Eye problems can be serious for a French Bulldog.
Frenchies don’t have much of a snout to protect their eyes from scratches or bumping into things. A short snout and other genetic predispositions may cause them to have frequent problems with their eyes.
If your French Bulldog’s eyes are red and watery, they are squinting, or if there are any visible marks on the surface of their eye, it is important to get them the proper care as soon as you can. Any delay can cause a serious infection and even result in permanent blindness or the loss of an eye.
Dry eye, corneal ulcers, and cherry eye are the most common eye problems your Frenchie may experience. More than half of these eye problems are caused by an injury to the cornea.
Some other common French Bulldog eye problems you may come across are entropion (a condition where the genetic trait of droopy eyelids causes the eyelid to roll inward and cause the eyelashes to scratch the eye), ectropion (another condition where the genetic trait of droopy eyelids cause the lower eyelid to sag and expose the delicate tissues underneath), abnormal eyelashes, persistent pupillary membranes, and pink eye. It’s also common for French Bulldogs to suffer from allergies that may irritate their eyes.
This condition is one of the most common eye problems that Frenchies experience. Cherry eye can be characterized by red tissue protruding from the inside corner of the eye. The protruding tissue is caused by the prolapsed gland of the eyelid. If a Frenchie has this eye problem, they may also experience other symptoms like discharge and excessively watery eyes.
Cherry eye is usually not painful, but if not treated in a timely manner it can lead to other serious eye problems. Treatment for this condition will involve suturing the gland back in place or completely removing the gland.
Dry eye occurs when your Frenchie’s eyes are not producing enough tears due to a congenital defect, disease, removal of Cherry Eye, or medication.
The dryness will cause the cornea of the eye and the surrounding tissues to become inflamed. In response, the eyes will produce thick yellow or green discharge. Dry eye can be painful for your pup so if you notice them squinting or blinking a lot, they may need treatment as soon as possible. Treatment will involve the daily application of an ointment or eye drop.
Out of all the eye problems your Frenchie may experience, corneal ulcers can be the most serious. Corneal ulcers will cause your pup to be in extreme pain, and they will try to relieve the pain by rubbing their eyes.
Ulcers are usually caused by some type of trauma, untreated dry eye, or a chemical burn due to soap or shampoo, and it will require urgent medical care.
Treatment will involve the application of antibiotic ointment as well as medication for pain and swelling. If the ulcer is very severe it may require surgical intervention.
How Can You Tell If Your French Bulldog is Experiencing Eye Trouble?
If your Frenchie is rubbing his or her eye with their paw or on the carpet, is excessively blinking, has unusual drainage coming from one or both eyes, or if you can see spots or redness, your pup may need to be seen by a vet. Cloudiness, change in eye color, tear-stained fur, red or white eyelid lining, and a visible third eyelid is also common signs of an eye problem.
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to get it checked out as soon as you can. Most issues can become serious and cause permanent damage if they are left untreated.
If you suspect allergies may be causing the symptoms, you could purchase an over-the-counter saline wash. If the symptoms do not improve after two days, see your vet.
How to Reduce the Risk of French Bulldog Eye Problems
Due to the genetic disposition of the French Bulldog, they have a high risk for eye problems. But there are a few steps you can take to reduce this risk.
When bathing your Frenchie make sure shampoo or soap does not get into their eye. Chemicals from shampoo can easily irritate their eyes. Also, examine their eyes regularly for dry eye or any unusual marks.
Wrapping Things Up
French Bulldog eye problems are very common, and any French Bulldog owner may be able to quickly confirm this. However, with the proper preventative care, small issues can be caught before anything gets too serious. Seeing a vet regularly who is experienced with bulldog care is the best way to keep your pup healthy.
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.