English Bulldogs are quite prone to skin problems. Rashes, for one, are very prevalent, though they can still concern dog owners. English Bulldog rash on belly can be due to a variety of causes, ranging from contact dermatitis, impetigo, allergy, and so on.
All of these require immediate treatment to prevent the spread of the rashes. It will also spare your Bulldog from the agonizing itch, which will progress into an infection if scratched repeatedly.
Below, I discussed the possible explanations behind your dog’s belly rashes and what you can do about it:
Contact dermatitis is divided into two types: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis.
With allergic contact dermatitis, the Bulldog’s skin becomes sensitive to a harmless substance or item. This is due to the overreaction of the immune system, similar to other types of allergies.
For example, if your Bulldog’s belly gets in contact with latex, it will develop rashes if your pet happens to have a latex allergy. It can also be soap, shampoo, carpeting, and so on.
On the other hand, irritant contact dermatitis will also cause belly rashes on your dog. Unlike allergic contact dermatitis, the former occurs due to harsh substances. It can be exposed to cleaning agents, poisonous plants, pesticides, and fertilizer.
Bulldogs suffering from contact dermatitis will develop rashes on the part that gets exposed. It’s also accompanied by inflammation, thickening of the skin, incessant licking, and even self-mutilation. If addressed right away, contact dermatitis will not put your dog’s life at risk.
🐶Acral lick dermatitis
Also known as lick granuloma, acral lick dermatitis occurs when a canine obsessively licks a body part. This is commonly observed on the lower limb but can also occur near the belly. However, it’s not common to Bulldogs since this stocky breed makes it hard for them to lick their belly areas. Still, the possibility is there.
If not addressed early on, acral lick dermatitis can lead to self-mutilation and a slew of infections. In this case, both psychopharmacologic and physiologic treatments are needed to cure the condition.
Another common occurrence on English Bulldogs is food allergies. For some reason, deep-chested canines like English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs are more susceptible to tummy problems than other breeds.
Most cases of food allergies are traced to the protein source of the dog food. However, just because a Bulldog is allergic to a certain protein source doesn’t mean everyone in the same breed will experience the same. Each dog is different, and so is its response to various food ingredients.
One of the tell-tale signs of food allergies in dogs is rashes. It can be found mostly in the belly area as well as the limbs. It can be accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and nausea.
To diagnose food allergies in dogs, the veterinarian will perform a serum IgE test. This checks for food-specific reactivity in dogs to determine whether it has allergies.
As for determining the specific allergen, vets usually perform intradermal skin testing for various substances.
Remember that virtually any food item can trigger allergies, depending on the canine’s immune response.
Canine impetigo is a condition in which the dog develops rash-like pustules on the skin. It can occur mostly in the belly and groin area. This is commonly observed in young puppies, though it’s not rare for older dogs to develop the condition.
English Bulldogs with impetigo will have flaky, crusty, and circular patches on the affected area. Bald spots and itching will also occur. And for a short-haired breed like Bulldogs, the coat may look as if it’s sticking up in some areas like massive hives.
Most cases of impetigo are secondary to contact dermatitis. However, ticks, fleas, and hormonal balances can also cause this condition.
To treat impetigo, the vet will perform antibiotic therapy for your dog. The process may take up to four weeks or more, depending on the severity of the condition. Remember that impetigo requires professional veterinary care, so you should never try to self-medicate your Bulldog with human-grade antibiotics.
🐶Fleas and ticks
Before you jump to conclusions, make sure that your Bulldog doesn’t have skin parasites. The saliva of the parasites can trigger allergic reactions and rashes all over the dog’s belly.
Take note that even indoor dogs can acquire ticks and fleas. These sneaky insects can hitchhike on a person’s clothes and belongings. So if you’re always expecting guests, your Bulldog’s chance of getting fleas increases.
Since English Bulldogs have short fur, it’s quite easy to spot ticks and fleas. Always look for black specs, which is likely the fecal matter of feeding fleas or ticks. Most of these bloodsuckers hide on the skin folds of a Bulldog, but some of them can be spotted in the belly area.
Addressing a flea or tick infestation is more than just picking what you’ll see on your dog’s coat. You have to clean your entire house to exterminate the larvae and eggs that will continue the infestation cycle.
If the infestation is massive, you can always ask the help of professional exterminators and your Bulldog’s vet.
Is your Bulldog having belly rashes during summer? This could be an innocent case of heat rash. It can range from minor skin irritation to infected pimples. Take note that severe heat rash can become infected with Staphylococcus and other bacteria that form pus and similar discharges.
So what causes heat rash? Exposure to direct sunlight and heat is the culprit behind this itchy skin problem. As your dog licks and scratches, the rash gets worse.
Remember that English Bulldogs are very sensitive to heat. It’s best to keep them indoors during a hot day to avoid the formation of heat rash. Don’t forget that this brachycephalic dog is also notorious for heat exhaustion, which can be life-threatening.
Lastly, you should consider the possibility of hormonal imbalances. In this case, the rash isn’t just localized on the belly but also to other areas of the dog’s body.
