If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
Someone please help as the Vet and supposedly experienced English Bulldog breeders haven't. We have a 7 week old English Bulldog with Swimmer Puppey Syndrome. The vet said there is less than a 50/50 chance that he will walk and gave the impression that he thought we should put him down rather than go ahead with the shot series. He can hold himself up with his front legs and move around but his little legs are somewhat splayed and feel spastic. The experienced Bulldog breeder commented that he had little use of his back legs and showed us how to hobble him, which was ineffective as he just kicks his legs out to the back. My husband and I work with persons with disabilities and you wouldn't put a person that can't walk to death so please help us get this puppy moving. We only realized that he was a swimmer when he was five weeks old so we have been doing Physical Therapy type exercises with him and massage. He is starting to show some flexion in his legs and responds vigorously by kicking or pulling his legs away when you stimulate his peds with light brushing with a toothbrush. We go through a series of massage and exercise two to three tims a day and try to get him set in a normal position, rather than a seal everytime we see him but he still kicks his legs out behind him 90% of the time. We have started putting him in a sling for an hour or so a day but it is very crude and we have to watch him so we don't run the risk of choking. One of the problems that we are up agianst is that we work full-time and Monday through Friday we can only commit hours to him in the evening other than feeding before work and brief massage/exercise. We put him in a padded box with good traction and hope for the best. I think we need to come up with some type of device to stand him in during the day that doesn't shut his circuation off but forces him to stand. Someone please help! He is alert and has a hearty appetite. He is barking. We don't want to throw him away and are desperate!
You are our kind of people! The baby sounds precious and I am so glad he is with you. I am writing to my friend in Germany who raises bulldogs (Berrywood Bulldogs) to see what she has to say. Stay tuned!
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
Welcome to you! It sounds like this puppy is fortunate to be in the right hands.
I would not give up on the hobbling, sometimes you just have to work one bug out of a system to get it to work, then it's brilliant. Here is some information from others who have had swimmer puppies:
There is a couple here who has done an outstanding job with their handicapped beagle and they have been searching Petfinder and everywhere for a handicapped English Bulldog puppy, they dearly want a bulldog puppy. Here is their thread about their search.
We've had a couple of polydactyls post here, haven't we?
I don't have time to search now, but if you put polydactyl in the search box, something should come up. don't know why I thought they too may be English bulldogs.... a kitten or two? I don't remember. YES! CarolC's link is one I remember!
I will look more tonight when I get home.
Karen, Andy's ^i^ mom
Lethal White Aussies Rule!
INTERACTIVE RESCUE SITE!
Carol sent me this link because I have been looking into taking in an in-need bulldog puppy!! I do have experience with handicapped pets, i have a beagle who is extremely calm and very great around small puppies who was born without a foot and we had a prosthetic made for him. He actually inspired a non-profit in which we raise money for handicapped pets.
My husband and i BOTH work from home and would be able to attend to the little guy 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We hardly ever travel and if we do one of our vet's vet techs lives near by and she actually stays in the house with our dog and cats.
Anyways.. If you need someone to give this guy a forever home, please feel free to contact me via PM here OR you can send me an email
lindsay (at) bscphoto (dot) com
I am located in Connecticut, but I think (depending on where you are) we can work out a hand-off system to get him here
Just realized that you may or may not remember to come back and check this post so I sent a PM just in case.. I know that I forget to check forum posts if they dont send me notifications of replies.
My friend, Nule from Berrywood Bulldogs sent this response for you:
So, just a few comments on the post.
> We have a 7 week old English Bulldog with Swimmer Puppey Syndrome.
Is a known issue of the breed, but occurs in a lot of other breeds, too. I once had a puppy that I thought was a swimmer, it turned out in the end it wasn't (only had a deformed breast bone) but I did all the research and got in touch with a physiotherapist who does research on this, and who gave me a lot of good advice. Most swimmer puppies develop into completely normal dogs if treated early.
Here is her website, second article about Frodo the Boxer pup, maybe Google translate can give an idea of the text although from my experience automatic translation is pathetic, to say the least.
> The vet said there is less than a 50/50 chance that he will walk
What this opinion is based on I cannot say, but if there is nothing else wrong with him he should be fine at the age of 1 year!
> We only realized that he was a swimmer when he was five weeks old
typical age - that's when the symptoms appear. If you know how to read the signs and take action at once, you can be lucky and get the puppy to get on their hind legs in as little as a week (the record being three days!).
> so we have been doing Physical Therapy type exercises with him and massage.
Very very good, that's the right thing to do. Massage is good, also holding him upright under his "arms" (like a human baby really) and let him "dance" on his hind legs to strengthen the muscles. Another exercise is to put him on his back and move his hind legs as if he was cycling.
If his chest is already deformed from sleeping "flattened out", they should try to move him in his sleep so he lies on his side. Roll towels to stabilise him in this position (look at the picture on the website I gave you above). Move him very very gently so he doesn't wake up. It won't be successful every time but every hour his ribs get the chance to get back to their normal shape is a gain.
> stimulate his peds with light brushing with a toothbrush.
