If you notice that your English Bulldog is starting to bald in certain areas, it can be concerning. After all, the English Bulldog isn’t known for being a heavy shedder because of their short and sleek coat. So, why is your furry friend balding? The truth is there are several reasons why your English Bulldog might have bald patches; luckily, none of them are very serious!
There are six significant reasons why your English Bulldog has bald patches, including the following:
- Allergy problems
- Struggling with Mange (Or Other Parasites)
- Seasonal Alopecia
- Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia
- Rash or hives
Seeing your furry best friend’s coat start to bald in certain areas is a concerning thing for any pet owner. The good news, though, is that many of the reasons why your English Bulldog is balding are because of something simple that can be treated quickly and effectively.
While we’re on the subject of your bulldog’s fur, here’s another article discussing whether you can shave your dog or not. This article will discuss the common reasons behind balding, related symptoms, and how to treat your precious pup.
Six Reasons an English Bulldog Has Bald Patches
The best thing you can do to help your balding English Bulldog is to find the cause behind it. After all, if you are trying to treat a balding problem incorrectly, you won’t see any results. For instance, if you are treating your bulldog for mange when they are suffering from hypothyroidism, nothing will change.
Discovering the why behind the balding is essential for proper treatment. In the following sections, you will learn more about the six common reasons that your bulldog is developing bald patches and how to remedy each issue.
One of the primary reasons why an English Bulldog – or any dog for that matter – may start balding is because of an allergic reaction. Humans aren’t the only ones who can suffer from allergies caused by food or the environment, so it is not unheard of for your English Bulldog to be suffering from the same.
Most of the time bulldog allergies are a hereditary issue that is passed on from the parents. If you know that your dog’s parents had allergy issues, it’s even more likely that allergies are the issue leading to balding in your canine as well.
However, that doesn’t mean that the parents had to have an allergy issue. Many English Bulldogs can suffer from allergies, even if their parents did not have allergies. These allergies can be related to the food they are eating, their environment, or another issue such as flea bites and shampoos.
Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction in English Bulldogs
There are many symptoms associated with allergies in English Bulldogs. Some things to look out for include:
- Reddening and dryness of the skin
- Excessive itching
- Incessant scratching and biting
- Swelling of the body
- Red eyes
- Shortness of breath
Of course, you need to also pay attention to when these allergies are occurring. If you notice that the allergy symptoms seem to appear after your dog eats certain foods, it may mean your dog has an allergy to what they are consuming. If you see redness and swelling on your dog after using a particular shampoo, the shampoo may likely be the cause.
The trick is to stay alert and notice when allergic reactions are occurring with your English Bulldog. From there, you can make the appropriate changes to keep your dog allergy-free.
Treatment for Allergies in English Bulldogs
If allergies are the cause of bald spots (as well as other unfortunate symptoms), you need to find the root of the allergy. Then, you can make the changes necessary to stop the allergic reaction from occurring. This may mean changing his dog food or using a different shampoo.
If you have tried to remove what you believe is causing the allergic reactions and have no luck, then you may need to take your dog in for a checkup with their veterinarian. The allergies may be caused by a flea bite, pollen, or other outside factors beyond your control. This may lead to the veterinarian prescribing your English Bulldog with a much-needed medication to keep their allergies under control.
Struggling with Mange (Or Other Parasites)
Did you know that English Bulldogs are susceptible to two specific types of mange? English Bulldogs can become infected by sarcoptic or demodectic mange.
Both types of mange cause the same symptoms, including:
- Hair loss – may be most noticeable around the eyes and muzzle.
- Severe itching.
- A red, crusty area found on the area where hair has been lost.
If you think that your English Bulldog is struggling with mange or another type of parasite, then they should be seen by a veterinarian right away. This type of condition can’t be treated in the home, in most cases, and will require medication to address the problem.
