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General Health Care

In this section we hope to be able to answer any questions you might have on the following topics:

  1. The importance of a good balanced diet.
  2. Types of foods, biscuit, raw or other.
  3. Amounts of excersice required from puppy hood to adult Dogue.
  4. Grooming.
  5. General well being.

DIET IN YOUR DOGUE DE BORDEAUX

As with humans, dogs are what they eat. Your Dogue De Bordeaux will thrive on plenty of fresh meat and bones. Beware of over feeding as obese Dogues have a greater risk of skeletal problems. If you are feeding dry food always try to let it soak in water a bit before feeding, Do not feed your Dogue De Bordeaux before or after exercising to avoid Bloat. Adult dogs need to eat between 2%-3% of their weight during the course of the day.

TYPES OF FOODS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR DOGUE DE BORDEAUX

RAW

What is a raw diet? Just that - it is feeding your dog raw vegetables, meat and bones. But do not confuse this with feeding your dog table scraps. The raw diet has a very specific ratio of veggies to meat to bones in order to maximise the diet's benefits.

Those who follow the raw diet do so because it mimics what dogs eat in the wild. A wild dog would consume virtually all of its prey, without cooking it, whether it is a bird, mouse or rabbit. Each part of the prey's carcass contains nutrients.
The flesh provides the dog with a main protein source as well as vitamins; fat provides the dog with energy; the bones are filled with calcium and minerals; the skin is a source of roughage, while the prey's stomach contents contain plant material such as herbs, grains and grass.

The most common raw diet is the BARF diet - Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. "This diet consists of raw meaty bones, vegetables, offal (the organ part of the protein source), recreational bones and proteins like cottage cheese and eggs with the shells,"

For all of its benefits, the raw diet is not without its problems. "Bones present a particular problem, particularly chicken bones," reports John Hilton of Veterinary Medical Diets. "They stick in the throat whether they are cooked or not."

Salmonella and e.coli, both of which can be found in raw meat, pose real problems to the dogs, as well as to food handlers. Parasites can also be present in raw meat, however, according to Worldwise. "All animals have parasites in their intestines all the time. They only becomes a problem when the digestive tract is not working properly."
One way to avoid the parasite issue is to simply freeze the meat into daily portions, then thaw and serve. Worldwise also recommends adding the meat's juices to the food bowl as it too contains beneficial nutrients.

COMMERCIAL DOG FOODS

All dogs need to be fed on a balanced, nutritious diet to stay healthy and in peak condition. Most commercial dog foods are quite sufficient for the average adult family dog with normal activity levels. However, depending on size, breed and life stage, a specialist diet might be required. Many pet food manufacturers produce different diets in their ranges for the changing needs of a dog throughout his lifetime.

Dogs can be fed on a complete dry diet, tinned food and a biscuit mixerd. Types and brands of commercial dog food are easily obtained from pet shops and supermarkets as well as online.

It is worth reembering that the Dogue du Bordeaux often suffers from many allergys especialy wheat If wheat is suspected as the allergy culprit, it will be necessary to change to a wheat-free diet. Since wheat is a common ingredient in both low-cost and high-end dog foods, it may be necessary to choose foods that are labeled as hypoallergenic. Watch out for dog treats or snacks, as well. Wheat is the most common ingredient in dog biscuits and dog treats.
 

EXCERCISE

60 - 80 minutes per day.
They do not require as much exercise as may be expected. Several walks throughout the day should be sufficient, allowing short periods for free running and playing. It has to be remembered that even when this dog is 6 months old, and is relatively large, it is still a puppy. Too much exercise too young can lead to bone and joint related health problems in later life.

GROOMING
The Dogue de Bordeaux has pretty low grooming needs but considering the size of the dog, it is best to accustom it to regular grooming early on.

Brushing
Brushing is the best grooming you can do for your pet. Brushing removes dirt and debris, stimulates and spreads natural oils, and is a great bonding experience. Early detection of problems such as fleas, ticks, eczema and other issues occurs during brushing also.

Having a short coat, the Dogue de Bordeaux need only be brushed once a week, but more frequent brushing keeps your home and clothes free of shedding hair.

A variety of brushes exist that can work on your Dogue de Bordeaux. A rubber brush or mitt will not hurt their skin as much and feels more like stroking, but your dog may appreciate a stiffer brush like a bristle brush.


EYES
Wipe your Dogue de Bordeaux's eyes several times during the day with a damp cloth or paper towel. As with humans, our eyes push irritants to the corners and this can build up. This build up is not only unattractive; it can be irritating and a source of bacteria growth.


EARS
Cleaning your dog's ears regularly prevents yeast build up and often minimizes odor. There are ear solution products but mineral oil, witch hazel, and hydrogen peroxide work just as well. Put a few drops in your dog's ears and massage to loosen wax then wipe out with cotton balls.
 

NAILS
All dogs require regular nail trimming. Lack of it can cause pain, infection, and a limp.

How often you clip depends upon the activity of your dog and whether or not it walks on pavements. Some people trim weekly but at least once a month is a good bet. The more frequently you clip, the more the quick recedes.

Your dog's nails should not touch the ground. You can tell by looking at them when standing if the nails are retracted and above the ground.

