EB just turned 9. Any idea what the issue is?

doug

New member
Mar 13, 2022
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Benzo
Hey Everyone,

I wish I discovered this forum sooner - it would have come in handy quite a few times over the years. I have an English Bulldog, named Benzo, who just turned 9 years old. He's in generally good health, especially for his age, but started doing something in his sleep yesterday that my wife and I have never seen.

1st example:
2nd, more extreme example:

He was fine all day, acting normal, until he fell asleep in the early evening and woke up doing that. He did that around 10 times throughout the night until he stopped at around 3am. Anytime he laid down, he'd quickly sit up and just stay there sitting and looking tired (almost like he was nervous to fall asleep). He seemed pretty uncomfortable and became noticeably sluggish, but otherwise was breathing normally, had an appetite, etc. It seemed like anytime he actually fell asleep, he'd wake up screaming.

After a while, we decided to take him to the emergency animal hospital. They looked him over, poked around, did their tests, and said he seemed fine... great even. They gave us some painkillers in case he's in pain and told us to keep an eye on him/bring him back if it gets continues or gets worse. We've had blood work and x-rays done within the last 6 months to a year and everything came back perfectly. I originally did the blood work/x-rays because he was throwing up very often (multiple times a week, mostly after eating/drinking but sometimes randomly).

Some more background - He had soft palate reduction surgery around 3-4 years ago but definitely still has a pretty narrow passage (he still snores, has issues eating food, drinking water, he throws up often, etc.). He hasn't done that screech since the medicine we got from the emergency room kicked in, so don't know what to think. I'm super confused and justy want to do my diligence and cover all bases.

Sorry for the long story. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

oscarmayer

Have Bulldog Will Travel
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It appears as though he's experiencing apnea. I think that's worth a Vet visit...ASAP.
Also, he looks like he could stand to lose a few lbs...but maybe he's not as heavy as he appears because he's laying down. Anyway, keeping a senior Bulldog lean is VERY important so that the lungs, heart, and joints aren't overworked. A lean Bulldog of any age will also tolerate heat/stress better.
 
OP
doug

doug

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Mar 13, 2022
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Benzo
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It appears as though he's experiencing apnea. I think that's worth a Vet visit...ASAP.
Also, he looks like he could stand to lose a few lbs...but maybe he's not as heavy as he appears because he's laying down. Anyway, keeping a senior Bulldog lean is VERY important so that the lungs, heart, and joints aren't overworked. A lean Bulldog of any age will also tolerate heat/stress better.
Thanks for the response. He has put on some weight in the past 1-2 years after getting much lazier in his older age. He's around 58 lbs now. So, not terrible, but I've been told by vets that he should get closer to 50 lbs. I actually have sleep apnea myself, so I get the gasping for air thing. That could definitely make sense. The noise is the main thing that freaked us out - he's only made that a noise a couple times in his life and it was when he got pretty hurt/startled.

I have a vet appointment lined up, but the bulldog specialists around me are booked up for a bit. My OG vet (who was a bulldog specialist) moved away 4 years ago, so I've been trying to find a good vet ever since. Haven't been able to find a vet that's as good as my old one.
 

anatess

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It seems more like something is hurting him and he wakes up like that when it flares up. At his age, it could be joint pain that is exacerbated by his sleeping position. Does he exhibit pain signals when he walks? My bulldog is so stoic he doesn't show much signal of being in pain other than just plain reluctance to move.

I agree with oscarmayer about getting him a bit leaner.
 
OP
doug

doug

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Mar 13, 2022
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Benzo
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It seems more like something is hurting him and he wakes up like that when it flares up. At his age, it could be joint pain that is exacerbated by his sleeping position. Does he exhibit pain signals when he walks? My bulldog is so stoic he doesn't show much signal of being in pain other than just plain reluctance to move.

