Another Kinda Gross Reference

Just a nasty reminder of the wonders the lemons work for Stella - here is another picture of a recent spit up she had of phlegm. She usually spits up a few of these before she is feeling all better. Last night I was up with her at 3 a.m. as she was awake and seemed to not be able to rest well. The minute I got out of bed, she jumped down and ran for the stairs to head to the kitchen, wagging her tail faster than you can imagine. She knew I was going to go down and get her a lemon, and she started biting it and licking it immediately - I swear she knows its good for her, and sorry to sound dramatic, but I think they help keep her alive and happy.


  1. I wanted to first start off by saying what a great website you have here to help people realize they are not alone. I also found it very funny that in reading your blogs Stella had been to Youngstown! My hometown, small world. Anyways I am writing you because of my 7 month old bundle of joy Jack. I got Jack on the 8th of november and my life has not been the same since. I have own dogs all my life but trying to describe the way you feel towards a bulldog is something i think only other owners can really understand. Right around christmas time was our first battle with pneumonia. Jack woke me up licking my face very early one morning. He usually is such a lazy bugger and sleeps till noon so i figured he just wanted to go out but once we came back in i realized something was wrong. All the same things you mentioned with Stella, he didnt want to sit or lay, heavy breathing, coughing up phlegm and of course the night before he had been playing hard with my friends biscon frise. So vet visit with oxygen and antibiotics and he was like new. Vet did want to send him to a referral center in Akron for a scope which I decided to wait until he was feeling better. For almost 2 months he was fine until one night he played with my brothers dog and once again he woke up with pneumonia. This was a sunday morning so after a night in the emergency clinic here in Youngstown I took him to Akron. This is where I was told of his hypoplastic trachea. He was put on clavomox and scheduled for a two week follow up. So once again Jack was fine and on tuesday he played with the biscon frise again. I know I should have known better but he loves to play and i figured since he was on his meds he would be fine. My mistake, because yesterday morning (his check-up day) when we woke up he was sick again. As soon as we got to Akron they took him in and x-rayed him then the vet came to speak with me. I was given two options, treat him or euthanize him. i couldnt believe what I was hearing. The vet said he will just continue to get sick and it would probably be easier on me, jack and my wallet. She also claimed that the playing and getting over excited was not a cause and made no difference, which i disagree with totally. I feel apart! I of course chose treatment and have been a mess ever since. My girlfriend found your blog as I sat crying and it has given us hope. I am waiting now to hear when i can go pick him up. Reading your blogs have given me ideas in helping him and was wondering if you had any more suggestions you could email me at mck91280@yahoo.com I just cant imagine losing him. We have not been apart a day since I got him, and just leaving him for treatment breaks my heart.

  2. My response to Ryan -


    I am so sorry to hear about Jack, and glad you found my blog. Here's the deal (at least as far as it relates to our experience with Stella) - you really have to come to terms with the fact that Jack CANNOT get crazy and play the way most normal puppies and dogs can. Your vet sounds very ignorant in Akron, I would recommend you search for a bulldog expert to take Jack to see. When we started to realize what was going on with Stella, and that she may have the hypoplastic trachea, we were also told she had the elongated soft palette and her nose was pretty bad, as is the case with many bulldogs. So -we opted to have the surgery for her - where they shortened her soft pallet, widened her nostrils and also removed some "sacules" (not sure about the correct terminology there) - these small protrusions in her airway were a result of the labored breathing. Once she had the surgery - she did do lots better, but our vet basically said, "you can't let Stella play and get excited" - and that even with these precautions, her life may be shortened due to the trachea issue - but not significantly. He said Vet schools are actively working on finding a way to surgically treat the condition - and it may become a viable option in the coming years - so there is some hope. In the mean time, with good parenting and restraint - Stella can still live a full and happy life. Since her surgery, and with our lemon treatments and diligence - she has not had a recurrence of pneumonia, only small bouts with issues that we can usually treat and remedy at home.

