As the proud owner of an English Bulldog, I'm no stranger to the medical issues that sometimes come along with the breed. We've been extremely lucky with our Tootsie Roll's health, but we still have the occasional issues…
Each Spring & Fall we have to stave off the yeast infections in her ears that seem to come up with the changes of the weather. We've gotten pretty good at noting the early signs and found that the best treatment is persistent cleaning with antimicrobial soap on a warm wash cloth and thorough drying. This has helped save many trips to the vet!
The other issue that seems to not only be seasonal, but just a random thing that happens from time to time, is the "seasonal alopecia". Seasonal alopecia is when random patches of fur start to fall out and the skin beneath them darkens. It's very common to the breed, from everything that I've read, and nothing more than an aesthetic annoyance.
The fur will typically grow back when it's good and ready, but makes for a rather mangy looking pup.
This seemed to be happening with the changes of the seasons too, but actually happened a bit more frequently as she got a bit older. She eats the best food money can buy, (grain free, since she has digestive issues with grains), and has the most luxurious of accommodations, but the bald spots were persistent! Not very attractive on our beautiful little girl! Everyone kept asking, "What's wrong with your dog?" Like she was diseased or something! So frustrating!
So I started doing some hefty research. I began looking into topical remedies & special shampoos, but other than the stuff we were already using, that was no spared expense ($28.00 for an 8oz bottle!), there really were no concrete suggestions in that genre. So I kept on looking…
I finally found a few articles on coconut oil. This little miracle substance seems to be good for just about every ailment under the sun! There are so many uses that I could go on for hours and not even scratch the surface of all of it's benefits!
So I figured I would give it a try. I went out and got the organic stuff. Nothing over processed with a ton of additives, but the good, old-fashioned, one-ingredient jar of unrefined, organic coconut oil. Now the measurements of how much to give your dog will vary based on what size dog you have, but I found that about 1-1/2 tablespoons melted down and poured over her food once a day was a good amount for her. She didn't seem to mind the taste at all. In fact, she actually seems to prefer her food with it!
It was amazing! Within a day or two, we could actually see her hair coming back. The skin beneath lightened up and her coat was shiny again! It worked like a charm! It also seemed to help with any itchy, dry skin she had around her nose & ears.
Now I always put some into her food everyday, because it has more benefits than just the skin & coat treatment. I figured it won't hurt to keep it as part of her regular diet. I've also found that if I stop putting it into her food, the bald spots will actually start to show up again. So as soon as I see any sign of it, in goes the coconut oil and away goes the alopecia!
Another thing we've found to be VERY useful in helping to rid our girl of these ugly seasonal patches is to have her spend some good quality time soaking up some sunshine. The natural Vitamin D helps to bring the hair folicles back to life!
I can't guarantee that this will work for your dog, but at the very least, it certainly shouldn't hurt them!
This is, in no way intended as a cure or treatment that should replace regular veterinary care and if you see any signs of sores on the skin or other irritations, I would highly recommend a visit to your vet to make sure there are no other underlying causes, as these could be the signs of a much more serious skin condition or infection. We always want nothing but the best care for our pets, as well as yours, so always check with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's diet.
For more holistic health information, check out this AMAZING article on the benefits of MCT oil vs. Coconut oil