French Bulldog Eye Swollen? Here’s What You Need to Know

Frenchies have a smaller snout than other dogs, leaving their eyes vulnerable to accidents. Whether it’s an accidental scratch or bumping into a wall, these can lead to eye issues. These are prevalent in small breeds, and French bulldog eye swollen is a common occurrence. And regardless of the actual disease, eye problems, in general, can be harmful to this breed. 

So if you notice your Frenchie has swollen eyes, here’s what you need to know. 

(Note: If you see your Frenchie’s eyes are red, watery, or swollen, you need to address it immediately. Any delay can lead to severe problems like permanent blindness.)

Why is Eye Care Important for French Bulldogs

Dogs have a wider field of vision compared to people, where humans can see 180 degrees and dogs at 240 degrees. For French Bulldogs, this field of vision is even more significant due to the natural protruded position of their eyes. And though it gives them better vision, it also increases their risks for eye diseases.

Moreover, simple allergies or irritation on the eyes can lead to more severe cases when left untreated. And worst-case scenario, your Frenchie may also become permanently blind!

For these reasons, eye care for Frenchies is highly crucial. So before adopting a Frenchie, make sure to learn proper eye cleaning techniques. With this knowledge, you should be able to take care of your dog’s eye care needs at home.

Plus, this can reduce the chances of your Frenchie getting a swollen eye and other issues.


Common Eye Issues in French Bulldogs

To address the issue of swollen eyes on Frenchies, you need to know the type of eye problem you’re dealing with. Here are the most common eye issues in French Bulldogs:

Cherry Eye

Cherry Eye In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments - DogTime
Photo Courtesy of DogTime

All dogs have a third eyelid, also known as the nictating membrane, which is particularly vulnerable to breeds with smaller snouts like Frenchies. Cherry eye refers to when the tear gland of the dog’s third eyelid pops out of its position. And this condition is the most common eye issue among French Bulldogs. 

That’s because since their smaller snouts expose the third eyelid more, it can pop out easily. Although it’s more common in younger dogs (less than two years old), it can happen at any age, especially among Frenchies. 

Cherry eye is characterized by red tissues from the third eyelid popping out from the eyes’ corners. And this protrusion happens due to the prolapsed gland of the dog’s eyelids. For this reason, besides having swollen eyes, your pups may also get a discharge from their eyes. 

Generally, this eye condition isn’t painful. However, if you don’t treat it fast, it can lead to more severe problems like permanent blindness. 

Symptoms:

  • Swollen eyes
  • Red lump “popping out” from your Frenchie’s eyes, also known as “cherry pit” 
  • Discharge from the eye 
  • Excessively watery eyes or incredibly dry eyes
  • Disturbed vision
  • Constant scratching or rubbing at their eyes
  • Continual squinting

Treatment:

If you caught the cherry eye early on, your Frenchie wouldn’t need surgical intervention. Instead, there are three ways to address a mild case of the cherry eye: 

  • Using anti-inflammatory eye drops
  • Applying topical antibiotics (eye medication)
  • Giving a light massage. 

However, if you notice a “cherry pit” on your dog’s eyes, it’s time for surgery. Treatment involves suturing the tear glands back in place or removing them entirely. Either way, the best treatment differs for each Frenchie. 

So always consult your vet early on! 

Dry Eye

Dry Eye Disease or Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) — ACVO Public
Photo Courtesy of American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists

Dry eye happens in Frenchies when their eyes aren’t producing enough tears. And this can occur due to several reasons, ranging from congenital disabilities to side effects of medication. 

Either way, the excessive dryness can cause their eyes to become swollen. As a result, the eyes will produce a thick discharge, leading to infection – and even more problems. 

Moreover, this condition can be painful for your Frenchie. So if you notice your pup constantly squinting or blinking, address it immediately. 

Symptoms:

  • Constant blinking or squinting
  • Irritation on the eyes (redness)
  • Swollen eyes
  • Yellow or green discharge coming from the eyes

Treatment: 

Fortunately, dry eyes often don’t need surgical intervention, and you can manage it at home. Although the prescription varies per vet, most recommend using cyclosporine and tacrolimus. Both are relatively affordable ophthalmic medications that stimulate tear production. 

