Poisons and Toxins in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Poisons and toxins can pose serious risks to bulldogs and French bulldogs, stemming from seemingly innocuous sources in our homes and environments. These breeds, like many others, may inadvertently consume harmful substances commonly found in everyday items. Some of the toxins include food products such as

  • chocolate
  • grapes and raisins
  • chewing gum: everyday items like chewing gum (which may contain xylitol)
  • household and outdoor plants such as cannabis and sago palm
  • OTC: over-the-counter medications like aspirin; pesticides
  • RX: and even prescription medications that are not intended for them.

Here is a list of some of the common toxins I encounter in my veterinary practice with bulldogs and French bulldogs:

Poisons and Toxins in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs /ASPIRIN 

NSAID is an acronym that stands for “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.”

This class of drugs includes popular pain, ache, swell, anti-clotting,  and anti-inflammatory medications such as:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Advil
  • Motrin
  • Aleve

Unfortunately, those drugs are often manufactured as a palatable chew or are sweetened, which makes them a prized treat for your bulldog or French bulldog pet.

Aspirin Poison in Bulldogs and Fr. Bulldogs

bulldog vomiting blood due to aspirin poison 

Bulldog Gastric Ulcer Due to Aspirin Can Lead To:

  1. Pain
  2. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  3. Gastric bleeding and gastric perforation lead to peritonitis and possible death

Bulldog Kidney Failure Due to Aspirin, Can Lead :

  1. Depressing and Listless
  2. Excessive drinking and urinating
  3. Anorexic

Bulldog Blood Clotting Due to Aspirin  Can Lead To:

  1. Pale gums/anemia
  2. Bleeding and bruising
  3. Weakness and panting

Other: liver toxicity and seizures.


  1. Abdominal imaging, like radiographs and ultrasounds
  2. Blood tests and urine analysis


  1. Induce Vomit
  2. H2B medication like Pepcid to reduce stomach acid (anti-acids)
  3. Gastric protectants to prevent absorption
  4. IV fluids to preserve the kidneys and maintain hydration
  5. Blood transfusion, if needed
  6. Emergency surgery if the gastric wall is perforated.

poison bulldog hospitalized


DO NOT Give your bulldog any human NSAIDs

DO NOT Keep NSAID’s uncovered bottle or areas accessible to your bulldog

DO NOT Give your bulldog pet NSAIDs without consulting your vet first

Poisons and Toxins in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs / XYLITOL:

Xylitol is a natural sweetener that many of you might recognize and possibly use in your daily routines. It’s favored as a sugar substitute because it has fewer calories and a lower glycemic index than regular sugar.

You can typically find xylitol in the low-calorie food aisle of your local grocery store, as well as in sections dedicated to weight management and diabetic products. Additionally, it is commonly included in dental care products, as it is believed to help reduce tooth decay.

Xylitol Poising in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs,


  • Toothpaste & Mouthwash.
  • Chewing gum & Sugar-Free candy
  • PEANUT BUTTER & Jellies
  • Chocolate & Breath Mints
  • A long list of food products advertised us:
    • “Sugar-Free
    • “Low Sugar”
    • “Natural Sweetener”
    • “aspartame-free,”
    • “Low Calorie”
  • Dental products advertising
    • “anti-cavity”
    • “anti tooth decay”


  1. Safely store all Xiltol-containing products
  2. Safely cap all Xiltol-containing products
  3. Safely hang, close, and cap your hung bags, purses, pockets, and contents.
  4. Don’t let your dog loose in a picnic, park, or public area.
  5. Don’t use your toothpaste or Dental Rinse on your bulldog. Dr. Kraemer offers multiple Bully dental PlaqueLess rinses and chews that are safe to use
  6. If you use peanut butter to hide and administer Rx or supplements, carefully read the label for any trace of Xylitol
  7. If you have children to whom you offer multivitamin-sweetened tabs or chews, educate them about the risk it poses to your bulldog


Even a trace amount of xylitol can be highly toxic to dogs. If you suspect your Bulldog or French Bulldog has ingested any product containing xylitol, it is crucial to seek veterinary help immediately. Quick action is vital in preventing serious health issues or potentially fatal outcomes for your pet.

