Monday, December 31

Last Day of the Year!

Today is the last day of the year!

If you are planning to donate to charity for tax purposes, today is the day to do it!  Your gifts will help hundreds of Frenchies enjoy a happier New Year!

 New foster Moon Pie shares some Happy New Year wishes!  She was pulled from a shelter on Dec 23rd.  She was surrendered after her family had a baby and Moon Pie developed some intestinal problems.  She'll be feeling better very soon!  And NEXT New Year's Eve, you can look for her on our adopted page.

Here are some of the frogs we took in during the week before Christmas.  We are so happy that we have the volunteers and the resources to keep these dogs out of the shelters.

Every year at holiday time, shelters (and FBRN) have a big influx of dogs who are suddenly persona non grata in their homes.  Maybe it's because the family got new carpet for holiday guests and the dog is soiling it.  Maybe it's because the stresses of the holidays push people over the edge and they surrender a dog they've been meaning to "get rid of" for a while.  Maybe it's because the holidays are expensive, and people realize they can't afford their dogs' medications or vet bills anymore.  Maybe it's unrelated to the holidays, and people find themselves in the kind of trouble that causes people to surrender their dog at any other time of year.  We only know that giving up a dog just seems so much more sad at the holidays when so many of us are in a joyful and celebratory mood.

Whatever the reasons, we are glad to be a safety net for dogs in the holidays and all year long.  We love getting to be the good guys and we love stepping up to help out, and we know our friends and supporters love that feeling, too!

Click on this link to make a one-time donation or to sign up for monthly donating.

Here's Mokka, surrendered on Christmas Eve with dreadful allergies that caused bald patches and blackened skin!  With your help, we will get him all fixed up!

Balthazar was taken in by a Good Samaritan when his family divorced and no one had time for him. Our volunteer picked him up a couple of days before Christmas.  He had a mast cell tumor removed recently, and we have just found a couple of bumps we'll be looking at shortly.  Your donations will help us get him vetted and ready for a fabulous forever family!

Manny, the pied boy front and center, was surrendered when his family had a baby and Manny took to snapping at it.  Manny never connected with the baby, thank goodness, but it was clear he'd be happier in a family where HE was the big baby. 

Though his family loved him, they fell victim to the hard times so many are experiencing, and they were unable to do what needed to be done for Alexander.  He came to us with allergies, flea infestation, tapeworms, elephant-skin on paws and abdomen, yeast and bacterial infections, and toenails curled into his paw pads.  He may be deaf.  He has a head-tilt, likely related to vestibular disease.  This poor guy is underweight (thanks to the tapeworms!), but he is making up for lost time at the kibble bowl!  He is fostering with a vet tech, and she will make sure all his bits and pieces are taken care of before he goes to live with his new family.  Your contributions make it possible for us to relieve his suffering and make him well.

All of us at FBRN, all the volunteers and all the Frenchies, want to thank you for your support! We wish you and your family and friends a healthy and peaceful New Year!

The Frog Princess

Tuesday, December 18

Happy holidays!

Warmest wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy New Year!

We thank you sincerely, and we offer you our deepest appreciation for all the support you have shown FBRN this year and every year. Whether you have adopted from us, acted as a Good Samaritan, transported a dog for us by car or plane, sponsored a needy dog, come out to one of our events, stopped by the website to admire our foster dogs and the work of our volunteers, let us know of a needy dog in a shelter, bought a dog out of a puppy mill or from Craigslist to surrender to us, or subscribed to our blog and liked our Facebook pages, we are grateful for your time, energy, support, and help.

Cowgirl hitches a ride with Pilots and Paws!

Thanks to your hard work, we are thrilled to say we've helped 326 dogs so far this year. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to raise (and spend!) nearly $300,000 for veterinary bills. 

We are proud to say that we have no paid positions. We are all volunteers.

And that brings us to thanking our volunteers. We couldn't do it without you. Many of our volunteers spend hours every day working for FBRN. Our fundraisers, our transporters, our board of directors, our webteam and social media volunteers, our database mavens, and our regional managers, but especially our foster families deserve recognition and acknowledgment.

Volunteers and Frenchies at Weston Farm Vineyard and Winery event last month. 

Our foster families open their homes to Frenchies in need. Our foster families know their hearts will break when they wave goodbye to their fosters--who are usually so excited they never once look back--but they do it anyway.

Odell's adoption photo

Our foster families give their time and often their own money to repair the bodies and reclaim the spirits and renew the trust of our foster dogs. Thanks to our foster families' monthly reports and updates, we fellow volunteers get to watch the behind-the-scenes transformations of dogs who spent their lives in puppy mills or chained in yards or neglected in crates. We get to see foster dogs recovering from conditions or surgeries their owners couldn't or wouldn't pay for and we hear how much time and energy and love our foster families put into their foster dogs' care and rehabilitation. Our foster families deserve our greatest thanks.

