Skin and Coat Health: Bulldog suffering from acne-like symptom

April 13, 2012

Don’t be surprised if your Bulldog has acne-like bumps on its chin and muzzles. Dogs can get acne too and this skin concern is most common in Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweiler, Great Danes and Bulldogs. It’s a good thing dogs are not concerned with their looks. Dogs don’t have hands that can pop zits either. However, fastidious dog owners would want to maintain the admirable appearance of the pet. The dog’s appearance after all is a reflection of the care that the pet receives from the owner. It is understandable if the dog owner would want to remove anything that should not be on the face of the dog. Just as what they customarily do on the pimples on their face, a dog owner may be tempted to pop the pimple, black head or white head on the dog’s chin, muzzle and lip. Acne may mar the appearance of your Bulldog but please don’t dare pop the bump. Doing so can worsen the condition and lead to the development of secondary bacterial infection.

The pus-filled bumps, the scabs, black heads and white heads found on the face of humans with acne are also found in dogs with this skin disorder. The only difference is that while human acne would cover the face and may also develop on the back, canine acne will only be found on the chin, muzzle and lips of the dog. Canine acne is usually mild and would not really bother the dog. However, because the pustules will be itchy, the dog will have the tendency to scratch and to rub affected skin on objects. We know dogs have the tendency to scratch relentlessly. A dog owner has to prevent the pet from doing so to avoid the development of secondary bacterial infection. It would be very beneficial for the pet if the dog owner would have an idea how acne is developed, treated and prevented.

The eruption of bumps can be triggered by the dog’s weak immune system, stress, allergies and hormonal imbalance. Acne can also be due to excessive production of the sebum or oil that lubricates and makes the dog’s skin supple. This oil that waterproofs the fur can have an adverse effect if produced excessively. Sebaceous glands are found near the hair follicles. An abnormal secretion of the sebaceous glands occurs during adolescence. This accounts for the prevalence of acne in teenagers. Dogs aging 5 to 8 months are considered to be in the adolescence period. The sebaceous glands will enlarge and excessively produce sebum. This will result to the thickening of the walls of the hair follicles. Bacteria will react with sebum and result to the formation of keratinous plug that will seal follicular opening. This will result to the formation of comedones (white and black heads to us humans).

Most cases of canine acne are mild enough not to require treatment. The eruption of pus-filled bumps usually stops when the dog gets older. Moderate cases would be easily resolved especially if treatment is given before the condition is worsened by secondary bacterial infection. Any situation that compromises the dog’s immune system or causes stress will cause the eruption of pimples. Acne can also be due to allergies. As with human acne, canine acne cannot be totally cured but it is possible to control the development of pimples. Affected chin and muzzles must be washed daily with warm water or with mild cleansers. Benzoyl peroxide is an anti acne product proven effective in reducing the itch. Antibacterial wash can control the outbreaks and also prevent the affected area from being infected. Acne would be itchy. To prevent the dog from scratching, an E-collar can be used at least while the pus-filled bumps are healing.

The papules and the pustules will be very itchy thus the dog must be stopped form scratching.

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