Food Allergies or Demodectic Mange?
February 10, 2008
I have a 3 year old English Bulldog. I take him to the vet about every week for his allergy shot. The vet says he has food allergies but no matter what food we try it does not seem to work. He is currently on Royal Canine. Do you have any suggestions for me, on what to feed him. He also has cysts appearing all over his body, shedding real bad and hair loss. Is this normal
No that is not normal. But it is common in bulldogs. He may have demodex,
otherwise known as mange. It is caused by a proliferation of mites that
live in the hair follicles of dogs.
The only way to know for sure is to have your vet do a skin scraping.
It is treated with a drug called Ivermectin. Some vets recommend a
dip but I think this is very harsh and toxic for your bulldog.
You can also treat him with goodwinol topical cream.
But this could also be a symptom of food allergies. So if your
vet has done a skin scraping and ruled out demodex or other
parasites, I would definitely suspect food as the culprit.
My belief is that these types of skin conditions are aggravated
by food allergies and can be treated effectively by simply
changing the diet in most cases (including mine!).
Centuries of inbreeding the bulldog line has led to some genetic
weakness that can cause a compromised immune
system which can leave them vulnerable to opportunistic diseases such
as demodectic mites that would not invade a healthy dog.
That said, there are many other things that can cause a depressed
immune system, such as stress, fighting an infection, and environmental
allergens. And food allergies.
What sort of shots is your vet giving your bulldog? I am not a fan
of prednisone shots because they only treat the symptoms and not
the underlying cause. And they can contribute to weakening the
I would suggest you switch your bulldog to a single protein source food
such as California Naturals or Canidae Lamb Meal and Rice. The lamb
seems to be easily digested and the only other ingredient is rice.
Lots of people feed their bulldogs Royal Canin, but it’s primary ingredient
is chicken. Chicken is one of the primary food allergens in dogs (along
with beef, soy, and fish) so I would definitely switch him off of that.
Take a week or two to switch the food, starting with just a small part of the
lamb and rice, then up the proportion slowly until it is all the new food.
I hope this helps. Let me know if I can help you any further.
Your Bulldog Pal,