English Bulldog Blog

Top 10 English Bulldog Eye Problems: Reasons & Best Treatments

swollen eyes in your bulldog

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions English bulldogs? Well, besides their stocky build, we have to admit that their face is their main trademark. Alongside their flat muzzles, their expressive eyes are something that people especially love about them. Unfortunately, they caan often be prone to certain health problems. That’s why we decided to reveal what are the most common English bulldog eye problems. 

Eye issues in bulldogs take the one of the highest spots on the list of the most common health problems. Therefore, as a responsible pet parent, you need to know how to recognize their early signs.

Why are English bulldogs prone to eye issues?

English Bulldogs are uniquely predisposed to a variety of eye issues due to their distinctive physical traits. The very characteristics that endear them to many—such as their bulldog droopy eyes, heavy wrinkles, and the adorable, sometimes cross-eyed look—also contribute to their vulnerability.

Unique Face Structure 

The structure of their face and skull means their eyes are more exposed and less protected, making them susceptible to injuries, infections, and conditions like cherry eye or dry eye. Moreover, those captivating blue-eyed English Bulldogs face an even higher tendency towards eye problems. 

Blue eyed English Bulldogs

The genetic factors that give rise to blue eyes in Bulldogs are often linked with other health issues, including vision problems. The combination of their short nose, which affects tear production and drainage, along with their heavy wrinkles that can trap dirt and debris, creates a perfect storm for eye irritations and infections. It’s essential for owners of these charming canines to be vigilant in monitoring their pet’s eye health, ensuring that the distinctive features of their beloved blue-eyed English Bulldog or those with the classic bulldog droopy eyes do not lead to serious complications.

english bulldog eye problems

What are the most common English bulldog eye problems?

Bulldogs are prone to several eye issues, mainly due to their unique physical structure. Their compact skulls and shallow eye sockets contribute to a variety of ophthalmic problems. Understanding these conditions can help owners seek timely treatment and potentially prevent long-term damage.

Cherry Eye in English bulldogs

Cherry eye is particularly common in breeds like the English Bulldog. This condition occurs when the gland beneath the third eyelid (nictitating membrane) becomes dislodged, protruding as a red, fleshy mass in the corner of the eye. Unlike humans, dogs have this third eyelid which contains a tear gland responsible for a significant portion of the eye’s protective tear film. 

When this gland pops out of its normal position, it’s not just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to more serious problems. The exposed gland can become irritated, inflamed, or even infected, leading to discomfort and potentially affecting tear production.

Surgical treatment

Treatment typically involves surgical repositioning of the gland. The surgery aims to tuck the gland back into its rightful place while ensuring it continues to function properly. It’s crucial to address cherry eye promptly to prevent permanent damage to the tear gland, which could lead to dry eye syndrome or other complications. Post-operatively, close monitoring and proper care are essential to ensure healing and to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Tear Stains On English Bulldogs

Tear stains on English Bulldogs are a common visual cue of underlying english bulldog eye issues. These reddish-brown marks typically appear beneath the eyes, caused by prolonged wetness where tears have overflowed. This is often due to the breed’s unique facial structure, which can hinder proper tear drainage. Beyond being a cosmetic concern, these stains can indicate that your Bulldog is experiencing discomfort from tear overproduction or blockage in their tear ducts.

Addressing the root cause of the excessive tearing is crucial, but in the meantime, using a tear stain remover can be an effective method to manage these unsightly marks. These specially formulated products are designed to safely and gently cleanse the stained area, helping to remove the discoloration. It’s important to choose a remover that’s suitable for use on pets, ensuring it’s free from harsh chemicals that could irritate your Bulldog’s sensitive eyes.

english bulldog shop english bulldog eye tear stain remover

Treatment of tear stains

Regular grooming and cleaning with a tear stain remover can help keep your English Bulldog’s face clean. It can reduce the risk of skin irritation and infection that can exacerbate eye issues. Always consult with your vet for the best approach to tackle tear stains and underlying eye problems, ensuring your Bulldog remains happy, healthy, and as adorable as ever.

english bulldog eye issues

Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca)

Dry eye, scientifically known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS), is another condition that frequently affects English Bulldogs. It results from inadequate tear production, which is essential for nourishing and protecting the cornea. Tears provide oxygen, lubrication, and help to remove debris from the eye. Without sufficient moisture, the eyes become dry, itchy, and vulnerable to infections and corneal damage, which can impair vision.

Symptoms of KCS include a thick, stringy discharge, redness, blinking excessively (blepharospasm), and the eye appearing dull or cloudy. Bulldogs with dry eye often seem to be in discomfort, as they try to relieve the irritation by rubbing their faces.

Treatment of dry eye in English bulldogs

Managing dry eye is usually a lifelong commitment. Treatment may involve tear-stimulating drugs, artificial tears to lubricate the eye, and sometimes antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to treat secondary infections or inflammation. Regular check-ups are crucial to monitor the condition and adjust treatment as needed. In some cases, surgical options may be explored if medical management fails to control the symptoms effectively.

english bulldog blue eyes

Entropion: More Than Just an Irritation

If your English Bulldog is squinting a lot or seems to be in discomfort, it might not just be trying to give you those famous puppy dog eyes—entropion could be the culprit. This fancy term simply means that the eyelid is rolling inward. Imagine your own eyelashes constantly scratching against your eye. Ouch, right? That’s exactly what your Bulldog experiences with entropion. This constant rubbing against the cornea (the front part of the eye) doesn’t just cause irritation; it can lead to serious damage over time.

