Thursday, August 17

Cooper Keeps His Cool

Here's an FBRN alumnus demonstrating how a French Bulldog can stay cool when it is too darned hot to go outside or even move around too much. This is Cooper, adopted in February of 2004, and of all the Frenchies we know, he's one of the most expressive. He's a handsome devil, and he's almost always playing to the camera. On the day these photos were taken, Cooper was to do an outdoor photo shoot. But he proved to be recalcitrant, and spent the entire time chowing down on grass instead of lifting his speaking bonny brown eyes to the camera. However, upon discovering that the feather bed was available for lounging in, Cooper took advantage of his chance to get some alone time with mom and the camera and some snuggly softness without having to share with Molly and Bailey, his Staffordshire housemates. He's a smug little beast, isn't he?

Cooper's been having some trouble this summer with back problems. A good percentage of Frenchies fall victim to back problems and they really ought not to jump off beds or decks or out of truck cabs the way lots of dogs do. Some French bulldogs live their whole lives without a bit of trouble, but if your Frenchie ever shows signs of back pain, including a hunched back, inability or difficulty moving one or both back legs or staggering, immediately take him to the vet. Minutes and hours count and can make a big difference in the degree of recovery your Frenchie will enjoy as well as the length of his recovery time.

Once nearly universally considered cause for euthanasia, degenerative disc disease can be surgically treated and many dogs have been able to thrive following surgery and a period of recovery. Acupuncture can be helpful in some cases of back trouble. Even if dogs do not get prompt veterinary care and paralysis sets in, euthanasia is not inevitable. FBRN has placed two wonderful dogs, Mea and Stewart, who use carts to get around, and our friend Babycakes, who was placed through the Frenchie Outpost, also uses a cart.

Disk damage can occur over time, so it's important to limit the daily exposure to impact your Frenchie experiences. Prevention is a big part of making sure your Frenchie never has to go through surgery or extended periods of crate rest. Of course, active and madcap young Frenchies are not easy to restrain, and exercise is important. Good muscle tone can help support backs and spines, so don't be over-cautious. However, minor changes in your home and habits can help minimize daily impact. If your Frenchie likes to sleep on the bed with you, consider training him to use a ramp or a series of steps to get down, or lift him down. If the couch is your dog's favorite napping spot, be sure to have an ottoman or footstool available so the distance between couch and floor is reduced. Provide your Frenchie with an especially comfy bed that will be more appealing than the couch or your favorite chair. Of course, crating your Frenchie while you are gone will eliminate any jumping during the time you are away.

We are happy to report that we have yet to experience any pain in our spinal region, unless you count one nasty, sleepless night at a neighboring castle, but that's a story for another time featuring an unusual number of mattresses and a teeny little legume. Speaking of stories, we are convinced you have a million of them, Cooper, and there's a position as Jester waiting for you anytime you want it in the Court of
The Frog Princess


Anonymous said...

How wonderful to see an update on glorious Cooper! We followed his story from the beginning and were delighted when he stayed with his foster Mom. He is one funny Frenchie!

Anonymous said...

Hamlet and I LOVE Coop! He is such a silly guy and always makes us smile :)

Keep it up Coop. And thank you for the information on disc problems. Hamlet is a little wild and hard to restrain but we will try harder to keep him from LEAPING off the bed!

Alan said...

Cooper is one handsome young man. My whole office is now familiar with the FBRN. I always look forward to seeing that mischievous face. Keep it up Coop! You have fans here in San Francisco.