Ear Otitis Ear Infection in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

By: Dr. Roy Kraemer |
DVM, Bulldog Specialist Veterinarian

War infections in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs are unfortunately a common issue within the breed and tend to begin at an early age. Therefore, taking preventive measures is crucial to their health.

Unlike humans and many other dog breeds whose ears have self-cleaning mechanisms, making ear infections relatively rare, bulldogs face a different challenge. Their ear canal is not as efficient at self-cleaning and is characteristically narrower, which predisposes them to ear infections.

bulldog resected diseased ear canal

Furthermore, bulldogs are commonly susceptible to allergies, which can lead to allergic otitis, exacerbating ear problems.

Given their brachycephalic (flat-faced) nature, bulldogs are inherently prone to ear diseases (otitis) from a very young age. This makes regular ear checks and maintenance an essential part of their care routine.

Flat face breeds like our bulldogs are prone to ear disease (otitis) from day one.

Ears Otitis Ear Infection in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Bulldog Otitis Ear Disease 5 X MUST KNOW

  1. Bulldog ear disease is very common and can start at a very young age.
  2. It is mostly due to bulldog flat-face selective breeding, and allergies.
  3. Pain, itch, red, smelly, crusty, narrow ear canal that can progress to irreversible end-stage disease
  4. Treatment includes ear bully therapeutics, cleaning wipes, waxLesss rinse, and yeasty bully flush.
  5. Prevention includes Dr. Kraemer’s Ear Disease Otitis Care Bundles 

Wellcome to our “Prevention Over RX” bullldog community

Bulldog Ear Disease Bundle - Essential

Ear infection in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs / CAUSE:

Here is a short list of the bulldog ear’s most common inherent problems:

  1. ALLERGIES: The breed has a high propensity for allergies (food allergies and atopic allergies),
  2. NARROW EAR CANAL: abnormally narrow external ear canal
  3. SELF-CLEANING EARS: poor cell migration of the canal mucosal lining.
  4. POLYPS & TUMORS: ear canal polyps and tumors
  5. YEAST & BACTERIA: are usually secondary and lead to further inflammation, edema, thickening and swelling
  6. EAR MITES: are not common
  7. HORMONAL: less common, and when presented, it is usually older bulldogs with hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease.

The bulldog breed’s anatomical misfortune is a direct outcome of decades of a “smooched skull”  inbreeding. 

The warm, moist, narrow ear canal is an ideal habitat for bacteria and yeast microorganisms.

Bulldog Ear Disease and Otitis Externa PRESENTATION:



Your bulldog ear infection/otitis is going to intensify the inflammation, the pain, and the itch, and vice versa (i.e., itch, pain, and inflammation will lead to and compound an infection).

This vicious cycle can tragically lead to an irreversible state of:

  • Fibrosis
  • Mineralization
  • Calcification,
  • Ossification (bone formation)

This chronic disease and pathology can lead to end-stage bulldog otitis, an irreversible, lifelong, painful disease, that can also lead to further neurological complications.

Bulldog Ear Disease / DIAGNOSIS:

  • Otoscopic Exam
  • Cytology
  • Culture
  • Imagining: radiographs, scope, CT, MRI

Bulldog Ear Disease PREVENTIVE CARE:

Bulldog Ear Cleaning & Wiping

  • V4B Bully WaxLess Aloe Ear Rinse
  • V4B Bully Ear Cleansers and Wipes


Bulldog Ear Therapeutic Supplements:

For Dr. Kraemer’s affordable bully ear disease preventive bundles click HERE


WIPING: Use an ear bully cleanser to wipe all the debris and junk from the ear folds (pinna)

APPLICATION: Fill your bully ear canal to the top with a proper rinse, making sure to coat the entire canal.

CLEANING: Take a cotton ball and stick it in as far as it will go using your fingers. There’s no need to be scared, you can’t go past the curve of the canal and damage the eardrum with a finger or a cotton ball, on the other hand, Q-tips should only be used for the top part and ear-flap folds (pinna).

TWISTING: Twist the cotton ball around and bring it up for inspection.

INSPECTING: Don’t forget to survey the texture and color of the inner pinna (inner part leading to the canal).

Otitis Ear Infection In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs / TREATMENT

Bulldog Ear Antiseptic Rinse


Bulldog Ear Infection Therapeutic Supplements:

Bulldog and Fr. Bulldog Ear Disease / MEDICATION:

  • Anti-inflammatories Topicals: usually steroids
  • Anti-inflammatories Systemic: usually steroids (injections or oral)
  • Topical Antiseptics: drops, ointments, or packs

WARNING: Failure to provide preventive care and manage mild to moderate ear disease will often lead to end-stage irreversible conditions that will require expensive, long, and very technical ear canal resection

Bulldog End-Stage Ear Disease TECA SURGERY:

French bulldog post total ear canal resection TECA

TECA with BO (total ear canal ablation with bulla osteotomy) surgery is the only viable treatment for end-stage ear disease and the only way to ensure comfort and a painless life.

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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