Sometimes, the veterinarian may also have you bathe the dog with an antiseptic shampoo or other medically-enhanced shampoos. These specialty shampoos are designed to help ease the symptoms as well as kill off the parasites attacking your dog. Sometimes, treatment may last as long as eight weeks, depending on individual circumstances such as the age of the dog and how bad the infection is.
Seasonal alopecia (also referred to as seasonal flank baldness) is a condition that might not be talked about as often but is still a common occurrence in the English Bulldog. The good news is that seasonal alopecia is the least concerning reason for bald patches and can be quickly and easily reversed.
Causes of Seasonal Alopecia
Seasonal alopecia causes bald patches in your English Bulldog because of a lack of Vitamin D. Without Vitamin D, your bulldog’s hair growth will become increasingly slowed down or may stop altogether.
The most likely time for seasonal alopecia to occur is during the winter months when there is less sunlight. Since your English Bulldog relies on the sun for his Vitamin D intake, a lack of sunlight exposure will lead to a seasonal alopecia problem, which leads to bald patches around your dog’s coat.
It is even more common for those who live in areas where it is extremely cold during the winter months when keeping your English Bulldog inside and warm is critical. While staying indoors avoids the chance of hypothermia, it also means your dog won’t have any access to Vitamin D to help their coat stay strong.
Treatment for Seasonal Alopecia
Treatment is easy! All you need to do is make sure that your English Bulldog is getting enough sun exposure, even during the winter months. When the sun comes out, you might consider taking your English Bulldog out for a quick walk around the block. As long as the walk is kept to 20 minutes or less, there isn’t much risk of hypothermia. You may also consider placing a sweater or other warm clothing on your pet.
Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia
Black hair follicular dysplasia sounds much more worrisome than it truly is. Additionally, it is also very rare – yet still possible for your English Bulldog to develop. For the most part, this is a wholly inherited disorder that may have been apparent in your dog’s parents. The hair loss caused by BHFD is permanent and can happen at any time during your dog’s life.
Symptoms of Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia
Hearing that the hair loss is permanent can be somewhat frightening, but the good news is that it only affects the black hair on your English Bulldog’s coat – the rest of their hair is left unscathed.
According to “What is Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia?” there are several other symptoms associated with this medical condition, including:
- Loss of black hairs
- Overall duller coat appearance in darker areas
- Dry and scaly skin
- Abnormal hair growth
- Shorter hair
- Susceptible to skin infections
If your English Bulldog is struggling with a skin infection on top of BHFD, they may also struggle with the following symptoms:
- Raised areas of the skin that are red and full of pus
- Reddened skin
- Crust around the areas of lost hair
- Skin patches that appear dry and flaky
- Excessive itching
- Odor coming from the skin
- Overall darkening of the coat and skin
- Dog in noticeable pain
Treatment of Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia
Black hair follicular dysplasia is considered a cosmetic issue and, therefore, may not need any treatment whatsoever. However, the problem with BHFD is that the skin can become infected far more easily, especially in the areas where there has been hair loss.
Most veterinarians will treat black hair follicular dysplasia with medicated shampoos as well as conditioners that help to reduce the chances of infection and help with the dryness and scaliness of the skin. The shampoos and conditioners will have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties to achieve optimal results.
It is also recommended to give your dog a good dose of omega fatty acids, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A supplements. These can be prescribed by your veterinarian or purchased online or from a store and added to your dog’s food. These supplements will help to keep your English Bulldog’s coat healthier and stronger while fighting off potential pitfalls like infections or excessive dryness.
If your dog’s skin has become infected because of BHFD, the veterinarian will likely need to prescribe them medication, such as an antibiotic, to treat the infection. This may be in the form of oral medication or cream to place on the infected area. Infections should be seen by a vet right away.
A less common medical condition that can lead to bald patches on your English Bulldog is hypothyroidism. According to Washington State University’s article “Hypothyroidism in Dogs,” cats are more susceptible to over-productive thyroid glands (hyperthyroidism), while dogs tend to suffer from low production of essential thyroid hormones leading to hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
While some causes of bald patches in an English Bulldog can be a struggle to distinguish, hypothyroidism has relatively apparent signs.
