Food Allergy In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs
Food Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs can impact the digestive tract or/and the skin & coat.
Erroneously many owners tend to blame many of their bully digestive and skin problem on a “food allergy” and consequently turn to change their pet’s diet. In reality, most bully skin and digestive conditions are nonfoods related, and on the occasion that it is a food allergy, their new “hypoallergenic” diet of choice and trial duration is incorrect.
Bulldog and French Bulldog Digestive Problems:
Gastrointestinal problems are less likely due to food allergy and more likely to be due to:
- Intestinal parasites
- Bacteria gastroenteritis
- Indiscretion eating
Bulldog and French Bulldog Digestive Problems:
Skin conditions are less likely due to food allergy and more likely due to:
- Bulldog atopic dermatitis (environmental allergens)
- Flea Allergy
- Bacteria & Yeast Dermatitis.
Food Allergy In Bulldogs and French Bulldog PRESENTATION
Bulldog Allergies SEASONAL vs YEAR-AROUND:
Digestive or skin condition problems that are year-round are consistent with food allergies, in contrast, seasonal problems are not likely related to the diet.
Bulldog Allergies GI and SKIN MANIFESTATION :
Food allergy should go higher on your rule-out list if your bulldog is suffering from both skin and digestive problems.
Bulldog Food Allergy SKIN DERMATITIS:
Symptoms include itching that leads to hair loss, erythema, flakes, and secondary bacteria or/and yeast infection
Bulldog and French Bulldog Food Allergy DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS :
- Distended abdomen
Milder forms of food allergy could present with only frequent belly rumbling and gas release (yes that kind of gas, the one everyone turns his nose away from), but your bully might also suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Food Allergy In Bulldogs & Fr. Bulldogs DIAGNOSIS
WELLNESS: Proper wellness and diagnostic rule-outs should be done before a hypoallergenic food trial begins.
SEASONAL VS. YEARLY: If your bulldog also has skin dermatitis consistent with food allergies (i.e. itching year around rather than a seasonal spike) then food allergies should be higher on your rule-out list.
SERUM TEST: many hospitals and labs offer serum allergen tests that will sort the various protein source and grade them for sensitivity, those tests are expensive and the results are not considered diagnostic or worthy. I don’t recommend them, nor are they recommended by the boarded dermatologist.
Food trial is the gold standard, the duration depends on the medical condtion
Bulldogs and French Bulldog Food Allergy Food Trial:
Bulldog gastroenteritis food allergy
A minimum of 2-3 weeks trial with a hypoallergenic elimination diet
Your compliance during the hypoallergenic diet trial duration is critical. I recommend a prescription hypoallergenic diet for the trial period
It must be strict, avoid any scrap food, treats, and chewable medicine during the trial period
If the gastroenteritis improved during the 2-3 weeks trial then a challenge with the previous diet is recommended
OTHER TESTING FOR SUSPECTED BULLDOG ALLERGIC GASTROENTERITIS
- FECAL TEST (Test for Intestinal Parasites): smear and PCR
- BLOOD TEST: CBC & Chemstires, IBD screen, Other GI Panel
- IMAGING: Radiographs & Ultrasound
Bulldog and French Bulldog Skin Itch Dermatitis Food Trial:
A minimum of 8-10 weeks trial with a hypoallergenic elimination diet.
I recommend a prescription hypoallergenic diet for the trial period
It must be strict, no table scrap, no treats, or chewable medicine are allowed during the trial period
If the skin dermatitis and itch improved at the end of the trial then a challenge with the previous diet is recommended
OTHER TESTING FOR SUSPECTED BULLDOG SKIN DERMATITIS
- CYTOLOGY: looking for Bacteria & Yeast organisms and various cell types
- SKIN SCRAPE: looking for Demodex & Sacropitic skin Mites
- DTM: fungal culture to help rule out ringworm
Food Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PREVENTION
Bulldog Food Allergy BEST DIET CHOICE:
PROTEINS: The allergy is mostly provoked by the diet protein source which is predominantly from an animal meat source such as:
In normal times, a high-quality and balanced pet diet is ideal for your bully’s good health.
ORGANIC NON PROCESSED DIET: Offering fresh, organic, unprocessed fruits and vegetables to your bully is great but remember to avoid potentially poisonous ones such as onions and grapes (raisins).
Bulldog and French Bulldog Therapeutic SUPPLEMENTS & TOPICALS
- Bully Fish Oil JOINT-IMMUNE-SKIN
- Bully Immune Support
- Bully Pre/Probiotic & Digestive Enzymes
- Bully Gentle Move Fiber Formula
- Bully ItchLess Bundles
- Bully Hypoallergenic Bundles
- See HERE
BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY HYPOALLERGENIC DIET
When bulldog food allergy is suspected, a hypoallergenic elimination diet is usually required. The hypoallergenic diet could be either
- NOVEL DIET: A prescription novel protein
- HYDROLYZED DIET: is a prescription hydrolyzed protein diet
- PURIFIED AMINO ACID: a prescription diet
- HOME-COOKED NOVEL: or a home-cooked novel protein diet
Bulldog Food Allergy Hypoallergenic Diet CHALLENGE:
If by the end of the trial, your bully is greatly improved then I recommend you reintroduce your previous diet as a diagnostic challenge.
