Ear infection in bulldogs and French Bulldogs is common and without proper care can often lead to a chronic, painful and often irreversible external ear canal disease. In contrast to bulldogs, ear infection in most other dog breeds, cats, and us humans is rare, due to a natural wide self-cleaning ear canal.
Ear infection in bulldogs and French Bulldogs is common most likely due to their flat compressed head which directly will impact the ear canal. The bulldog stenotic narrowed ear canal provides for a wet, warm, moist, environment ideal for bacteria and yeast to flourish and grow. Combine this abnormal ear canal with bulldogs and French bulldog predisposition to allergies such as food allergy and environmental allergies (atopic allergic dermatitis) the chances for a chronic progressive otitis externa is even higher.
This anatomical misfortune is a direct outcome of decades of bully “smooshed skull” inbreeding. The warm, moist, and narrow ear canal is an ideal habitat for bacteria and yeast to flourish and grow. The inflammation in your English, Old English, American or French bulldogs ear will only intensify with infection, bringing with it itching, swelling and excess wax, followed closely by intense pain.
Ear infection in bulldogs and French Bulldogs is often due to the breed anatomical misfortune, allergies and at times in older bulldogs hormonal imbalance like hypothyroidism. Total ear canal ablation surgery (TECA with Bula Osteotomy) becomes the only viable alternative to ease the pain once permanent fibrosis, calcification and mineralization gradually and permanently replaces normal epithelium,. In addition, chronic progressive otitis externa can lead to a more serious otitis media and otitis interna (inner canal disease vs. external ear canal disease).
Ear Infection in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Maintenance:
The key to preventing your bulldog and French bulldog puppies needless pain is early and frequent ear cleaning, rinsing, flushing and drying. Remember, there is a learning curve to becoming a bulldog owner expert. Repetition will help you recognize the smallest changes from the norm and take action. Our entire tool box of photos, diagrams and videos is at your disposal if needed.
Dr. Kraemer’s step by step Bulldog and French bulldog ear maintenance
- Fill the ear canal to the top with a proper ear rinse, making sure to coat the entire canal.
- Take a cotton ball and stick it in as far as it will go using your fingers. There’s no need to be scared, as you can’t go past the curve of the ear, therefore you will not be able to poke the ear drum using a finger. Q-tips should only be used for the ear folds on top (pinna).
- Twist the cotton ball around and bring it up for inspection.
- Don’t forget to survey the texture and color of the inner pinna (inner part of the ear leading to the canal)
Ear Infection in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Rule of Thumb:
- For bully’s whose ears are in good condition, a maintenance rinse with a flush like Dr. Kraemer’s “V4B Waxy Ear Flush for bulldogs and French bulldogs” once or twice weekly should suffice.
- In case of chronic or acute otitis and/or persistent infection, consider rinsing daily or every other day with an ear rinse that has antiseptic properties like Dr. Kraemer’s “V4B Anti Septic Yeasty Ear Flush for bulldogs and French bulldogs” . This antiseptic ear flush could help control yeast and bacteria and help prime the ear canal enhancing the potency of the topical otic Rx your veterinarian prescribes.