HELP! Why Does My French Bulldog Have Red Eyes?

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There are plenty of reasons why your French Bulldog might have red eyes. Since they’re so prone to a wide variety of medical problems, it’s especially important to monitor for signs of illness in French bulldogs.

Red eyes are a common symptom for many conditions, ranging from relatively benign to very serious.

In the short guide below, you’ll learn about ten reasons your Frenchie might have red eyes. You’ll also get tips and remedies to help you take great care of your dog’s eye health.

What Causes Red Eyes in French Bulldogs?

Red eyes are a common symptom for a variety of illnesses and conditions. The following are the top ten reasons why your Frenchie might have red eyes.

Allergies

Allergies are one of the main causes of red eyes in French bulldogs. When a dog is exposed to an allergen, he may get itchy eyes.

As his eyes become more irritated by the allergens in his environment, his eyes may become inflamed, causing redness.

Other symptoms of allergies include eye itchiness and discomfort, excessive tears, watery discharge, and swelling around the eyes.

Injury (Including Objects Stuck in the Eye)

Injuries to the eye can cause redness. If the redness in your dog’s eye appears suddenly, especially if it is severe, an injury may be the cause. This also includes foreign objects that may become lodged in your French bulldog’s eye.

A foreign object doesn’t have to be large to seriously impact your dog’s eye. A speck of sand or a crumb of food can cause enough irritation to make your dog’s eye red and painful.

Other symptoms of eye injury include swelling, discomfort, pawing at the eye, and excessive production of tears.

If your dog only has one red eye, there’s a high likelihood that an injury of some sort causes it.

Pink Eye

Pink eye, a condition also known as conjunctivitis, is common in dogs of all breeds. This condition typically only occurs in one eye, although it’s possible for your French bulldog to get pink eye in both eyes at once.

Conjunctivitis occurs when the eye tissue is inflamed. Redness is the primary symptom of the condition, although your Frenchie may also experience swelling, squinting, excessive blinking, or watery discharge. Discharge caused by pink eye can be either with or without mucus.

Dry Eye

Sometimes Frenchies don’t produce enough tears, causing their eyes to become excessively dry. When their eyes aren’t adequately lubricated, the eyes become red from dryness.

Other symptoms of dry eye include white or yellow mucus around the eyes, cloudy eyes, excessive blinking, and recurring eye infections.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the more serious conditions on this list. When untreated, it can cause your French bulldog to lose her eyesight. This condition occurs when there is pressure and fluid buildup in your dog’s eye.

Other symptoms of glaucoma include differently sized pupils, overproduction of tears, squinting, swelling, sensitivity to light, cloudy eyes, and vision loss.

Your dog may also rub at their eyes with their paws. In some cases, they even rub their eyes on the floor to try to alleviate eye pressure.

Corneal Ulcers

French bulldogs, like all dogs, have a thin membrane in front of their eye. When this membrane is worn away (usually due to an injury), trauma to the eye occurs.

Scratches are the most common cause of corneal ulcers, since these small injuries are enough to break through the corneal membrane.

Other symptoms of corneal ulcers include squinting, drainage from the eye, and sensitivity to light.

Just like dogs with glaucoma, dogs with corneal ulcers may also paw at their eyes or rub their eyes on the floor in an attempt to find relief.

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye is a condition especially common in French bulldogs. When they develop cherry eye, their eyes are red and swollen and often have clear discharge.

This condition occurs when the tear gland on the third eyelid is swollen and protruding from the eye.

Once your Frenchie has cherry eye once, they’re more likely to have a recurring case of cherry eye. In some cases, it requires surgery to prevent corneal damage and eyelid deformities.

Distichiasis

When the extra eyelashes along the edge of the eyelid rub against the cornea, distichiasis occurs. This causes the eyes to get itchy and red.

Dogs with distichiasis may also squint since opening their eyes fully may cause more irritation. In many cases, it even becomes painful for them to open their eyes.

Entropion

Entropion is another condition that impacts French bulldogs more than most other breeds.

This condition occurs when the eyelid rolls inward toward the dog’s cornea. When that happens, the lashes cause damage and inflammation.

