Hey to anyone who's still stopping by, my apologies for dropping off the radar for so long. After Stella died I really needed to grieve, and sadly didn't have my account set up to see the messages coming in. Thank you so much to everyone who wrote us about her, and I hope you and all your bully angels are doing well.
Stella's situation was so tough, and while all smushed faced dogs face certain unique health challenges, the issue with the trachea is really heartbreaking, as there is little to do surgically. However, we've heard hundreds of stories of people who manage their bully's issues through keeping them calm, not letting them get fat, using the lemon juice to keep phlegm build up down, and heading the vet at the first sign of problems with breathing.
Our vet actually thinks Stella may have developed a blood clot which caused her to pass, as she was stable at the ER and fighting the pneumonia. We will never know for sure, but I sleep well at night knowing we did everything we could, she was a very loved dog, and she enjoyed every moment she had on this physical plane.
Every dog, bully or otherwise, will face it's share of hardships and health issues in life, just as we all will. There is no guaranteed healthy dog - our pit mix rescue has had multiple bouts of cancer (beat them all) and a splenic mass that almost killed him - and he's still going strong at 12.
After Stella died - we decided to try again - and welcomed Birdie into our family. Birdie is, thankfully, very healthy. She does have a deep tail pocket that we have to keep on top of, but that's it! What a relief! However, we pushed our luck and got a third dog, Fanny (from the same breeder as Birdie) and she's had a slew of genetic issues. She's required 2 surgeries for eye lash issues (distichia), has mange that we were just now getting around to dealing with, and had a very elongated soft pallet that we had shortened during her spay surgery. Now we have to see if her knees will need surgery - she was diagnosed with luxating patellas in both back legs, and she definitely bunny hops (sign of knee issues). We are hoping she will either grow into herself and it will resolve naturally, or that it won't become an issue that bothers her - in which case we will probably defer surgery. My point though, is that again - all dogs have "stuff."
If anyone has questions about Stella or our current pack, I'll try to be better about checking in, and for now - here's some pics of my family.