At Envision More Veterinary Ophthalmology, we understand that French bulldogs hold a special place in the hearts of many pet owners. Their unique charm and endearing personalities make them beloved companions. However, French bulldogs are prone to specific health issues, including several eye conditions. Understanding these conditions is the first step in ensuring your furry friend’s long-term ocular and whole-body health. 


Entropion causes a dog’s eyelids to roll inward, and their eyelashes to rub against the surface of the eye. Left untreated, this constant irritation can lead to discomfort, redness, and corneal ulcers. Brachycephalic breeds such as the French bulldog are among the breeds predisposed to this condition due to their facial structure and skin wrinkles. If you notice excessive tearing, squinting, or redness, let us know so we can assess your dog’s eyes for this problem. A simple surgical procedure is often all that is needed to alleviate the discomfort and prevent further eye damage.

Cherry eye

Cherry eye is a prolapse, or displacement, of the third eyelid gland. The problem is evident as a small, fleshy mass in the inside corner of the eye. While cherry eye is not usually painful, it can cause discomfort and disrupt tear production, and may lead to dry eye if left untreated. Surgery is typically recommended to reposition the gland and prevent further complications. Surgical excision of the gland is not recommended unless cancer is suspected.

Dry eye

Dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), occurs when a dog’s eyes fail to produce an adequate amount of tears to lubricate the eye surface. Chronic dryness causes a mucous eye discharge, and secondary eye infections are common. French Bulldogs are susceptible to this condition, which can result from untreated entropion, cherry eye, or other underlying factors. Treatment typically involves eye medications to stimulate tear production and moisten the corneas. Left untreated, dry eye can lead to irreversible corneal damage and vision impairment. 

Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome

Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is one of the most well-known health issues affecting French bulldogs and other brachycephalic, or flat-faced, breeds. BOAS is attributed to several anatomical abnormalities, including narrowed nostrils, an elongated soft palate, and a narrow windpipe. These characteristics can lead to difficulty breathing, snoring, and intolerance to heat and exercise. To help them breathe easier, French bulldogs should wear a harness instead of a collar. Surgery is often recommended to enlarge the nasal openings. Additional procedures may be needed to correct other airway abnormalities in severe cases. 

Heat sensitivity

When dogs overheat, they pant to cool themselves. However, the French bulldog’s short nasal passages and narrow airways make it challenging for them to effectively regulate their body temperature. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk for overheating, especially in hot and humid weather. French bulldog owners must be aware of this hazard and take extra precautions to keep their pets cool and well-hydrated. 

If you have a French bulldog, you should limit their time outdoors when it is hot or humid, avoid strenuous exercise, and provide constant access to shade and fresh water. Recognizing heat exhaustion signs, such as excessive panting, drooling, and disorientation, is crucial, and you must take immediate action at the first sign of overheating to prevent life-threatening heatstroke.

Skin and ear infections

The wrinkles and folds on a French bulldog’s adorable face are not only charming—they also create the perfect environment for skin fold dermatitis. These folds can trap moisture, leading to skin infections. Additionally, the Frenchie’s unique ear shape makes them prone to ear infections. To prevent skin and ear problems, gently clean your dog’s skin folds and ears with veterinarian-recommended products, and schedule routine check-ups with your family veterinarian to catch and treat infections.

If you are thinking about welcoming a French bulldog into your family, understanding their unique health concerns can help you prepare for responsible pet ownership. If your furry family already includes one of these adorable, smoosh-faced dogs, it’s important to be aware of eye and health conditions that could arise. If you notice any signs of eye discomfort or abnormalities, don’t hesitate to reach out to Envision More Veterinary Ophthalmology. Our team is here to provide expert care and ensure that your beloved French bulldog enjoys a lifetime of healthy, happy eyes.