Dogs with entropion usually have red eyes. They may also develop sensitivity to light and excessive tear production.

Uveitis

Uveitis is a condition caused by inflammation in the tissue in front of your Frenchie’s eyes. This causes redness, which is often one of the earliest appearing symptoms.

In most cases, French bulldogs also experience pain. If your dog has uveitis that is not treated swiftly, they may lose their eyesight.

Other symptoms of uveitis include swelling, excessive tear production, uneven pupil sizes, cloudy eyes, discharge, and changes in eye color.

Fever

Frenchies with fevers will have sore and red eyes. The easiest way to determine whether your French Bulldog has a fever is to take his temperature.

Here’s how to tell if your dog has a fever. If your dog does have a fever, here’s how to take care of a dog with a fever.

How to Prevent Red Eyes in French Bulldogs

Many conditions that cause red eyes in French bulldogs cannot be prevented or avoided entirely.

Accidents and illnesses happen, no matter how proactive you are in caring for your dog’s health. However, there are four things you can do to prevent new or worsening eye conditions:

Regularly clean your Frenchie’s eyes

Use a soft, damp cloth to carefully wash away dirt and debris from around your dog’s eyes. If your French bulldog’s veterinarian has recommended a cleansing gel or eyewash, use this as directed to care for your dog’s eyes.

Schedule regular checkups with your dog’s veterinarian

Most eye conditions on this list only worsen when left untreated. Since many conditions can cause pain and blindness, it’s important to remain proactive about your dog’s eye health. Regular checkups at the vet are important for your Frenchie’s overall health.

Take measures to prevent injury

It’s common sense that you shouldn’t put your dog in situations more likely to cause injury. However, some activities carry risks that the average pet parent doesn’t necessarily consider.

For example, allowing your dog to ride in the car with her head out the window puts her at risk of injury from foreign objects flying into her eyes.

Check your French bulldog’s eyes several times a week (or even daily)

Regularly check your dog’s eyes for any signs of redness, swelling, or unusual discharge. Spotting redness early is essential for the successful treatment of most of these eye conditions.

Providing your dog with a healthy environment and lifestyle is the most important thing you can do to ensure their overall health.

While you cannot avoid every injury or illness, your diligence can prevent your dog from unnecessary discomfort or harm.

How to Treat Red Eyes in French Bulldogs

Unfortunately, most conditions that cause red eyes cannot be treated at home. While occasional redness from dry eyes or allergies may occur, red eyes that remain longer than a day or two should be treated by a veterinarian.

The treatment for red eyes largely depends on the reason behind your dog’s red eyes. The following are possible treatments your French bulldog’s veterinarian may recommend:

Eye Washes and Rinse

Many mild conditions can be treated with sterile eye washes and rinses. Dry eye and mild irritation can often be remedied through these methods. However, it’s still a good idea to check with your dog’s vet before starting an eye wash regimen.

Allergy Treatment

Diagnosis and treatment for your dog’s allergies will be an important way to address redness caused by allergens. Avoiding allergens when possible and introducing allergy medication can help treat your dog’s eye redness.

Antibiotics

Oral antibiotics and antibiotic ointments are used to treat bacterial infections. Pink eye and other conditions are caused by bacterial infections, making antibiotics an essential part of your dog’s treatment.

Medication

Many of the conditions on the list above require medication for treatment. These medications vary between conditions.

Surgery

In many cases, surgery may be required to remedy the underlying condition causing your Frenchie’s red eyes.

If your dog has corneal ulcers, a corneal transplant may be needed. In severe cases of uveitis, surgical removal of your dog’s eye may be the only treatment available.

Wrap-Up: French Bulldog Red Eyes

Whether your dog has a mild case of pink eye or a severe case of uveitis, red eyes should always be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Your French bulldog’s veterinarian is best equipped to prescribe treatment for the condition causing your dog’s eye redness. 

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, we encourage you to suggest them in the comments below.

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Lisemaine is a dog lover. She currently owns a Frenchie and enjoys working with and training her. She'll share her best tips with you to keep your dog happy, healthy, and active.


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