Categorized | Skin Care

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Common Bulldog Skin Problems

Your bulldog’s skin is an organ just like their heart, liver or stomach. The skin is made up of two layers which are the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin cells, and the dermis, or second layer. Bulldogs are prone to many skin problems which can affect one or both layers. This can include hair loss, itching inflammation, swelling, and flaking. Skin problems in bulldogs represent a large percentage of cases referred to veterinarians.

The most common skin problem in bulldogs is fold dermatitis. This condition is an inflammation of the skin folds that occur with loose skin – like your bully. The same folds that protected the bulldog back when they participated in bullbaiting now is a breeding ground for bacteria and moisture. This is because fresh air can’t get down between the folds of the loose skin. They are most susceptible to this problem in the face and tail area.

Fold dermatitis can be prevented by keeping the skin folds clean and dry. Cleaning the folds two to three times a week should be sufficient, but sometimes you might have to do it more. Use a damp cloth or cotton balls, or even baby wipes to clean your bulldog’s skin folds. You can even mix a drop of dog shampoo to a cup of warm water for a great cleaning agent. After cleaning the skin folds, rinse them off thoroughly to prevent irritation.

Make sure you pat the whole area dry and then use just a dab of petroleum jelly into the folds. This helps to soothe the skin and sets up a barrier for moisture. Be careful not to use powders or any corn starch as they will clump and irritate the skin further.

Another common skin problem in bulldogs is acne. Acne is usually associated with humans, but bulldogs can contract a form of it. Acne among bulldogs usually displays itself as small, red pimple like bumps near the face and mouth. It can be remedied by changing your dog’s diet and reducing exposure to certain materials such as plastic bowls etc.

When there is an imbalance of new cell growth to replace dying cells in the skin, the result is a thickening with noticeable shedding of the dead skin cells. This is called seborrhea. Symptoms include:

  • Extreme flakiness
  • An overall greasiness to the skin and coat
  • An unpleasant and persistent odor to the coat
  • Itchiness and bald patches of thick skin

The causes of seborrhea include hormonal imbalance, parasitic infection, excessive bathing or grooming, and nutritional disorders. These are all factors which contribute to the skin not being able to properly regulate itself. When this condition occurs you should contact your veterinarian.

Bulldogs can also develop skin hypersensitivity to foods. This can include anything from beef to wheat and dairy. This is why so many premium foods use ingredients such as lamb, rice or turkey. These are protein sources to which your dog is less sensitive.

A bulldog’s skin can also be sensitive to the environment they’re in. certain fabrics, detergents, molds and fungus can cause the skin to become inflamed. If your bulldog is constantly rubbing their face, licking and scratching their paws, or itching on their tummy or elbows, you should suspect an allergic reaction. At this point it’s best to contact your veterinarian so you can find out exactly where this allergic reaction is coming from.

Bacterial infections are the results of skin which is under attack and losing the fight. The skin of a healthy bulldog has certain bacteria which live on the surface and within each hair follicle. The good bacteria fights off infection.

Unfortunately when something happens to disrupt the balance, harmful bacteria attack, which causes serious infection along with other severe and very painful problems. Again, this is why it’s so important to keep your bulldogs skin folds clean.

All of these problems are preventable and treatable. If you happen to notice your bulldog starting to have any of these problems, you should contact your veterinarian and they will assist you in getting your bulldogs skin back in top shape.

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