Shar-peis, basset hounds, neapolitan mastiffs, bulldogs and dogue de bordeaux. What do they all have in common? They are all dogs with excess skin and wrinkles!
Whilst dogs with rolls can look appealing, their excess skin can, unfortunately, predispose them to chronic skin, eye and ear issues. Here’s how it can all “unfold”.
Excess tissue forming folds is a real problem for skin health. These skin folds trap moisture and heat, and are difficult to clean, making them prone to developing irritation and bacterial or yeast infections.
Additionally, thick, puffy skin rolls can make it difficult for veterinary staff to access the dog’s veins beneath. This can prove a problem if that pet ever requires intravenous medications or fluids, such as for routine surgical procedures or health emergencies.
Excess skin around the eyes of droopy-skinned dogs can alter the shape of their eyelids. This can make these breeds prone to ‘entropion’, a condition where excess eyelid tissue rolls inwards, causing the eyelashes to rub painfully against the surface of the eye. Dogs with entropion often have weepy, sore eyes and can develop severe infections or eye ulcers – left untreated, this can progress to permanent eye damage or even blindness.
Unfortunately, many of these loose-skinned breeds can also be predisposed to recurrent, painful ear infections. This is partially due to breed-related conformational issues, such as large, floppy ears, in breeds such as the basset hound, and the unusually narrow ear canals of the shar-pei, but may also be due to underlying allergies.
If your dog has excess skin, it’s best to check them frequently for any signs of discomfort and seek advice from our Pet Doctors’ team if you have concerns. We’ll help to keep them “on a roll” with their skin, eye and ear health!