    I can't say enough about the lemon being a HUGE help - you should start now getting Jack to think of biting the lemon half as a game - and when he spits up the phlegm praise him like hes the best boy in the world - bulldogs love their praises - and this will encourage him to think of the lemon when hes feeling less than good. We also sometimes combine the lemon juice with steam treatments in our bathroom, the steam also helps loosen and break up the phlegm - just don't let him get overheated during the process. AND - be careful with the lemons - they can start to get gooey with the saliva, and it could slip down their throats if you aren't holding on to one end - or watching closely, I always pick out the large lemons in the grocery store. We give STella a lemon half a few times a week, especially when she's been overactive (for her) - or seems extra phlegmy in general - and it ALWAYS helps her so much. You will know its working - cause Jack will spit up the phlegm (at least hopefully) and we are always amazed when it starts coming up - that she can manage with all that stuff in her system.

    We don't let her play except for very short bursts - with chewy toys, or training sessions which she likes alot, or short wrestles with our other dog Rufus. We give her lots of time outs - and if friends are over, etc - we often will put her into her kennel upstairs in the bedroom, or just somewhere in the house that is calm and cool - so she can rest. She really isn't upset by any of this - its just the way it has to be - and it keeps her healthy. Its sad to think about it - but its actually fine once you get used to it - she is just a "special needs" bulldog - but aren't they all kind of? She definitely gets more love and spoiling - and we offset the lack of play time with lots of car rides, attention and scratches! Its also really important to spell out the rules to anyone watching Jack in the future - people don't readily "get it" - and you have to state - NO play - NO walks - No rough housing, etc. If the bulldog is panting for more than a few minutes - it can spell trouble. We also keep an eye on her weight, and overall health - as keeping them from getting fat keeps pressure off of the trachea and systems in general. We have also realized Stella might have allergies - which aggravate her breathing at times - and we have her on a great food now called Canadae - its a all natural single protein food that does well for her. Just this morning, suspecting allergies might be making her extra phlegmy, we gave her a dose of benadryl - as we have learned its all about prevention with her.

    Hang in there - and trust me when I tell you the lemons have been a serious lifesaver, and completely changed my thinking when it comes to homeopathic rememdies and treatments. AND, the cost to keep 5 lemons a week in the house vs. the vet trips is a big difference :)

    I hope Jack comes home soon - and tell your vet to get a clue when it comes to bulldogs. Find an expert to go see and discuss if there are other bulldog issues (palette, nose, etc) which may be corrected to help things out. Yes - its an expensive proposition - but when it comes to my pets - I pretty much empty the bank when I need to - they are part of my family - and I do whatever I can for them.

    Please feel free to write me back, and if you want to talk on the phone let me know and send me your number - I would be happy to give you guys a call, if anything we can share will help your situation and Jack.

    Best Regards and Wishes,

    Tracey & Stella

  3. Hello Stellas Dad or Mom.

    Does Stella don´t get heathful? Is this a chronic illness that Stella have?

  4. Hi Red Arrow's parents,

    Yes - this is a chronic problem Stella will struggle with her entire life - due to her abnormally small trachea. Its a constant battle to keep her breathing easy - but we love her to bits and shes worth every extra effort - and so far she's the happiest bully in the world - with no shortage of love and kisses!

  5. oh it don´t sounds good.
    I wish Stella the best in the world and a very long and happy life.
    She is so cute :-)

