Skin allergies in dogs – an essay about treatments and options

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Be alert before your dog shows signs

Bull Terriers have a high pain tolerance which I personally do not consider a good thing. Because that means if your Bull Terrier shows signs of discomfort or pain something is REALLY wrong and probably existed unnoticed for a while already.
This makes it also very important to watch your Bull Terrier closely and not just dismiss unusual skin appearance, very red paws, excessive licking, evading reactions to being cuddled (when it’s usually loved) and things like that.

I strongly believe – and I can’t really stress this enough – that a lot of non-cancerous skin ailments in Bull Terriers are connected to their nutrition in one way or the other. I am convinced that a high-quality and balanced nutrition is key for the health of the dog on the one hand and key for recovery on the other if health issues occur regarding the skin, digestive system and ears.


In this article I explain why in my opinion these very different parts of the body all share a connection and why I consider a proper nutrition so important.

A conclusion

There are not many treatment strategies listed in this article I personally would flatly recommend.
My strongest recommendation will still be to support the dog’s immune system and to look for the allergy triggers in order to avoid them.
But I know this solution often does not come easy and fast.

And I know how desperate the situation can be when the dog is suffering badly and the owner is reaching for every straw in order to find relief for it. That is why, even though I do not really advocate the medical route with steroids or immunosuppressants, I still mention them here as an option to discuss with your vet. Some situations are just so critical that even radical measures may be a way to go. And sometimes indeed – I understand that from my own experience – the only decision could be between a long life full of suffering or a shorter but symptom-free life.

Every owner has to make this decision on their own. But I encourage you to do your research and ask your vet questions. Ask about side effects, ask about options when steroids are the first suggestion put on the table. And don’t even be afraid to seek a second opinion.
Allergies are a complex and stressful topic. A lot of times it’s just trial and error. But in most cases there’s always more than one way to go. And it’s a good thing to know about all of them!

If you liked this article: I am planning on writing more about these topics. So please check back from time to time. Or if you have immediate questions or suggestions for topics I should write about use the comment section or my contact form.

2 thoughts on “Skin allergies in dogs – an essay about treatments and options

  1. Hi, I’m just wondering if you can help, I have a bull terrier and she’s pregnant she’s got a load of scabs at the back end on her back above her tail she’s been itching them and it’s left a big sore and her hair falls out with the scabs I don’t know what is causing this how would I find out ?

    • Danielle,
      I am so sorry. I will probably not be an immediate help. In such cases there rarely is.
      The itch and hair loss could absolutely be related to the pregnancy. Just as humans, dogs go through hormonal changes during a pregnancy and that can have some undesired side’effects, so to speak.
      But it could as well be completely unrelated. Allergies, inflammation, hair loss and itch can be caused by an abundance of triggers. Environment, nutrition, general health, genetics, stress or lack of exercise – just to name some things.
      My experience is that in Bull Terriers allergies are very often related to their nutrition. Even if it’s not the trigger, a good nutrition supports the immune system which then helps the dog to cope better with allergies.
      What I would do in your case is, first, take a VERY close look into the time period since the hair loss and itch started and try to see if anything changed for your dog since then. Products you use it could come in contact with (detergent etc.), food, treats, seasons, stress or boredom.
      And then I would make an appointment with a vet you trust and discuss your findings with them.
      In the meantime you could use a disinfectant for animals and epsom salt rubs (it the spot is not raw and open, because epsom salt stings, dogs usually hate that) to prevent the spot from attracting secondary infection, because that will only make things worse and harder to handle.
      If you want, feel free to post the vet’s opinion and your own findings here. I will be happy to help keep digging through the information you are able to gather in order to maybe get closer to the causes.

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