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English Bulldog with supersensitive skin

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  • English Bulldog with supersensitive skin

    Hi everyone...Hope I can get some ideas from you.
    We have this cutest 2 year-old bulldog who comes in for grooming. He is adorable, with tons of wrinkled down his back, very playful. But his skin is so sensitive it bleeds just from you looking on it (well, not quite that sensitive but close).
    He also sheds a lot and here is the problem. The tops of his wrinkles, especially at the base of the neck, start getting raw if you brush him too much. The note in his file says "do not use Furminator". Last time I used only King Zoom Groom rubber brush and did not brush long at all, stretched his skin as much as possible, and still the wrinkles started getting raw. In fact, it started getting red while I was still washing him. And I did not brush him nearly enough to deshed.

    I thought next time maybe I can soap him up with Espree Simple Shed shampoo, rinse and let him sit in shedless conditioner for 5 minutes, then blow it all off with HV. Rinse, dry with HV, do as little brushing as I can to avoid irritating wrinkles. Hopefully this will remove much of the shedding hair. What else would you recommend? Is there a remedy to this super sensitive skin?
    Thanks for any ideas!
    tvergirl2001

  • #2
    If he were one of my clients I would use either a hypo shampoo or Show Seasons Soothe with my recirc on low pressure and COOL water. I wouldn't recommend soaking him in any shampoo or conditioner, cause that can irritate this type skin. If you don't have a recirc, use a very diluted shampoo mixture and follow with a very dilute fragrance free conditioner or Soothe conditioner. If I used a HV on him at all, I'd use it very briefly on low, without a nozzel, and then let him finish drying in a towel padded crate with a fan. No brushing, currying, furminator and no perfume or finishing spray. With these ultra sensitive skinned dogs, IMO deshedding isn't the main objective. Getting him clean without causing injury to the skin is my main goal. I'd also reccomend the owner bring him frequently. Once weekly or every ten days if possible.

    Do you know if the owner has tried to determine if there is an outside source causing the skin issue?
    SheilaB from SC

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tvergirl2001 View Post
      Is there a remedy to this super sensitive skin?
      No. There is nothing that will fix this problem because it is genetic, caused by the excessive wrinkling of his skin and probably other problems with his DNA as well.

      Every time we have a customer voice a longing to own an example of a breed with a physical exaggeration I warn them away from such tomfoolery because where you find the exaggeration you will find a physical problem linked to it. A good example is this Bulldog and his packing around more skin than his body needs to cover it. Look what issues he has as a result.

      I feel bad for such dogs because of what they have to go through for however long, or short, their lives will be, but what can I tell you? Exaggeration sells well and wins in the show ring. As long as that's the case, breeders will breed for exaggeration, judges will reward it, pet owners will buy it and the dogs pay the price in the end.

      With this particular Bulldog, I'd probably just give him a hypo bath, blow him dry, wipe him down with a towel and send him home. If you can't even use a dull Zoom Groom on him without wrecking his skin, you can't do a real de-shed treatment on him so I wouldn't even try.

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      • #4
        I also wouldn't use the deshed products on him. I would use an unscented hypo shampoo, a hypo conditioner if you have one, blow dry and very lightly rubber curry. Other than that, the more manipulation and the more chemicals on his skin the higher the chance of irritation. I have a client who 'breeds' bulldogs, and a lot of them are very sensitive. I say "breeds" because she is essentially a BYB, and most of her dogs have some ailment that requires special attention. Sometimes, a plain and simple approach can be the best when it comes to skin issues.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sheilabgroomer View Post
          If he were one of my clients I would use either a hypo shampoo or Show Seasons Soothe with my recirc on low pressure and COOL water. I wouldn't recommend soaking him in any shampoo or conditioner, cause that can irritate this type skin. If you don't have a recirc, use a very diluted shampoo mixture and follow with a very dilute fragrance free conditioner or Soothe conditioner. If I used a HV on him at all, I'd use it very briefly on low, without a nozzel, and then let him finish drying in a towel padded crate with a fan. No brushing, currying, furminator and no perfume or finishing spray. With these ultra sensitive skinned dogs, IMO deshedding isn't the main objective. Getting him clean without causing injury to the skin is my main goal. I'd also reccomend the owner bring him frequently. Once weekly or every ten days if possible.

