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With spring and summer comes allergies ! You will see everything from watery eyes, swollen eyelids, runny nose, hives, and just plain itching. Dogs with allergies may lick and chew their feet, causing them to swell and become red and irritated. Dogs are also more prone to ear infections, because the ears overproduce wax in an effort to respond to the allergen. Yeast and bacteria gain a foothold and an ear infection is the result. I have seen the ear canals swell shut because of allergies. Once they swell shut, it is very hard to get them open again, and they can become very infected because no air can circulate down in the ear canal. You need to speak with your veterinarian about all the options that are available. Dealing with allergies can be frustrating, but learning to manage them is half the battle.

Antihistamines ( Benadryl, zyrtec etc ) Antihistamines help a lot and I prefer Benadryl ( I use the generic )

Hydrocortisone cream ( don’t use hydrocortisone on pregnant or nursing dogs, hydrocortisone can be absorbed through the skin ) You can use this on areas that seem to be really itchy or irritated.

When it come to ear infections and swollen ear canals caused by allergies, nothing beats zymox ( zymox is available from your veterinarian and also online without a prescription ) make sure you get the zymox with hydrocortisone. Zymox can be used every day for months if needed and it is safe to do so. ( do not use hydrocortisone on pregnant or nursing dogs ) Ask your veterinarian about using rimadyl or deramaxx ( rimadyl and deramaxx are normally used for dogs with arthritis, but they have anti inflammatory properties and will bring down the swelling in the ear canals ) Some dogs can’t take rimadyl or duramaxx because it will upset their stomachs or have negative side effects, so if you are using these drugs and you see vomiting or diarrhea stop giving them and call your veterinarian. You want to use the lowest dose possible to control the swelling ( use rimadyl or deramaxx daily for a short time then try using it every other day )

Use an oatmeal based shampoo to bathe your bulldog ( oatmeal sooths and calms the skin )

When it comes to dealing with allergies, the only way you will really know what your bulldog is allergic to. is to do allergy testing. If you decide to do allergy testing consult with a veterinary dermatologist about all your options.