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What is Skin Conditions (Bulldogs)?

All breeds of dogs can develop skin issues but Bulldogs are predisposed to developing them.  Their wrinkles may be cute but they are breeding grounds for bacteria and yeast due to the moist conditions.  If you do not keep your dog’s wrinkles clean, and even if you do, he can develop severe skin issues.  Prevention of skin infection is the best sort of treatment you can offer your Bulldog.  You should take a visit to your veterinarian to discuss the best way to care for your Bulldog’s skin.

Bulldogs are prone to all types of skin conditions and infections.  If your dog’s skin looks irritated in any way, take him to your veterinarian for an evaluation.

Symptoms of Skin Conditions (Bulldogs) in Dogs

Symptoms of this condition may include:

  • Severe itching (licking, chewing, scratching) 
  • Hair loss, partial or complete
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Scaling of the skin
  • Skin lesions (eyelids, flexural surfaces, axillae) 
  • Superficial pyoderma (very common in skin folds and wrinkles)
  • Secondary infection

Types

The types of skin conditions in Bulldogs vary depending on the location of the irritation on your dog.  However, most of the conditions are diagnosed as starting from pruritus which then turns into a secondary skin infection.   The condition may make his skin excessively dry or may make it more moist than normal.  This, in turn, can be a superficial infection or one that penetrates deeper.

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Causes of Skin Conditions (Bulldogs) in Dogs

The wrinkles of your Bulldog are ultimate breeding grounds for bacteria and yeast due to the moist, dark conditions.  The ears are also a common breeding ground for the organisms.  Your dog will typically present with severe itching.  This will often change into licking, chewing, and rubbing of the entire body, especially around the eyes, muzzle, ears, between the toes, and groin.

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Diagnosis of Skin Conditions (Bulldogs) in Dogs

When you arrive at the veterinarian’s office, she will start her diagnostic process by collecting a verbal history from you.  She will want to know when you first noticed the skin abnormalities, if your dog has been displaying any of the typical symptoms of a skin issue, and if you have tried to treat it with anything over the counter or not.  As part of her diagnostic process, your veterinarian will need to rule out other possible causes that can produce a region of skin with similar symptoms like the one he is presenting with.  While the location of the skin issue will give the vet much needed information about your companion’s condition, she will want to rule out possible causes that may be associated.  She will also want to know if you have fed him anything new lately, if he has had any changes in his routine or home that could cause stress, if he recently injured himself, or anything else information-wise that may be helpful to know about his situation.  

Your veterinarian will then continue by performing a full physical exam on your dog.  While it may be obvious where the lesion is and the symptoms it is causing your dog, she will want to do a full evaluation of his entire body system.  This will allow her to check for other areas of sensitivity that have not yet developed into a skin infection but are susceptible to it.  She will also check for evidence of parasites during her exam to see if they are a contributing factor to his symptoms.  Your veterinarian may want to clean the area of skin to allow her a better look at the lesion.  Clipping the area will remove excess fur from the region which will remove some of the related irritation. 

In addition to diagnosing and treating the skin and possible infection, you will also need to investigate the cause of the initial symptoms. During her examination, if she found evidence of fleas or other ectoparasites, she may explain why this may be causing his symptoms.  If it is in a location where there is a skin fold, she may take a skin cytology sample to verify what type of bacteria or yeast is colonizing in the area. Further diagnostics may be recommended depending on the suspected cause of your dog’s condition.

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Treatment of Skin Conditions (Bulldogs) in Dogs

Ideally, the best treatment involves treating the lesion and preventing more from appearing.  Bulldogs need their wrinkles wiped daily, or more frequently, to keep them dry and prevent bacterial overgrowth.  If you do not begin a prevention method, such as cleaning, more skin lesions will appear.  If your dog is licking or scratching in a specific area that leads to the lesion development, you must stop the need to lick and scratch in order to break the cycle.  Proper treatment involves addressing the underlying cause.  Your dog may stop licking for a while, but if there is an underlying cause, it is only a matter of time before he begins again.  

If this condition goes untreated, your dog may develop papules or pustules around the lesions.  This would need antibiotic therapy as it can be indicative of a skin infection.  If this is the case with your dog, the veterinarian will send you home with a prescription for an oral antibiotic.  Medications to be applied topically to the lesions may also be sent home depending on your dog’s needs.  

If ectoparasites are the cause of or a contribution to his symptoms, your veterinarian will suggest a type of flea prevention or other medication to take care of the parasites.

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Recovery of Skin Conditions (Bulldogs) in Dogs

Prevention is your best treatment option for skin conditions in Bulldogs.  However, even with thorough and repetitive cleaning, some dogs are still prone to infection.  Keeping your dog’s skin as healthy as possible can be obtained with a good, balanced diet as well as skin supplements such as a fish oil.  Your veterinarian may also recommend you use specific wipes on areas of excessive moisture or even a medicated shampoo to keep bacteria or yeast from growing.  If you take care of your dog’s skin properly, he should be able to have fewer issues than others of his breed.

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Skin Conditions (Bulldogs) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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English Bulldog Terrier

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Rash

I just want to know if there’s anything over the counter to treat this or I should go to my vet

Aug. 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Dogs can get superficial skin infections for different reasons, and they can become more serious quickly. If this rash was smaller, it might be possible to treat at home with a chlorhexidine solution like Hibiclens, but this rash appears large enough that your dog most likely needs oral antibiotics. At this point, it would be best to have your veterinarian take a look at your dog and see what medications may be needed. I hope that all goes well for your dog!

