Great Big French Bulldog Rescue Update

Photo above – Holmes coming out of recovery with a vet tech

On Friday, Holmes and his foster mom headed out to what I like to call “The Veterinary Parking Lot”, aka the Most Crowded Vet Clinic in the World (this is the clinic I spoke about in my post about meeting a Puggle Breeder). Karen got to experience the chaos of an all surgery clinic first hand, and Holmes got his surgery done.

He seemed to come through it just fine, although the veterinarian has some concerns that there might be more than just palate at work with Holmes breathing issues. Unfortunately, when Karen got him home, she noticed that he was unable to put any weight on his rear. This isn’t a limp – it’s simply that Holmes can’t seem to support himself in the rear – as if his hips (never great to begin with) have simply stopped working.

I have a feeling that this might be a side effect of how most veterinarians restrain dogs during surgery. They use a sort of starfish pattern, four point restraint method – dog on his back, and all four limbs extended and restrained. This is common – I’ve seen it done often during c-sections – and it’s meant to prevent limbs from flailing about during the surgery. I’ve never seen any ill effects on my girls after they’ve been restrained like this, but all of my girls have nice healthy hip sockets.

For a dog like Holmes, however, who essentially has NO hip sockets, and is just being held up by muscle and ligaments, this sort of extended period of stretching could very well have dislocated what little hips he has. If this is what happened, there’s no cure for it, other than time and rest.

Karen took him to the vet’s on Saturday, where they confirmed that it does not seem to be anything neurological at work. She’s going to take him back in today, for a full battery of x-rays, which will hopefully let us see what’s going on. On the plus side, his breathing DOES seem to be better already, he is sleeping more soundly and he ate a good full meal. Those are improvements we hadn’t expected to see for another week or two, at the earliest.

I’m going to leave up a sort of on-going Chip In for Holmes, since it is starting to seem that he is the bottomless pit of veterinary expenditures. Every time we think we’ve got one issue corrected, another one pops up to ‘surprise’ us. It’s also a sure thing that whatever we don’t need for Holmes, we’ll end up needing for the next dog that comes into foster care.

Two steps forward, one step back – progress with dogs like Homie is made in tiny, incremental little steps, rather than great leaps.

Ulric's new family

Ulric with his new family

In happier news, Ulric went to his new forever home on Saturday. He’ll be living in downtown Toronto, with his stay at home mom and Arctic scientist dad. We wish them all the very best of luck!

Karen deserves more credit than I can ever say for looking after both Ulric AND Holmes, and all while tending to a pair of Pug rescue sisters, one of whom turned out to be pregnant. Foster homes are the heart and soul of rescue, and I’m grateful every day that Eastern Canada French Bulldog Rescue has Karen in our corner.

Finally, if you don’t yet have plans for the May long weekend, and you’re in Southern Ontario, why not come out to the Kitchener dog show and meet some Frenchie breeders? We don’t usually get big entries at Southern Ontario shows, but this one looks to be shaping up as a decent sized entry – five or six French Bulldog breeders are expected to be in attendance, myself included. This would be a really great chance for anyone thinking of purchasing a Frenchie to come out and meet some breeders, ask some questions and learn more about our breed. You can also cheer on the Frenchies in the ring, and maybe get a crash course in dog showing.  You might even get to meet Holmes, if he’s feeling better and if Karen feels up to the drive!

I don’t have exact ring times yet for the Frenchies on Saturday, but we should get them from the club sometime this week, and I’ll post them as soon as I do. In the meantime, here’s the show information and directions –


1 reply
  1. Brenda
    Brenda says:

    I want to say a huge thank you to Karen for taking the Rescue Frenchies so closely to heart!

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