French Bulldog Allergy Treatments and Prevention

French Bulldog Allergy Treatments and Prevention

What are some of the symptoms of allergies?

•Hot Spots, also called “Moist Dermatitis” (flaming red bouts of skin with moist puss coming out)
•Hives & Bumps
•Constantly Itching (that is not flea related)
•Swollen and Watering Eyes (so much that they never stop)
•Chronic Ear Infections
•Constant Paw Licking
•Butt Twirling or Scooting (They are trying to reach an itch, this can also be anal glands needing to be expressed)
•Face Rubbing on Furniture/Carpeting
•Constantly Stinks, Baths Don’t Help Much (this can also be yeast infection)
•Interdigital Cysts Between Toes
•Swollen, Puffy, Red, Bloodshot Eyes
•Chronic Wrinkle Inflammation
•Abundance of Yeast Growth

There are many different allergy sources. Allergens are quite literally EVERYWHERE. Here are some different allergy types so you can start approaching this with an open mind.

  • ENVIRONMENTALThe most common allergies that effect most of us, humans and canines alike, are environmental. The dust mites blowing out of your AC vent. The flowers in bloom outdoors. Freshly cut grass. Many of these allergens are literally floating in the air we breathe. There is no escaping these allergens, only surviving them. Daily allergy medication will help combat these allergies. You can take steps to keep your home as dust and allergen free as possible with vacuuming, changing out your air filters, dust mite/bed bug covers, etc.
  • FOOD ALLERGIESWith all the bad ingredients found in many low grade pet foods, our pets are reacting not only to what it is in these foods but where they get their ingredients sourced from. Many times, a high quality diet can cure almost all of your bullies allergy problems. However, many times a limited ingredient diet, raw or home cooked, may become necessary. These diets can help identify food allergies much faster because you only have a certain number of ingredients to look at. For many Frenchie owners, finding the right food has changed their lives for the better. I cannot stress the importance of “Finding the right food” for your Frenchie. Even those Frenchies with severe allergy problems have found so much relief in a high quality, immune boosting diet. We will discuss the importance of diet further in this article so please continue reading.
  • CONTACT ALLERGIESWhile most allergies are usually divided into just two groups, I decided that Contact Allergies should be in a whole category of its own. While contact allergies are environmental, these actually come into contact with the skin so they can be avoided unlike other environmental allergies that cannot be avoided. Contact allergies are EVERYWHERE! Grass, bushes, blankets, bowls, beds, and even their crate and can be just about anything. If your Frenchie has a sudden outbreak of the itchies or hives, look around. Have they come into contact with something new?Let me give you some examples to open your mind to the possibilities:•Have you recently cleaned your floors with a new cleaner?
    •Have you bought any new toys?
    •Did you change your laundry detergent/fabric softener?
    •Did you buy a new floor rug?
    •Have you had your carpets cleaned?
    •Have you used any topical flea treatments?
  • TREATMENTThere are many different ways to treat allergies; it is important to go over the many different treatment options with your Vet. Don’t let them give you a package of pills and send you on your way. This only guarantees your Frenchie another vet visit next month, is only temporary relief, and just masks the source of the problem which will likely just return.If your Frenchie has been itching nonstop and you are finding hives, open sores and/or hair loss, you will likely need a trip to the vet. Many times the constant itching can cause skin infections that will need to be treated with antibiotics.
  • Steroids – Steroids should only be used as a temporary relief. Many vets may call this an “Allergy Shot.” Beware of this terminology because knowing what is in this miracle shot is important. Make sure you ask! Long term usage of steroid pills in smaller doses is not completely uncommon, but you should discuss the risks of using this type of treatment.
  • Antibiotics – Antibiotics are one of the number one things prescribed to you by your vet. Antibiotics are wonderful, but most kill broad spectrum bacteria which means they also kill the GOOD bacteria, as well as the BAD bacteria in the body. It is important to give Probiotics when giving antibiotics to help replenish the good bacteria. A spoonful of plain yogurt in each meal is a great way to give daily probiotics.
  • Allergy Testing – There are different allergy tests out there, and many vets don’t really seem to want to do these tests because they are not 100% accurate and can produce false positives and negatives. Depending on the type of test will depend on the accuracy. In my personal opinion, it is better to know something than to know nothing at all. Keep in mind that some of your test results may not be perfect, at least it will give you an idea of the allergens that are clearly effecting your pet. There is usually a scale that comes with the testing, saying which are ‘borderline’ and which are ‘severe.’
  • It is also important to know that if you get allergy testing done before they are over 1 year old, you really should get another test done after one year. It takes a full year of life to develop antibodies that fight allergens, and their bodies must be exposed to different allergens of all the four seasons.
  • NuVet Plus Supplement – Nuvet has pages and pages of testimonials regarding how it has saved their pet from a lifetime of allergy problems, tear stains, lethargy, itching, ect. NuVet Plus is an immune system booster and will help not only with allergies but many other health problems.
  • Allergy Shots – Allergy shots can be specially produced according to what your allergy test above reveals. You are trying to build up an immunity to what they are allergic to specifically, but this is a slow process and you may not see any results for a full year. This is no miracle cure, but it is worth the time and effort for the possibility of some relief.
  • Cyclosporine/Atopica – Cyclosporine should be a last ditch effort to allergy treatments. There are many noted side effects, but this has also been the ‘wonder drug’ for many pets with severe allergies.
  • Natural Remedies – There are many natural remedy choices for helping with allergies. These are not as broadly used because Veterinarians don’t sell or market them. One that was discussed recently on our forum is worth trying, it’s called “Yucca Intensive.” Yucca Intensive is an outstanding, safe, all-natural supplement that is given for a number of reasons, including the joints, skin, and digestion. Yucca is a purified extract derived from the Yucca plant, which is thought to promote symptom relief similar to steroid medications with none of the side effects.
  • Daily Antihistamine – Besides over the counter Benadryl, there are many other daily allergy medications. Zyrtec, Claritin, Hydroxyzine, and many more. Pets react differently to different antihistamines so you may have to try a few out to find out which works best for your Frenchie.
  • “Prescription Diet” – In some cases, prescription diets can help. For most Frenchies however, this should be something you turn and run from in the other direction as fast as you can! These diets are full of bad ingredients and are not good for the long term life of your pet.There are so many high quality diets and limited ingredient diets out there that are made by good companies with excellent ingredients — for the same price per pound, if not less. There’s also the option of home cooking and/or feeding a raw diet.
  • TREATING COMMON ALLERGY FLARE UPSYEAST & BACTERIA – Yeast is a Frenchie owner’s worst enemy! Many Frenchies may be diagnosed by a Veterinarian of having allergy problems, when they actually have a yeast infection. Yeast infections are commonly caused by allergies, they seem to go hand-in-hand in most cases, especially in Frenchies. If yeast makes its way into your pet’s ears, wrinkles, tail pocket, vaginal fold, nose ropes, or any other warm cozy and moist areas, it can grow and spread quickly.
  • So what does yeast look like? Well, that is a difficult answer. Many Frenchie owners may describe it as a dark brown-reddish substance. However, a culture of that “substance” may bring back different forms of bacteria and fungus, as it is not likely that it is only yeast overgrowth. Us Frenchie owners know it looks bad, smells awful, and itches. Unless you get a culture done at your vet you will not knowexactly what you are dealing with. This is why it is a good idea to treat and maintain with products that kill both fungus and bacteria.

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