Otitis In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs

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

Subject: Seeking Guidance for Rocky’s Otitis Externa 🐾👂🌼

Dear Dr. Kraemer, My 3-year-old Bulldog, Rocky. 🐶 has been experiencing symptoms of ear disease, exhibit signs of discomfort, including ear scratching, head shaking, and a noticeable discharge. I’m seeking your expert advice on how best to manage his otitis. 🩺🌿

Thank you for your time and assistance! 🙏 #OtitisExterna #BulldogHealth #EarInfection

Sadly, Bulldogs and French Bulldogs frequently experience otitis, or ear inflammation, distinguishing them from most dog breeds with self-cleaning ear canals that are less prone to infections.

We must comprehend the underlying causes, clinical signs, and best prophylactic actions.

Bulldog Otoscopic Ear Exam

Bulldog Ear Otitis Externa 5 X MUST KNOW

  1. Bulldogs are prone to otitis due to their propensity for allergies and their inherent stenotic ear canal.
  2. Otitis is also due to poor upward cell movement and abnormal wax transportation.
  3. Early prevention and timely treatment are critical; otherwise, the stenosis can become irreversible.
  4. Daily ear rinsing, flushing, and wiping with bully topicals can prevent this end-stage disease
  5. Prevention and care include Dr. Kraemer’s Bulldog Ear  Otitis Bundles.

Members of this bulldog community prefer prevention over RX

Yeasty Bully Ears Bundle - Ultimate

Otitis in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs CAUSE

Bulldogs, with their high susceptibility to allergies, often experience itching in their ears, known as allergic otitis.

The common allergies are:

The ears, being an extension of the skin, are particularly vulnerable.

bully therapeutic ear rinse demo


Bulldogs deviate from the norm in terms of ear canal self-cleaning mechanisms. Unlike other dog breeds and humans, bulldogs lack the natural upward cell migration and wax movement that play a vital role in maintaining clean ears.

Additionally, bulldogs are prone to frequently having stenotic (badly narrowed) ear canals. This anatomical predisposition significantly raises the risk of developing ear infections, known as otitis externa, even at a very young age. Early intervention and preventive measures are crucial for managing ear health in bulldogs.

This anatomical difficulty is the result of selective inbreeding for the distinctive “smooched skull” brachycephalic appearance.


Older bulldogs may encounter otitis as a consequence of hormonal imbalances, a condition that can be identified through both medical findings and laboratory work. Hormonal changes in aging bulldogs can disrupt the delicate balance of the ear canal environment, making them more susceptible to ear infections and inflammation. Examples are hypothyroidism and hyperadrenal disease.


  • Otitis externa (external ear canal)
  • Otitis Media and Otitis Interna
  • Allergic Otitis
  • Yeasty Otitis
  • Infectious Otitis
  • End-stage Stage disease Otitis
  • Otitis due to Polyps
  • Otitis due to Tumors

Bulldog end-stage ear disease and polyp's

Bulldog and French Bulldog Otitis PREVENT & TREAT:

Due to the breed’s inability to self-clean the ear canal, prevention measures should include the use of topical waxless bully ear rinses and cleansing, drying ear wipes. These products help maintain ear hygiene by gently removing excess wax and debris, reducing the risk of ear infections and inflammation.

Regular use of these preventive measures can help keep your bulldog’s ears clean and healthy, minimizing the need for more intensive treatments in the future.

  • V4B Bully Cleansing and Drying Wipes
  • V4B Bully Aloe Very WaxLess Rinse
  • V4B Yeast Bully Antiseptic Rinse

bulldog aloe wax less ear rinse

In addition, therapeutic bully supplements could be helpful both preventively and in lifelong care:

  • V4B Bully Fish Oil EFA chews
  • V4B Bully Skin & Coat Derma Vet
  • V4B Bully Immune Support

Bulldog Skin and coat Derma Care Bundle - Basic

Otitis in Bulldogs and Associated PAIN

Your bulldog’s ear disease is likely to exacerbate inflammation, pain, and itching, while conversely, these symptoms can contribute to and intensify an infection. The warm, moist, and narrow ear canal creates an ideal environment for the proliferation of bacteria and yeast microorganisms.

It is essential to address both the underlying condition causing the inflammation and any secondary infections to effectively manage your bulldog’s ear health and alleviate discomfort.

Otitis Leading to End-Stage Eare Disease

If left untreated, this cycle can progress to irreversible stages involving fibrosis, mineralization, calcification, and ossification of the ear canal lining. Timely intervention and proper management are essential to prevent the advancement of the disease and maintain your bulldog’s ear health.

TECA (Total Ear Resection Ablation)

Chronic otitis has the potential to progress to end-stage disease, a painful and irreversible condition for affected bulldogs.

In such cases, Total Ear Canal Ablation with Bulla Osteotomy (TECA/BO) surgery often becomes the only viable treatment option to ensure the bulldog’s comfort and provide a pain-free life.bulldog resected ear canal and ear flap

This procedure involves removing the entire ear canal, addressing any underlying issues within the middle ear, alleviating discomfort, and improving the bulldog’s quality of life.

Early intervention and consultation with a qualified veterinarian are crucial in managing chronic otitis and preventing its progression to end-stage disease.

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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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