You can easily place this on your Frenchie’s eyes once or twice every day. But it’s still best to consult with your vet beforehand. 

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal Ulcer in Dogs - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
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Of all the eye issues your French Bulldog can experience, corneal ulcers are the most severe. That’s because this condition can cause your dog to be in high levels of pain, which often forces them to rub or scratch their eyes for relief. And this can lead to severe infections. 

Although there isn’t a specific cause for corneal ulcers, experts believe some form of trauma causes most cases. Whether it’s an untreated, dry eye or accidental chemical burns from soap or shampoo, these can cause corneal ulcers. 

Either way, if you suspect your Frenchie to have corneal ulcers, address it ASAP! Call your nearest vet clinic and seek medical intervention immediately. 

Symptoms:

  • Constant scratching and rubbing on the eyes
  • Excess discharge from eyes
  • Watery eyes (overproduction of tears)
  • Consistent squinting or blinking
  • Redness
  • Swollen eyes

Treatment:

Although it differs for each Frenchie, if the case isn’t severe or caught early on, the application of antibiotic ointment should suffice. Generally, most vets recommend using Atropine or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Not only will this treat the ulcers, but it will also ease the pain and swelling. 

However, if the case is severe, your dog might need surgical intervention. Consult with your vet for further advice. 

Conjunctivitis

Eyes on Fire: Managing Conjunctivitis in Dogs - Veterinary Medicine at  Illinois
Photo Courtesy of University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

Conjunctivitis or pink eye refers to the inflammation of the front eyeball tissues. When the blood vessels in the dog’s conjunctiva become swollen, they can appear red, pink, or inflamed. Hence, its name, “pink eye.”

This condition isn’t as severe as other eye issues on Frenchies, but it can affect all three of their eyelids.

Also, this condition is commonly referred to as irritation. Common causes of conjunctivitis include allergy, bacterial infection, or dry eye. 

In addition, regular environmental debris like dirt can also lead to irritation.

However, things like grass seeds might also get trapped under your Frenchie’s eyelid due to their shorter snout.

Finally, this condition can affect either one or both eyes. Regardless, if you address it immediately, there shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Symptoms:

  • Excess discharge of cloudy yellow or green substance from the eyes
  • Constant blinking and squinting
  • Swollen eyes and around the eyes
  • Redness

Treatment:

The best treatment for conjunctivitis in Frenchies depends on the type they have. For instance, if it’s a bacterial infection, your vet should prescribe topical antibiotics. Either way, make sure to consult with your vet early on to address the issue fast. 

Meanwhile, for milder causes like dust getting into your dog’s eyes, you can treat this at home. All you need to do is use regular eye cleaners for pups and rinse them with water.

Eyelash Problems

Eyelash Problems in Dogs - Dog Discoveries
Photo Courtesy of Dog Discoveries

Eyelash issues are common among Frenchies, thanks to their genes. Among these hereditary problems, the most common ones in French Bulldogs are Distichiasis and Ectopic Cilia. 

Although each has varying effects on your Frenchie, both happen when their eyelashes damage their cornea. Unfortunately, both can be very painful for your Frenchie. And aside from extreme pain, it can cause chronic ulcerations, leading to swollen eyes. 

For severe cases, eyelash problems can also lead to corneal perforation. This condition can cause permanent blindness in French Bulldogs. 

However, since this is a hereditary condition, what you can do is address the problem. Fortunately, there are non-surgical and surgical interventions for eyelash problems in Frenchies.

Symptoms: 

  • A sudden change in your Frenchie’s iris pigmentation
  • Overproduction of tears
  • Constant ticking or twitching of their eyelids
  • Growth of corneal ulcers (bluish appearance)
  • Constant pawing or rubbing at the eyes
  • Swollen eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes

Treatment:

If the case isn’t severe, vets can pluck out your Frenchie’s eyelashes if necessary. However, you’ll need to do this at least every month as French Bulldogs tend to grow eyelashes at that time. 