I would expect the GI problems and /or the skin problems to start again within days to 2 weeks from the challenge start date.
If the previous clinical problems re-emerge then you could be highly confident your bully has a food allergy requiring long-term strict hypoallergenic diet feeding.
Food Allergy In English Bulldogs And French Bulldogs GRAIN FREE
Bulldog Food Allergy PROTEIN Vs. GRAIN MYTH:
Many bully owners associate food allergy with grains when in fact it is usually due to the protein source found in meat.
The most common pet food allergens are chicken (60%), then beef, and fish.
Also on the frequent allergens list are:
To read more about Grain-Free Diets and Bulldogs (“No Grain Diets”, “Low Grain Diets”)….CLICK HERE
Food Allergy In Bulldog And French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS
Dr. Kraemer’s Bulldog Food Allergy TIPS:
BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY / SEASON
When your bulldog is enduring year-round itching and/or otitis (i.e. ear infections) in addition to GI problems, then food allergy should be on top of your rule-out list.
BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY / FOOD TRIAL:
The best way to diagnose a food allergy is a food trial on a strict prescription hypoallergenic diet, either a novel protein diet or a hydrolyzed protein prescription diet.
BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY / NOVEL DIET:
If you chose a trial with a prescription novel protein I prefer either
Avoid, relatives of chicken like duck and turkey as well as venison, salmon, etc.
BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY / STRICT:
Remember, the objective of the hypoallergenic diet trial is to avoid the offensive allergen while providing the necessary dietary essentials (i.e. calories and nutrients).
For instance, if your child is highly allergic to peanuts his diet should be 100% peanut-free, while still providing all the other essentials.
FOOD ALLERGY IN BULLDOGS / OTC:
If the prescription hypoallergenic diets are too expensive you can try though I don’t recommend one of the OTC diets that are not based on any of the common allergens (soy, corn, chicken, dairy, beef, wheat, fish).
BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY DIET SELECTION:
Remember not all bulldogs are the same, one might respond well to one type of hypoallergenic diet and poorly to a different one while the next bulldog puppy may have the opposite result.
FOOD ALLERGY IN BULLDOGS / HYPOALLERGENIC TREATS:
For those of you who can’t survive the trial duration without giving your bully treats, don’t despair. Most of the prescription hypoallergenic diets offer hypoallergenic treats. Those diets are also available in cans which could be used to give Rx “meatball-pill pocket” treats.
BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY / GRAIN-FREE:
If you have a food allergy concern and you believe your bully allergies are due to grains, then your grain-free dietary trial should last at least ten weeks.
Grain should count for less than one-third (<1/3) of the whole diet, the other 2/3 should be in the form of meat-animal-protein, fruit, and vegetables.
Dr. Kraemer’s Bulldog Food Allergy WARNINGS:
Bulldog Food Allergy OTHER PETS :
During the trial, the duration is important that your pets don’t share any food items with you or your other pets. If you can’t be certain your dog will not eat your other pets’ diets I suggest you have all your pets on the hypoallergenic diet during the trial duration.
FOOD ALLERGY IN BULLDOGS / BLOOD TEST:
While blood testing for atopic dogs can be helpful, the same cannot be said for food allergies. The best and preferred diagnostic test for food allergy is a strict trial on a hypoallergenic diet followed by a challenging food test.
BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY / FLAVOR WARNING:
Remove everything with flavorings like treats and toys. Remove flavored medication, flavored supplements, flea tab, dental paste, supplements, chows, etc.
BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY /IBD WARNING:
Untreated gastrointestinal disease due to food allergy could eventually lead to IBD (inflammatory bile disease)
FOOD ALLERGY IN BULLDOG / TESTING:
Don’t start the trial until you have completed a comprehensive workup and resolved other ongoing medical issues such as a thyroid problem or gastrointestinal issues (parasitic, etc).
FOOD ALLERGY IN BULLDOGS / LOW-GRADE DIETS:
Lower-grade diets have a higher risk for unwanted adverse effects such as allergies and immune-mediated disease (like IBD) due to the higher possibility of unwholesome elements and contaminants.
FOOD ALLERGY IN BULLDOG / SUPPLEMENTS:
You should NOT choose your bully diet based on the advertised and often hyped- “with/added supplements”.
Those “added supplements” are not likely to harm your bully but it’s really more of a marketing ploy than real value. The most popular and “sexy” supplements are fish oil (omega 3 and 6), glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and probiotics. As a rule, there are not enough pure bioavailable dosages to therapeutically impact a medical condition in those diets’ daily feeding recommendations.
When medically indicated I recommend supplements to be given separately as a standalone treatment.
Food Allergy in Bulldogs / CONTAMINANTS WARNING:
Sometimes food allergies are due to an undetected contaminant within that grain and meat.