How to Care for Your French Bulldog’s Skin


How to Care for Your French Bulldog's Skin

Purebred dogs often have genetic predispositions for certain health problems. French bulldogs, unfortunately, are predisposed to experiencing problems with their skin.

Signs of Skin Problems in French Bulldogs

If your Frenchie has a dermatologic problem, you might notice some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Excessive itching (pruritus)
  • Redness
  • Swelling/inflammation
  • Sores
  • Hot spots
  • Crustiness or scabbing on the skin
  • Dandruff (seborrhea)
  • Fur loss or bald spots
  • Dull or dry coat
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Foul-smelling skin or ears

5 Common Causes of Skin Problems in French Bulldogs

1. Allergies
Both food and environmental allergens are common causes of skin problems in Frenchies. While allergies can sometimes cause respiratory symptoms in dogs, as they do in humans, it’s more common for allergies to express themselves as dermatological problems in pets.

2. Parasites
Reactions to parasites such as fleas and mites usually manifest as itchiness, sometimes with marked intensity, as well as redness and scabbing.  In addition, the mites that cause sarcoptic mange can cause hair loss, especially around the face and ears as well as on the legs.  Other parasites such as lice, ticks, fly bots and even hookworms can cause skin lesions as well.

3. Infections
Frenchies can develop fungal and/or bacterial infections on their skin. These tend to cause itchiness, redness, swelling, and sores but can also emit a bad odor. These infections are typically the result of itching from other causes. When the dog scratches, they damage the skin allowing the bacteria or fungus on the surface to get into the deeper layer of the skin where they grow and proliferate.

4. Autoimmune Disorders
French bulldogs can develop autoimmune disorders wherein the immune system attacks the dog’s otherwise healthy skin tissues. These types of problems may start as small or seemingly insignificant lesions but can progress over time. Treatment usually involves immunosuppressive medication.

5. Hormonal Imbalances
These abnormalities usually present themselves later in a Frenchie’s life and often manifest as scaly, dry, or patchy-looking/feeling skin.  Thyroid or adrenal gland issues are the most common, but other hormonal diseases can occur as well.

Treatments for Skin Problems in French Bulldogs

A variety of treatments exist for skin problems in dogs including medicated baths, topical ointments, creams, antibacterial or antifungal treatments, immunosuppressive medications, anti-itch medications, immunotherapy (ie: allergy serum shots) as well as prescription hypoallergenic diets.

Before providing any treatment for a dog’s skin problem, it is first necessary to determine the underlying cause of the issue in order to recommend the safest and most effective treatment. For example, if a dog is suffering from food allergies, then no amount of medicated baths will address the underlying problem.

Once we’ve worked with you to diagnose the underlying cause of your pet’s skin problem, we’ll provide you with a recommended treatment plan that will likely include treatments to soothe your pet’s symptoms, address the underlying problem, and, perhaps, recommendations for adjusting your pet’s lifestyle to improve their treatment outcome as well.

To learn more about skin problems in French Bulldogs or to schedule a dermatology appointment for your pet, we welcome you to contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital today.