I agree with oscarmayer about getting him a bit leaner.
I've tried touching around to find any indication that he's hurting somewhere, and so did the emergency vet, but can't find anything. I will say that I've been actively working on getting him to drop some lbs and have been more strict about it lately, so hopefully that helps him out. He's already done that scream thing way less in the past couple days, so it seems like it hopefully has. Looking back, his weight and eating habits could definitely have been a large factor.

I'll keep you posted on any updates. Thanks so much for the help, it means a lot.

If anyone else stumbles across the videos I posted and have seen something similar with their dog, I'd love to hear your input. Just want to make sure I don't run into this again, I feel so bad for him. All feedback and ideas are appreciated!
 

SMSiegman

Member
Jan 17, 2016
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8
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USA
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Red
Hey Everyone,

I wish I discovered this forum sooner - it would have come in handy quite a few times over the years. I have an English Bulldog, named Benzo, who just turned 9 years old. He's in generally good health, especially for his age, but started doing something in his sleep yesterday that my wife and I have never seen.

1st example:
2nd, more extreme example:

He was fine all day, acting normal, until he fell asleep in the early evening and woke up doing that. He did that around 10 times throughout the night until he stopped at around 3am. Anytime he laid down, he'd quickly sit up and just stay there sitting and looking tired (almost like he was nervous to fall asleep). He seemed pretty uncomfortable and became noticeably sluggish, but otherwise was breathing normally, had an appetite, etc. It seemed like anytime he actually fell asleep, he'd wake up screaming.

After a while, we decided to take him to the emergency animal hospital. They looked him over, poked around, did their tests, and said he seemed fine... great even. They gave us some painkillers in case he's in pain and told us to keep an eye on him/bring him back if it gets continues or gets worse. We've had blood work and x-rays done within the last 6 months to a year and everything came back perfectly. I originally did the blood work/x-rays because he was throwing up very often (multiple times a week, mostly after eating/drinking but sometimes randomly).

Some more background - He had soft palate reduction surgery around 3-4 years ago but definitely still has a pretty narrow passage (he still snores, has issues eating food, drinking water, he throws up often, etc.). He hasn't done that screech since the medicine we got from the emergency room kicked in, so don't know what to think. I'm super confused and justy want to do my diligence and cover all bases.

Sorry for the long story. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
hi there,
my guy just turned 9 also. He has hip and knee issues and when I fell around he doesn’t complain. But he does get up and move around like he is trying to get comfortable. He takes pain meds daily that seem to help. Like you said he has gained some weight in the last year or so and I have a very hard time trying to get him back to about 48 to 50 pounds.

What food do you feed and how much does he get?
hope you figure out what his issue is.
take care
 
Jun 30, 2014
26
27
NE Georgia
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Jake
hi there,
my guy just turned 9 also. He has hip and knee issues and when I fell around he doesn’t complain. But he does get up and move around like he is trying to get comfortable. He takes pain meds daily that seem to help. Like you said he has gained some weight in the last year or so and I have a very hard time trying to get him back to about 48 to 50 pounds.

What food do you feed and how much does he get?
hope you figure out what his issue is.
take care
My guy is 9 also and experiencing difficulty getting comfortable also. Can you tell me what pain medication he is on? Any other insight you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
OP
doug

doug

New member
Mar 13, 2022
4
2
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United States
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Benzo
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
hi there,
my guy just turned 9 also. He has hip and knee issues and when I fell around he doesn’t complain. But he does get up and move around like he is trying to get comfortable. He takes pain meds daily that seem to help. Like you said he has gained some weight in the last year or so and I have a very hard time trying to get him back to about 48 to 50 pounds.

What food do you feed and how much does he get?
hope you figure out what his issue is.
take care
My guy throws up often, so I feel like I've tried LITERALLY every type of food. He doesn't act sick or hurt or any different, he just throws up randomly and then goes on with his day.