          Do you know if the owner has tried to determine if there is an outside source causing the skin issue?
          Thank you, sheilabgroomer. I did not think of soaking as causing more irritation but it does make sense. The owner "thinks" it allergies but she did not go to the vet to confirm it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Doubledogdare View Post
            No. There is nothing that will fix this problem because it is genetic, caused by the excessive wrinkling of his skin and probably other problems with his DNA as well.

            Every time we have a customer voice a longing to own an example of a breed with a physical exaggeration I warn them away from such tomfoolery because where you find the exaggeration you will find a physical problem linked to it. A good example is this Bulldog and his packing around more skin than his body needs to cover it. Look what issues he has as a result.

            I feel bad for such dogs because of what they have to go through for however long, or short, their lives will be, but what can I tell you? Exaggeration sells well and wins in the show ring. As long as that's the case, breeders will breed for exaggeration, judges will reward it, pet owners will buy it and the dogs pay the price in the end.

            With this particular Bulldog, I'd probably just give him a hypo bath, blow him dry, wipe him down with a towel and send him home. If you can't even use a dull Zoom Groom on him without wrecking his skin, you can't do a real de-shed treatment on him so I wouldn't even try.
            Thank you, DDD. I always enjoy your no-nonsense point of view on this forum. I will have to tell the owner, she will have to choose, deshedded dog with raw bleeding skin (not my choice) or just clean good smelling bulldog with hair falling all over the house.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by woofus View Post
              I also wouldn't use the deshed products on him. I would use an unscented hypo shampoo, a hypo conditioner if you have one, blow dry and very lightly rubber curry. Other than that, the more manipulation and the more chemicals on his skin the higher the chance of irritation. I have a client who 'breeds' bulldogs, and a lot of them are very sensitive. I say "breeds" because she is essentially a BYB, and most of her dogs have some ailment that requires special attention. Sometimes, a plain and simple approach can be the best when it comes to skin issues.
              Thank you, woofus. I am so glad I posted this question here. That helped me to avoid doing more damage to poor doggie!

              Comment


              • #8
                Have you tried talking to the owner about the source of the irritation? I think that would be the first thing I would do upon seeing how painful that seems to the poor doggie.
                English Bulldog breeding is a very touchy sort of field, there are a lot of genetic issues that continue to be exaggerated without regard to the suffering the dog must live through, and it is this reckless breeding that is almost undoubtedly the cause for his hypersensitivity. Soothing, gentle shampoos are a great idea to help him feel more comfortable during the groom, but they won't solve his problem.
                I'd strongly urge you to have a friendly conversation with the owner about getting their dog onto a higher quality food (free of typical allergens like grains, chicken, potatoes, etc), testing for allergies with a vet, or perhaps getting some supplements for skin & coat health. Their poor baby is suffering, and Bulldogs have enough problems as it is! Unfortunately there's nothing they can do about the breathing problems and deformities the dog must live around, but at the very least maybe they can help those cutie wrinkles not be so sore!

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                • #9
                  I have only groomed him once, and next time I see the dog will be in September. But I will be sure to ask about food/vet check for allergies, etc.
                  Thank you all for good input - I knew I will get and idea how to proceed from this board!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a friend who has an english bulldog who used to have horrid skin, she has him on a grain free salmon or Bison diet I believe, probiotics daily and gives him Bragg's Apple Cider Vineger every day, his skin is so clear and white it's hard to believe its the same dog.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you, I will have a talk with the owner about diet when I see them next. Good suggestion!

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