Mange in Bulldog – Hereditary or Stress Related?

I am getting a one year old frenchie and they said that she has stress mange and that it is haredity. vet said that spaying her should fix it so the people have had her spayed is this true will that stop her mange just wondered

It will help but it may not stop it.  Stress is definitely a factor is the health
of a dog, especially when it comes to skin disorders.  Mange occurs when
otherwise harmless little parasites live at the base of the hair follicules of
a dog.  When immunity is compromised these little critters multiply and
take over, destroying the base of the hair follicules and causing hair loss
and a ratty look.
Mange can be passed on from mother dog to pup although most breeders
would not allow this to occur.  Mange or demodex as it’s called in young
dogs may resolve itself on its own or may need treatment which usually
consists of a course of Ivermectin.
It can go away on it’s own in a couple months in a healthy dog but a
bulldog with a compromised immune system will need treatment.

Food Allergies or Demodectic Mange?

Hi Jan,

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



Hi Tracey,

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
immune system.

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,



Hair Falling Out Around French Bulldog’s Eyes

Hello Jan,

My name is Erica I have a 81/2month old brindle frenchie lately I’ve noticed around her eyes she seems to be loosing hair and today one of her eyes looks a little puffy. I use puppy wipes to clean her face but have stopped using them just in case I didn’t know if it was from the wipes or maybe her food. We use  purina pro plan just wondering what I could do at home first to prevent going to the vet.

Thanks, Erica

Hi Erica,

From your description & your dog’s age that sounds like an outbreak of demodectic mange or a proliferation of mites.  Mites normally live peacefully on a dog’s skin but can get out of hand and start to multiply.  Since they live in the base of the hair follicle they will cause the hair to fall out.  Around the eyes is one of the places it shows up.

Most cases of mites will resolve themselves on their own with no treatment.  It is difficult to treat by the eyes because most products should not be allowed in eyes.

Diet is important in your dog’s immune system’s ability to fight off invaders like mites.  I would suggest you get a higher quality diet for your Frenchie.  Go to your local specialty dog food store (not a big box store) and get a human grade food made with no corn, no wheat, no soy, no chicken.  Try a lamb and rice formula I recommend in my book such as Prairie or a fish diet like Taste of the Wild.

Good luck – keep me posted.

Your Bulldog Pal,



Folliculitis Hair Follicle Infection and Diet in English Bulldog

Hi Jan,

How are you?  I noticed that you have a new program on nutrition.
What would you recommend for Folliculitis?  Biggie has had a skin
infection and we treated it with antibiotics but it seems to be back
any suggestions?


Sherry and Rick


Hi Sherry,

Did you read the material?  It’s free for all my clients and it
has a lot of useful information specifically about nutrition
and skin disorders.

One big problem for English Bulldogs is genetic weakness
in certain areas, especially the immune system that fights off
infection, due to inbreeding to meet AKC show standards.

This depressed immunity can plague many bulldogs with
skin conditions that a normal immune system can fight off.

So nutrition is very important to help boost immunity and
let your bulldog heal from within.

Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicules and is characterized
by small white or red bumps on the skin.  It looks similar to mange
and often in a bullie there are mites attacking the base of the hair

The root of the hair follicle is under the skin and when it is damaged,
it becomes vulnerable to invaders.  It will often clear up on it’s own
in about a week, but with bulldogs with weak immune systems
drugs are often prescribed.

Folliculits can be caused by a fungus or bacterial (staph) infection.
I’m assuming your vet did skin scrapings to test for mites, and see
what fungus or bacteria might be present and is treating it with
the appropriate medication.

Folliculitis is also known as pyoderma or hot spots, so be sure
to read my section on those conditions in my Bulldog Health System.

If your vet did not do skin scrapings, go to a dermatologist specialty
vet who will because if it gets deep into the tissue it will become
harder to treat.

Once cleared, there are definitely some things you can do for
Biggie’s nutrition that will help.

First is diet.  I recall you are feeding Biggie a human grade food.
It’s important to rotate foods every 90 – 120 days so he gets a
variety.  You can choose from the ones on my list in the food

Also, you can add some supplements.  Even though they
might be included in your food, you need to give him extra
Omega 3s (not 6 and 9), probiotics (because he was on
antibiotics), and also an enzyme formula.  See the Supplements
list I recommend.

I think in your case, you need to get the specific bacteria or
fungus identified and treated.  I’m familiar with this because
Vivy had it (she had most immune related disorders!).  With
proper specific treatment, it should clear up.  Then the good
diet and supplements should help his immunity.

