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Is It Normal For French Bulldogs To Have Eye Discharge?

Brown French bulldog standing outside with river behind

Brachycephalic dog breeds are on a higher tendency to suffer from eye problems because most of them have protruding eyes. French bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston terriers take the leading positions when we talk about conditions such as cherry eye, allergies, and releasing excessive eye discharge. Eye discharge in French bulldogs should be carefully monitored because it may point out certain health conditions.

And where eye discharge is….here there come tear stains. Tear stains around the eyes are a common problem for some dogs, especially whites and light fur breeds. Excessive watering of the eyes can be a sign of anything from an eye infection to glaucoma to allergies.

eye discharge in french bulldogs

What do you need to know about eye discharge in French bulldogs?

Watery eye discharge and mucus in Frenchies

Does your Frenchie release a watery discharge and mucus only from one eye? Well, in that case, he/she probably got a foreign object stuck inside. Sand, dust, dirt, plant piece, and other elements can cause not only severe pain but also eye infection in your pet. Therefore, you have to react quickly, and schedule a vet visit ASAP! Besides eye discharge, you Frenchie can start to whine and constantly paw the eye or rub it onto the floor. As you may guess, this can only worsen the condition and leave permanent injuries.

Clear eye discharge in French bulldogs

Clear eye discharge is often the sign of an allergy. Besides this symptom, your furry gremlin can also start sneezing and have a runny nose. Skin itchiness could also be one of the symptoms of environmental allergy, so in that case, you’ll need to talk to your vet to discover the trigger. In most cases, Frenchies get allergic reactions to seasonal pollen due to their short respiratory airways.

Conjunctivitis in French bulldogs

Conjunctivitis in dogs is one of the most common eye issues. It rarely occurs as an independent illness, and more often as a consequence of another one. The French bulldog’s eyes are very sensitive and it is necessary to take special care of them. Otherwise called “red-eye”, is an inflammation of the front membrane of the eye – the conjunctiva. This membrane is of vital importance because it prevents dust, dirt, and bacteria from entering the eye.

In dogs, conjunctivitis can occur at any stage of life. It can develop in several forms, can be acute or chronic, or can occur in one or both eyes. Acute conjunctivitis is triggered by an allergy or infection, while chronic type lasts for several weeks and constantly reoccurs after treatment.

eye discharge in french bulldogs

What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis in French bulldogs?

When it comes to conjunctivitis, one of the most common symptoms is red or bloodshot eyes. Other symptoms vary depending on the severity of the inflammation, but may include the following:

  • Eyelid spasms as uncontrolled blinking of the eye (known as blepharospasm),
  • Redness of the eye tissues (known as conjunctival hyperemia),
  • Discharge from the eye which may be clear or may contain mucus and/or pus, intensified ticks in the dog
  • Retracted eyeball (known as enophthalmos)
  • Excessive blinking or squinting at one or both eyes
  • Swelling/puffiness around the eyelids,
  • Rubbing eyes (paws, along the floor or furniture),
  • Closed and excessively teary eye

Depending on the cause of conjunctivitis in your Frenchie, your vet may prescribe you antibiotic drops, antihistamines, different saline solutions to get rid of the eye discharge in French bulldogs faster, and other medication too.

eye discharge in french bulldogs

Corneal Ulcers in French bulldogs

Corneal ulcers are a common problem in dogs and can cause many complications if left untreated. The appearance of ulcers on the cornea (ulcerative keratitis) is a condition characterized by damage to one or more layers of the cornea.

The most common cause of corneal ulcers is poor quality or insufficient amount of tears, which is often present in dogs with seasonal allergies or food allergies. Changes in the anatomy of the eyelids or foreign bodies in the eye are also common causes of ulcers. Symptoms usually include blinking, redness of the eyes and discharge from the eyes, sensitivity to light, and blurring (cloudy or bluish eye color). If recognized early, most ulcers will heal quickly with frequent topical therapy.

Deep ulcers are almost always infected and usually require surgical treatment. Corneal ulcers, which destroy more than 60-70% of its structure, usually require surgical treatment with the aim of restoring the integrity of this eye structure, which prevents eye loss.

Shallow ulcers usually heal within 5-7 days. If complete healing does not occur within 7-10 days, these ulcers become incurable or indolent. Indolent ulcers cannot be cured by medical therapy alone, but require “Diamond Burr Debridement” or surgical treatment.

It is very important to prevent rubbing of injured eyes, so it’s advisable to use the Elizabethan collar. Excessive pawing the injured eye can cause more damage to the cornea and transfer a large number of bacteria from the paws to the eye.

eye discharge in french bulldogs

Epiphora or excessive eye discharge in French bulldogs

This is the name of the constant, continuous tearing of the eyes of animals. It is a symptom, not a specific disease, and can indicate various conditions. Usually, the secreted tears (more precisely, their excess) are removed through the nasal canal. From there, the fluid enters the nasal cavity, where it further irrigates and moistens the surface of the mucosa.

The epiphora is usually associated with the fact that the “drainage system” is not functioning for some reason, so excess tear fluid is released freely into the external environment. It is most often due to blockage of the tear ducts. However, there are also cases when the canals are in perfect condition, but they simply cannot cope with the dramatically increased volume of tears.

Dry eye in French bulldogs

Dry eye disease in dogs is a progressive inflammatory condition of the cornea and conjunctiva caused by lack of tears, due to reduced quality and / or amount of tear film (extremely low tear production).

The tear film covers the surface of the eye and consists of 3 components: aqueous, lipid, and mucoid. These layers of tear film form the lacrimal glands, eyelid skin glands, and conjunctiva. Any condition that affects these structures can lead to a change in the quality of the tear film.

Tear film disorders are common in dogs with seasonal allergies and food allergies, so pets with these problems and the appearance of “red eyes” should be taken to an ophthalmologist, who will check the quality of the tear film. Because the tear film provides nutrients, antimicrobial protection, and oxygen to the surface of the eye, lack of tears is a serious ophthalmic problem in dogs, which can lead to severe corneal pathologies and vision loss.

Genetic predisposition

Dogs with more prominent eyes may be at risk for tear drainage problems. If their eyelids roll inward (entropion), it can cause great irritation by lashes or even result in the eye.

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