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 walkWhat 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 oldtypical 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-timeI'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 awayThey 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.