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BULL DOGS AND SKIN ALLERGIES
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BULL DOGS AND SKIN ALLERGIES

Hi...my daughter has a 2 yr old bull dog and she always breaks out with a very raw chin but only in the summer and fall, she was told it was due to an allergy to grass.
does anyone else have this prob. with their bullies?
if so what can be used for it other than presc. meds?
Tags: Bull dogs
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685623_tn?1283485207
Sadly, bulldogs are very prone to allergies...so I feel for your daughter.

As you are probably aware, allergies really can't be cured, only controlled.   Avoiding the offending substance is a big step, but first you need to find out for certain if grass is the true culprit or something else.

Check in with the veterinarians over in the Ask A Vet Expert forum and post your question in the Skin forum.   They will be able to help provide you with some good information.

Just curious...what kind of food is that dog on and is your daughter using plastic or ceramic bowls?
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874521_tn?1375890587
Yes thx I will try the expert forum, also waiting for response from someone who has the bullies too.
got to be grass as its always her under belly and chin where she roots in the grass...I agree allergies are so hard to pin point.
she uses metal bowls.
thx again
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765775_tn?1366028291
I give mine Benadryl when it gets too bad. It is perfectly safe to do so, just make sure it is Dye Free.

Let me know if she is rubbing her face and belly into the carpet also as I asked earlier. This will irritate the area more and later cause an infection.

Chances are she is allergic to more than grass. If you want to find out if grass is one of the triggers her Vet can do that easily however, I am sure there will be something else beside grass that will cause this.

Make sure there is no wheat in her food. They are all allergic to wheat.
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685623_tn?1283485207
Hi Red...the Benadryl idea is a good one for itchy pets and helps bring them some relief.

Why do you say that all dogs are allergic to wheat?  Are you referring to just bulldogs or all dogs in general?

While it's true that wheat is one of the more common allergens of dogs, a blanket statement like that is misleading and shouldn't be used without having substantial proof.   Food allergies account for about 15% of all allergic conditions with dogs and beef, wheat, and dairy account for 68% of that 15%.
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874521_tn?1375890587
thx Red I will pass on all this info to her, she has very few carpets in her home, but I would assume that Marley would rub her chin on that as well(?).
the wheat tip is also good to know.
Thomas, Red was referring to just BULL DOGS...he and my daughter both have and they break out under their chins and paws.
Is the Benadryl the human form? avail at pharmacies?
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765775_tn?1366028291
As Opus indicated, I was referring to Bulldogs being allergic to wheat. While I have the opportunity I must add corn also, as I neglected to do so yesterday.

Sorry for any confusion.
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685623_tn?1283485207
Do you have any references to back up that statement?  I do agree that wheat is one of the most common allergens in those dogs that develop food allergies (again, remember that not all dogs have food allergies), but there has been no proof (to my knowledge) that an entire breed of dogs is allergic to wheat.  

Certainly, certain families or lines of dogs might have a predisposition to food allergies, just like certain lines have predispositions to atopy.

With respect to corn, less than 2.5% of dogs with food allergies (again, remember only 15% of allergic dogs have food allergies) have been documented to be allergic to corn.  So, out of 1000 dogs, 150 will have food allegies and a mere 3-4 will be allergic to corn.

I am checking in with our dermatologists on this, just to verify and find out the latest information.

Great discussion so far...Opus, did you hear back from the experts yet?
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765775_tn?1366028291
Food Allergy
Dogs can become allergic to a food they have eaten for years which causes many people to over look the possibility of a food allergy.

Food allergies only account for 10 percent of allergy problems in dogs. Dogs often can not tolerate soy products, wheat, corn, beef, pork, chicken, milk, whey, eggs, fish, chemical preservatives, or artificial sugars in their food.

Determining the food allergen can be time consuming. First, eliminate all the possible allergens from the diet, by using a home made diet consisting of a protein and a starch the dog has not eaten before. Gradually add back, one at a time for a week, the ingredients of the dog food. If symptoms return, then the offending food allergen should be easily determined. Commercial dog foods can be found that do not contain the offending allergen.

Food sensitivities in a dog may manifest as itchy skin, scratching at ears, shaking of the head, licking and biting at the hind quarters or feet, rubbing faces on carpeting, ear inflammations, coughing, and rarely vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, sneezing, asthma like symptoms, behavioral changes, seizures, gagging, and vomiting.