Entropion sounds like something straight out of a medieval torture manual, but it’s actually a common issue among Bulldogs, thanks to their unique facial structure. It’s like their bodies can’t decide whether they want to be the cutest dogs on the block or the most high-maintenance. The result? A condition that can make their charming eyes a source of pain.

Treatment of Entropion in bulldogs

Now, you might be thinking, “Can’t I just give my Bulldog some eye drops and call it a day?” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Since entropion is a physical problem with the eyelid itself, eye drops are more like a band-aid on a bullet wound—temporary relief, but not a solution. Surgery of this type of English bulldog eye problems is often the recommended route to fix this issue for good. It sounds scary, but it’s a pretty straightforward procedure that can significantly improve your Bulldog’s quality of life. After all, everyone deserves to see the world without eyelashes poking their eyes, right?

bulldog walking- english bulldog shop

Corneal Ulcers: A Sight for Sore Eyes

When we hear “ulcer,” we usually think of something related to the stomach, but bulldogs can get ulcers in their eyes too—corneal ulcers, to be exact. These are not just any minor irritations. This type of English bulldog eye problems are open sores on the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. If you’ve ever had a scratch on your eye, you know the agony it can cause. Now, imagine that feeling intensified and not going away without help. That’s what a corneal ulcer is like for your Bulldog.

Corneal ulcers in Bulldogs can come from all sorts of adventures gone wrong, from rough play that leads to a poke in the eye to running headfirst into a bush. Sometimes, even the simplest things, like a bit of dust or a stray eyelash, can lead to an ulcer if it scratches the cornea. Bulldogs, with their unique facial structure and sometimes less-than-ideal tear production (thanks, dry eye), are particularly at risk.

Treatment options

This condition is a red flag waving furiously, signaling, “Help needed ASAP!” It’s not just about the pain and discomfort; corneal ulcers can lead to serious vision problems if left untreated. The good news? With prompt veterinary care, these ulcers can often be treated successfully, allowing your Bulldog to return to its usual activities. Treatment might involve antibiotics to fight off infection or even surgery if the ulcer is severe enough.

Ulcerative Keratitis in English Bulldogs

Ulcerative keratitis in English Bulldogs is a condition that sounds as serious as it is. It’s essentially an inflammation of the cornea leading to ulcers, often caused by infections, trauma, or underlying eye diseases. Symptoms include a cloudy or opaque appearance to the eye, excessive tearing, redness, and sensitivity to light. Bulldogs may squint or rub their eyes due to discomfort. 

How to treat it?

Treatment typically involves antibiotics to combat infection and medications to promote healing of the cornea. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary to repair the damage. Early detection and treatment are crucial to prevent complications like vision loss.

Distichiasis in English Bulldogs

Distichiasis is like having an unwelcome eyelash party where the lashes grow in all the wrong places, specifically from the glands of the eyelid, irritating the eye. For English Bulldogs, it can lead to watery eyes, redness, and frequent blinking or squinting. In severe cases, corneal ulcers can develop due to the constant irritation. 

Types of possible treatments

Treatment options include manually removing the offending lashes, cryotherapy to freeze the lash follicles, or surgical intervention in chronic cases. Managing distichiasis is key to keeping your Bulldog’s eyes healthy and comfortable.

Ectopic Cilia in English Bulldogs

Ectopic cilia are a bit like distichiasis’s evil twin, involving eyelashes that grow through the inner eyelid, directly scratching the cornea. This condition can be particularly painful, with symptoms including severe squinting, tearing, and redness of the eye. In English Bulldogs, this condition requires prompt veterinary attention to prevent corneal damage. 

Surgical treatment

Treatment often involves surgical removal of the ectopic lashes under general anesthesia. The goal is to alleviate pain and prevent further injury to the eye, ensuring your Bulldog’s vision remains as sharp as their personality.

bulldog eye issues

Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM) in English Bulldogs

Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM) are remnants of fetal tissue that should have disappeared before birth but didn’t. In English Bulldogs, these strands can span across the iris, sometimes attaching to the lens or cornea. 

How to treat it? 

Often, PPMs are asymptomatic and don’t affect vision, but in cases where they lead to cataracts or corneal opacities, treatment may be necessary. Monitoring is essential, and in situations where vision is compromised, surgical intervention might be considered. Fortunately, most Bulldogs with PPM lead perfectly normal, happy lives without the need for treatment.

bully in the nature

Conjunctivitis in English Bulldogs

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common sight in English Bulldogs, often manifesting as red, itchy, and English bulldog swollen eyes. This inflammation of the conjunctiva can be linked to a variety of causes, but allergies are a frequent culprit in these sensitive pups. English bulldog eye allergies can trigger conjunctivitis by exposing them to environmental irritants like pollen, dust, or even certain foods, leading to those unmistakable, watery, and irritated eyes.

Symptoms to watch out for include excessive blinking, discharge, and a general appearance of discomfort. It’s not just about the redness; these symptoms can significantly impact your Bulldog’s quality of life. Eye infections in English Bulldogs, including conjunctivitis, require prompt veterinary attention to prevent complications. Treatment often involves cleaning the affected area, along with prescribed eye drops or ointments that target the inflammation and any underlying allergy.

Best treatment options of conjunctivitis

Managing allergies is key to preventing recurrent episodes of conjunctivitis in English Bulldogs. By identifying and minimizing exposure to allergens, you can help keep your Bulldog’s eyes clear, comfortable, and free from the irritation that allergies bring to the table.

English bulldog eye problems: Wrapping up

If you’ve noticed your English bulldog has swollen or red eyes, it’s time to react fast. Sometimes, even minor problems can grow into bigger ones. Therefore, we recommend you to always ask your vet for advice to treat your English bulldog eye problems. Those are important body parts that give us the possibility to see and discover the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *