What Is Dermatitis In Bulldogs

Dermatitis. That’s kind of a big word isn’t it. Don’t worry we’ll explain this in as few words as possible. Derma means skin and titis is referring to inflammation or irritation. The bacteria that so easily cause this irritation, if left unchecked, will surely lead to many more, painful, unsightly and costly side effects. With this short article we’ve decided to discuss the most common way in which Dermatitis tends to manifest on English, Mini, French, Old and American Bulldogs.

Facial Fold Dermatitis

Typically, when on the subject of Dermatitis(skin irritation) with Bulldogs, we’re talking about inflammation around the facial folds, the corkscrew tail, the vulva(females) or in the ears. The folds are notoriously afflicted with dermatitis. Those tight spaces in and around these troubled areas can promote a warm, damp, dirt catching environment. Harmful Bacteria like staph and yeast thrive exceptionally here and quickly move to attack your Bulldog’s skin! A war breaks out and the enemy’s flag has been raised because the effected skin’s climate, cleanliness and health status have been made destitute. Once the skin’s healthy environment has been blotted out and exchanged for one more favorable to the microorganisms that cause Dermatitis, skin infection, inflammation and sores will take hold. The skin will now make way for redness, swelling, hair loss, and a very undesirable smell generated from an inevitable yeast infection. Further into this destructive cycle, infection will damage deeper membranes of the skin.

Although mentioned above, the female vulva is far less likely to need regular cleaning unless she has unusual physique around that area restricting air flow perhaps due to being overweight. Just like the facial folds, this space will become irritated, infected and smelly if it persists in capturing dirt and restricting air flow to the surrounding skin.

How To Treat Dermatitis On a Bulldog

Most people, after discovering something is amiss with their Bulldog’s skin, think using a damp cloth or baby wipe will alleviate the dermatitis; however, these are hardly viable care products after your pet’s skin has become inflamed or infected.

Go to any veterinarian and they’ll clean your Bulldog’s infected areas with an antimicrobial shampoo, then promptly send you home with a bottle of that shampoo. They may also recommend you purchase a Veterinarian Strength, antimicrobial cleansing wipe like Malacetic. Although this type of Dermatitis is considered serious, it’s usually not necessary to proceed with oral antibiotics considering the damage is only on the surface of the skin.

Antimicrobial Shampoo + Wipes for Dermatitis

In conclusion, the two tools you’ll find most handy in treating this variety of Dermatitis is Malaseb Shampoo and Malacetic Wipes. Malaseb and Malacetic are both extremely potent and proven in their ability to quickly kill dermatitis inhibiting microorganisms in Bulldogs. Use the Malaceb Shampoo twice a week on the effected areas(avoid eyes) until conditions subside and continue with the Malacetic wipes in between bathing. We use these same wipes for our Bulldogs about twice a week to prevent dermatitis.

Hopefully this short article on Facial Fold Dermatitis displays to you a sobering message about the importance of regularly cleaning your Bulldogs wrinkles, inner ears and tail. Always too busy to do it right, never too busy to fix it. That’s a prevailing saying that comes to mind when considering this topic. What I mean is that it’s so much easier to diligently implement preventative measures like the above mentioned than it is to ward off infection once it’s been contracted to your Bulldog. Of course, I understand there are times in which even with exceptional care, your Bulldog can still struggle with dermatitis and that doesn’t make anyone an irresponsible pet owner.

Atopic Dermatitis

Another way in which your Bulldog might develop dermatitis is by an allergic reaction to food, pollen, dust mites or fleas. None of these things directly cause dermatitis to break through to the scene of your Bulldog’s skin, but they most certainly do play a part in it’s inception. Any substance, circumstance or creature that generates an allergic reaction on the surface of the derma will most likely lead to scratching, licking and in some cases even biting. All this in an effort to relieve the intense itching brought on by the foreign substance. As the allergens affecting your Bulldog’s skin become more potent, they’ll demand a more intense scratching with a more accelerated frequency.

Allergens in Bulldog Food

Were you aware there are known allergens added to many dog foods? Ingredients like wheat, corn and soy are just a few of the ingredients that can cause allergic reactions leading to atopic dermatitis and should be avoided in your dog’s diet. Not only can these foods be irritating to a Bulldog’s skin, they’re considered ‘fillers’ with a low nutritional value. If you think your Bulldog may be having allergic reactions to his food, take a look at Dog Food Analysis . This site lists the ingredients in every brand of dog food and even explains the pros and cons/dangers of those ingredients.

Healthypets.com said of Soy,

The majority of experts on pet nutrition agree soy isn’t good nutrition for cats or dogs. It is considered a low-quality, incomplete protein well known to create food allergies in pets.

- healthypets.com


Pollen grains are another possible source for which atopic dermatitis can find it’s beginnings. Bulldogs with a heightened sensitivity to pollen have to battle tree and plant pollen in the spring, grass pollen May-June and tree pollen again in the Fall months. This can be a real nuisance for your Bulldog. Quickly, a strong desire to rub his tummy and face on the floor or excessively lick paws and legs will overcome him. This over cleaning with the tongue and extreme rubbing only further promotes the development of dermatitis and hot spots.


Fleas and Dust Mites would drive any Bulldog crazy with each bite, but to make things worse……you guessed it, these bites are linked to allergic reactions of the skin. In fact, for some Bulldogs it would only take a bit of flea saliva to irritate the skin causing redness, swelling and sever itching. If not treated in due time, hair loss and demodectic mange may occur. You may witness loss of hair, swelling and scabs. Flea Allergy Dermatitis can be diagnosed by your veterinarian with a simple skin scrape test. Treatment may include medicated shampoos designed for eradicating flea dermatitis like CORTISOOTHE Shampoo by Virbac (8 oz) and topical solutions. For more severe cases in which the first layers of the derma have been compromised you are encouraged to see your vet so your Bulldog can be treated with antibiotics.

What’s a Bulldog to do with all of these allergen triggers? Avoiding this one should be simple. Just be sure to apply a Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Medication For Dogs Supply Size: 6 Month Supply, Pet Weight: 45 to 88 lbs at appropriate times and don’t skimp. Most times you’ll find as we did early on with our Bulldogs that a cheap flea and tick preventative either doesn’t work effectively or will cause burning of the skin.

Look for additions to this article on Bulldog Dermatitis, it’s effects and how to treat Dermatits in Bulldogs soon. Let us know in the comments if you’ve had any experience on the subject and share with us your secrets in caring for a Bulldog with staph or yeast infections caused by dermatitis.

Visit our English Bulldog Health + Wellness Page for more helpful writing on this topic of Dermatitis and more, including:

Bulldog Ears / Tear Stains / Bulldog Nose / Tail + Butt Care / Brushing+Bathing / Excessive Shedding / Nail TrimOral Hygiene

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