Bulldog Eye Infections Explained

Last Updated on September 20, 2021 by Marco C.

We may adore the squishy, wrinkled faces of our Bulldogs, but sadly they can suffer from eye problems for various. It is important to know what to do when your Bulldog has eye problems, as they can quickly become quite serious. Here is our guide to Bulldog eye infections to help you out!

What Are The Most Common Bulldog Eye Problems?

At some stage in most dog’s lives, they will develop an eye problem for one reason or another. Normally the cause of this is something minor which will resolve in a few days. For example, they might get a piece of dirt in their eye or react to pollen or chemicals in the atmosphere.

However, some Bulldog eye problems do not go away so quickly. These are normally long-term conditions that may need medical or surgical treatment. Some of these conditions can be hereditary – passed down from generation to generation.

Reputable dog breeders try to avoid these problems by carefully selecting which dogs to breed from. This involves getting the parents tested to see if they are at risk of passing on hereditary eye problems.

 bulldog eye infections

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These are the most common bulldog eye problems:

  • Cherry Eye

Cherry eye occurs when the third eyelid gland prolapses. This causes a red mass of fleshy tissue to appear in the corner of your dog’s eye.

This condition is easily treated by a vet, but rapid treatment is essential for a full recovery.

  • Dry Eye

Dry eye, also known as keratoconjunctivitis or KCS, is caused by a reduction in tear production. This causes the surface of the eye to become too dry, which can be quite painful. If your dog has dry eye your veterinarian will prescribe eye drops to lubricate the eye.

  • Abnormal Eyelids And Eyelashes

Because of their wrinkly faces, bulldogs are much more likely to suffer from eye problems caused by abnormalities of the eyelids and eyelashes. In some cases, the eyelids roll inwards, causing the eyelashes to rub the surface of the eye – this is called entropion.

Another eyelash abnormality is extropian, where the eyelids roll outwards. Sometimes Bulldogs also get eyelashes that grow abnormally, such as a double row of eyelashes.

Almost all of these conditions will need surgical correction. But the good news is that once they have been sorted out, they are unlikely to recur.

  • Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers are a very serious eye problem, and Bulldogs in particular are at risk for developing ulcers. Ulcers are incredibly painful and require urgent treatment. Otherwise, the dog may become blind or have to have the eye removed.

Common causes of corneal ulcers include eye trauma, chemical burns, untreated dry eye, and long-term conjunctivitis. Treatment of corneal ulcers can be very difficult, particularly if they are left to deteriorate before seeing the veterinarian.

What Is Bulldog Conjunctivitis?

OK, so all the problems we’ve looked at so far do not happen as the result of an eye infection. But they are worth knowing about, as they can all be very serious and potentially affect your Bulldogs vision in the future.

But what about Bulldog eye infections?

Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. This is the thin membrane that protects the surface of the eye and inside the eyelids. When this gets infected and inflamed, it becomes red and sore, and you will see discharge from the eye.

These are the main symptoms of Bulldog eye infections:

  • Clear or green discharge from the eye
  • The whites of the eye will appear red
  • Excessive tear production from the eye
  • The area around the eye will become swollen
  • The dog may rub at the eye
  • Your dog will be blinking and squinting more than normal

What Causes Bulldog Eye Infections?

Many things can cause conjunctivitis in Bulldogs. Your veterinarian may need to do some tests to figure out what is to blame.

Causes of conjunctivitis include:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Objects in the eye, such as grit or grass seeds
  • Injury to the eye, such as a scratched eyeball
  • Allergies
  • Dry eye
  • Viral infections
  • Parasites

Unfortunately, the wrinkly face of a Bulldog means that they are more likely to get conjunctivitis. This is because they get dirt and moisture trapped in the folds of the skin, which can lead to a buildup of bacteria.

It is important to groom your Bulldog regularly to keep the skin and coat healthy. If your Bulldog has folds of skin around the eyes, wipe the folds clean daily and make sure to dry them thoroughly.

How Is A Dog Eye Infection Treated?

Before conjunctivitis can be treated, your veterinarian will need to work out what the cause is. This is because there may be an underlying condition that needs treatment. If not, conjunctivitis may recur when treatment stops.

Your veterinarian will likely prescribe eye medication to treat conjunctivitis. This will normally be in the form of drops or ointment which needs to be put into the eye. Getting eye drops into a dog can be tricky, so ask your veterinarian to show you the best way to do this!

You may also be given oral medication to treat any systemic infection or other underlying cause. Eye infections can be very painful, so your dog may need anti-inflammatory painkiller medication

If eye infections in Bulldogs are treated promptly, in most cases the dog will make a full recovery. However, if they are not treated, they can lead to problems such as corneal ulcers.


As we have learned, there are many reasons why Bulldogs might have eye problems. If you are suspect that your Bulldog has any sort of eye disorder, you need to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. Infectious eye conditions such as conjunctivitis can be easy to treat, but your dog’s vision may be affected if they are left untreated.

We’d love to hear about your experiences – does your Bulldog suffer from eye infections? Or maybe you have come across another cause of eye problems in Bulldogs? Add a comment below this post and we’ll get back to you!

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