  6. We thank you for your well wishes and good thoughts - and same back to you and your bulldog family!

  7. Hi Stella's mums.
    Three months ago we got Hector (an English Bulldog puppy) and have since been blessed to have him as part of our family together with our three children.
    Yesterday, after a short walk (50 mts.) he suddenly stopped and collapsed on the ground. When we picked him up, his mouth was full of blood and he was gasping for air.
    We thought he was having a heat stroke and promptly carried him inside and showered him. After washing the blood away, we looked into his mouth to see if he had accidentally bitten his tongue, lost a tooth or anything that might explain the blood, but could not find anything, apart from his tongue and the inside of his lips looking grayish rather than pinkish.
    He also seemed very lethargic and unwell to us, compared to his usual self.
    After a short while he vomited all his dinner but passed regular stools.
    We monitored him throughout the night. He managed to drink and pass urine.
    In the morning, he vomited again, but only a small quantity of saliva and blood.
    As soon as the Veterinary Clinic opened this morning, we went there to see the doctor.
    She advised X-Rays, since most bulldogs have several respiratory tract birth defects.
    From the X-Rays, it shows that our Hector is suffering from pneumonia and irritated stomach lining and is now being treated for that.
    Unfortunately it also shows that he is having an elongated soft palate and hypoplastic trachea with presumably no or very thin cartilage. Now the doctor seemed quite worried since, this condition, considered quite common in short nosed dogs, appears particularly serious in Hector.
    Her concern is that, even after corrective surgery of the soft palate, such a narrow trachea will not be able to supply the needed amount of oxygen to such a big body and will collapse therefore causing his early death. (Hector is now 5 months and 15 kg and is expected to be around 30kg by the time he reaches adulthood)
    Moreover, she informed us about the risks of anesthesia, which could be fatal to a bulldog, even if healthy.
    Last but not least she also let us know that the insurance covering Hector will not refund any procedure related to this matter, since it is a birth defect related issue.
    In short, she said that we can end up spending a fortune to see Hector die anyway, and it’s not fair neither for us or for him.
    Unfortunately, we are not wealthy and cannot afford extremely costly procedures, especially if it is obvious to a veterinary surgeon that our dog is not “viable” and will suffer over and over again and us and our young children along with him.
    The doctor was being so frank and honest with us,but it is very hard to accept that we might have to euthanize him :we cannot even think about it and I cannot stop crying since this morning.
    Reading about Stella lifted my spirits up a bit. We are now seeking another advice in the capital (Abu Dhabi) but I am so scared that they will tell us the same. In this country vet as rare and good vets are almost impossible to find, apparently there is only one surgeon that could perform the operation...

    How old was Stella when she was operated? How much did it cost you?
    I am lost: Hector changed our life, my three children adore him, I want him to be with us for years on...

    If it's not too much hassle for you, could you please send to my e-mail (s_contri@hotmail.com)all the procedures Stella went through, so that I'll show them to this surgeon in Abu Dhabi and ask him to perform the same on our baby boy since he's been diagnosed with the same.
    Thanks (I can barely see what I am writing through the tears)

  8. Brian Yearwood3/26/09, 12:54 PM

    Wow, what a great resource your site is. We have a 12 week old EB named Rosebud, and of course, she has the small trachea and was diagnosed with pnuemonia. She is on two anitbiotics, Clavamox being one of them, but she is still really phlegmmy. You can literally hear her gurgle when she breathes.

    Other than that, she is a normal puppy, is gaining weight, and loves to play and sleep. It seems that when she plays, she breathes better, but then gets worse the next day. Your posts are making me wonder...when she feels better, she plays hard and we think she's getting better, then the next day it sounds worse.

    You are saying to keep her calm, right? How about the lemon? I saw the video you posted, but Stella seems to eat the lemon on her own. Rosebud is not wild about it. I also don't understand what she is spitting up. Is it phlegm from her stomach, or the fluid in her lungs she is expelling?

    We are not finding many options. The vet says it will be hard to culture the pnuemonia because of the risks and the small trachea, so we are just hoping to continue to treat this but give her some relief. I'm just curious about doing the lemon thing right. We squirted some lemon juice in her mouth and she took it, but she didn't expel anything.

    My email addy is byearwood@cmsloan.net. I would love for anyone experiencing the same thing to email me. Maybe we can all figure out a way to keep our wonderful dogs beating the odds together.