English Bulldog Paw Infection Signs, Symptoms & Remedies
An exquisite breed of pooch characterized by its distinctive wrinkled face and pushed up nose, Bulldogs or English bulldogs as they are widely known to have had a long-standing friendship with humans for as long back as the 17th century.
In English culture, the four-legged muscular creature has been linked with strength, defiance and hard willed determination. From politics, sport, business and even science, the bull dog stands as a combative and aggressive figure, eager to maintain order, stability, and peace.
The most prominent reference that links bulldogs to humans activities, be it mundane or extraordinary, is the exploits of ex British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill during World War II, where the later defied the all imposing Nazi Germany.
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As a creature known for its establishment of order, Bulldogs relationship with human have transcended from just endearments to security. Despite being a tough and ferocious creature, Bulldogs often crumble under the weight of painful infections, which greatly affects their performance.
Prominent among these infections, Paw infections otherwise known as Pododermatitis, is one of the most common infections which plagues bulldogs. In this article, we’ll thoroughly deliberate on Bulldog Paw infection, its symptoms, remedy, causes as well as treatment of the infection.
Paw Infections (Pododermatitis): What is it?
Paw Infections, known as Pododermatitis, or better still as Interdigital Dermatitis is a common condition in breeds of dogs such as English Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, Mastiffs, Basset Hounds, German Shorthaired Pointers, German Shepherds and many more, which causes the inflammation of a pooch paw, which leads to irritation, and thus periodic chewing and itching, which finally leads to irritating red paws, which prevents dogs from walking.
Though it may seem as a disease, paw infection is a not a disease, but a condition, which affects lots of dogs. Aside the paws, a bulldog foot pads, nail folds, and nails, can also be infected by Pododermatitis. Pododermatitis is a condition which cannot be promptly diagnosed by vet personnels due to the fact that it can be triggered by several causes.
Types Of Pododermatitis In Dogs
If a bulldog is infected by a pruritic disease, Pododermatitis, may be really severe, and lesions may appear to be noticeably swollen. Due to the diverse causes of Pododermatitis, Paw infections have various types for which are listed below;
This sort of paw infection is caused mainly by a parasite. One of the major hallmarks of Parasitic Pododermatitis is the presence of skin biopsy as well as demodicosis. Skin scrap as well as hair plucks are noticeable signs that indicates the parasitic Pododermatitis. Bull dog’s less than four years old, are more susceptible to to parasitic Pododermatitis. This is one of the most difficult cases of Pododermatitis.
Triggered mainly by allergic reactions, from adverse food effects or underlying diseases, this is mainly a bulldog’s response to a allergy. One major hallmark of this sort of Pododermatitis is the fact that treating the primary disease which triggered this Pododermatitis as well as the Pododermatitis itself will ensure the paw infection disappears.
Sterile Pyogranulomatous Pododermatitis:
This sort of pododermatitis is the most common occurrence of pododermatitis in bulldogs. It is marked by follicular cysts, interdigital nodules and lesions.
Listed above are three forms of Pododermatitis which affects bulldogs. This above listed forms of paw Infections gives us insight into the causes of paw Infections in bulldogs. But understanding the major causes of paw infection is the first step in dealing with this sort of infection in bulldogs.
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Causes of Paw Infections In English Bulldogs
Parasites: The presence of demodex mites in large quantities in a dog’s paw is listed as the major cause of parasitic paw infection. Though demodex paw are often present in bulldogs skins in low quantity, a bulldog with genes which makes it vulnerable to demodex mites, can see a rapid expansion in the number of demodex mites, its skin harbours, thus leading to paw infection.
Aside genetics susceptibility, a bulldog with a low immune system, possibly cause by an underlying disease, can also see a rapid expansion in the presence of demodex mites in its skin, thereby resulting into paw infection. The form of pododermatitis which is known as parasitic Pododermatitis results in swelling and rarely bleeding. Though such parasites is rarely transmitted to other bulldogs, transmission is possible.
Allergies: Paw infections triggered by allergies, is one if the most common cases of Pododermatitis in pooches and felines. Allergies may be caused by food, materials, such as latex, dust mites as well as skin diseases. Bulldogs between the age of six months to three years are mostly susceptible to this sort of Pododermatitis.
Obvious signs that indicates a dog is infected by allergic paw infection, includes periodic itching, chewing and licking. In rare cases, pododermatitis can be triggered in bulldogs as a result of pollens. Depending on a bulldog’s personality traits, various materials, which may seem harmless could be a trigger for Pododermatitis.
Foot Infections: Bulldogs with previously known infections, especially infections of the feet, are often plagued with paw infections which further complicates a already badly injured paw. Mostly deep infections, which are caused by fungi and bacteria, a bulldog will continue licking and chewing its paw despite being injured.
In severe cases, the affected paw becomes swollen with bleeding lesions which affects it ability to walk. Ringworms, yeast infections and bacterial infections also are a leading cause of Pododermatitis in bulldogs. In cases where a bulldog is afflicted with ringworm, paw infection may be contagious.
Yeast and bacterial infections are technically imbalance in a bulldog immune system, as they are no stranger to bulldogs.
External Materials: Also known as foreign bodies, a bulldog picks up these materials in the course of the day’s activity. An instance of such bodies, is grass seed, which may become stuck in a bulldog’s paw. After repeated futile attempts to remove these trapped bodies from its paw, inflammation of the paw starts.
It is followed by constant licking, and chewing of the paw. When a bulldog has a lesion in its foot already, it is most likely that external materials or foreign bodies, becomes trapped in its paw.
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Hormonal Diseases: A rare cause of paw infection in bulldog is the presence of hormonal diseases which invariably affects the body immune system in negative ways. Bulldogs with conditions such as hypothyroidism, whereby, thyroxine which plays a fundamental role in a bulldog metabolism is under secreted, and Cushing’s disease, which is marked by hyper-activeness. In rare cases, bulldogs with such diseases, may be infected with paw Infections.
The above listed causes of paw infection in bulldog may vary in bulldogs due to genetics make up, personality traits, surroundings and interaction with other bulldogs. While a noticeable symptoms as noted in the preceding two sections that indicates a bulldog is diagnosed with Pododermatitis, is licking, chewing and itching of the paws, there are other signs, you should be on the look out for, so as to know when your bulldog is down with paw infection.
Signs That Show That Your English Bulldog Has Paw Infection
- Swollen and Red Paws: This is one of the most common signs that indicates your bulldog is down with paw Infection. While other infections may also carry this sort of symptom, it’s an indication that your bulldog may well be infected with Pododermatitis.
- Hair loss: Due to constant chewing and licking, your bulldog paw will most likely lose hair at an alarming rate..
- Hyperpigmentation: Blood Clots from bleeding, as well as red paws may well turn out to hyperpigmentation after a period of being infected with Pododermatitis.
- Crust: Overtime or depending on the rate at which Pododermatitis spread in a bulldog, a hardened layer which definitely will be a cause of discomfort for your bulldog with form on it paws.
- Nodules: Either a lump beneath the paws of a bulldog or an external growth, overtime, this will form as fast as the pododermatitis spreads. This is caused by cell abnormalities, which is one of the principal effects of Pododermatitis.
- Lesion Pus/Abscesses: Due to continually chewing and licking, lesions will form on a bulldog paws infected with Pododermatitis. Puses may begin to eject from this lesions and some may just remain under the paws as abscesses.
Listed above are six of the major symptoms that a bulldog diagnosed with paw infections exhibit. While we’ve discussed extensively on paw infections, it’s causes and symptoms, it’s of importance to know how well to go about diagnosis and treatment of Pododermatitis.
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Diagnosis of Pododermatitis In English Bulldogs
Treating Pododermatitis in bulldogs can be gone about in various ways, but treatment primarily depends on the cause of the infection. Treatment of Pododermatitis caused by allergies, with the use of antibiotics may be ineffective, so it’s of utmost importance to understand why your bulldog is infected with Pododermatitis, before going about treatment. As a way of investigating the cause of paw infection in your dog, an X-ray of your dog paw is recommended.
This may reveal any trapped external materials or foreign bodies in its paw, or the presence of bone issues, which possibly may be the cause of Pododermatitis. Urinalysis as well as a blood test will do well to reveal if your dog is suffering from any underlying infection, which possibly could be the cause of Pododermatitis.
The introduction of Dermatophyte test medium (DTM) culture by a veterinarian, may also do well to detect if your bulldog suffers from ringworm, which likely may be the cause of Pododermatitis.
If you bulldog recently came down with Pododermatitis, after you introduced it to a new diet , it’s possible, Pododermatitis may be as a result of food allergic reactions. It also could be materials, such as nylons or latex which may be a cause of allergic Pododermatitis.
After detecting the cause of paw infection or Pododermatitis in your bulldog, immediate treatment should follow.
Treatment of Pododermatitis In English Bulldogs
In not so severe cases of Pododermatitis, where there swelling and inter-digital cysts. An Epsom salt bath is recommended in such cases.
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- Fill a bucket with warm water, up to 3 inches high, and add 1 cup of Epsom salt. Soak your dog’s paw affected by inter-digital cyst or lesions, rising from Pododermatitis complications, for about 10 minutes. After this, dry your bulldog paw, and then dip it paw into a cup containing hydrogen peroxide, one inch high. There will bubbles in the areas of the paws affected by the lesions. Thus bubbles are caused by enzymes from infected blood cells. This should be done between two to three times daily and will ensure the cyst or lesions become painless and eventually fade out.
If your bulldog is diagnosed with fungal or bacterial infections, a veterinarian will administer anti fungal or antibiotics drugs to compact the infections. Your bulldog should be on the drug for a minimum of 6 weeks, to ensure the infection is fully combated. Fungal injections are also recommended.
In the case of a food allergy, it is of utmost importance to remove chicken from your bulldog’s diet. This is due to the fact that drugs and preservatives in chickens can cause skin issues such as paw infection in bulldogs. Chicken can be substituted with fish or other meats, but ensure they should be as organic as possible.
You can also do well to remove any other food you suspect your dog may be allergic to. If unsure of what your dog is allergic to, an allergy testing with do well to reveal what your dog is allergic to.
Corticosteroids and other steroids can be recommended by a veterinarian to deal with swelling and other complications arising from Pododermatitis.
In cases where there may be foreign bodies or external materials trapped in the paws of your dog, inspection may help in revealing such materials. In severe cases where such materials are hidden, a veterinarian may recommend surgery.
Bulldogs with Pododermatitis caused by genetics issues or low immune system, should be taken to a veterinarian who will access the health situation of the bulldog and recommend a fitting drug.
Listed above are treatment procedures in dealing with Pododermatitis. But prevention is way way better than cure. It is advisable to always check your dog’s paws after a long day out for foreign bodies. Whenever your bulldog is ill, ensure a veterinarian attends to it. Clean wounds and injuries immediately, with hydrogen peroxide.
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Recovery from Paw Infection In English Bulldogs
After treatment has been administered, to ensure paw infection do not recur, here are some tips to follow.
- Ensure you do follow up on your veterinarian who will access the recovery of your dog.
- If you dog had surgery, there will be instructions given by the veterinarian, do well to follow these instructions.
- Ensure bandages are moist free.
- It is advisable you get a Elizabethan collar, what is commonly known as a cone, to prevent your dog from chewing and licking the infected paw.
- Engage your dog is regular exercise walks.