Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs is possibly the most common medical condition presented at my bulldog practice.

Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs MOST COMMON

There are a few types of bulldog allergies:

  1. BULLDOG ATOPIC ENVIRONMENTAL ITCH DERMATITIS
  2. BULLDOG FOOD ITCH DERMATITIS
  3. BULLDOG FLEA ITCH ALLERGY
  4. BULLDOG CONTACT ITCH ALLERGY

Atopic environmental itch dermatitis is the most common allergy I see in Bulldogs and French bulldogs while bulldog contact allergy is rare and the least common

Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs CAUSE

The cause for itching in bulldog allergies is not always the same, each allergy type is likely to have a different trigger.

BULLDOG ATOPIC ENVIRONMENTAL ITCHING ALLERGY

GENETIC UNDERLINING: Bulldog Atopic Itch allergy has a genetic predisposition and hereditary underlining.

COMMON ALLERGENS: tree, grass, weed, dust mites, mold, etc.

BULLDOG FOOD ITCHING SKIN ALLERGY

PROTEIN SOURCE: Bulldog Food Allergy is mostly induced by proteins usually from an animal source

COMMON ALLERGEN:

  • Beef
  • Chicken &, Turkey
  • Fish
  • Egg

BULLDOG FLEA ITCHING ALLERGY:

FLEA BITE: Itching is triggered by a flea bite

COMMON ALLERGEN: allergic dogs are sensitive to the allergen injected with flea saliva during the flea blood meal.

BULLDOG CONTACT ITCH ALLERGY:

DIRECT CONTACT: Allergen that comes in direct contact with your bulldog

MOST COMMON ALLERGEN: there are many, here is a short list of some of the most common ones

  • Pesticides & Insecticides ( flea collars & topical flea products)
  • Grass & Lawn ( fertilizers & herbicides)
  • Topical medication & Shampoos
  • Bed & Blanket material

Itch Allergy in Bulldog and French Bulldog PRESENTATION

  1. SELF TRAUMA: Itching, biting, chewing, licking, excessive grooming
  2. INFLAMMATION: redness, raw, erythema, bumps
  3. ODOR & DISCOLORATION
  4. DANDER & FLAKE: Usually dry flaky skin

Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DISTRIBUTION

Various bully allergies have different typical distribution and appearance

BULLDOG FLEA ITCH ALLERGY

Itching, hair loss, and red bumps mostly at the distal back and tail base

BULLDOG CONTACT ITCHY ALLERGY

Itching, erythema (redness), hair loss at the contact site

Examples are flea collar NECK EREA and grass pesticides BELLY AREA

Itching Contact Allergy in Bulldogs and French BulldogBULLDOG ENVIRONMENTAL ITCHY ALLERGY 

Itching and hair loss mostly at the paws, ear base, belly, elbows, hind legs

BULLDOG FOOD ITCHING ALLERGY 

Similar to atopic allergic dermatitis.

Itch Allergy in Bulldog and French Bulldog MYTH & FACT

BULLDOG ALLERGY MYTH: WARTER RED EYES& SNEEZING

Most of you will associate allergy with the inhalation of allergens (hay fever). In fact, in contrast to us, bulldogs’ airborne allergens do not enter via the airways but rather make their entrance cutaneously via the skin surface.

NORMAL BULLDOGS: Normal healthy allergy-free, itch-free bulldogs have a skin barrier that is impervious to allergens.
ALLERGIC BULLDOGS: allergic bulldogs suffer from a skin barrier (epidermis) breakdown, and thus are vulnerable to all the common atopic allergy manifestations.

In contrast to human allergies that are manifested by watery red eyes, sneezing, and snuffling, bulldog allergy’s hallmark is ITCHING.

Nevertheless, some bulldog allergies such as allergic bronchitis and allergic rhinitis will exhibit upper or lower airway problems (cough, nasal d/c, sneezing)

BULLDOG ALLERGY OUTDOORS VS INDOORS ALLERGEN MYTH:

Many bulldog owners assume that if they restrict their bully to the indoors, they will be immune from offensive allergens and thus immune from allergies. Unfortunately, it is not so.

First, there are many indoor allergens such as dust mites and mold. In addition, outdoor allergens are carried by air entering your house and per square foot are at much higher concentrations due to poor ventilation, reduced circulation, and airflow.

