Bulldog Weight Loss Diet and Food Allergy

Hi Dr. Kraemer!

My English bulldog is just 5 years old. Very healthy, as per our vet.

obese overweight english bulldog on weight loss diet

Two years ago, our vet put our dog on Hills Prescription Diet food to lose weight. He is now at a healthy weight and is very active.

However, his skin has been worse than ever since 2019. Hot spots and itchiness like never before!

He has been on apoquel for far too long, in my opinion, and the itchiness and bald spots are not getting any better. After thousands of dollars, our vet now wants him on soy-based food that costs 165 per bag.

Should I be seeking a second opinion?

thank you in advance


1 Answers
Dr. Roy Kraemer Staff answered 3 years ago

Answer for Bulldog Weight Loss and Food Allergy

Dear Hana, your mention of “thousands of dollars spent” suggests that comprehensive diagnostics were carried out. Would you be willing to share those details with me?

While it’s conceivable that the itching is linked to the diet, it’s crucial not to make assumptions. Your veterinarian should perform a few straightforward tests to assist in identifying the root cause of this enduring and persistent skin itchiness.

bulldog puppy hot spot dermatitis

Bulldog Itchy Skin Common Cause:

Not every food allergy manifests as itching. Here is a short list of other conditions that can lead to itching:

Bulldog Allergies

  • Food Allergy
  • Atopic Environmental Allergy
  • Flea Allergy
  • Contact Allery

Bulldog Skin Mites

  • Demodex
  • Sarcoptic

Bulldog Skin Fungi (Ringworm)

  • Microsporm Canis
  • Microsporm Gypsum

Skin Infection Dermatitis

  • Yeast
  • Bacteria

Skin and Coat therapeutic supplement for bulldog food allergy

Bulldog Itchy Skin Common Test

  1. skin scrape
  2. cytology
  3. fungal culture (DTM)
  4. bacterial culture
  5. biopsies
  6. VARL (allergy blood test).

Diagnosing the underlying cause is critical to offering you an optimal treatment.

Answer for Bulldog Weight Loss and Food Allergy TREATMENT COST

In regards to the high cost of the specialty food that your vet suggested you buy to help treat the suspected food allergy,. The cost is limited to the trial period. The trial duration is typically 8–10 weeks, limiting the cost to that specific period.

If the trial proves successful, maintaining that diet could be both more economical and healthier than relying on itch control medication.

On the other hand, once it’s confirmed to be a food allergy, you may explore less expensive allergen diets to see if you can achieve a satisfactory outcome.

to learn more, see my article on bully food allergy.

Answer for Bulldog Weight Loss and Food Allergy ITCH CONTROL:

Apoquel is just an itch-control medication; if it is not providing adequate itch control, ask for a cytopoint injection.

If the cytopoint helps, then it might be a better alternative than the apoquel.

  • It’s safer
  • It works 24/7 (apouqel only up to 12 hours)
  • Better compliance: injection provides itch control for weeks

The downside might be the cost and it only provides itch control for bully atopic itch dermatitis

Answer for Bulldog  Food Allergy GETTING A SECOND OPINION

You can seek the opinion of a local board-certified dermatologist, though they might do more of the same at a higher cost.

Answer for Bulldog Food Allergy: PREVENT & TREAT

Last, and most importantly, regardless of the underlying cause, always combine nonprescription therapeutic topicals and supplements with the prescribed Rx.

Examples are topicals like the

You should also consider complementing the topicals with bully therapeutic supplements, such as

Bulldog Skin Infection Bundle - Ultimate

Other beneficial therapeutic bully supplements recommended, especially if your bully is on long-term RX, such as antibiotics and steroids, are:

Recommended by Owners Approved by Bulldogs


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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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