Thursday, May 3, 2012

English Bulldog Skin Care

Poor Dog! The English Bulldog! Despite the cuteness, our intentions have wrongfully created disaster and major upkeep and maintenance for some of these breeds of dogs. We hate wrinkles on us, but love them on dogs, why is this? Maybe a subject for a different post. We were asked to make one of our Doglando TV episodes on the care of English Bulldogs, but there is so much to cover... so we are going to take it one step at a time. First though, we are not vets, and any medical care you choose to provide for your dogs, should be first consulted by a veterinarian. The English Bulldog, like the less wrinkly friend of it... a pug, a more wrinkly friend of it a Shar Pei... need tremendous care for their skin. These dogs suffer from many different skin issues, ranging from bacterial, fungal and or yeast infections and other irritations to more severe conditions such as Cancer; proper care must be given to dogs with wrinkles. Here are a few very effective ways of keeping your pet healthy, comfortable and safe: 1. Diet: I have seen many many dogs come over the years, with horrible skin allergies, poor coats, dandruff to chronic hot spots, and even dogs with almost no coats. If commercial dog food companies cared any for the welfare of our pets, they would be the first to disclose that their foods are not healthy for dogs. In any case, we need to educate our selves on this, so that we are able to make better decisions for the welfare and health of our dogs, and proper nutrition is a great way to begin. Especially in English Bulldogs, I have seen diet changes make miracles happen. Truly! If I were to have an English Bulldog my first choice of food for my dog would be raw or a dehydrated raw, like Honest Kitchen. Dog-reeable. Foods like these, have a direct impact on what is excreted from the inside out, and English Bulldogs on a good food suffer very little to not at all, when speaking about yeast, fungal and other skin infections. Of course their folds still need to be cared for, but not as frequently or consistently... more so just for aeration. Dogs that are fed a high quality food will not lick their paws, rub their ears against carpet, excrete mucus from their nose or eye areas, and you will see as a result these dogs do not have discolored reddish skin. There is also no odor to dogs that are fed a high quality food, again, because there's not the toxins and preservatives seeping out through their skin. 2. Skin Care: The folds of skin must be separated and aerated daily. I think a very common problem I have seen with these dogs is with parents who are active about this, however they are not told to air out and ensure complete dryness of the skin within the folds, before letting the folds drop. The trapped moisture is what creates infection and irritation and can be very painful for the dog. Here is a list of products I have learned that work very well for skin care in dogs: a. Lotrimin: an over the counter product sold at any pharmacy, used to treat yeast infections. If yeast is controlled through ingestion (through diet) you will not have a dog that suffers from this... b. Monistat: another over the counter product sold at any pharmacy, used to treat yeast infections (for women mostly). Monistat wipes work great for yeast infections in the years, and daily use of this can prevent from yeast build up. c. Apple Cider Vinegar: a natural anti fungal. Very easy to use. Soak cotton ball in ACV and clean out effected areas... commonly in between folds and in paw pads. Make sure to let skin aerate and completely dry out before applying any cream or powder... otherwise you will trap the moisture making it worse. d. Gold Bond: available at any pharmacy, used to dry, relief itchiness, and cool effected areas. Great for use on infected areas, apply when skin is completely cleaned off and dried. Powder should not stick to cleaned area... otherwise effected area is still wet. 3. Tear Stains: Diet is one of the main sources for ear stains. Look for diets without copper or beet pulp, both of which are known to contribute to tear stains in dogs. There are several products know to have been used effectively for control of staining around the eyes: Rolaids, benedryl, purified water, tetracycline, Companion (chewable tablet made by Legacy for life), and many others. I would be very concerned and cautious of using anything around my dog's eyes... and would start with a diet change first. We have a couple clients who maintain staining by having the dogs hair around the eyes shaved... and it seems to help tremendously. ___ Here is how one site describes yeast infections: “Yeasts are single cell organisms, which are found on the surfaces of all living things, including your pet’s body. Yeasts normally live on the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. Unfriendly bacteria, viruses, allergens and other enemies also find their way into other membrane-lined passageways and cavities. Also existing in the body are billions of friendly germs. One family of yeasts called, Candida albicans, live in your pet’s body, and consume substances such as sugar and fats in order to survive. Yeast toxins affect your pet’s immune system, nervous system, and their endocrine system. Since these systems are all connected, yeast toxins play a major role in causing allergies, vaginal and bladder infections, skin disorders and many other health problems. When a pet’s immune system is healthy, the body is able to destroy the yeast. However, when the immune system is weak, the yeast may produce in mass amounts causing toxins that disable the immune system and prevent it from functioning properly. In this case, the immune system cannot destroy the yeast. At this point, the system becomes altered causing a host of health problems. Many pet owners have visited several veterinarians, and have spent hundreds of dollars without any positive results. In a large percentage of cases, a vet has ruled out a yeast infection. However, when the owner began treatment for a yeast infection, the pet responded positively.”

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