Bull terriers are intelligent, easily trained dogs that are popular as house pets. They were first bred in 19th-century England, as a cross between bull dogs and terriers. They can become aggressive with other dogs, but are affectionate and loyal to people. Unfortunately, bull terriers are prone to some major health problems, including joint issues, kidney defects and skin problems. These skin issues are most common in white "bullies," which have tender pink skin.
Acrodermatitis occurs most often in puppies, after they have stopped nursing. Without the antibodies provided in their mother's milk, puppies develop skin lesions. The lesions appear most often between the puppy's toes and on its muzzle. A malformed mouth and difficulty eating usually accompany the problem. The pups generally weaken and die of infection. Recessive genes cause Acrodermatitis.
Adult bull terriers are prone to a wide range of skin disorders. The diseases can spread from the dog's ears and eyes to its feet, legs, anal glands and fur. Lesions are usually red, itchy, sticky and sweaty, but may also be dry and dusty, with flaking and peeling of skin. This issue results in hair loss, patchy coat and weight loss. These lesions can happen to any bull terrier, but are most common in white dogs.
The causes of skin lesions could be something simple, like a cut or scrape. They can also be caused by a bullie's over sensitivity to fleas, mites and ticks. Other allergy-like reactions can come from grass, pollen, washing detergent and soap. Many bull terriers also have exaggerated reactions to vaccines, medications and chemicals. All of these causes attack a dog's compromised immune system and result in skin problems. Because it's a case of immune deficiency, treatments usually include increased nutrition and supplementation to boost a dog's natural immunity.
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