Stella needs oxygen and ice packs!

Well, Stella our bulldog had been doing well until recently. We think she just had an overactive week of playing and wrestling with her brother Rufus, and she woke us up Saturday morning breathing heavy and not feeling well. The way we can tell she's not feeling well is that she won't lay or sit down, she uses her stomach muscles to breath, her eyes are half closed, and she pretty much just looks like she feels miserable.

We promptly steam treated her in the bathroom and gave her some lemon juice - which worked a bit and helped her spit up some phlegm that was in her trachea. However, we didn't see her improve much over the course of an hour - so we took her down to our local vet.

Once we got her to Docside Vets (a great vet here in Baltimore) - they gave her some oxygen and actually put some ice packs in towels on her to cool her down. Another interesting thing they did was to pour some rubbing alchohol on her feet, apparently this helps them cool down!

After about 45 minutes of this - she seemed to be feeling much better, and her temp. had dropped from 102 to about 101.6, enough for the vet to feel good about sending her home. Now I wonder about the benefits of the steam treatments since that causes her to get hot, and have even more trouble breathing. We are hoping to have a home nebulizer set up in the near future for these episodes - stay tuned. I will post all the info once we get it from our vets.


  1. I came across your blog as I was frantically searching the web for health information on bulldogs. I have a 15 month old bulldog by the name of Gucci, who has been sick since she was 4 months old. Your story is very similar to mine. I also had a 4 year old black pit bull. She passed this July due to a blood parasite called Babesia. I am devastated, and can not bare loosing another dog. Looking at your pics of Rufus and Stella made me cry, it reminded me so much of my dogs. Right now I am saving so that Gucci can have the pallet surgery. I am also trying to keep her pneumonia free until then, otherwise the surgery can not be performed. I have been using the lemon juice, and have been having great success! Thanks for the great blog! Keep me updated!

  2. Thanks for posting your news about Gucci and I am sorry to hear about your 4 year old lab/pit passing so unexpectedly! Stella has also been sick since she was about 4 months - but we do feel the surgery helped her with general breathing. However, her small trachea is to blame for the lifelong challenges she will face - and there is currently no surgery or treatment for hypoplastic trachea (although our surgeon told us they are working on treatments in vet schools and hope to have something in the future). Next time you have Gucci in for any X-Rays, ask them to take a look at the size of her trachea if they can make it out - she may have the same problems.

    SO GLAD the lemon juice is helping her out - does she like the lemons? Stella loves the fresh lemon halves we give her, but we had to do some conditioning to convince her its a fun game to attack the lemon! She definitely doesn't like the lemon concentrate out of a squeeze bottle, but its good in a pinch. We have found that keeping her excercise limited to small spurts and keeping the lemons around BEFORE things get bad is the key.

    I am happy to report her pnemonia has not come back after she had it for several months as a puppy. We hope Gucci's health improves as well, and good luck saving for the surgery - its a shame its so expensive and not covered by pet insurance. Good luck and keep us posted, and I will do the same on the blog!

  3. awww poor stelleee!! hey, you guys probably already know.. but just in case you dont.. a normal dog temp is usually between 100- 102. so dont be too alarmed by her temp .. when the docs say 102 to us.. it sounds high and is, for an average of 98.6... but it is a little more comforting to know that dogs naturally have a higher body temperature than us humans.
    also... ill check to see what shipping costs would be to get that nebulizer out to you now, rather than wait til youre home for thanksgiving to pick it up.

    something that jumped out at me in this post is about the steam... when i was having my nasty bouts with asthma ... they told me to use steam too.. and i absolutely couldnt stand it. it made it even more hard to breathe, and it was quite uncomfortable. so i found some other options .. but before i get into that.. crisp air, not cold, just fresh and cooler than air with steam lol.. seemed to really help. but the thing that helped the most? was piping hot black coffee. as strong as i could make it. apparently what this does is rush more oxygen into your blood, enabling breathing to be a bit easier... and just feel less fatigued all together. not being able to breathe well for extended periods of time is more exhausting than youd think. so, lil stella may not like the HOT coffee... but perhaps you could get her to like strong black coffee... and i bet any bit would help. also, hot peppers, helped me with the phlegm. after the labored breathing was overwith... id be full up with phlegm, hot peppers definitely helped to break it up and get it out of there.

    hope some of this helps. OOOH and about the alcohol on the feet? thats really interesting. makes sense though. i read somewhere that those turkey vulture birds pee on their own feet to keep them cool.

    give stella and rufus kisses for me :)