English Bull Dog Skin Conditions
Two basic types of skin conditions affect English bulldogs: those that are genetic, arising from the breed's short nose and deep facial folds, and those caused by external factors, such as parasites or bacteria. Most skin conditions are treatable and, unless they are parasitic, are seldom contagious.
Eczema and Acne
Acne in English bulldogs is similar to that in humans and is characterized by red or raised bumps on the skin, particularly in areas where the hair is thinner. Breeder Trimbull Bulldogs suggests keeping affected areas clean with soap to prevent breakouts. Eczema is also common and is characterized by red, flaky, itchy skin. Keeping the affected area clean and moisturized can help flare-ups. Neither condition can be passed from dog to dog. Eczema can be an allergic reaction, so you can feed the dog a simple diet without grains or other substances commonly related to allergic reactions.
Dogs can have allergies to many things around them, much like people. Skin allergies can manifest in the form of hives and itchiness in English bulldogs. Anything from an ingredient in the animal's food to a bee sting can cause a reaction. Adding fatty acid supplements such as Omega 3 fish oil to a pet's diet can help combat skin allergies, according to "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats."
Hot spots are swollen, sometimes hairless, spots on the skin that are painful and itchy. They may contain pus and smell bad. Many problems, including fleas, allergies and gland malfunction, cause hot spots, which are made worse because a dog will continue to scratch and bite at them. Treating a hot spot with a cool compress and antibiotic may soothe an English bulldog. Treatment from a veterinarian may be required.
Yeast is commonly found on the skin of an English bulldog but can sometimes settle in a dog's wrinkles and cause irritation. A buildup of yeast on the skin can cause a dog to smell funny (foul or sweet) and produce a pus-like substance or hair loss and flaking of the skin. Keeping a dog's face and coat clean is the best way to prevent yeast buildup and infections, according to breeder Trimbull Bulldogs. If infection recurs in problem spots like facial folds, your veterinarian can prescribe an antiseptic drying agent for daily cleaning and a topical antibiotic cream to expedite healing.
Parasites and Mange
Mange is caused by a mite that lives on a dog's skin. All dogs have the mites on their skin but certain animals are more likely to be affected by the parasite. Demodectic mange is most common in puppies or dogs with weakened immune systems, and is passed from mother to puppy. Making sure a dog is clean and healthy can help prevent mange, although some types of mange can spread between animals. Fleas and ticks also cause skin irritations, such as redness and itching. Mosquito bites, which can lead to heartworm, often show up as a red bump on a dog's skin. Prescribed preventative medications can limit the effects of these parasites.