Due to the immediate hypoglycemic effect of Xylitol ingestion, your bulldog is likely to exhibit:

  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Hypoglycemic coma
  • Liver toxicity and failure
  • Death


There is no specific test of Xylitol Toxicity

Low blood sugar, clinical signs listed above, and any suspicion of your bulldog digesting a Xylitol product should prompt Xylitol Toxicity as a high likelihood and immediate course of action

There is also no specific antidote to xylitol, the treatment is symptomatic and supportive

  1. Induce vomiting
  2. If your bully is hypoglycemic, we can start fluid mixed with dextrose (sugar-like) to help raise blood sugar 
  3. Liver detoxifiers and other protective Rx and supplements


Poisons and Toxins in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and Raisins Poisoning in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs can happen due to ingestion of any amount of grape-containing products, including

  • Plain raisins
  • Cereals with raisins
  • Granola with raisins


Grapes and raisins are renal toxic (i.e. Kidney Toxic)  but the exact cause within the grape is not known (possibly a grape fungus).


Clinical signs of bulldog grape poisoning begin within 12 to 48 hours and may include symptoms such as

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • excessive drinking
  • excessive urination.

These symptoms could escalate to more severe conditions related to kidney failure.

Tip: The sooner treatment is started, the better the outcomes tend to be.

English Bulldog Puppy at Dr. Kraemer Specialty Hospital

If you suspect that your bulldog has ingested a product containing grapes, it’s critical to act swiftly. Immediately call poison control and head to your nearest veterinary emergency room. In severe cases, grape poisoning can lead to complete kidney shutdown and, tragically, death.

Prompt medical attention is essential to giving your pet the best chance of recovery.

Unfortunately, clinical signs are not specific, but blood and urine tests will show abnormalities consistent with renal failure.


The prognosis for a dog that has ingested poison depends on several factors, including your bulldog

  1. sensitivity to the toxin
  2. the amount of poison ingested
  3. the time elapsed between ingestion and the start of treatment.

Early detection and prompt veterinary care can significantly improve the chances of a full recovery.

Dr. Kraemer bulldog expert medical exam

It’s crucial to monitor your pet closely and act quickly if you suspect they’ve come into contact with a harmful substance.


Inducing vomiting, performing stomach lavage, and coating the stomach wall with a protectant that prevents the absorption or digestion of the poison are critical first steps in treating a bulldog that has ingested toxins.

Timing is crucial for these interventions to be effective.

Hospitalization, including

  • fluid therapy
  • kidney values monitoring

will generally be necessary to support the dog through recovery.

WARNING: It is important to note that every dog’s tolerance to toxins varies, regardless of size, age, gender, or breed. Even small amounts of a toxic substance, such as 1-2 grapes, can be potentially lethal. Immediate veterinary intervention is essential in cases of suspected poisoning.

Any amount ingested grapes or raisins should be considered an emergency. 

Poisons and Toxins in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs / RAT POISON :

Rat poison ingestion in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs is dangerous and typically involves one of three types:

  1. anticoagulants: very common
  2. bromethalin: very common
  3. cholecalciferol

Each type of rat poison is considered a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary treatment. The effectiveness of the initial response, such as removing the poison by inducing vomiting and coating the stomach to prevent absorption, depends critically on the timing.

These steps are only effective if performed soon after ingestion.

For any dog suspected of consuming rat poison, it’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately to improve the chances of a successful outcome. Quick and decisive action can mean the difference between life and death


Rat poison, particularly anticoagulant types, acts by inhibiting the ability of your bulldog’s blood to clot, which can lead to uncontrolled internal or external bleeding. This type of poison is dangerous and requires immediate attention.

