I received an email from the person who owned Waffles that he had lost his job and home and needed to place her into rescue.
Waffles was born in a puppy mill in Arkansas and had 1 litter of puppies. Her owner had purchased her from the puppy mill in order to breed her to make some money. That didn’t work out, and Waffles needed to find a new home. Her owner could have sold her to someone else who wanted to breed her. She was young enough to breed several more litters. But he had fallen in love with her and wanted a better life for her than just breeding puppies for money. He didn’t know much about bulldogs.
When I picked up Waffles, I noticed right away that she had trouble breathing and that her eyes were a mess. Many people think Bulldogs are supposed to make a lot of noise when they breathe!
A trip to Dr. Ron for shots and evaluation confirmed our fears…Waffles had entropian on all four eyelids and an ulcer on her cornea. Entropian is an inherited condition where the eyelids roll into the eye and the eyelashes rub on the surface of the eye. Think about having an eyelash, just 1 eyelash rubbing on your eye…multiply that feeling by 40 and have it constantly…
She also had a very long soft palate that made it very hard for her to breathe. And infected tonsils. And a small trachea. And a big hernia.
I took her home and settled her in to wait for a few days until we could do the surgery. I noticed that her tail was painful, and she didn’t want anyone to try to clean it. Waffles was very good with my other dogs and ignored the cats. She walked well on a lead, didn’t have any trouble with stairs and was good in the crate and the house.
On Friday morning, we headed out to Dr. Ron’s office for her surgery. I asked Dr. Ron to take a look at her tail once we had Waffles under anesthesia. What a mess! Waffles would need to have her tail amputated.
3 ½ hours of surgery! Waffles had her tail amputated, her soft palette removed, her infected tonsils removed, nodes on her larynx removed, all 4 eyelids corrected for entropian, spayed and a large hernia repaired from where the whoever who did her C-section when she had her first litter “forgot” to totally close her body wall. It was a very painful and difficult recovery ahead for the girl. The first 3 days post-op we just kept her sedated and woke her up for food, water medications and potty breaks. By day 4 post-op Waffles was on her feet doing the “bullie dance” while I prepared her soft food for her dinner.
Dr. Ron did such fine and careful stitching around her eyes that I couldn’t see the black sutures in her brindle coat to remove them, so off we went to his office to get the stitches out. Waffles loves to ride in the car! When we arrived at Dr. Ron’s office, Waffles did a “sniff, sniff” when I opened the door for her to get out. Then she looked at me as if to say “I’m good right here. You go ahead and get what you need and I will just wait here in the car.” Sorry girl, have to go in also.
Stitches out and back home. Waffles would go to work with me and sleep on her dog bed next to my desk. I really wanted to see if we had a personality change once she was able to breathe and felt better. She was the same sweet dog, just more energy.
We found a great potential home for her, and Waffles left yesterday evening to try out living with Stephanie and Charlie and Annie. Hopefully Waffles will be happy there and will enjoy her new life!
I will miss her….
Bulldogs can have many inherited problems. Long soft palette, tight nostrils, entropian, small trachea’s, heart problems, skin problems and orthopedic problems are just a few. These problems require VERY expensive and sometime dangerous surgery to correct. A tail amputation alone would cost up to $2500 to do. A small trachea cannot be fixed. The surgery that was done on Waffles could cost up to $10,000!
If you are looking to get a bulldog, PLEASE know your breeder!
Too many people are breeding bulldogs to make $$$. They have become a very popular breed with the puppy mills. Some of the big Back Yard breeders and Puppy mills have beautiful websites with pictures of the puppies and the grandchildren and the puppies dressed up in cute outfits. Many of these people will charge the same or more for a puppy as a good breeder will!!! That “cheap” puppy will cost you a lot of money to care for, and the Guarantees they offer are worthless. One of them has a guarantee that if you ship the dead puppy back to them they will ship you another puppy, but you have to pay all the shipping!!! Some of these people are importing puppies from puppy mills in Eastern Europe!
The Bulldog Club of America has a national breeder referral service. Good breeders do not have puppies available all the time. They breed carefully and for the betterment of the breed. You may have to wait, sometimes as long as a year to get a sound, healthy puppy or young dog. A good breeder WILL NOT put a puppy in cargo on a plane and ship it to you. A good breeder wants to know you, your family, your vet and your experience with Bulldogs. A good breeder is a resource to you for the life of your pet. Go to www.theBCA.org and click the tab for Breeder Referral. A healthy, happy member of your family is worth the wait!