become infected.

Furunculosis: an infection manifested in the deep structures of the skin.

Muzzle pyoderma: a disease, which is infection, on the muzzle.

Demodicosis or Demodectic mange:

 Microscopic mites called Demodex canis cause  a skin disease, known as mange. By living within the skin layers, they cause an immunodeficiency syndrome.

Some dogs can seem to be genetically predisposed to catching it, while others do not contract it even when exposed.

Tail fold dermatitis: a skin infection that may form if there are abnormal tissue folds around the tail.

Eye Conditions

Cataract: A change in structure of the lens of the eye leading to cloudiness and usually to blindness. Common in old dogs.

Cherry eye: will occasionally show on young puppies, around 10-16 weeks, due to weak gland attachments and is thought to be an inherited condition.

Distichiasis: with this condition extra eyelashes will grow from abnormal follicles inside the edges of the eyelid. There may be just one or several extra.

Ectropion is when the eyelid rolls out or even sags away from the eye.

Entropion is the opposite of ectropion: where the eye is abnormally rolled in, which will cause a constant irritation to the eye.

Stenotic Nares (Pinched nostrils)


This is a common disorder amongst brachycephalic breeds, such as modern day Bulldogs and pugs. It is a genetic disorder with causes the dog trouble with breathing freely.

Signs/symptoms:-

• Exercise intolerance
• Noisy breathing during inhalation
• Fainting
• Blue gums due to lack of oxygen

Breeders should try and breed away from genetic disorder. Speak to your vet if you suspect you canine should have Stenotic Nares as it could lead to death in extreme situations.


Mouth and Teeth

Abnormal dentition: teeth may be abnormally developed, have the incorrect number developed or be wrongly placed.

Cleft lip, a.k.a  Harelip: is a condition when two parts of the upper lip are not joined. If a dog has Cleft lip, it is common they may also have Cleft palate.

Cleft palate: is a condition that is also seen in humans. The roof of the mouth forms incorrectly and does not close, meaning inside the nose opens up into the mouth.

Elongated soft palate: soft palate causing breathing disorders as the palate is abnormally long. 

Respiratory system

Brachycephalic Upper-Airway Syndrome:a grouping of conditions caused by compressed or narrowed airways. Side effect of this condition are quite severe meaning a dog would have a decreased tolerance to excitement, exercise and high temperatures. Signs for are noisy or open-mouth breathing, regular snoring, any excessive panting, intolerance to exercise, even vomiting and difficulty eating.

Hypoplasia of trachea:incorrect development of the trachea.

Cardiovascular system and blood conditions

 Mitral valve defects: this is a small group of abnormalities form in the mitral valve of the heart.

Arteriovenous fistula: the connections between arteries and veins form abnormally.

Pulmonic stenosis: where one of the valves of the heart does not open fully.

Hip Dysplasia


Is a very common condition in bull breeds, especially in larger dogs. It is where the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit together or develop properly, this causes them to rub and grind instead of sliding smoothly. This condition can be extremely painful for dogs and will often make a walk a real struggle.

Follow the link below to find out where you can get your dogs tested

More Info

General Health
Training Tips