Some dogs experience hair loss and skin infections because of hormonal imbalances. Meanwhile, those with sensitive skin can also experience rashes. Your pet with hormonal imbalances will also suffer from unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, and increased thirst in the long run.
Take note that hormonal imbalances can also be a secondary condition to other health problems. Diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and kidney disease are just some of the severe health problems that could influence your Bulldog’s hormone levels.
In that case, the belly rash is just the tip of the iceberg. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from a more serious health condition, the vet is always the best person to consult.
How to treat belly rash on my Bulldog
If your dog’s rash is isolated within the belly area, you can treat it at home. Just make sure that it’s not accompanied by other symptoms that could point to other health problems.
Here are the steps you can take to treat your dog’s belly rash:
✔️Call the veterinarian
If this is your first time dealing with belly rashes, it’s best to call the vet for proper guidance. During the call, you’ll be asked to describe the rash or send a picture. Also, the veterinarian will ask if your dog had a change in diet or if the pooch has been outdoors before the rashes appear.
After that, the vet will walk you through the things you need to do to ease the itching. Most of the time, the vet will ask you to bring the dog to the clinic for a closer look.
Never self-medicate your dog and follow only what the veterinarian said. Skipping professional advice to save money will do more harm to your Bulldog.
✔️Give an oatmeal bath
If the rashes are due to exposure to irritants or contact dermatitis, you can give your dog an oatmeal bath. This will help ease the itchiness and swelling. Let your Bulldog soak in it for 15 minutes before drying it with a clean towel.
In some cases, the vet can prescribe that you use a medicated shampoo. This will help neutralize irritations and flare-ups on the skin.
✔️Use a flea and tick shampoo
If the reason behind the belly rashes is ticks and fleas, you need to use a shampoo made just for that. A flea and tick shampoo are guaranteed to kill the parasites while soothing the bite marks on your Bulldog’s belly. This will help speed up the healing of the rashes while eliminating the ticks or fleas present on your dog’s coat.
Remember that tick and flea shampoo must be left to soak on the dog’s coat for at least 10 minutes. This allows the formula to kill the parasites so that they won’t crawl back after the bath.
✔️Apply pet-grade hydrocortisone cream
Once your dog finished having a bath, you can apply a hydrocortisone cream that the vet recommended. This will help manage the itchiness and swelling. Many dog owners swear by calamine lotion, but be sure to use only a small amount to prevent your dog from ingesting it. You can also put your Bulldog on an Elizabethan collar to prevent them from licking the treatment.
In worst cases, the vet will prescribe topical corticosteroids to arrest inflammation and burning sensation. Some dogs will also have to take antibiotics for days to fight the infection that already occurred on the rashes.
✔️Switch to L.I.D. dog food
If the vet found out that your Bulldog has food allergies, it’s smart to switch your dog to Limited Ingredient Diet or L.I.D. This dog food product has fewer ingredients with no unnecessary fillers, coloring, or flavors. Despite that, it satisfies the nutritional dietary needs of dogs.
Your dog’s veterinarian can recommend L.I.D. dog food products that suit your pet. Aside from preventing the recurrence of belly rashes, it will also save your dog from other symptoms.
Just note that the switch to the new food must be gradual. This is to prevent stomach upset that may occur if a Bulldog is fed a new diet right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do Bulldogs have skin problems?
A: Just like any dog, Bulldogs can develop a slew of skin problems. But since they have a wrinkly coat, they are prone to a condition called intertrigo or skin fold dermatitis. Overall, most English Bulldog skin problems can be prevented with proper hygiene and regular grooming.
Q: Why does my Bulldog puppy have blisters on his belly?
A: Blisters on the belly of a dog can be due to a condition called impetigo, which I discussed above. Scientifically, it’s called pyoderma, characterized by pus-filled pustules and blisters that will cause agonizing itch to your canine.
Q: Should I pop my Bulldog’s pimples?
A: Just like with human pimples, you should resist the urge to pop dog acne. Rupturing the pimple will open a doorway for infections to enter. Also, it will be painful for your dog since it will also lead to inflammation and bleeding.
Q: Does belly rubs give my Bulldog rashes?
A: It’s not the belly rubs that could give your Bulldog rashes, but the dirt or irritants on your hands. You probably touched a harsh substance or something your dog is allergic to. If you give the pooch belly rubs, the substance will be transferred to the dog’s skin, which will cause belly rashes.
Q: Do I always need to bring my dog to the vet for belly rashes?
A: Most of the time, minor rashes can be treated at home using creams and ointments prescribed by the vet. However, if the irritation isn’t going away, it’s always best to call your dog’s vet for proper medical advice.
Are you dealing with English Bulldog rash on belly? This problem can be due to a lot of things, but one thing is for sure: your dog needs immediate treatment. It’s best to phone the vet and give your dog a soothing bath to manage the discomfort. For advanced cases, bringing the Bulldog to the vet’s clinic might be a smarter choice.