Eyes

The Bulldog Standard

"The eyes, seen from the front, should be situated low down in the skull, as far from the ears as possible, and their corners should be in a straight line at right angles with the stop. They should be quite in front of the head, as wide apart as possible, provided their outer corners are within the outline of the cheeks when viewed from the front. They should be quite round in form, of moderate size, neither sunken nor bulging, and in color should be very dark.  Blue or green eye(s) or parti-color eye(s) are a disqualification.  The lids should cover the white of the eyeball, when the dog is looking directly forward, and the lid should show no "haw."

Eye problems are potentially serious.  Minor problems can become major ones if not addressed.  See your Vet if the problem does not correct itself or with home remedy within a day.

To administer ointments to the eye, pull down the lower lid and place the ointment on the inner surface.  Then rub the eyelid gently over the eyeball to spread the medication.  Applying it directly to the eyeball can be dangerous if the dog jerks his head.  Eye drops can be placed directly on the eyeball.  Hold the eyelids open momentarily while the drops are applied.

Some Bulldogs develop a congenital condition in which extra eyelashes grow from the lid and rub against the cornea.   The irritation may range from hardly noticeable to very severe with heavy tearing.  The hair can be removed by plucking - it's not as hard as it sounds and the dogs adjust to it.  The condition may improve in time so treatment is no longer needed.  In severe cases, the hairs can be removed by electrolysis.  However, your dog will have to undergo general anesthesia, so the procedure is a serious one.  If left untreated, continued irritation of the eye in a severe case can lead to corneal scarring or blindness.

In the normal structure of the eye, the lid should be shaped like a globe.  It should not be rolled in or out.  The breed Standard makes these undesirable conditions for show dogs, so breeders trying to adhere to the standard will usually produce puppies with a lower incidence of these conditions.  Entropion is the condition where the eyelid rolls inward, causing irritation to the eye.  It is more common among Bulldogs than some other breeds.  If caused by a spasm or mechanical irritation, it can be corrected through medication.  If structural, the condition can be corrected by a simple operation.  Failure to correct the condition can lead to ulceration of the cornea and possible loss of sight.

Ectropion is a condition where it is rolled out, resulting in the third eyelid (or haw) being visible.  This is more common in Bulldogs than in some other breeds.   Its presence is undesirable in a show dog and a potential health problem because of the ease which foreign matter can enter the eye.

This is created by an enlarged and prolapsed tear gland on the inner surface of the third eyelid, generally caused by infection.  It shows itself as a red, cherry-like growth protruding from the inner corner of the eye.  It usually occurs in puppies and young dogs.  It is more common among Bulldogs than some other breeds.  It is usually treated surgically.  This can be done by removal of the gland, with the need for only local anesthesia, or can be done by tacking the eyelid under general anesthesia.  The choice of procedures and alternatives should be discussed with your Vet.

This is a disease, usually of the older dog, which results from inadequate tear production, sometimes from the surgical treatment of Cherry Eye.   The eyes appear dull and listless and the eye has a thick discharge.  This can lead to infection or corneal ulcers if left untreated.  Fortunately, this is an easy disease to treat if not a severe case.  There are many artificial tear products in the drug store which can be used several times a day to relieve the condition.  In more severe cases, a drug can be used in the eye or an operation may be required to transplant the salivary duct to the eye to maintain the flow of fluid.

This is a common disease of all domestic animals (including humans, where "pink eye" is an infectious form).  Its cause can vary from an infection to allergies and environmental irritants.  Blinking and squinting caused by mild eye pain and tearing are the main symptoms you will notice.  Your Vet can diagnose the cause and prescribe appropriate medical treatment (sometimes eye drops or scraping the conjunctiva) to clear up the condition easily and rapidly.

Corneal ulcers are dangerous and should receive immediate veterinary attention to avoid potential loss of the eye.  Large ones are visible with the naked eye as dull spots or depressions on the corneal surface.  Smaller ones can be seen under a special light after staining by the Vet.  Corneal abrasions are scratches which usually will heal in a day or two if no foreign body is present in the eye. The eye should be carefully checked to ensure removal of any foreign body present. Failure to act quickly can result in an ulcer or inflammation of the cornea.