Eczema on English Bulldogs: What You Need to Do

Like humans, English Bulldogs can also develop skin problems like eczema. Take note that eczema in English Bulldogs will cause discomfort and serious infection of the pet’s skin. If not addressed right away, eczema will spread all over the canine’s skin and damage its coat. Before this happens, you should seek proper treatment for your Bulldog.

Below, I discuss the basic information about eczema and what you need to do about it.

What is eczema in dogs?

eczema on English Bulldogs
Photo Credits – Neumeister Animal Hospital

In general, eczema is extremely itchy and lingering skin irritation. It will cause inflammation in the affected area. The worst thing about this condition is that the itchiness is unbearable and the only way to soothe it immediately is by scratching incessantly.

On English Bulldogs, eczema will lead to excessive scratching and chewing on the affected part. In just a few weeks, your pooch will have bald spots and hotspots.

Still, eczema in dogs is divided into two types: wet and dry eczema. Wet eczema will have a moist discharge on the affected part while dry eczema will make the skin parched and flaky. Both are equally itchy and uncomfortable. This will drive your dog to cause self-inflicted wounds in an effort to soothe the itchiness.

One thing that makes Bulldogs prone to eczema is its wrinkles. The skin folds hide nasty dirt and irritants that can trigger eczema.

Take note that eczema is an umbrella term for various kinds of atopic dermatitis. This condition can be due to a lot of reasons so it’s important to get your dog diagnosed to find the right treatment.

In this video, Dr. Mike of VetVid tells us more about atopic dermatitis and how it occurs:

Signs that your Bulldog has eczema

It’s quite easy to spot eczema in an English Bulldog if you’ll perform a quick check. The following are some of the tell-tale symptoms:

  • Severe irritation
  • Incessant scratching
  • Licking and chewing the affected part
  • Balding on the affected part
  • Rubbing on surfaces and furniture
  • Matted hair
  • Discharge on the affected part (wet eczema)
  • Scaly and thickened skin (dry eczema)
  • Lesions and sores

The moment you notice these symptoms, you should bring your dog to the vet. While it’s likely a case of eczema, it’s best to receive the proper diagnosis. Skin problems are pretty broad and can indicate a wide range of health problems.

Causes of eczema on English Bulldogs

Like what I mentioned earlier, eczema on English Bulldogs can be due to a lot of things. The most common is contact dermatitis, which occurs when your pet gets exposed to an irritant.

It could be chemicals, dirt, pollens, and other substance that will externally irritate the skin. You should also watch out for your house plants as some can cause eczema. This includes Spiderwort, eucalyptus, begonia, and cyclamen. It’s best to keep this away from your dog at all times,

Aside from that, vitamin deficiency can also result in eczema. The skin becomes prone to infections due to the lack of specific nutrients.

Fungal, viral, and bacterial infections are also notorious causes of eczema on Bulldogs. Extreme weather can also compromise a Bulldog’s skin since they have a very thin coat that offers minimal protection.

Lastly, skin parasites like fleas and ticks can also cause eczema. The open wounds from the bites will be itchy, which your Bulldog will surely scratch. And as it scratches, the wounds can become infected and sore.

How to treat eczema in Bulldogs

Eczema is rarely life-threatening, but you shouldn’t ignore it. Even if it will start as a small irritation, it can spread on your Bulldog’s entire coat. In no time, your untreated dog will be covered with blisters, oozing discharge, and a bad smell. This is the reason why immediate diagnosis and treatment are necessary.

🐶Find the cause

eczema on English Bulldogs

The first thing you should do is identify the cause of eczema. This will help the vet prescribe the right treatment. Also, this part is crucial in preventing the recurrence of the skin problem.

Start by assessing your dog’s environment. If the pooch rarely goes out, the cause is likely indoors. Check your plants, cleaning agents, your dog’s diet, and even your carpets.

If you can’t find any possible causes, it’s best to bring the dog to the vet. There, the veterinarian will perform tests to pinpoint whether the eczema is externally or internally triggered.

🐶Itch control

eczema on English Bulldogs

Itch control is the first step in treating your English Bulldog’s eczema. As much as possible, you should prevent your pooch from scratching or licking the area. An Elizabethan collar will not help a lot here since canines can still scratch their bodies using their rear paws.

A medicated bath is an excellent solution here. The vet can prescribe a medicated shampoo that will help soothe the itchiness and calm your Bulldog. Take note that you should let the medicated shampoo sit on your dog’s coat for about 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing. This will allow the formula to seep through the sores and affected areas.

There are also topical medications that you can get from the vet. This will help soothe the itch and treat the infection.

🐶Hydration and moisturizing

If your Bulldog has dry eczema, it’s important to keep it hydrated to ease the itching. You can also purchase an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to treat your dog’s mild eczema. Upon the application of this medication, you should put on an Elizabethan collar to your dog so it won’t lick the product off.

🐶Anti-inflammatory drugs

In case your dog has an advanced case of eczema, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will help. I always suggest asking the vet before giving your dog any OTC NSAIDs since it can have adverse side effects. You should also have to be very specific with the dosage to ensure that your Bulldog won’t suffer from further irritation.

If NSAIDs don’t work, the vet can prescribe steroidal treatments to help with your Bulldog’s itching. All of these should be taken by your dog within the timeframe and dosage the veterinarian prescribes.

🐶Antibody treatment

Monoclonal antibody therapy is a targeted treatment that’s quite new in the veterinary world. The goal of this therapy is to neutralize the interleukin-31 substance on a canine’s body. By suppressing this substance, vets can reduce the inflammation and itchiness of atopic dermatitis.

However, not all vet clinics offer this treatment. Even if they do, sessions would surely cost a lot of money. Anyway, most cases of Bulldog eczema can be treated without spending on this therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use human lotion on my dog’s eczema:

A: NO, you should never use human lotion on a Bulldog’s eczema because it will just make matters worse. The chemical on the lotion will just irritate the dog’s skin further.

Q: Does dog eczema go away on its own?

A: Most cases of dog eczema won’t go away on their own. As long as your dog is scratching and licking the area, it will become worse as days go by. Proper treatment is necessary to fight the infection.

Q: What if my dog licks hydrocortisone cream on his eczema?

A: If your dog licks a large amount of the cream, it may suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Usually, small amounts will not cause serious irritations but you should avoid it from happening using an Elizabethan collar.

Final words

Eczema on English Bulldogs is treatable and preventable. Acting upon seeing the symptoms will minimize the discomfort on your pooch. As always, the vet is the best person to ask for the right treatment based on your dog’s specific condition.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!

Leave a Comment