It’s worth noting that while warfarin was commonly used in earlier generations of anticoagulant rat poisons, many formulations now use newer, more potent anticoagulants. These newer substances can be even more hazardous and may require different treatment protocols to be managed effectively.


Clinical signs can take a few days to manifest with your bulldog exhibiting

  • Lethargy
  • Dark stool,
  • Frank’s blood is dripping from any orifice
  • Pale gums and bruising are easily seen on the belly and gums


Your veterinarian can typically confirm poisoning and assess clotting deficiencies by conducting a comprehensive lab panel that includes clotting factor tests.

Treatment for rat poison ingestion often involves administering Vitamin K, both through injections and orally. I

In severe cases, additional interventions, such as

  • blood transfusions
  • oxygen support
  • hospitalization: may be necessary to stabilize your bulldog’s condition.

The prognosis for recovery is generally good if treatment is initiated promptly after ingestion. Swift action is key to ensuring the best possible outcome for your pet.

If you suspect your bulldog has ingested rat poison, do not delay in seeking veterinary care.


Bromethalin rat poisoning poses a significant risk to the central nervous system (CNS), leading to brain swelling (edema).

Clinical signs in Bulldogs who have ingested this type of rat poison can manifest rapidly, sometimes appearing within 24 hours of ingestion. Common symptoms include

  • seizures
  • tremors
  • loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • depression.

Unfortunately, there is no specific antidote for bromethalin poisoning.

toxic bulldog puppy

Treatment typically focuses on supportive care, including intravenous (IV) fluids and medications to reduce brain swelling. If the pet survives the poisoning, they may experience prolonged loss of appetite and require ongoing support and feeding.


To prevent rat poison poisoning in Bulldogs, it’s crucial to take proactive measures:

  1. Keep Rat Poison Secure: Store rat poison in areas inaccessible to pets, such as locked cabinets or high shelves.
  2. Use Pet-Friendly Alternatives: Consider using alternative pest control methods that are safe for pets, such as traps or repellents.
  3. Monitor Outdoor Activities: Supervise outdoor activities to prevent access to areas where rat poison may be used.
  4. Be Vigilant: Regularly check your surroundings for signs of rat poison and promptly remove any found.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can help protect your Bulldog from the dangers of rat poison poisoning.

Poisons and Toxins in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs SAGO PALM 

There are a lot of poisonous plants out there, but few cause fatalities in bulldogs and French bulldogs like this one.

Unfortunately, I experienced two tragic cases in my practice, one of a young French bulldog puppy of Sago Palm poisoning.

All parts of the Sago Palms are poisonous, but their seeds are exceptionally deadly

The poison is “cycasin,” and even ingestion of a few seeds can be catastrophic.

Sago Palm in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING:

I have seen the Sago Palms in my neighborhood yards (southern CA) and local nurseries (see the photo I snapped at a nearby Home Depot store). Be aware, that Sago Palms are also popular as house decorative items and gifts.

Sago Palm poisoning clinical manifestation can begin quickly thus if you suspect that your pet ingested any parts of this plant please seek emergency care immediately.


Evidence of your bulldog being poisoned by this plant might begin as gastrointestinal, like vomit and diarrhea but can quickly progress to

  1. Weakness
  2. Bloody vomit, and diarrhea
  3. Icterus (yellow gums and mucous membrane due to liver failure)
  4. Seizures, inappetence, shock, and death.


  • If you can get to an emergency hospital right away, try to induce vomiting with oral hydrogen peroxide or Ipecac
  • Treatment will include inducing vomiting, stomach pumping, and a stomach protective coating to hopefully remove the poison before it gets into your bulldog system.
Sago Palm Poisons and Toxins in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Sago Plam Posioning Supportive therapy

Supportive care is all we can do to improve survival (there is no antidote) and will include:

If you are a pet owner, I recommend removing those plants from your home and yard.

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