Ema is a scary little girl
On the weekend, Eva Skaloud, ECFBC and FBV volunteer, drove 17 hours round trip from London to Montreal to pick up our newest foster Frenchie, Little Miss No Name. Turns out she does (or did) have a name, if “Earlina” can be counted as a name, but Eva quickly re named her “Ema”.
We knew that there was something wrong with Ema – after all, her owners were giving her up because they said she was sickly, and had breathing problems and patella problems. I was working on a ‘wait and see’ approach before deciding just how bad her breathing and her joints really were – call me skeptical, but I’ve seen too many vets who over diagnose doom and gloom in every French Bulldog who walks in their doors. I wanted to see her for myself, and to have my own (sane, Frenchie experienced) Vet have a look at her.
My first clue that maybe something really, really serious was going on was when Eva called me with an update, and said “I was afraid she was going to die in the crate on the way home”. Eva, who owns a Boston and has owned several other Bostons and Frenchies in the past, didn’t strike me as the type to panic at non existent symptoms, so when she said she was scared, I believed her, and on meeting Ema, I instantly understood what all the panic was about.
Ema is a tiny little black masked fawn girl. She’s delicately built, with expressive eyes and a shy but affectionate nature. Within 24 hours, she had tightly bonded to Eva, and spent most of her time either sitting on Eva’s lap, or worrying about where Eva was. She’s a happy little thing, and played a little with Eva’s Boston, Carmen, but it wasn’t easy for her, because Ema just can’t breathe.
She gasps for air almost constantly, her sides working in and out like a bellows. Her tongue and gums are a uniform blue shade, no matter if she is at rest or at play. When she gets excited, Ema gasps for air even more frantically, and Eva told me that, at the worst points, she almost fell over from the effort of trying to catch her breath.
I brought Ema home last night, and I’ve done my best to keep her calm and settled. She was overwhelmed by my household of rowdy Frenchies, and climbed up on my lap for refuge. She and Jacob have sniffed noses, but he’s far too overwhelming for her. It’s such a strange contrast – Jacob is the same age is her, and is a relatively small Frenchie, but in contrast to Ema he’s a bull.
This morning, when I put Ema outside to pee, she was a little bit over excited by the freedom and danced around in a circle. A few seconds later, I saw her staggering and falling to her knees. I can honestly say I’ve rarely been as frightened by anything I’ve seen in Frenchies as I was at that moment. Thankfully, she recovered quite quickly, and I picked her up and attempted to calm her down. Her little heart was pounding like a hammer inside her chest, and mine was beating to match.
Ema is, all in all, a scary little girl – scary, because she so desperately wants to do all of the things that normal Frenchie girls do. She wants to do them, but she’s too busy fighting for her life. Sean was so horrified on meeting her that he blurted out “She reminds me of my mother, when she was dying of emphysema”.
Ema has a veterinary appointment this afternoon, and we’ll do everything we can to give her a chance at a normal, happy life.
So far, we’ve raised almost three hundred dollars towards her surgery, but we still have a ways to go. If you can, please chip in and help us to get Ema the surgery she so desperately needs to have a normal life.
I’ll be posting photos of her this afternoon, when I get a chance to shoot some of her. She’s a little bit camera shy, but she’s awfully adorable!
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Marcy M Einarsson
I’m new to brachycephalic dog experience (fostered one pug mix years ago, but he had a more beagle snout) – what kind of surgery corrects such a severe lack of air flow?
Hi Jen —
If we’re lucky, it’s just her palate. There’s definitely at least *some* aspect of it that’s her palate, at the least. If we’re unlucky, which I have a feeling we might be, it’s her palate and her heart. Let’s hope luck is on our side, for this once.
She’s sleeping on my feet, underneath my desk, and I’m awfully worried about her…
I do have 2 wonderful Frenchies and know about the different breathing problems they can have. This is just a thought as my own lab had similar symptoms and he had laryngeal paralysis.
What ever it is I hope it can be surgically corrected and your little girl can live the happy healthy life she deserves!
My Beagle has that elongated palate thing that causes her to have some scary snores when she’s asleep. But it’s hard for me to picture a French Bulldog with an elongated palate – is that what they have or is it something else?
this poor little girl makes me want to cry,
I imagine my Lu when she was soooo little when we brought her home, I worried about her day and night, I cant imagine having to worry about her getting excited…
Bless your loving souls
Ema is in our thoughts and prayers
Heather & Lu
Long ago I had a Frenchie that was born with a terrible palette problem. She would also become cyanotic and nearly pass out. It was heart breaking.
I really hope that little Ema can be helped with surgery and find a forever home!
Here is hoping all will go well for the sweet little girl. My heart is breaking for her.
Thanks Carol for watching out for the frenchies in need.
Susan and Solo.
Indeed, Thanks Carol for watching out for those in need.
Hope this donation helps.
Bryan, Hugo and Calvin (my Frenchies)
Poor little thing. I wish I could have done more. Thanks for helping her.
I’m assuming her former owners bought her from a disreputable source, and are now tossing her because of problems that stem from poor breeding?
I hope they’ve learned a lesson, and I hope Ema can get the help she needs.
Yes, they bought her from neighbours who had her for sale on Kijiji. Hopefully, the cardiologist will decide that her condition is treatable, and that palate surgery will be able to help.