Diet For English Bull Terriers
Another major problem and often the root of many of the behavioural difficulties is diet.
Last Up-Dated 01/08/2014
Bullies do not do well on many of the dried complete foods. Many Bull Terriers react badly to them. Some will look perfectly well on them but their behaviour is erratic.
Simply addressing the diet, getting the dog properly focused and a bit of training yields great results. Obviously from a legal standpoint I dare not name these foods, as I cannot afford to be sued by a load of mighty conglomerates desperate to protect their market share.
Dried food is not the sole problem either, many wet foods, whether tinned or not are no better for Bull Terriers and some are, in my opinion, guaranteed to twist your dog's head and alter their behaviour.
If your Bull Terrier is having allergy reactions it is possible to get your dog tested by a simple blood test for any of the usual problematic proteins and it also covers contact allergies. I have included a link to the company responsible for this test on my links page and can say that I personally have had cause to make use of their services and cannot express my thanks enough to them. They have quite honestly saved one of my Bull Terriers life. No, I have not been paid to say this but wonder if i might approach them and ask if they would reduce the cost for Registered Charities that help Bull Terriers.
For those of you scratching your heads in wonder that foods may prove problematic may I point you towards the old fashioned blue colouring used in smarties. All those colourings trouble human children and they most certainly do the same to our animals.
Why English Bull Terriers ?
We do know there is no official English Bull Terrier dog breed, we also know people do search on the web for English Bull Terriers.
To help as many bullies as we can.
|Sykes Wessex Eyeshiner|
Diet And It's consequences
For a Bullie example look at the pigs ears for sale in most pet shops, have you noticed their colour? Certainly not the colour of a pig is it! Reason is, a colourant is added to make them more appealing to the human eye. Its many of these chemicals that trouble our breed and I am led to believe many other breeds.
I can almost feel the cynicism from some out there. Well seeing is believing so to the left are some pictures of a Bull Terrier diagnosed with diet problems. In the first pictures you can see some of the horrible skin problems diet has caused.
Not pretty is it. As you can see massively swollen, with serum and in lay terms lots of nasties issuing forth. Just to give you some background. This Bullie is 4 yrs of age. These physical manifestations took hold maybe 15 to 18mths ago. The Bullie is under veterinary care and being treated using Antibiotics etc. These did initially work and when the skin erupted a quick course stopped the problem. Well it seemed to but after a period of time the antibiotics stopped having any effect. The skin worsened and the Bullie began to suffer. Unable to walk properly due to swollen hocks and feet and with Interdigital cysts between the toes (see pictures) spreading the feet,again, making life uncomfortable. Horrible sweaty slimey skin in between toes and across hocks. Leathery patches on stomach area with open areas, from nails, after persistent scratching. Little spots across face that for simple terms are spots full of dark blood and some not so small, see picture of spot on Bullies head. That oused forth for several weeks before healing.
Even the demeanour of the animal became such that a long lived future was becoming a serious issue. It was at this time I was asked what I thought and the owner, who I might add was not insured for such issues, decided to go along the allergy route.
Blood was drawn from the bullie in question and tested. Within two weeks the results came back showing that there were major feed and environmental issues. In fact the only proteins one could give was Turkey or white fish. So the Bullie came to live with our gang for a while as attempts were made to resolve the issue. I know it is by the by but has anyone seen the price of Turkey per kilo!!
Now some pictures showing the said Bullie after 2 weeks.
There were a few issues revolving around cross reactivity in proteins but after overcoming these you have the results as shown below. During the time taken between the two pictures no antibiotics or steroids were used. Well that is not quite true a steroid based spray was used, on the surface of the skin after all daily washes and a barrier cream was used. This spray was only used in the first two weeks of treatment. It was not needed thereafter and yes it was a cheat to quick start the healing process.
So the differences are normal sized feet, normal sized hocks and infection lifted from deep below the dermis. No cysts and almost full fur cover over front paws and rear paws excepting the hocks. All the spots facially have gone. The demeanour is back to normal and not until this happens does one realise how down and depressed the bullie was. So now the owner has a bullie back to being full of beans and cheeky as hell. When I last paid a visit comments were made about cheekiness and how the Bullie is emptying jacket pockets in the search for treats! A pretty good indication of fine fettel in the Bully world. Back to causing mischief. Here look at the pictures and judge for yourself.
Bullie back to being full of beans.