Meanwhile, if you don’t have time for this, surgical intervention is also an option. With this, you can have your Frenchie’s eyelashes’ follicles removed, ensuring no regrowth. 

Entropion 

Entropion in Dogs: How to Treat This Common Eye Problem - Whole Dog Journal
Photo Courtesy of Whole Dog Journal

Another hereditary eye condition Frenchies may get the Entropion. This is a condition when the upper or lower eyelid of your dog rolls inward. When this happens, it can lead to a French Bulldog swollen eye. 

It can be excruciating, and when left untreated, it can lead to corneal ulcers. This happens due to the fur of your pups touching the surface of their eyes, causing friction.

Unfortunately, this is hereditary in French Bulldogs. Therefore, it’s generally unavoidable.

For that reason, French Bulldogs with this condition should not be bred with others. 

Symptoms: 

  • Excessive tear production
  • Unusual discharges from the eyes that might contain pus or blood
  • Swollen eyes
  • Visibly rolled inward eyelid
  • Irritated eyes
  • Your Frenchie tries to keep their eyes half-open
  • Having difficulty in opening their eyes
  • The skin thickens around the eyes
  • Involuntary twitching or blinking 

Treatment:

Unfortunately, since Entropion is quite severe, surgical correction is the only treatment. This involves removing some tissues and skin around the affected eyelid. Doing so reverses its inward rolling, everything the eyelids. 

However, this can only happen once it fully grows to prevent over-correction. Plus, after a major surgical intervention, most vets follow up with a second and minor corrective surgery. Through this, the eyelids should go back to normal long-term. 

Eye prolapse

Prolapsed Third Eyelid Dog Surgery, Cherry Eye Surgery Cost | SEAH
Photo Courtesy of South-Eastern Animal Hospital

This eye issue refers to when a French Bulldog’s eye pops out – literally. And due to their smaller snouts and shallow eye sockets, it’s one of the most common issues among Frenchies. 

Moreover, eye prolapse can happen due to the French Bulldog’s unique skull structure. It has prominent brow ridges, causing the dog’s eyes to be more exposed to the environment. 

Although this can’t be 100% avoided since it’s embedded in their genes, you can prevent the issue early on. From avoiding rough playing to regular vet visits, these can lessen the impact of eye prolapse. 

Symptoms:

  • Swollen eyes
  • Physical trauma on the eye and face
  • One eye is visibly bulging out from the dog’s socket
  • One eye is entirely out of its socket
  • The eye is hanging out the socket

Treatment: 

To prevent this eye condition long-term, avoid roughhousing with your dog since it can lead to physical trauma. And this increases the chances of eye prolapse. 

However, if your Frenchie does manage to get it, you can save them by going to the vet immediately. 


How to Prevent French Bulldog Eye Swollen and Other Eye Issues

Because of the natural genetic disposition of French Bulldogs, they have a higher chance of developing eye issues. Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent it. The most efficient one is using mild shampoo or soap when bathing your Frenchie.

Next is preventing those substances from getting into your dog’s eyes in the first place. After all, chemicals from soap or shampoo can irritate your Frenchie’s eyes – fast.

Another efficient method is by examining your Frenchie’s eyes for unusual signs. Whether it’s dry eyes or overproduction of tears, always take these signs seriously.

Finally, cleaning your Frenchie’s tear stains every time you spot some is ideal. Doing so prevents further infections. And you can do this using sterile eyewash or plain water.

When nothing seems to work, don’t hesitate to contact your vet to check your Frenchie immediately!


Final Thoughts

French Bulldog eye swollen can result from several eye issues, and the best way to address it is by learning. Knowing the signs of each eye condition and proper treatment can help you keep your Frenchie’s eyes healthy and functioning long-term. And when you pair this with preventive care, you can catch minor issues before anything gets too severe.

But when the going gets tough, don’t hesitate and contact your vet!