Your bulldog is prone to a number of skin problems. Some of these are linked to his particularly loose skin, while others are a fairly standard canine skin problems. Provided you’re vigilant, you should be able to identify any developing issues before they become too serious.
Bulldogs are no more likely to develop skin cancer than other breeds. However, dogs with white coats are more prone to skin cancer and many bulldogs have white coats. Just like with humans, the risk of skin cancer increases in relation to sun exposure, so always ensure that you apply sunscreen to your dog when the sun is out. Skin cancer symptoms include discoloration of the skin, bumps, wart-like growths and inflammation. Your bulldog’s hairless belly, nose and paw pads are higher risk areas. Avoid cutting his coat too short during the summer so he has some natural protection from the sun.
Skin Wrinkle Infections
They may be cute, but those wrinkles can also cause problems. Due to the heat and dampness that accumulates in his skin folds, they are a hotbed for infections. If he is scratching or rubbing at his face, gently move back the loose skin and look out for redness, inflammation and foul odor. Clean these areas regularly with a medicated soap to reduce the chances of infection.
The skin itself can become a problem if it is too loose. Very loose skin over the eyes can interfere with his vision, which can lead to behavioral problems such as anxiety. Excessively loose skin can also become injured, for example if stepped on by another dog. As well as the looseness being uncomfortable, it can lead to other problems, such as fold dermatitis.
Due to the manner in which loose skin rubs against other skin as the dog moves, friction and heat is quickly generated in the skin folds. These typically leads to a fold dermatitis, which causes inflammation of the skin inside the folds.
Seborrhea is caused by an overproduction of sebum. Bulldogs are particularly prone to this condition, which may be difficult to identify at first as there is a range of potential symptoms. Your dog may display either very dry and flaky skin or very oily and greasy skin. The former is referred to as seborrhea sicca and the latter as seborrhea oleosa. Both forms of seborrhea can be triggered as a response to an existing skin problem.
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.
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.