Some of the symptoms related to hypothyroidism include:
- Loss or thinning of the hair – commonly found throughout the coat, but not on the head or legs.
- Dull coat
- Excessive shedding
- Sudden weight gain
- Reduced energy and activity levels
- Inability to tolerate cold weather
An English Bulldog that is suffering from hypothyroidism is going to be sluggish and lose their hair. Your dog may also have less common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, such as ear infections, skin infections, droopy face, vomiting, and muscle weakness.
Treatment of Hypothyroidism
If you believe that your English Bulldog is suffering from hypothyroidism, it is crucial to seek professional help right away. A veterinarian can prescribe hormonal supplements. These supplements will usually need to be administered twice a day in the beginning and lowered to once a day as your dog begins to show improvements such as increased energy and hair growth.
Rash or Hives
Just like humans can suddenly be stuck with an annoying, itchy rash, your English Bulldog can just as easily experience the same. Most of the time, insect bites and stings cause a dog’s rashes and hives (urticaria).
However, according to the article “Hives and Rashes (Urticaria) in Dogs” by Stephen D. White, DVM, DACVD, rashes and hives may also appear from:
- Toxic Plants
Rashes and hives will ultimately lead to a bald spot as your furry best friend works to scratch and bite off the itchy rash. In some more severe cases of rashes or hives, fever, vomiting, lack of energy, and a poor diet may also appear.
Treatment of Rashes or Hives
If the cause of the rash is eliminated, then there usually is not any treatment necessary. The rash or hive is likely to disappear quickly once the dog is no longer near the rash-producing product such as a shampoo or toxic plant. However, it is essential to notice precisely what is causing the rash or hive.
If an insect bite or sting causes the rash or hive, there is not much the owner can do. The pain and irritation will go away on its own accord, which is likely soon after. However, if a shampoo caused the rash, then you should switch shampoos right away.
Perhaps the most concerning development of a rash or hive is one that appears soon after a medication or vaccination had been administered. When this occurs, it is crucial to call your veterinarian right away to see if further treatment is necessary. It may lead to a simple switch of medications or something more drastic.
Allergic reactions in your English Bulldog can likely cause chronic rashes and hives. If this is the case, then you need to find the source of the allergy. Immediate treatment is necessary in the case of anaphylactic shock, during which the throat swells, and your dog loses the ability to breathe.
Keep in mind that anaphylactic shock is less common in dogs than humans. However, it is still possible, and that is why it is always important to keep a good watch on your dog. Anything can happen in the blink of an eye.
When is it Time to Visit the Vet?
If you have thoroughly gone through this list and can’t seem to find the root of the cause behind your English Bulldog’s bald patches, it may be time to visit a veterinarian. Some less-common problems, such as a foreign body reaction, pressure sores, or certain infections like ringworm and other bacteria, can lead to bald spots.
Some other symptoms that may be cause for concern and seen by a veterinarian include:
- Excessive itching that your dog can’t seem to find relief from.
- A noticeable bad odor, especially near the bald patches.
- The skin appears to be incredibly irritated and infected.
- There is a change in your dog’s behavior.
- Skin lesions have been found on other pets or people living inside of the home.
In some cases, even the reasons mentioned above for bald patches on your English Bulldog cannot be treated at home. This is especially true if the balding and itching has gone on for an extended period without proper treatment or home remedies aren’t doing the trick.
Bald patches on your English Bulldog can be scary, but most of the time, it’s nothing too dangerous and can be treated quickly and easily from the comfort of your home. It is essential to start by finding the root of the cause of the hair loss problem and take proper steps necessary to treat it.
Remember that any itching and infection that can’t be treated in the home should be seen and managed by a veterinarian.
If you want to learn more about English Bulldogs or other types of Bulldogs, then consider checking out this Bulldog Handbook on Amazon.