You also should let Biggie get lots of direct sunshine (when it’s
not too hot or intense) because sunshine kills bacteria.  That
shouldn’t be hard since bulldogs love to lay in the sun!

You might also consider some of the suggestions in the new
book about adding fresh food to his diet.  Even the best kibble
is deficient because of the way it is manufactured.

And yes, I did get a new puppy, Archie, he’s two now.  I did
a huge amount of research into breeders so I could avoid a
lot of the helath problems I had with Viv.

He’s been really healthy except he’s allergic to chicken! which
is in most dog food.  That’s what led to my new book on “The
Miracle of Healing with Food”.  I feed him a base of
human grade kibble with meat and vegetables.

Keep me posted on how Biggie’s doing.

your bulldog pal,


My Bulldog has Little Bumps on Top of Her Head

Hi Jan,

My female bulldog (Sadie) has been getting these little bumps or sores on the top of her head and on her face, her hair falls out in these spot also, my Vet said theyy were skin tags, I disagree and was wondering if they were from allergies? We have her on good dog food that is for dogs with allergy problems, we have her on the Eukanuba Allergy formula. What should I do?



Hi Kerri,

They sound more like localized mange.  Sounds scary, but it’s pretty common in bulldogs,
especially puppies.  It is caused by mites which usually live peacefully on your bulldog,
but can proliferate when your dog’s immune system becomes depressed.

You didn’t mention her age, but it’s more common in young bulldogs.

It often resolves itself within a couple months, but you can treat it topically with benzoyl
peroxide ointment (available at a drug store) or Goodwinoil.  It may look worse before it gets better.
There is also a sulpher based ointment called Nu-Stock.

You could also add some vitamin c and zinc to her diet to help boost her immune system.

The only way to know for sure what it is would be to go to a skin specialist vet (I don’t think
your vet knows much about bulldog skin conditions) who would do skin scrapings and look
under a microscope.

If Sadie doesn’t get better in a month or two or if she gets worse and it spreads over her
body or if the sores grow and look infected, I would definitely take her to a dermatology
specialist vet.

Your Bulldog Pal,



Bald Spots on Bulldog


Currently, our year old
male Jackson has been with a one skin rash that is
round and approximately the size of a small prune
(fruit). This spot especially is hard and flaky. We
have given him a medicated bath and continue to groom
him due to him shedding, but not much near this spot
because he displays that it is tender. Also there are
several spots, much smaller though, around the back of
the neck and couple on the back right upper thigh.
When we brought him into the vet to check these spots,
they pulled a sample of it and put him on Clavamox.
After a lengthy bill, the vet stated that the lab will
watch it for 3 weeks to check to see if there is
anything growing on it. Well, that time has come and
gone as well as the series of medicines. It has been
approx. two months these spots are still present.
Do you have any suggestions? If so, it would be
greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Ryan


Hi Ryan,

There are different causes for these bald spots on a bulldog.
I can’t really tell from your description, but I can give you some

The most common cause for balding is demodex, which is a
mite infestation. A skin scraping should have revealed this.

They could also be pyodermas. There are different types of
pyodermas, and if they are not treated can become systemic.
This may be what your vet suspects and why he prescribed the
antibiotic. A broader spectrum antibiotic may be in order, like Baytril.

There are generally two treatments for pyodermas, depending upon what
type they are. Only a vet can determine the underlying type by doing
skin scrapings.

Pyodermas are caused by different types of bacteria such as staph or
strep. It could be caused by mites (mange) or it could be another

Topical anti-bacterial or anti-fungal medications can be effective
too. Again it depends upon the bacteria present. Monistat, available
at a grocery store or pharmacy without prescription, is effective in
one type of infection. It is important to keep the area clean using a
shampoo such as Chlorhexiderm.

He could also suspect ringworm, which is a fungus. A skin scraping will
also determine whether this is the case. Ringworm is contagious and you
could get it.

Many bulldogs go bald and the most common site for this is on the
sides of the body. Often the baldness is symmetrical on both sides and
the skin underneath blackens. The most likely cause is hormonal or
seasonal alopecia, however it’s worth asking the vet to test Thyroid
function and for Cushings syndrome, especially in dogs that have
recently put on a lot of weight as both of these condition will
initially present as bald sides.

I hope this is of some help. If you don’t have confidence in your
vet, I’d recommend
you take your bulldog to a dermatologist.