Wrinkles make the bulldog. These distinctive skin features also make bulldogs more susceptible to eczema. The breed is subject to skin disorders, including eczema, a catch-all term for atopic dermatitis in all its various manifestations. Your veterinarian can test your bulldog to determine what is plaguing his skin.
Keeping your bulldog's wrinkles clean and dry can help prevent some types of skin issues from gaining traction. Clean the wrinkles at least once a week -- more, if your bulldog tends to the slobby side. Use a soft, damp cloth or baby wipes. Dry the skin thoroughly after cleaning. Make certain that deepest nose wrinkle stays clean. You may want to use creams or ointments to keep the skin pliable. Ask your vet about the best products for this task.
Also known as facial acne, facial eczema on your bulldog isn't far different from the teenage acne most humans go through at some point. Bulldog pimples even resemble the human kind. Don't pick at your dog's facial eczema. You risk worse infection if you do. Consult your veterinarian about the best products or prescription medications to use to clear it up.
The form of eczema known as atopic dermatitis appears as very itchy, dry skin that develops crusty, inflamed lesions as it progresses. If it is caused by flea allergy, you and your bulldog buddy are relatively lucky. Oral or topical flea medications usually address the issue. It is important not to jump to conclusions about the cause of the problem without consulting your veterinarian. Your vet will take blood samples or skin scrapings to determine the cause of the atopic dermatitis. The results could indicate food allergies; inhalant allergies, such as allergies to dust, molds or pollen; or hormonal problems. A change of diet, medication, and special shampoos or creams may help your bulldog's skin condition.
Pedal eczema refers to skin disease that affects the feet. Your bulldog's foot or feet may appear swollen, and he may have great difficulty walking. A smelly, purulent discharge may be present. His feet will itch, causing him to constantly chew and lick them. This form of eczema is primarily caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus intermedius. Your bulldog friend may have picked it up from chemical exposure, infection from a cut pad, allergens or any of a number of other causes. Depending on the cause, your veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic, as well as a medicated shampoo or powder for the affected feet.
Hot spots appear as large, red, itchy areas on your bulldog. He's obviously miserable as he licks and chews the affected skin patches, worsening the inflammation. The hot spot may and exude pus and odor. Take your bulldog to the veterinarian as soon as possible, because the condition will only worsen as long as the dog suffers and chews. Hot spot is a very painful condition that can lead to self-mutilation. Don't waste your dog's time with over-the-counter pet products.
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.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.