Itch Allergy in Bulldog and French Bulldog AGE & SEASON

BULLDOG CONTACT ALLERGY

AGE: All ages

SEASON: This can very much depend on the source. For example, flea collar allergy is more like to happen during the flea season when owners tend to apply them.

ITCHY BULLDOG FLEA ALLERGY

AGE: All-Ages

SEASON:  Is usually during the warmer months

ITCHY BULLDOG ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGY

AGE:1-3 years old are the most affected

SEASON: Usually seasonal

ITCHING BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY

AGE: The bulldog puppy and the bulldog adult over 5 are the ones most affected by food allergy

SEASON: Is not seasonal

Year around allergy is more consistent with food allergy

Itch Allergy in Bulldog and French Bulldog DIAGNOSIS

BULLDOG ENVIRONMENTAL ATOPIC ALLERGY

ELIMINATION PROCESS: There is no good defensive test known for bulldog atopic allergies. the diagnosis is based on an elimination process, such as age, skin itch and hair loss distribution, season, and itch response to steroid treatment.

BULLDOG FOOD ALLERGY

TRIAL & CHALLENGE: Food trial on a prescription hypoallergenic elimination diet for 8 weeks and a challenge with the previously suspected food allergy diet to confirm.

BULLDOG FLEA ALLERGY:

SEASON & FLEAS: The presence of fleas, flea dirt, and flea season

DISTRIBUTION: Hair lost dorsal-distal lumber and tail base location,

BULLDOG CONTACT ALLERGY:

CONTACT REACTION: Focal location (contact site)

ALLERGENS: the presence of suspect allergen (flea collar, recently spared grass, new bed, etc.)

Other Diagnostic Tests For Bulldog and French Bulldog Allergies

SKIN SCRAPE: helps to r/o skin mites such as Demodex and sarcoptic mange
CYTOLOGY: helps to r/o the presence of secondary bacteria and/or yeast infection
DTM: fungal culture to r/o ringworm (dermatophytes)
CULTURE: helps to identify types of bacteria (gram neg rods, vs gram neg cocci)
BIOPSY: helps to r/o autoimmune disease, skin cancer, etc.

Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TREATMENT:

PREVENTION: Bulldog environmental allergy often requires Lifelong prevention and management

THERAPEUTIC TOPICALS for Bulldog and French Bulldog Itch Allergies

BATH & WATER For Bulldog and French Bulldog Allergy:

Water is soothing and helps to wash off allergens, dander, and fleas

Remember, in pets’ environmental allergens  mostly entered via the skin surface

MEDICATED SHAMPOOS & CONDITIONERS for Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Itch Allergies

Bully topical medicated therapeutics (i.e. medicated shampoos, rinses, wipes, gels, cream rinses, and conditioners), are critical for short-term and long-term allergy and itch control.

Dr. Kraemer's Hypoallergenic for Bulldog Itching allergy

Bully medicated topicals do not require a prescription, they are inexpensive, easy to use, and can be implemented by you at the convenience of your home.

  • V4B BULLY MOISTURIZERS & HYDRATION
  • V4B BULLY ANTI DANDER & FLAKE RELIEF
  • V4B BULLY ITCH RELIEF
  • V4B BULLY HYPOALLERGENIC
  • V4B BULLY ALOE OATMEAL SOOTHING

SAVINGS: See Dr. Kraemer’s Bully Economic ITCH RELIEF Medicated Topical Bundles

MEDICATED ANTIBACTERIAL & ANTI YEAST (ANTISEPTIC) for Bulldogs and French Bulldog Allergy

Many allergic itchy dermatitis bulldogs also present with a secondary bacterial and yeast infection. Those microorganisms reside on the skin as part of the normal microflora and cause no harm but can become opportunistic pathogens when the skin barrier is damaged.

  • V4B BULLY YEASTY BULLY SHAMPOO
  • V4B BULLY YEASTY ANTISEPTIC WATERLESS GEL
  • V4B BULLY ANTISEPTIC XS SHAMPOO
  • V4B BULLY  OILY BULLY ANTISEPTIC SHAMPOO

SAVINGS: See Dr. Kraemer’s Bully Economic Medicated Antiseptic Topical Bundles

THERAPEUTIC SUPPLEMENTS for Bulldog and French Bulldog Allergy

Allergic itchy bulldog skin becomes inflamed and the skin barrier is damaged and porous. Some supplements can help restore the barrier, boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.

