Help Doctor My Bulldog is Suffering from Breakout Hive and Itch

Good evening, Dr. Kraemer

We have visited a couple of different vets now regarding the consistent skin issues. We have been dealing with rash like breakouts along with hives which bring excessive itching.

Help Doctor My Bulldog is Suffering from Skin Issues.

We have changed food to royal cannin uñtimano and hydro treats from hills science.

We have taken a bout of antibiotics, and have used a medicated shampoo by the brand name of dechra.

bulldog hive skin lesions

We just had bloodwork completed, and everything came back normal.

I have taken the initiative and started her on almost all the recommended supplements from your site.

We started using the medicated shampoo but it appears to bring about the hives, any ideas or suggestions?

bulldog skin erythematous lesions

Should we be using a different shampoo or going about our attempts to get this under control differently?

We are at a loss; please help

Thanks, Rosemary

1 Answers
Dr. Roy Kraemer Staff answered 6 months ago

The answer to My Bulldog is Suffering from Breakout Hive and Itch.

Dear Rosemary,

I am sorry to hear about Blys, he is a handsome boy, and I can tell from your photos that he is in discomfort.

bulldog skin question Overall appearance

You have not mentioned his age, and the medical record does not include it either.

Dealing with skin problems can be perplexing and frustrating and, at times, require a long-term preventive and care commitment, necessitating a systematic, step-by-step approach in the following order:

My bulldog is suffering from skin issues Question: BASIC LOW-COST INHOUSE TESTS

1. Skin cytology: An affordable in-house test involves obtaining screen impressions from lesions, special staining, and high-power microscopic exam scrutiny for:

  • abnormal cells
  • inflammatory white blood cells
  • bacteria (cocci-common vs rods-uncommon)
  • yeast organisms

2. Skin scrape: Another cost-effective in-house scrape, placed with oil under low-power microscopic examination, helps detect skin mites, with a focus on

  • Demodex mites are much more prominent in bulldogs, usually have a low itch index, and are noncontiguous.
  • Sarcoptic mites: less common,  consideration for contagious, high itch index

Upon reviewing the medical file you provided, it appears that neither of these essential, low-cost, in-house tests was conducted.

My bulldog is suffering from skin issues: Additional Considerations:

Below is a quick response to some of the notes in your question. Please note that Benadryl is okay to use, but it does little to control itchiness.


Please be aware that the effectiveness of the Cytopoint injection is limited to addressing itchiness associated with atopic dermatitis


There was a reference in your note to a hydrolyzed hypoallergenic prescription diet trial, but the duration was not specified.

It’s crucial to note that this trial necessitates a strict 8-week duration, during which no other food, treats, or chews should be fed.

Reminder, food allergies are less common than perceived.


I’m not sure why the general blood test was taken; it’s an expensive, low-priority, minimal-value test for this skin condition.


You were given a prescription for antifungal medication; however, I am uncertain about the rationale behind it. Typically, we recommend antifungal treatment based on cytology findings that show yeast overgrowth. I would prefer an imperial antibiotic treatment.

yeasty bulldog antiseptic gel

My bulldog is suffering from skin issues Question Recommended COURSE OF ACTION:

  • CYTOLOGY: Conduct cytology and consider 10–14 days of antibiotics for staph infection.
  • SKIN SCRAPE: Perform a skin scrape and initiate a preventive measure against fleas, Demodex, and mange.
  • ANTIBIOTICS: Administer additional antibiotics if necessary (see #1).
  • ANTI-YEAST: incorporate antifungal treatment if yeast buds are identified in large numbers (see #1)
  • ANTI-ITCH: For itch control, continue Cytopoint or consider short-term cortisone or Apoquel.
  • BULLY THERAPEUTICS: Utilize Bulldog Therapeutics topicals and supplements for enhanced effectiveness, including
    • Antibacterial & Anti-yeast shampoo and waterless gel
    • Itchless spray & conditioner
    • Bully fish oil EFA supplement
    •  Bully Skin & Coat Derma Care supplement

Bully therapeutics should always be included in your bulldog skin problems management

Bulldog Skin and coat Derma Care Bundle - Ultimate

If the problem persists, I recommend:

  1. CULTURE/SENSTIVITY: a culture of the lesions to rule out multidrug-resistant bacteria (MRSP).
  2. AVRL BLOOD TEST: designed to help identify common environmental allergens and means for immunotherapy treatment
  3. FOOD TRIAL: assuming it was not conducted correctly
  4. DERMATOLOGIST: Consider seeking a second opinion from a local board-certified dermatologist for further insight.

 The chances are that the problem will be resolved with a few weeks of antibiotics, itch control, and bully therapeutics.

The bigger challenge would be long-term prevention and management since allergies are often long-term (at times life-long) management.

Please send us updates and photos.

Best of luck

Dr. Kraemer


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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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