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Thread: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

  1. #1
    BullyWood Movie Star Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    Spring is here and summer is right around the corner so I wanted to remind everyone about keeping a close eye on their bulldogs in the heat. I know some of our members are still shivering in the cold, but it won't be long before temperatures increase, creating a potentially dangerous environment for your bulldog!

    We are all aware that bulldogs do not do well in the heat but I think few of us understand how quickly things can happen.

    As many of you know, I lost my 6 year old bulldog, Bentley, last summer. Although we did not have an autopsy performed, his death was likely due to heat. It wasn't a terribly hot day in Arizona, only around 83 degrees, no humidity and my husband let Bentley out into the backyard. For reasons I will never know, Bentley never came back to the door as he had at least 10,000 times before. We found him laying in a pile of leaves on our patio. Roughly 40 minutes from the time he was let out, Bentley was pronounced dead at the emergency vet's office.

    It was only 83 degrees. There was no humidity. There was plenty of shade. It was only about 20 minutes. He had gone out and come back in SO many times before - without any trouble. He was perfectly healthy. Then he was gone.

    Please, please don't let it happen to you. I always considered myself a knowledgeable and responsible dog owner and fully understand the dangers heat pose to bulldogs but I did not know it could happen that quickly, with so little warning.

    If you let your bulldog out in the summer, go out with them, watch them, go inside only when they are finished. If you are outside with your dog, bring water, bring a cool rag, make sure they stay in the shade. Do not walk your bulldog in the heat, they absorb heat through their pads. Do not let your bulldog sunbathe unattended, even for a short period of time.

    Remember, if your bulldog does overheat, you MUST act quickly!

    These are the signs to look for:

    * Your bulldog will begin to "heave" as he pants
    * He will begin to "roar" - best described as sounding like severe asthma
    * He will begin to look tired and distressed
    * His tongue will be very floppy and very red or purple in color
    * His body temperature will rise
    * His airway will swell and his throat become full of white foam (caused through the excessive panting)
    * He will quickly become exhausted and will fighting for breath
    * THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION!

    If you notice your bulldog is getting too hot, here's what to do:

    * Lower his body temperature: Always ensure that you have ice to hand during the summer months. Pour cold water over your dog, especially around his head, rub ice around his head and under his tail (around his rectum). If possible stand him in a cold bath and keep going with the ice until the breathing is less labored.

    * Clear the airway: Squirt some lemon juice (from one of those plastic lemon shaped bottles) into the back of his throat, he will hate you for it, but the lemon juice will quickly break up the excess foam and clear the throat. Do not allow him to drink a lot of water as this can cause him to vomit.

    * Keep him calm: Once you have reduced his panic keep him in a quiet place and keep a close eye on him.

    * If this doesn’t work then you need to get to a vet as quickly as possible - put a cold damp towel under him for the journey

    See the website Bulldogs and Heat Don't Mix for more information.

    Please don't let what happened to Bentley happen to your bully.


    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

  2. #2
    Lucy-licious
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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    I am so sorry for your loss,
    It does not get too hot here but I worry myself about heatstroke in bulldogs and actually replied in a thread with similar info yesterday. I have ice packs and cool packs at the ready for summer lemonjuice in the house and car and will ensure I always have means to cool her down incase something terrible happens.

  3. #3
    I couldn't make this sh*t up if I tried! Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    @sheshistory, through the tears about Bentley, I so appreciate you posting this. It is so very important. I live in Florida where it has been in the 80's for weeks already, I ALWAYS have Vegas on a leash to take him out and right back in. I start the car a good 10 min. before we leave to go bye-bye and I NEVER EVER, not once have left him in the car. I ALWAYS take a cold bottle of water and a bowl with me even if it to get his nails done because that stresses him out. Fabulous post, although made me cry for you and your loss.

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    Wrinkle Wiper jmill79's Avatar
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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    Sorry for your loss. We're hopefully getting our first bulldog this summer and wanted to let you know I appreciate that link near the end of your post. Im new to this breed so info sheets like that one are extremely beneficial. I saved it to my homepage on my phone and also sent it to my wife's phone as to always have a quick reference just in case. Thanks
    Last edited by jmill79; 04-03-2011 at 05:58 PM.

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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    Excellent post @sheshistory. I am so sorry for your painfull loss of Bentley, but by telling his story you may well save many others.

  6. #6
    BullyWood Movie Star Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Kable View Post
    Excellent post @sheshistory. I am so sorry for your painfull loss of Bentley, but by telling his story you may well save many others.
    Thank you - that is the only comfort I can take from such a painful incident. I appreciate it so much.

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    @sheshistory this is a great post...I forget how many people never think of this. I live in Illinois and Florida and I never ever leave my babies in the car. I also put cooling collars on them in the summer when we are out...just as a little extra protection. And even when we go for a very short walk, I alway take ice water with us so they can drink.

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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    that breaks my heart!!! I had no idea, I always wondered why we only seen Linus and Truman, I am so sorry for your loss. But coming from the heart of a new bully owner, I really appreciate this warning and information as I had no idea and I'm still learning so much about being a good momma .Hugs and thank you for sharing!!
    Bullies leave pawprints on our hearts furever <3

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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    Thank you so much..I know you posted this especially for us newbies..and it must be so painful for you. I know about bulldogs and the heat..BUT I never would have realized how quickly and what temps are worrisome. It gets very hot here in the summer..and I so appreciate your kindness.

  10. #10
    The Ultimate Sourmug Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    Thanks for the reminder and so sorry about Bentley again . He was so beautiful.

    Because of all the warnings, I even bring water even when it's freezing outside. You just never know when they're going to need it. I also bought a cooling collar this past weekend even though it's barely sweater weather here.
    Last edited by savemejeebus; 04-04-2011 at 11:07 PM.

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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    Last year I had my Mum and niece over to stay .. it was the first time either of them had been to America. My niece lives in England and found the Ohio heat together with the humidity a bit too much, however my Mum lives in Cyprus where the summers are identical .. very hot and very humid. So my Mum just LIVED outside on our deck .. to her it was perfect. Except when my husband and I were at work, all the dogs wanted to be with whatever human was left in the house. No matter how much I told her that Maggie couldn't be outside, both of us would come home constantly and find Maggie spread out and happily sunbathing on the deck. When I (trying desperately to bite my tongue and not raise my voice too much at my visiting mother) pointed out that we had already said that Maggie can't take the heat and shouldn't be outside, I would get the answer back that it didnt' matter because she was in the shade. It gets to 100 degrees F on our deck and that's not even taking into account the awful humidity. I look back now after reading your story and think (1) I'm lucky we still have Maggie alive and (2) Despite the fact that my mother was visiting, that I should have been a lot more angry/forceful when she consistently went against my wishes for Maggie. Reading your story scares me because I think what could have so easily have happened.

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    Default Re: An important reminder about bulldogs & heat

    Thank you so much. I actually printed this out to give to my husband as it does get very hot here. I am so very sorry for your loss. I really appreciate you sharing this info!

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