Your bulldog's wrinkles give him a distinctive look and character unlike most other pooches. Unfortunately, these adorable wrinkles also might harbor yucky yeast and bacteria that can cause painful skin irritations. Groom your pooch's wrinkles regularly to keep them clean and fresh and to prevent such infections from flourishing.
The skin within the wrinkles of a bulldog doesn't get as much exposure to air and, as a result, becomes moist. These moist, warm wrinkles on his face, body, between his toes and under his screw-like tail offer ideal spaces for yeast and bacteria to flourish. The result is itching, redness and a foul, musty odor. Bulldogs suffering from an oily skin condition called seborrhea wind up with a secondary yeast infection because fungi tend to thrive in the oil. If, after bathing and drying your bully, the smell and itching remain, it's time to see the vet. (Always consult with a qualified veterinarian about the health and welfare of your pets.)
Bulldogs are prone to yeast infections of the skin because of their wrinkles and -- double whammy -- the breed also is predisposed to immune deficiency issues that open them up to infections of a type of yeast called Malassezia pachydermatis, according to Purina. This usually harmless yeast is regularly present on the surface of your pooch's skin, but if his immune system isn't working correctly, it can become invasive, causing flaking and itching of the skin. Endocrine issues, such as hypothyroidism, are also a common cause of seborrhea and yeast infections of the skin, according to the Long Beach Animal Hospital.
Bring your bulldog into the vet for an exam if you suspect he is suffering from a skin infection caused by yeast. Your vet can take a skin scraping to determine whether yeast is to blame. She'll likely give you some special oral anti-fungal medication or shampoos and creams to apply to his skin to get rid of the yeast and soothe any inflammation. Oral or topical antibiotics also might be necessary if there is a secondary bacterial infection. If there is an underlying medical condition, such as an endocrine or immune system problem, your vet will devise a treatment plan for that as well, which should help alleviate your buddy's skin issues.
You can be your bulldog's best weapon against yeast by keeping his wrinkles clean and dry daily. Use baby or pet wipes to gently remove moisture and dirt from between the wrinkles. You can mix up a cleaning solution of one part peroxide, one part vinegar and two parts water for your pup, according to the Bulldog Club of Greater San Diego. Dampen a paper towel with the solution and use it to keep those wrinkles free of yeast, bacteria and dirt; it also helps eliminate tear stains from the wrinkles around the eyes. The enthusiasts at the French Bull Dog Club of America recommend dabbing a bit of powder in the wrinkles, especially under the tail, to keep them dry.
Bathe your pooch once a month using a gentle shampoo containing a soothing ingredient such as oatmeal so you don't dry out your bully's skin. Your vet might prescribe more frequent bathing, one to two times a week, with a medicated shampoo. This helps to alleviate a yeast skin infection within two to four weeks and might help prevent a recurrence, according to Petside.
- Mother Lode Bulldog Club: Bulldog Health
- French Bull Dog Club of America: The Skinny on Frenchie Skin Disorders
- petMD: Bacterial Infection (Pyoderma) of the Skin in Dogs
- The Merck Veterinary Manual: Pyoderma: Introduction
- Dog Channel: Grooming the American Bulldog
- PetWave: English Bulldog -- Appearance & Grooming
- Petside: Malassezia Dermatitis (Canine)
- Purina: Malassezia (Yeast) Infections
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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