Pododermatitis in Bulldogs (Paw Dermatitis)

By: Dr. Roy Kraemer |
DVM, Bulldog Specialist Veterinarian

Subject: Help Needed for Buster’s Paw Skin Disease 🐾🚑

Dear Dr. Kraemer, my 5-year-old Bulldog, Buster, developed what seems to be paw dermatitis. 🐶 He’s been licking his paws incessantly, and I’ve noticed redness and some swelling.

Could this be an allergy or something more serious? 🤔 I’ve read that Bulldogs can be prone to digital cyste issues, and I’m worried about my little guy.

Are there specific creams, dietary changes, or supplements that could help? 🥗💊

Best regards, Tammy & Buster 🐾 #BulldogHealth #PawCare #DermatitisRelief

Pododermatitis in bulldogs and French bulldogs is an inflammatory skin disease of the paw.

It is a common dermatologic problem in English and French bulldogs and is typically associated with many underlying skin issues.

Pododermatitis in bulldogs and French bulldogs

Paw Allergy Pododermatitis Skin Disease in Bulldogs CAUSE

The most noticeable underlying conditions leading to paw allergy (pododermatitis) in bulldogs are:

  1. Idiopathic sterile granulomas
  2. Allergic dermatitis
  3. Demodicosis (red skin mite)
  4. Skin-fold dermatitis
  5. Interdigital Cysts

All these conditions can lead to secondary bacterial and yeast overgrowth dermatitis.

Bulldog Skin Acne Bundle - Ultimate



Pododermatitis in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DIAGNOSIS:

You should notice redness and swelling on your bulldog’s feet. You may also notice discharge and pus emitting from the lesions.

Your bulldog and French bulldog puppies will often continuously lick the area to alleviate the discomfort and itchiness. Occasionally you might see in the surrounding tissue of the infected area.

  • scabs
  • blisters
  • nodules
  • hair loss

Their saliva might cause reddish-brown staining in the fur surrounding the inflamed area.

Eng Bulldog V4B Tear StainLess Formula Handout

When pain is intense, your bulldog might be noticeably limping or/and reluctant to walk.

If you notice any of these symptoms or it appears that your dog is favoring a certain foot regularly, you should examine the area and consult your veterinarian. For the most part, your veterinarian should be able to determine the problem based on a site examination, but occasionally, other tests like a

  • cytological exam
  • bacterial culture
  • skin scrapings
  • blood and urine tests
  • and biopsies will be required.

Paw Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PREVENT & TREAT:

The recommended course of treatment will vary depending on the type and cause of the pododermatitis. For instance, allergic and/or immune-related pododermatitis cannot always be cured, but when properly treated, the disease can be controlled and managed.

The best course of action is to perform daily inspections of their paws, including the surfaces between their toes. Then, follow the skin fold dermatitis bulldog maintenance instructions, which include daily wiping with

Yeast Bully No Rinse Gel Handout - English Bulldog

You should also consider including therapeutic supplements to help heal the skin barrier and control, itch, inflammation, and pain

  • V4B Bulldog Fish Oil EFA Skin-Immune-Joint
  • V4B Bully Comfort Plus Formula
  • Bully Itch & Allergy Formula
  • Bully Skin & Coat Derma Care

bully itch less and allergy chews

Pododermatitis in Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS:

Below are selected paw dermatitis tips and warnings, courtesy of Dr. Kraemer


I have treated some severe cases of paw dermatitis in bulldogs who responded poorly to traditional allergy medication (steroids and other immune suppressants) with cold laser therapy and/or stem cell therapy.

1-k laser light


Seasonal versus non-seasonal, age of onset, and response to previous therapy can help narrow the differential diagnosis.

A positive response to any of these medications or itch relief may suggest allergies.


If left untreated, the itching and pain will increase, and scar tissue can build up on the foot and paw area. The scar tissue could impede healing and increase the chances of re-occurrence.


Often, the primary underlying condition (allergies) ends up leading to a secondary yeast, or bacterial infection (pyoderma and Malassezia).


Bacterial infections usually require 6 weeks or more of antibiotics, depending on the results of a culture and sensitivity test (especially given the increasing prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococci, or “MRSP”.

When facing any skin infection we always recommend combining topical antiseptic therapeutics with  the prescription medication

Bulldog antiseptic skinfold wipe XL

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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