An excellent idea, it's good also to pinch the skin between the little toes, to which they respond with a reflex action (bending the leg).
> One of the problems that we are up agianst is that we work full-time
I'm sorry if I sound rude but in that case they shouldn't have a puppy at all, let alone a bulldog litter.
Christine here: Nule could never be rude...she is pointing out something that you have already thought of.
> I think we need to come up with some type of device to stand him in during the day that doesn't shut his circuation off but forces him to stand.
They could try to sort of tie his hind legs together so they can't slip away. If you look at the website address I gave you you will see Frodo the Boxer pup is in some sort of "dress" which was made especially to hold his hind legs in the proper position.
> He is alert and has a hearty appetite. He is barking. We don't want to throw him away
They absolutely shouldn't give up on him! Like I said - he'll be fine if he doesn't have other defects in addition to the swimmer syndrome - but it would certainly be best if they found someone who can look after him during the day and show him the world - a padded box with good traction may help his legs, but socialisation cannot be got in there. He needs to learn so much, now!!! for his later life. Having learned to walk will not help him much if he shows problem behaviours later because he didn't see the world during that critical phase between 4 and 14-16 weeks.
"A similar analogy can be found among canines. All the time they are growing they are learning because their nervous systems are developing and storing information that may be of inestimable use at a later date. Studies by Scott and Fuller confirm that non-enriched pups when given free choice preferred to stay in their kennels. Other litter mates who were given only small amounts of outside stimulation between five and eight weeks of age were found to be very inquisitive and very active. When kennel doors were left open, the enriched pups would come bounding out while littermates who were not exposed to enrichment would remain behind. The non-stimulated pups would typically be fearful of unfamiliar objects and generally preferred to withdraw rather than investigate. Even well bred pups of superior pedigrees would not explore or leave their kennels and many were found difficult to train as adults. These pups in many respects were similar to the deprived children. They acted as if they had become institutionalized, preferring the routine and safe environment of their kennel to the stimulating world outside their immediate place of residence.
Regular trips to the park, shopping centers and obedience and agility classes serve as good examples of enrichment activities. "
Quoted from: "DEVELOPING HIGH ACHIEVERS - Early Neurological Stimulation"
http://www.breedingbetterdogs.com/artic ... on_en.html
Carmen L Battaglia holds a Ph.D. and Masters Degree from Florida State University. As an AKC judge, researcher and writer, he has been a leader in promotion of breeding better dogs and has written many articles and several books.
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
http://translate.google.com/translate?u ... =&ie=UTF-8
What a great post!! OMG i learned soo much about swimmers puppies.. I spent some time googling just so that I could understand better, and I did find that site you linked to but really what a great post
I also feel that a puppy, ESPECIALLY one like this would need someone full time to look after him because if you are going to make a change in his stature, you will have to work hard and constant with it.
Again.. You have a happy and permanent home waiting if you need it!!!
Hope this user comes back soon to update everyone.
I also have a English Bulldog that is a swimmer. I have been working with him for weeks. He is walking better but my only concern is that I am not sure he has control over his bowels. I am finding that either his mom or myself has to stimulate him and he will have a bowel movement. He can be asleep and have a bowel movement and never wake up. Any advise anyone has would be greatly appreciated.
It is really good that you already figured out how to stimulate him to have a bowel movement. There is a whole article on that.
http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... inent_pets
Bulldogs are bred to have a "screw tail"--a short, extra curly tail. This breeding actually involves a change in the vertebrae of the spine. In some cases it can result in incontinence. When you do a search on the Internet using the keywords bulldog + screw tail you will get results about hemivertebrae and about spina bifida. The same thing can occur in pugs, it is not that uncommon. You can still have a perfectly happy dog.
I have a dog with a birth defect similar to spina bifida and she is incontinent of her stools, too. She passes them in her bed at night and out in the play area during the day. It is really not a problem. The secret is to feed your dog a diet that produces quality stools. There is a big difference between the stools a dog produces eating Gravy Train, compared to something like Science Diet w/d dry kibble. You will control what comes out, by what you put in. Quality stools will be low odor, firm, non-sticky, and easy to just pick up off the carpet with a kleenex. They leave no trace and there's no need to spot clean the carpet.
I would not worry if this dog turns out to have fecal incontinence, just love him and adjust his diet to make life easy for you, and everything should be fine.
I have a 3-day old shih tzu, and we've jsut found out that it has a swimmer puppy syndrome.
She's having trouble breathing. Right now, we are not yet fully decided if we are gonna do the sock method on him, since we think he is too fragile and should be at least weeks old, as we see in the stories here on your site. What we do now as a temporary solution is we massage his side from time to time, and put him to sleep on his side.
I have no experience with this but there is something on the swimmerpuppy.com website about young puppies. Here is the link that might answer the question you asked, however if you have time, there is much more information on the website. There are a lot of stories of how swimmer puppies were treated and recovered.
I just this week saw this article...very encouraging:
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44617504/ ... arns-walk/
They were tv also...the puppy is adorable and doing very well now.
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
thought you might enjoy this wonderful video of a very special little man...
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