Bulldog Skin Conditions



Demodex canis is a mite that is present in small numbers in the skin of most healthy bulldogs. Nursing bulldog puppies acquire the mite from their mothers during the first few days of life, and in most bulldogs there will never be any associated problems. In some bulldogs however, the normal balance is disrupted due to an immune defect. The mites multiply by the thousands in the hair follicles causing inflammation, in a condition called demodicosis. Demodicosis may be localized – confined to 1 or more small discrete scaly reddened areas of hair loss – most commonly on the face or front legs. This is usually seen in bulldog pups of 3 to 6 months of age, and most cases resolve spontaneously. Alternately, generalized demodicosis may develop, at anywhere from 3 to 12 months of age. This is a severe skin condition. The defect in the cell-mediated immune system, which allows the development of generalized demodicosis, is believed to be inherited.


Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic mange, or canine scabies, is a highly contagious mite infestation. It causes severe itching, redness, and scratching. Secondary infections of the skin are common due to damage caused by violent scratching and rubbing. Hair loss and irritation are most often seen first on the ears, elbows, hocks and head. If left untreated, it may develop into a generalized form with widespread hair loss, irritation, scaling and hyperkeratosis (darkening of the skin). Bulldogs may lose weight and become generally debilitated.


Interdigital Cysts

Interdigital furuncles, often incorrectly referred to as interdigital cysts, are painful nodular lesions located in the interdigital webs of bulldogs. The most common cause is a deep bacterial infection. Bulldogs are predisposed to bacterial interdigital furunculosis because of the short bristly hairs located on the webbing between the toes, prominent interdigital webbing, or both. The short shafts of hairs are easily forced backward into the hair follicles during locomotion (traumatic implantation). Hair, i.e., keratin, is very inflammatory in the skin, and secondary bacterial infections are common. Less commonly, foreign material is traumatically embedded in the skin (e.g. foxtails). Demodicosis may be a primary cause of interdigital furunculosis. Canine atopy is also a common cause of recurrent interdigital furunculosis.



A histiocytoma is a benign skin tumor, generally seen in young dogs, that often spontaneously goes away without treatment within 2-3 months. The appearance of a raised, hairless and bright red “angry” looking skin lump on a young dog is characteristic of a histiocytoma. They often appear suddenly, almost overnight. Histiocytomas are not painful, and most dogs do not even seem to notice them, despite the fact that the lump may be ulcerated. Histiocytomas are most common in dogs less than three years old, but can occur at any age. The head, ears and limbs are the most common places to find histiocytomas. While histiocytomas are benign, it is important to have your veterinarian check out any new lumps and bumps on your pet to be sure.


Seasonal Flank Alopecia

Flank alopecia is a generally harmless loss of hair over the ribs, flanks and haunches of affected bulldogs. The exposed skin often becomes very dark and thickens and may develop a polished appearance. Conversely, flaking, scaling and dryness may also be present. Until recently, most cases were erroneously mistaken for a symptom of hypothyroidism and bulldogs with this variety of hair loss should be screened for thyroid disease. If the treating veterinarian determines the bulldog to be essentially normal with regards to it’s endocrine system, then seasonal flank alopecia should be considered as the likely cause of bilateral symmetrical hair loss across the ribs, flanks and possibly hind quarters. As the name implies, the condition is seasonal, most often beginning in mid to late winter. This has led to the hypothesis that it is triggered by a lack of exposure to adequate amounts of natural light. The condition will typically begin to resolve late spring and improve of disappear by mid summer but will often recur the next winter.


Skin fold dermatitis

Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin. Where there are excessive skin folds or wrinkles, fold dermatitis occurs due to rubbing of skin and trapping of moisture in the folds. Pyoderma (bacterial skin infection) commonly develops, almost always caused by Staphylococcus intermedius (which does not cause problems in people). Common forms are tail, lip, and facial fold dermatitis and associated pyoderma, in breeds where there is skin folding in these areas.

SoCalBulldogs has bulldog puppies for sale.


SoCalBulldogs’ kennel is located in Bakersfield,


California. SoCalBulldogs has provided quality bulldog puppies to happy bulldog families all over California and in particular the Southern California areas of: Orange County, OC, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Inland Empire, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Santa Barbara County and Kern County as well as Fresno County.


We have also shipped several bulldog puppies to other states. Check out FAQ’s for more shipping information. For more information please contact us.