The adorable, if slightly concerned, Remy, FBRN grad and foster mentor extraordinaire!

We thank you all, and on behalf of the thousands of dogs FBRN has helped throughout the years, we wish you a wonderful holiday season, whatever you may be doing! We wish you the company of good people and good dogs anywhere you find yourself! We wish you a New Year filled with peace and delight, and we hope you will realize all your resolutions, whatever they may be.


The Volunteers and Dogs of FBRN

Saturday, December 8

Vestibular Disease and Frenchies Part One

This week's website homepage is about vestibular disease and French bulldogs.  Here are two stories from FBRN foster moms about their experience with it:

From Deo's foster mom:

He got sick in the fall.  It literally came on overnight.  At first he almost couldn't walk and/or go up and down the stairs to the yard - when he walked he would have his head down, he staggered, he fell forward, he whined. He couldn't eat - the food fell out of his mouth.  The left side of his face was slack and hanging. He would sit in his crate and 'stare' at the corner of the ceiling with his head all tilted.

 July 4th, 2009 sitting on the top step of the pool, head straight, eyes and jowls even.

At first I thought he had had a stroke, but in researching it on the internet I discovered strokes are rare in dogs and it was probably this vestibulitis thing that I had never heard of or thankfully never seen before.

It didn't take more than a few days and he was able to walk and eat normally again but he never got over the slackness on the left side of his face and his head always tilted  to that side.

This is a good shot because it really shows what happened to his left eye.  You don't see any white on the affected left side but you still see it on the normal right side.  It gives him the 'Crazy Eye' look!!  And of course, his head is tilted.  It does sort of make him look cute and curious, but not with that crazy eye!!

He is calmer here and you can see how slack and demuscularized his left face is - no eyebrow ridge, almost a scooped out temple and cheek and his left jowl isn't as plump as the right.  And the eyes.

Over time we discovered his ability to swim/stay upright had been completely destroyed.  On land he was fine but once you put him in water, even with multiple swim jackets he immediately began to roll to one side and surely would have drowned.  It was awful to watch. 
As this last picture shows though, he wasn't afraid of the water.  He loved the river and riding along on kayaks or canoes.
Deo has since gone to the Rainbow Bridge, from problems unrelated to the Vestibular Disease.
Here's a note from Eva's adopter describing Eva's experience:

One morning at about 3 AM Eva woke me up and wouldn't settle back down like usual.  When I turned on the light I could see immediately that she was having trouble standing and her eyes darting rapidly (nystagmus).  When I called her to me she couldn't walk without falling over so I got dressed and took her to the ER vet.  

When I took her in I told the receptionist that I thought she was having a stroke because she couldn't walk steadily and her eyes had looked funny.  While I was signing paper work to allow them to administer IV but not to resuscitate the vet came out and explained she had vestibular disease.  He said it often happens with older dogs and she may or may not have any other episodes.  He gave us antibiotics and Benadryl and we went home.  

I took her to her regular vet and she seemed okay but still wobbly and with a head tilt.   I also had been reading up on vestibular disease and like the ER vet said, many people think it is a stroke so we were lucky to have an experienced vet when we went in that morning. [I knew another volunteer had a dog with Vestibular Disease] so I contacted her and she told me some things to watch for particularly facial paralysis.  She said that about the 3rd day into it her Frenchie had that happen to her.  If [I hadn't asked] I wouldn't have noticed when I did because Eva's was very subtle, but she couldn't blink her eye and her left side lip drooped more than usual.  So I took her back to the regular vet and she went on steroids, eye drops, and stayed on the antibiotics.  She had a wobbly gait and would sometimes knock herself over when she would shake herself off, but it doesn't seem to me that it lasted for too long.  She runs up and down stairs now and does fine getting around.

She didn't get an MRI immediately but was having problems with her ear and combined with all of this her Allergy man and a surgeon in his practice thought she might have a mass.  I took her to The Animal Imaging at NC State in Raleigh for the MRI which came back that she had an inner ear infection but no tumors.  That was all over a year ago and although Eva still has a slight head tilt and ear issues we keep on top of she is back to her normal self for a 12 year old Frenchie.

The best advice I can give is to make sure to get as much information as possible, don't automatically presume it is a stroke, and communicate with people who have had the same experience.  
Here is a site I found helpful but there are more out there :  Take a look at the link; it has symptoms and even a video.

A big thank you to Eva's and Deo's moms for sharing their experiences with us!  If your Frenchie develops a sudden inability to stand, don't panic--it could be Vestibular disease.
The Frog Princess

Saturday, December 1

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit!

It's the first of the month!  That means you should break out the heartworm preventative.

Here are Celine and Elisa, both in their second month of heartworm treatment.  Don't put your dog through this difficult and dangerous protocol.  Dedicate the first of every month to heartworm prevention.

Here's a little more info on heartworm, with love from

The Frog Princess