Aug. 22, 2020

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English Bulldog

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Eleven Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness

Red spots, itchy & scabby

July 23, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. There are many reasons for dogs to be itchy and have their skin become red or scabbing. They may have a parasite, an Allergy, or a bacterial or fungal infection. Since there are so many possible causes, and I cannot see your dog, it would be best to have them examined by a veterinarian who can look at the skin, see what might be going on, and get the best treatment. I hope that all goes well for your dog.

July 23, 2020

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Jenna

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English Bulldog

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Itching

My 4 year old English bulldog developed a dirt like substance buildup along the belly region and in armpits. Shes recently began scratching in the last few days. We have changed food from whitefish and potatoes to lamb and rice. Is this most likely the cause? And will it clear up in it's own of we switch bacbu

Aug. 21, 2018

Jenna's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Dietary changes may result in some skin issues in some dogs, if the change seems directly related to the skin issues you should think about changing back to the old food for a few weeks and monitor for improvement; you should keep the affected areas clean and visit your Veterinarian if other issues (secondary infection etc…) present. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 21, 2018

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nicko

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bull dog

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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2 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Rash On Groin Area Itching And Lick

my dog has rash on his groin area,licks and scratch his feet and every thing flaking on his back i guess dandruff some loss of hair and small red bumps in his sides and under belly with red round circle indetween his back legs

May 25, 2018

nicko's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

Rashes and hair loss may be attributable to a few different causes which may include allergies, chemical irritants, infections, parasites, hormonal conditions, autoimmune diseases among other causes; it is really difficult to say what the specific cause would be without examining Nicko. You should ensure that Nicko is bathed with a sensitive shampoo and try to prevent him licking himself (a cone may be required); you should also visit your Veterinarian for a general check to see if they are able to say what the specific cause is. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 26, 2018

i wash him with antibantibacterial wash and hot spot shampoo but Benadryl works for him some time

May 26, 2018

nicko's Owner

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Bruno

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English Bulldog

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8 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Pain When I Touch His Affected Toe.

I have an 8 month old english bulldog and he recently developed a bump/ball in between his front foot toe and is also developing a pink rash in between his rear foot toe. He also has a red ball/bump above his nose in between the skin flap and nose. I had never cleaned it since i bought him and when i cleaned it the ball started bleeding. I hope you can give me advice for these issues and their causes thank you!

May 6, 2018

Bruno's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Without examining Bruno, it is difficult to say what the lumps are since infected follicles, other infections, cysts, tumours (uncommon in younger dogs) among other causes; without an examination I cannot say with any certainty what the underlying cause is but would recommend you visit your Veterinarian for an examination to determine the underlying cause so that the right treatment may be given. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 7, 2018

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Ziggy

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American Bulldog

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5 Days

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Pussing. Bleeding.

My American bulldog has a skin infection. It started of as a small scratch which then after 2 days spreads across half his face and got infected. My sister who is a vet shaved the area and cleaned it with hibi. We now clean the wound every morning with hibi as it’s gunky but it’s slowly but surely scabbing over. We are now going to the vet to get antibiotics for him. My AB has always had sensitive skin and it’s always slightly more pink/red than I would like but never had a problem like this!

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Hugo

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Brindle English Bull Dog

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

My brindle English Bull Dog has for the 2nd time developed patches of hair loss that scab underneath. The 1st two spots have started on either side of his forehead. He rubs his head in the snow along our walks as I’m sure it’s itchy. I’ve also noticed in the past week that he is licking his paws also. He gets regular baths and I clean his face folds daily. The vet put him on Rhumadol last November. What are other creams etc that could help relieve his condition at present? I have an appointment at the vets in one week. Wondering if there is anything I could use till then?

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Macy

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English Bulldog

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Severe Yeast,Baldness, Itching,

My granddog Macy was relatively healthy until last spring she had a false pregnancy and the vet recommended having her spayed. We proceeded and ever since then she has been progressively deteriorating with baldness, severe yeast infections, her eyes have become cloudy and stopped producing tears. We have changed vets, went through 6 rounds of anti yeast medications, antibiotics, and medicated shampoos. She shows small signs of improvement while on medicine but as soon as she finishes the meds she goes right back to horrible condition. She get so sick that she will barely lift her head, barely eat. I have been searching for answers and came across the hormone issue which makes sense to me based on her scenario of declining after the false pregnancy and spaying. I cant get her current vet to address these issues he is more focused on skin allergy or food allergy. Any suggestions would be helpful

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Roxy

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English Bulldog

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18 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Itchy,

I have an 18 month old English Bulldog. She has bumps all over and hair loss. Some of the bumps she has scratched and are bleeding or scabbed over. I sprayed the areas with hot spot spray hoping it will ease the pain and she will stop itching. When she goes outside she likes to roll on the grass or in the dirt, which I think gives her a little relief, although I'm not sure if that is making it worse or not.

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Archer

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American bully

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Itching

Have an American Bully, with itching and bad smell. Has been to 3 vets. Treated for yeast, bacterial infection and used medicated shampoo, wipes, frequent baths and 2 recommended no grain diets. He is 1 year old. He has oily, gunky skin if not given frequent baths. Any other thoughts or help with this.