Contact Allergy
Contact allergy is the least common of all the types of dog allergies. Some of the common contact allergens include flea collars, wood bedding, grass, plants, and sometimes chemicals and perhaps the shampoo used.

Bacterial Allergy
Several species of Staphylococcus (Staph) bacteria live on normal dog skin. Normally Staph does not cause a problem with its host, but some dogs develop an allergy to it.

With this type of allergy the dog develops areas of hair loss that look much like ring worm. These areas become infected and need to be treated with antibiotics. The Staph allergic dog usually has recurrent Staph infections.


I, as well as all of the other English Bulldog owners I know have experienced foods containing wheat to be a problem for this breed 90% of the time even though food allergies only account for 10% of dog allergies overall.

When mine started to experience these problems, the Vet pointed to wheat being the most likely possible cause in this breed. The diet was changed and problem was resolved, except for the occasional flair ups if they were to get some table food that may have wheat included such as bread. Bulldog owners are advised to go to a Vet that has extensive experience with the breed because they are a very difficult breed to maintain.


I started out with a Vet that owns and breeds them. She was very good but moved to another state. My current Vet has owned the breed and is very well versed in the common problems with the breed.

So my advice is based on the breed itself and not on the general rule of thumb with dog allergies.
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685623_tn?1283485207
Red...you are absolutely right.  Many pet owners overlook the fact that allergies can develop over time and they can develop to a food that has been fed since day 1.   That being said, however, it is still not necessary to start a puppy on a "special or hypoallergenic" diet containing "novel" proteins, like duck or buffalo, etc immediately.   It is perfectly fine to use commercial diets containing chicken, etc and then work towards the hypoallergenic diets IF the dog develops allergies.

I received an email from one of our veterinary dermatologists who does agree that allergies (both food and atopy) run in families and the continued practice of line-breeding and in-breeding does not help the situation.  But, she also mentioned that the genetics of allergies are very complex, like the genetics of hip dysplasia, and the problem is not related to one gene and rarely can be predicted from dog to dog.

My biggest concern is that a statement like "all bulldogs are allergic to wheat" is that it is a broad generalization that has no basis in fact.  To me, it's like saying "all German Shepherds have hip dysplasia".   Many GSDs do have hip dysplasia, but not all of them and dedicated breeders are working to minimize or even eradicate (if possible) the problem from the breed.

I believe that you have personally experienced a lot of bulldogs with allergies and that your veterinarian has as well, but, again, the doesn't mean all or even most of them are allergic to wheat.   We would need to look at family lines, prominent dogs in the lines, etc to determine the heritability of allergies.   Then, we also need to take into account how the environment and exposure to allergens affects the number of dogs seen.  And, for what its worth, in 15 years of working in veterinary practices and seeing about one to two hundred bulldogs in that time, I can count less than 10 who were diagnosed with food allergies.

If you and other bulldog owners are experiencing allergies in 90% of the dogs you see, maybe you should review the pedigrees of these dogs and see if one or a few breeders are responsible for this "epidemic" of allergies.  I would then consider asking this breeder (or breeders) to consider stopping their breeding program.  

I appreciate your passion for this subject...I just don't want people to get the wrong ideas about breeds of dogs in general or food ingredients in general either.
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Avatar_n_tn
Is is safe for Bulldogs to take Benadryl?
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942557_tn?1272698419
It is fine for bulldogs to take Benadryl.My Bulldog takes Atopica for his skin conditions,but he still gets a flare up every few months.But atleast with that med it is not a constant irritation for him.He gets really red and raw on his neck and underbelly Plus he will get a really foul odor.Also the wrinkle on his forhead gets red as well.We where doing steroids ,but now the Atopica is the main med.He is 3 years old and this didnt all start until the past year.He also always has a yeast like condition all the time in his ears...Even with them constantly being treated.
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Avatar_f_tn
You are so right! I have had many bulldogs and never had one allergic to wheat. I have 2 now and neither of them have ANY issues with allergies or anything else for that matter. NOT all dogs are allergic to wheat Red...Please do not go by everything you read in bulldogsworld, most is outdated and many of their home remedies and tips are not good to follow.
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