Happy, healthy and energetic are all great ways to describe the bichon frise. If you love your pup's upbeat attitude and beautiful fur, then watching for skin health issues should be a priority. Bichons are prone to several skin problems that can make your dog's day a miserable one.
The same pollen that makes you sneeze your head off can wreak havoc on your sweet pup's skin. Allergens are everywhere, both indoors and out. Unfortunately, overreaction to allergens is a common health problems for bichons. External and dietary allergens can damage your dog's skin, making it really itchy and causing hair to fall out. Dietary allergies can also hit your dog's stomach pretty hard, leading to vomiting or diarrhea. Testing for allergies is time consuming, but you can work on eliminating the source of your dog's discomfort once your vet pinpoints the agent responsible.
Immune disorders are complex problems with widespread symptoms. Unfortunately, bichons tend to have issues with their immune systems. Inflamed, itchy skin and hair loss can indicate a thyroid dysfunction, Cushing's disease or Crohn's disease in your pet. Diseases passed down from your pup's parents are impossible to cure, but many of them are manageable. Preventing parasites and infections is critical for maintaining the health of an immune-compromised bichon. Ask your vet to recommend quality food, vitamins and supplements to boost your pup's health if he has an immune disorder.
Bichons aren't necessarily flea-friendly, but they aren't immune to these itchy parasites either. Flea saliva is a natural skin irritant. It's also a potential allergen, so your dog may react to saliva and lose large patches of his fur after just a few bites. Over-the-counter flea products can help, but don't give your pet any other medicine to treat parasites until you talk to your vet.
Other Itching Problems
There are hundreds of reasons why your dog is going crazy scratching with his claws. As your vet tests for parasites and allergies, he will also look for signs of other problems. Nasty pathogens such as bacteria and fungi can also make your dog scratch-happy. If your bichon goes outside or socializes with other dogs, then there's a risk he picked up an infectious disease during his adventures. Some skin problems are never diagnosed. These so-called idiopathic conditions exist without a medical explanation or proper treatment. You can give your furry friend some relief by bathing him with a soothing shampoo containing aloe, hemp oil or oatmeal, according to Lab Rescue.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Quentin Coleman has written for various publications, including All Pet News and Safe to Work Australia. He spent more tan 10 years nursing kittens, treating sick animals and domesticating semi-feral cats for a local animal shelter. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.