Skin problems are common for many dogs, but especially bulldogs. Some problems are not easy to diagnose, especially those that are not parasitic. In some cases, the conditions may be treated by making changes in your dog's diet and addressing the symptoms. Others may require prescription medications, special shampoos or topical creams. It is important to have your dog examined by a veterinarian to diagnose the specific problem and determine the proper treatment.
Eczema, which is not contagious, is the most frequent non-parasitic skin problem that affects bulldogs, according to The Bulldog Information Library. It appears as dry, itchy and inflamed skin. You may also see blisters, lumps or wet sores. Eczema may be caused by insect bites, stress or hormonal conditions. Usually eczema is worse during the summer, when it is hot. To treat eczema, wash the affected area with mild shampoo, or clean it with baby wipes. Emollients can make your bulldog more comfortable. If she has a particularly severe flareup, you can apply an anti-inflammatory medication, such as 1 percent hydrocortisone cream. A diet of lamb and boiled rice may also help keep eczema under control.
Acute moist dermatitis, or pyotraumatic dermatitis, is commonly referred to as "hot spots." Hot spots are round, hairless, red and itchy sores. They may be caused by allergic reactions to food, parasites, flea bites, anal gland conditions, clipping and grooming. When he licks, scratches or chews the area, it can develop into an open sore, raw and oozing pus. After determining and treating the cause, the treatment for the sore is washing and topical antibiotics.
Your bulldog may experience allergic reactions to foods. The result is the same as an allergy to fleas or to airborne substances. She may scratch, lick and bite the irritated area and cause further skin damage. Diagnosis is made by trial and error to rule out different foods. Food allergies may be treated by feeding your bulldog a hypoallergenic diet for at least six weeks, until the condition improves. Then, by gradually adding foods back into her diet, you can determine the problem.
A bulldog may be prone to acne, which can appear on his chin and lower lip. You may notice small pimples and blackheads, just as you would expect to see on humans. It often appears between the ages of 5 and 8 months, and the dog may outgrow it. If the acne becomes infected, he may begin rubbing his face on carpet and furniture, because it itches. Treatment is a topical cream that contains benzoyl peroxide.
Parasites, such as mites, ticks and fleas, can cause allergic conditions, or they may allow bacterial infections to develop. Your veterinarian can diagnose this by physical examination or microscopic examination of scrapings from your bulldog's skin. Treatment varies, depending on the type of parasites present, but it usually includes shampoos, rinses and/or anti-parasitic medications.
Seborrhoea can cause your bulldog's skin to be either extremely dry and scaly or very oily. If your dog has the dry form of seborrhoea, it is due to excessive production of skin cells. The oily form is from a high production of sebum, which is the oily secretion that keeps his skin moist. In some cases, seborrhoea may be a result of another skin condition that causes inflammation of the skin. Managing seborrhoea includes treating any infection that may be present and then using shampoos and dietary supplements. If it is a secondary condition, the primary skin disease must be treated as well.
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