  • V4B BULLY Fish Oil EFA SKIN-JOINT-IMMUNE
  • V4B BULLY PRE & PROBIOTICS
  • V4B BULLY IMMUNE SUPPORT

SAVINGS: See Dr. Kraemer’s Bully Economic SKINCARE therapeutic Supplements Bundles

OTHER ITCH MANAGEMENT TREATMENTS for Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Allergies

ALLERGEN IMMUNOTHERAPY ITCH CONTROL for Bulldogs and French Bulldogs:

life-long hypersensitization treatment (if they work they are usually given for life every ~2 weeks at home by you)

NON-STEROIDAL ITCH CONTROL for Bulldog and French Bulldog:

Cyclosporine is oral usually given twice weekly or every other day, it can help control itch as a replacement for steroids but it also has some side effects including vomiting.

Apoquel: is oral, it can help control itch but only for about 10 hours, and at twice a day over a long time, it can cause immune suppression. It is only labeled for adults only

Cytopoint Injections:  can relieve itch for 6-8 weeks, have minimal side effects, and can be given to puppies.

ANTI HISTAMINS ITCH CONTROL for Bulldogs and French bulldogs:

First-generation antihistamines like Benadryl that cross the blood-brain barrier can help with sedation and thus can be given before bedtime. They are safe and OTC
Second and Third generation antihistamines might be more effective for itch control in combination with other RX. As a single treatment, they are not very effective. An example is Hydroxyzine.

STEM CELL THERAPY ITCH CONTROL for bulldogs:

Can help in some nonresponsive cases, with no side effects, and can help prevent and treat other medical problems

FLEA PREVENTION for Bulldog and French Bulldogs:

Avoiding flea allergy, Fleas are climate-sensitive thus geography, season, and temperature will affect them. Also, the bulk of the flea cycle is not on your pet, only the adult stage lives and breeds on your bulldog. Thus adherence to flea prevention by the pet community will dramatically affect the likelihood of fleas and flea allergies. year-round flea control is a must for allergic bulldogs.

Some flea control medications are also effective against bulldog demodex mites (Bravecto) and Sarcoptic Mange mites (Revolution)

ANTIBIOTICS For Bulldog and French Bulldog Itch Allergy:

Antibiotics can be used if secondary bacteria are suspected and confirmed by cytology. The most common skin bacteria is a gram-positive Staphylococcal.

WARNING: Overuse of antibiotics can lead to multidrug resistance bacteria (MRSP)

ANTI YEAST RX (Malassezia) for Bulldog and French Bulldogs Allergies:

If a secondary yeast infection is presented antifungal medical is recommended

REPAIRING SKIN BARRIER for Bulldogs and French Bulldogs:

THERAPEUTIC TOPICALS & SUPPLEMENTS: Every itchy and allergic skin treatment should include therapeutic topicals

Non Prescription Theraputic Topicals & Supplements are the saftest, unexpenssive and often the most effective

STEROIDS (CORTISONE) For Bulldog and French Bulldog Allergy

Often used to help control itching and inflammation

Allergy in Bulldog and French Bulldog STEROIDS/CORTISONE

ENVIRONMENT ALLERGY  BULLDOGS

Bulldogs and French bulldogs itching due to atopic dermatitis are very responsive to cortisone (prednisone, Depo-Medrol, etc)

FOOD ALLERGY IN BULLDOGS

Bulldog itching due to food allergy might show no improvement or only mixed itch relief.

It is much better o eliminate the dietary allergen than treat bulldog food allergy with steroids.

FLEA ALLERGY IN BULLDOGS

Steroids provide good relief to flea allergy but it is best to prevent the problem by using flea preventives than resorting to cortisone medication

CONTACT ALLERY IN BULLDOG

Steroids provide good relief to most contact allergy itching but it is best to remove or eliminate the offensive allergen (flea collar as an example)

Itching Allergies in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs STEROID NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS

Steroids are widely used for pet allergies they are inexpensive and usually effective as both an anti-inflammatory and itch control. Nevertheless, they can be harmful.