Please note this is only 11 weeks in, after spending all the 4yrs to date with the Immune System under attack, one can take this improvement as fantastic news. How long till there are no signs? I cannot answer. Some of the skin tissue is heavily scarred so it may never ever grow fur again but over time we will see. What one can say for sure is that as long as the Immune system is not abused by incorrect feedstuffs and exposure to the environmental allergens is restricted, the recovery, will continue and a short life on steroids with continued skin problems is in the past.
True allergies, such as the ones this Bullie has, exist at birth and stay for life. Clinical signs can appear at any time up to and including 7 years of age. The physical signs only appear once the Immune system cannot cope anymore. In this case it took till the bullie was around two and a half years of age and the symptoms were controlled by drugs for a while but in the end the drugs stopped working.
Oh and before anyone reads this and rushes out to buy some so called "hypoallergenic foods" please put your hands back in your pocket and spend the money having your dog tested under proper veterinary care, then have the results correctly interoperated and design a home made diet. Your Bullie will treasure you forever and you will have total confidence that everything you are feeding is helping the Bullie not harming it.
I must thank the owner and Bullie in question for allowing their story to be used as an example to others. I reiterate the Bullie is under Veterinary care and at great cost to the owner as Insurance has washed their hands of this problem. To give you an idea some of the antibiotics used cost in excess of £100 per course and there were a fair few courses and consultations with various specialists. Suffice to say the reduced medical bills and a happy Bullie is a great relief to the owner.
If you are a Bullie owner currently struggling with skin problems such as these that could be diet or environmentally based and you are going to the vets on a 3 monthly cycle or maybe just seasonally ask yourself this question:
ARE YOU AN ALLERGY DETECTIVE OR A PILL POPPER?
This question was put to me at a lecture. A wonderful way of describing treatment options.
Many of us Bullie owners know the long term consequences of steroidal use and some of the new drugs for suppressing the Immune system. So if steroids or such are required lets make sure that all avenues have been explored. Please be a detective. Chat with your veterinarian. Print off the details from Avacta site, link on my links page. If you want contact me and I will do all I can to help.
A big warning here, I have found almost to the cost of a bullie that not all companies Allergy test's can be relied upon. I have in my possession an Allergy test conducted by someone other than Avacta. The test from another firm showed little and although the items as suggested by their tests were removed little to no improvement was seen. If it were not for a few people all saying the same thing the Bullie would have been written off as one of those, very few, that cannot be helped. Thankfully more blood was drawn and this time the test was conducted by Avacta. Well the list was comprehensive and the ratings were some of the worst I have every seen. The scales run from 0 to 5 inclusive. The test came back with 3 to 4 across the board.
Needles to say after working within the parameters of the Avacta results the Bullie made a full recovery. I would like to publish the results for you to see but I dare not in case some clever Brief working for the failed company in question decides that the layout or such gives away the company in question and then I end up in court. I am not here to rubbish companies just tell you what has worked consistently for the Bullies I have helped.
The above shows what happens physically, now imagine what the behaviour must be when the Immune system is under this type of attack for so long. Let alone putting in foods with massive protein levels such as found in processed dog foods, those full of proteins mainly derived from cereals, those prepared in such a way as to alter the protein chains beyond recognition combined with all the chemicals used in the making of the foods. Out of interest have you ever wondered how these foods are made and some of the facts surrounding Pet foods. Below is a link that will take you to a report.
This is a factual report covering the USA pet market but many names are familiar to you. I dread to see the European version of the same report or do we need to? Anyway, for those that have brains like sponges and love to soak up information follow this link. I realise you cannot believe all you read on the Internet but this is factual, the names as listed would have sued the pants of the very well known site owner if anything was incorrect of defamatory. I am sure you will all have heard of Born Free. This is Born Free USA. For those that cannot be bothered to read it from top to bottom may I draw your attention to the recall section.
Just before you hit the link let me say thank you to those that have sat and read all the above. I sincerely hope it has been of interest and gives you an insight into how important diet is. Diet should be common sense but with all the adverts and promotions one is left with reeling heads and indecision, not to mention troubled Bullies suffering with anything from hyperactivity to conditions as shown above who are then more often than not put on more special types of kibble. We have fed dogs, according to geneticists, for some hundred thousand years, so why is it that in the last hundred years, companies are changing the rules. Is it something to do with by-products from the human food chain and large conglomerates wanting to make money. I stick to feeding the way I was taught, as a kid, by the man who was taught by his mother many years prior and it has never let the bullies down.
During training I set aside time to discuss diet and actually show you some of the in house Bullies being fed.