Common Eye Problems In Bulldogs
With the big buggy eyes of French and English Bulldogs, it's hard for us humans to resist them. But there are many problems that can come along with that cute face, if not taken care of properly.
Because of the buggy eyes of French Bulldog puppies and English Bulldog puppies, they are more susceptible to eye infections and eye problems than other breeds. Knowing what these problems are, how to recognize them and being informed of the treatment process will make you a better Bulldog owner.
Many dogs, not just your English Bulldog puppy or French Bulldog puppy, can come down with a condition called Cherry Eye. Dogs have three eye lids - the upper lid, lower lid and third eye lid. There is a gland under the third eye lid that is responsible for producing tears and keeps the eye hydrated. Cherry Eye occurs when this gland becomes inflamed and protrudes from the eye. With the gland exposed, it is highly susceptible to infection and trauma from the pup rubbing and scratching at it. Prompt treatment is necessary to keep this from happening. There are ointments and steroid drops that can be applied but are sometimes not effective. If the gland is too swollen, surgery may be needed which requires suturing the gland back to its original position. Dogs that have this surgery are more likely to develop dry eye in the future. Once your dog has had Cherry Eye, he is more likely to get it again.
It is not know what causes Cherry Eye but many think it is because of the connective tissues in the eye. When these tissues become weak, the gland can then become swollen. There is not much to do to prevent this from happening in your English Bulldog puppy but knowing what it is and how to treat it is the most important step.
English Bulldog puppies and French Bulldog puppies are susceptible to corneal ulcers because of their buggy eyes. Since the eyes stick out further than other breeds, their eyes can easily be scratched by claws, twigs, etc. Most scratches on the cornea heal on their own within a few days. Deeper scratches may take weeks to heal. These scratches are itchy and sore which causes your pup to paw and rub his eyes, making the problem worse. Excessive rubbing and scratching of the eye can cause an ulcer which, if ruptured, can cause blindness.
If you notice your pup squinting or rubbing his eye frequently, take him to your vet to ensure there is not a more serious issue going on, such as a corneal ulcer.
Dry Eyes is essentially the same in dogs as it is in humans - tears are not being produced enough to hydrate the eye. It causes itchiness, burning and irritation. Your dog will commonly squint and rub at his eyes which can cause corneal ulcers. If the condition is caught early enough, you vet may be able to recommend a treatment to get the eyes to produce tears again on its own. If not, your pup may be on artificial tears for the rest of his life.