STEROID RISKS: The higher the dosage and the longer the use the higher the risk

Steroids like prednisone and Depo-Medrol can help relieve and manage allergic itch. It is preferred to use them for flare-up acute short-term allergies. Long-term management with steroids increases the chances of adverse side effects

Here is a short list of some of the most common steroid side effects in bulldogs:

IMMUNE SUPPRSENT: will increase the chance for secondary bacteria, and yeast infection as well as Demodex mites. Also, many systemic problems include UTI and intestinal dysbiosis.
PU/PD: excessive drinking thus uncontrolled urination and accidental indoor incontinence.
OBESITY: due to an increase in food intake
OTHER: many other serious medical conditions such as diabetes, Cushing’s, liver steroid hepatopathy, orthopedic problems, etc.

Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs IMMEDIATE VS DELAYED

The most common bulldog allergy is the delayed type of hypersensitivity

Immediate hypersensitivity is rare manifested by instant life-threatening anaphylaxis shock

BULLDOG ALLERGY DELAYED HYPERSENSITIVITY

The most common bulldog allergies are a delayed type of hypersensitivity and are milder in appearance (itch, swollen face, and eyelid, hive, redness)

Delayed Allergy In Bulldog and French Bulldog TIMING

Delayed hypersensitivity bulldog allergy is often mild to moderate and it can start hours after the encounter.

Delayed Allergy In Bulldog and French Bulldog PRESENTATION

Mild to moderate, common manifestations are itch, swollen face, and eyelid, hive, redness

Delayed Allergy In Bulldog and French Bulldog TREATMENT

Mild to moderate cases can be treated with a bath and topical bully-medicated shampoos, conditioners, spray, wipes, and gels.

More severe cases might require prescription medication such as steroids (prednisone), antihistamines, and other itch control drugs.

BULLDOG ALLERGY IMMEDIATE HYPERSENSITIVITY (ANAPHYLAXIS)

Immediate Allergy In Bulldog and French Bulldog TIMING

Instant and dramatic.

Immediate Allergy In Bulldog and French Bulldog PRESENTATION

Constricted airways, can’t breathe, cyanotic and circulatory collapse (anaphylaxis), the ramification can be dire thus emergency treatment is required preferably by a trained veterinary team

Immediate Allergy In Bulldog and French Bulldog TREATMENT:

Epinephrine, oxygen, IV fluid, and monitoring.

Itching Allergy in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS

ITCHING BULLDOG & FRENCH BULLDOG TIPS

French Bulldog Allergy Tip #1 INFECTION: secondary bacteria and yeast infections are common to ongoing uncontrolled allergies, they will exacerbate the itch and must be managed with topical antiseptic and anti-yeast medicated shampoos and gels Like Dr. Kraemer’s Yeasty Bully Medicated products.

Bulldog Allergy Tip #2 THERAPEUTIC TOPICALS & SUPPLEMENTS: should be implemented for any bulldog suffering from skin disease, allergy, and itching

Therapeutic bully topicals & supplements are step one for all itching, skin allergy bulldogs

French Bulldog Allergy Tip #3 AIR PURIFIER & VENTILATION: can help reduce indoor allergen

Bulldog  Allergy Tip #4 BUSTER COLLAR: keep one handy and place it on your pet till the itch is controlled to avoid self-trauma and additional injuries such as ear hematoma, hot spots, corneal ulcer, etc.

ITCHING BULLDOG & FRENCH BULLDOG WARNINGS

Bulldog Allergy Warning #1 STEROID MONITOR: routine screens including blood tests and urine should be done on patients treated for itching allergies with steroids for an extended time period.

French Bulldog Allergy Warning #2 STEROID TAPER: due to cortisone side effects your vet and you should strategize tapering off the steroids itch control dosage to the minimum necessary.

Bulldog Allergy Warning #3 CORTISONE & DEMODEX: subclinical demodicosis can erupt due to a steroid-induced immunosuppression

French Bulldog Allergy Warning #4 OTHER ITCHING: Remember, other skin conditions can cause itching, examples are pemphigus (autoimmune), ringworm (dermatophyte), sarcoptic mange, and demodex. Those conditions should be ruled out with an appropriate diagnosis

Bulldog Allergy Warning #5 MRSP: multidrug-resistant bacteria are on a rise due to inappropriate usage of antibiotics and steroids. antibacterial drugs should be used based on cytology and response to treatment, lack of response requires a culture

“An Ounce Of PREVENTION Is Worth A Pound Of CURE”

itch allergy dermatitis in bulldog and French bulldog

 

 

 

 

 

*This guide was compiled courtesy of Dr. Kraemer, a “must-read” manual for any current or future bully owner

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