He was on Fromm for years and that worked great, but one day he randomly got super sensitive to everything. I tried different types of raw food for around 4 months but he was still throwing up pretty often, so I switched back to kibble. He's currently on Solid Gold sensitive stomach and that seems to be working decently. He weights around 57 lbs now but I'm feeding him the recommended amount for a 50 lbs dog - so somewhere around 2.5 cups/day until he loses some weight and stabilizes. I've also broken up his meals into smaller amounts, feeding him 3-4 times a day. I also bought the Fluff Trough XL, after seeing someone on here recommending it, and that immediately made a big difference. I think mainly because of the height and not having to tilt his head at all.

The emergency vet gave us a decent amount of Gabapentin, but that just made him sleep all day. He hasn't really had any issues in the past few days without the meds, so I don't think his issue was pain unless whatever the issue was healed itself soon after.

What do you feed your bulldogs and how much/how many times a day?
 

2BullyMama

I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog?
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Never seen that before, but agree it may be a form of apnea.

please keep us posted
 

SMSiegman

Member
Jan 17, 2016
71
8
Country
USA
Bulldog(s) Names
Red
My guy is 9 also and experiencing difficulty getting comfortable also. Can you tell me what pain medication he is on? Any other insight you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Sorry this is so late just saw your post. He takes 1/2 Carprofen in the morning and gabapenten at night. Seems to help. I tried CBD from Honest Paws but it didn’t help although I know others have had luck with the CBD
 
Jun 13, 2016
44
24
Country
United States
Bulldog(s) Names
VooDoo and Breezy
Hey Everyone,

I wish I discovered this forum sooner - it would have come in handy quite a few times over the years. I have an English Bulldog, named Benzo, who just turned 9 years old. He's in generally good health, especially for his age, but started doing something in his sleep yesterday that my wife and I have never seen.

1st example:
2nd, more extreme example:

He was fine all day, acting normal, until he fell asleep in the early evening and woke up doing that. He did that around 10 times throughout the night until he stopped at around 3am. Anytime he laid down, he'd quickly sit up and just stay there sitting and looking tired (almost like he was nervous to fall asleep). He seemed pretty uncomfortable and became noticeably sluggish, but otherwise was breathing normally, had an appetite, etc. It seemed like anytime he actually fell asleep, he'd wake up screaming.

After a while, we decided to take him to the emergency animal hospital. They looked him over, poked around, did their tests, and said he seemed fine... great even. They gave us some painkillers in case he's in pain and told us to keep an eye on him/bring him back if it gets continues or gets worse. We've had blood work and x-rays done within the last 6 months to a year and everything came back perfectly. I originally did the blood work/x-rays because he was throwing up very often (multiple times a week, mostly after eating/drinking but sometimes randomly).

Some more background - He had soft palate reduction surgery around 3-4 years ago but definitely still has a pretty narrow passage (he still snores, has issues eating food, drinking water, he throws up often, etc.). He hasn't done that screech since the medicine we got from the emergency room kicked in, so don't know what to think. I'm super confused and justy want to do my diligence and cover all bases.

Sorry for the long story. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
I was actually thinking the same thing, it could be apnea. Maybe he's trying to catch his breath. I hope you find out what it is or it goes away. He's adorable.
 

oscarmayer

Have Bulldog Will Travel
Staff member
Jan 20, 2016
4,080
832
VA
Country
United States
Bulldog(s) Names
Lala, Dozer, & Chesty
What do you feed your bulldogs and how much/how many times a day?
IMO, assuming that you think he should weigh about 50lbs, he's being fed too much for a Senior Bulldog. One cup twice per day should be plenty to maintain a healthy 50# 9+ year old Bulldog...unless he was a particularly active one. Get the weight under control with 1/2 cup of kibble + 3/4 cup of warmed frozen green beans 2X day. The green beans will fill him up. This routine will drop his weight by about 1 lb per week. Try this for 6 weeks and see what happens. With less food intake, you may find that the random throwing up stops.
An overly full stomach takes away space from expanding lungs so this may also help with what appears to be apnea.
We feed Zignature Duck.
 

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