Are you a French bulldog parent and wondering whether your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction? This article will answer your query in addition to all the other things you need to know about French bulldog allergies.
Dogs undergo allergic reactions, just like humans. Dogs can get allergies as their body reacts to different allergens. This reaction can be mild or severe depending on the dog breed because different breeds react distinctively in the given conditions. French bulldogs have a particularly weak immune system, and they are more exposed to allergies than other breeds. Most allergies are common in every dog breed and share some symptoms; therefore, it is difficult to identify the exact trigger.
Most Common French Bulldog Allergies
Food, environmental, eye, and ear allergies are common in French bulldogs. All these allergies have some similar symptoms, including red/watery eyes and skin problems like itching, which makes it difficult to differentiate between them. To differentiate between them properly, we will discuss these allergies in detail. In most cases, you will be able to identify the allergy if you look at the symptoms closely.
1. Food Allergy
Anything in the diet plan can trigger a food allergy, including dairy products, beef, chicken, soy, eggs, wheat, fish, or packaged food. Packaged food contains chemical preservatives, which can be a reason for French bulldog allergies. Symptoms of food allergy can include constipation, diarrhea, and straining when passing stools.
More common symptoms include scratching of body parts, including head, ears, and paws. If left unattended, this can lead to IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). IBD is an intestinal and stomach disorder that makes the lining of the stomach or intestines thick, which affects the ability to digest properly. Proper diet and anti-inflammatory medicines can treat it.
2. Environmental Allergy
Environmental allergies are also called inhalant allergies, and they can occur once or twice in a year for a particular period. The period can vary between two to three months. The main causes of environmental allergies are molds, house dust mites, pollen trees, and pet dander. Symptoms include excessive itching around the eyes/watery eyes, itching in between toes, sneezing, and ear infections.
The symptoms of inhalant allergy can also include wheezing. Wheezing occurs when the airways get irritated and swelled up due to the allergic reaction.
3. Eye Allergy
As we have discussed earlier, eye problems are common in all kinds of allergies. A French bulldog’s eyes are more exposed to eye allergy because they are wider and comparatively bigger than other dogs. Eye allergy is secondary to food and environmental allergies.
Red eyes are pretty much common in French bulldogs, but if they are accompanied by watery eyes, this could be a sign of discomfort. Eye allergies are not always secondary, and they can also occur due to the direct exposure of eyes to the allergens/pollutants.
4. Ear Allergy
Ear allergy is also like eye allergies. Both are secondary to food or environmental allergies. If your dog is shaking its head and rubbing ears more than usual, then there could be something unusual happening with its ears. More symptoms of ear problems include hair loss around the ears. This allergy can lead to bacterial infection in the ear, if not looked after.
How to Treat These Allergies?
No permanent treatment of allergies is available. The only treatment is taking care and preventing exposure to allergies. You can give your dog a medical treatment, but this treatment will only lower the symptoms.
If you notice that your beloved dog is getting irritated because of something in its food and showing symptoms like the disturbed stomach and scratchy skin, then the best thing is changing its diet. You can try an elimination diet for your dog. Elimination diet means giving your dog the food prescribed by the vet. Your dog should stop showing symptoms after 7-10 days. Once the symptoms are gone, add items in your dog’s diet one by one and notice closely if the symptoms return. You can also use allergy supplements. This will help your dog to give a healthy response towards food.
Treating environmental allergies can be tricky. Your dog’s skin can get a lot of irritation due to environmental allergic reactions. You cannot eliminate the allergens permanently. The best thing you can do is preventing your dog from that allergen as much as possible.
To soothe the allergic reaction, you can give your dog a shampoo therapy, which will work. If your dog shows symptoms like sneezing and wheezing, then you should visit your vet. He will suggest you some antihistamine medicine or steroids if the dog is showing some other symptoms.
If you notice irritated eyes and ears, do not let them get worse. French bulldogs have considerably big eyes, which make them vulnerable to more allergens. Learn to take care of your dog’s eyes. Clean its eyes daily because clean eyes are less likely to develop an infection. You can also use eye lubricants if you notice any irritation. There is a range of eye drops available from antihistamine to antibiotics. You can use one after consulting with your vet.
If you observe itchy and inflamed ears, you should clean them daily. Cleanliness will prevent a bacterial infection, which can be painful for your dog.
When Should You Be Concerned?
French bulldog allergies are not a threat to your dog’s health. They can become a threat when left untreated. We will discuss two situations when you should seek immediate medical help for your beloved dog.
If you observe your dog wheezing and having difficulty breathing, then you should consult with the vet as soon as possible. The second situation is where your dog can experience an anaphylactic shock, which can be a threat to your dog’s life. In this situation, your dog will suffer from all the symptoms at once. Your dog can suffer from an anaphylactic shock even after injecting vaccines. Observe your dog closely for some time after vaccination.
Anaphylactic shock is an extreme shock that threatens the life of your dog. It can be a result of an extreme reaction. This health condition is not common, but it happens when the body becomes extremely hypersensitive.
Other Common French Bulldog Allergies
In this section, we will discuss some dog allergies that are common in all dogs, including French bulldogs.
This is the most common skin allergy in all dog breeds and is caused by flea bites. Flea includes more than two thousand species of small insects. Symptoms of allergic dermatitis include red, inflamed, and scaly skin. Allergic dermatitis can lead to anaphylactic shock if followed by immediate hypersensitivity. You can easily identify this skin allergy by the flea marks on your dog’s body. Regular shampoo can save your dog from these insects. Mostly, this type of reaction is not fatal if it is followed by delayed hypersensitivity.
Immediate hypersensitivity means when the body reacts against something in no time. This reaction develops symptoms very rapidly and leads to a shock. On the contrary, delayed hypersensitivity is not as dangerous as immediate hypersensitivity. It develops symptoms at a very slow rate and gives the body enough time to prepare against the reaction.
Contact allergy is not a very common allergy found in dog breeds. Causes of this allergy can be lawn pesticides and materials such as wool, carpets, or bedding. Contact allergy is the last thing you can consider if you cannot identify the trigger, and the dog is continuously suffering from allergy symptoms.
About 10% of dogs suffer from allergic reactions. Don’t worry if your dog is one of them because even the healthiest dogs often face a disorder. Most dogs experience allergies after six months of age. So, time to time vet visit is important after six months to check if your dog shows any symptoms. Environmental allergies develop in between one to three years of age.
Allergy is not a disease and can be prevented by proper care. Many people make a mistake of mixing allergies with some other disorder. French bulldogs can also suffer from Cleft Palate, which is a congenital disability. Its symptoms are similar to those of allergies, including excessive sneezing and chronic runny nose.
Ear infections are also very common in dogs. Make sure you are not relating the infection to an allergic reaction. Otherwise, the infection can get worse. The same is the case with eye disorders. People are not able to differentiate between the eye disorder and eye allergy. Conjunctivitis is a common eye disorder in many French bulldogs, and it often requires a surgical procedure.
After reading this article, you should be able to recognize French bulldog allergies and stop them before they create any other complications for your loving dog.