The Dogue De Bordeaux has dewclaws, extra claws up on the inner leg. Don't forget these, they never get contact so can curl and grow inward.

It's good to get this dog used to nail trimming early on. If not, you may need some help restraining a dog of this size. Pliers-type clippers work best.

Sit beside your dog and if you can, reach around them. This proximity helps to calm the dog, and ensures that you clip at the right angle.

Pick up the paw and push on pads to reveal nails. If they are light, look for the quick. The quick is a dark bundle of nerves and blood vessels that you do not want to cut.

If your dog has dark nails, clip just the tip under the curve. Always clip from underneath and at an away angle. If you wish to clip further, you should be careful and look for the dark quick.

Styptic powder can be bought in a stick and will help staunch bleeding if you've cut the quick.
 

PAWS
Check your dog's paws and pads frequently. Foreign matter can get lodged between pads and cuts or abrasions can become infected.

TEETH - Regularly
Brush your dog's teeth? Yes. 80% of 3 year old dogs have periodontal disease. Cavities and gum disease are painful for your dog; they diminish its pleasure and ability to eat. Bacteria that develop can infect the heart, kidney, liver and brain. Really bad breath is usually a sign of gum disease.

Tools: Toothbrush/finger cap/cloth, doggie toothpaste, tooth scraper.

Never use human toothpaste. It is not edible.

Starting this dog out with this practice takes patience. Reward it constantly.

Start out getting it used to its mouth being handled.

Progress to touching the teeth with your finger.

Get some meat-seasoned toothpaste and apply with your finger.

Then introduce the brush. A few teeth at a time and soon you will have a routine that takes just minutes. Brush in a circular motion and get under the gum line.

If you don't want to brush everyday, use a tooth scraper to get rid of the plaque buildup once or twice a month. Most accumulation is on the outside of the teeth and on the back molars. This won't be so much fun for your dog or you though.

Lots of bones and hard, crunchy foods can minimize plaque but not to a truly effective degree.


EXPRESSING GLANDS Every 2 to 4 weeks
This is a task normally done when you take your dog in for professional grooming. Your dog uses scent glands in the anus to mark its territory.
These glands also excrete when your dog defecates. At times, they may get impacted. Signs of this include: increased doggie odor, excessive licking and chewing of the behind and worst of all, scooting. That's when your dog drags its butt/bum along your carpet.
There is no risk of overly expressing these glands so it's a good habit to become accustomed to. It will lesson dog odor.


BATHING
Your Dogue De Bordeaux only needs bathing a couple of times a year, but frequent cleaning in the folds of the head and face wrinkles is important: dampness here can cause infection.

A rubdown with a damp towel can remove dirt. With regular brushing, ear cleaning and gland expression, dog odor will remain at a minimum.

Tools: Non-slip mat, sprayer hose, dog shampoo, conditioner, leash, towels.

Choose a place where you can close off escape routes and expect 1-3 water-spraying shakes.

A leash tied to a higher point than your dog's head will keep it standing and deter escape. This is highly recommended as it's really hard to stop a slippery dog.

Never bathe your dog in standing water and never use human shampoo.

If you choose to bathe your Dogue de Bordeaux outside, attach the hose to your kitchen sink for warm water. Grooming salons often offer self-service use of their well-equipped facilities.

Wet your dog using your hand to massage it.

Avoid getting water into the eyes, nose and ears. Cotton can be stuffed into the ear canal to deter water.

Massage shampoo into a lather. Rinse thoroughly as leftover shampoo can severely dry out and irritate your pet's skin.

Siphon off excess water by running your hands along its body and pressing. Towel dry.


GENERAL WELL BEING
If you already own or are thinking of owning a Dogue De Bordeaux then all the above hopefully will help you to enjoy your Dogue for all of its life and visa-versa, keeping your Dogue or any pet healthy and happy is 80% common sence and 20% knowlage, the following statistics from the royal veternary hospital list the top ailments the breed we love suffer from, this is not ment to scare anyone, but if you know what these are then you can look for them.

Most breeders will tell you that the lifespan of a Dogue de Bordeaux is 8-10 years. However, the Dogue De Bordeaux Society conducted a health survey that included 79 dogs – and the average lifespan in their survey was only 5-6 years.

The club survey reported that the most common cause of death was cancer (30%). Over one-third of those cancers were lymphosarcoma.

The second most common cause of death was heart disease (26%), especially sub-aortic stenosis.

The emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat claimed 15% of the Dogues who had died.

Epilepsy (seizures) was responsible for another 2% of the deaths.

To make matters worse, this breed has appalling rates of hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 227 Dogue De Bordeauxs and found 53% dysplastic – the 3rd worst rate of 142 breeds. And the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Of 105 elbow X-rays submitted for evaluation, 18% were dysplastic – the 10th worst rate of 82 breeds.

Other orthopedic diseases include osteochondritis, panosteitis, and luxating patella.

Eye diseases that occur regularly in the Dogue de Bordeaux include cherry eye and eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion).

Allergies (which cause terribly itchy skin), chronic bacterial skin infections (pyoderma), and demodectic mange are VERY common in all of the mastiff breeds.

Their elbow joints are also prone to developing hygroma.