IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) in Bulldogs

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

IBD or inflammatory bowel disease, in bulldogs and French bulldogs, can affect both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts.

Bulldogs gastrointestinal tract is critical for their survival, its lining oversees transporting and absorption of vital nutrients.

IBD Inflammatory Bowel in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PRESENTATION: 

The most common manifestations of IBD in bulldogs are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stool
  • Strain to defect
  • Fluctuant
  • Abdominal pain

IBD can cause a range of clinical signs from mild to critical, from intermittent to constant, and from nonprogressive to progressive.

IBD Inflammatory Bowel in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs CAUSE: 

Bulldog IBD is due to an abnormal immune response that leads to an exaggerated inflammatory reaction that specifically targets your bulldog’s intestinal tract cellular lining.

IBD Inflammatory Bowel in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Inflammatory bowel disease in bulldogs is a group of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.

The severe inflammation that infiltrates the gut cell lining impairs both the absorption and the delivery of critical nutrients. Consequently, your bulldog or French bulldog could suffer from a wide range of symptoms, many of which will likely impact his or her life expectancy and quality of life.IBD Inflammatory Bowel in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

The cause might vary but can include underlining conditions such as:

  • FOOD ALLERGY: food allergy

An immune response that ensues is manifested as severe inflammation of your bulldog’s intestinal tract.

IBD Inflammatory Bowel in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DIAGNOSIS: 

Diagnosis is often made by exclusion of all the other common gastrointestinal bulldog diseases and can be helped by various tests such as

  • BLOOD TESTS:  tests that check for markers consistent with bulldog IBD, b12 deficiency, folate abnormalities, proteins levels, and pancreatic enzymes
  • FECAL TESTS: including a fecal extended PCR fecal test for a parasite like Giardia
  • IMAGING: radiographs, ultrasound, and endoscopy
  • BIOPSIES: sample of the GI tract taken for histopathology
  • FOOD TRAIL: testing for food sensitivities and food allergies

Bulldog & Fr. Bulldog IBD PREVENTION


Stem cells can be collected during routine procedures like spay & neuter and administered in-house or cryo stored for future needs


We offer low cost V4B Bully Customized Therapeutic Bundles

IBD Inflammatory Bowel in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs THERAPY: 

FOOD RESPONSIVE: hypoallergenic Rx diets, hydrolyzed or novel protein therapeutic diets.

ANTIBIOTIC RESPONSIVE: such as enrofloxacin and tylosin

STEROID RESPONSIVE: such as prednisone


VITAMINS: B12 injections

STEM CELL THERAPY: In the past decade I have been advocating a new state-of-the-art therapy called Stem Cell Therapy.

Dr. Kraemer has his own in-house patented stem cell lab that allows us to harvest, process, and treat our patients onsite shortly after extraction. To enhance their potency they are mixed with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and then light-activated.

In addition, we cryobank your bulldog stem cells for additional treatments

To find more about regenerative medicine and its therapeutic potential as applied to inflammatory bowel disease click  “Piper, the miracle of Stem Cell Therapy”

IBD in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS



In some cases of IBD, the cause may be obvious however, the majority of cases of inflammatory bowel disease remain unknown (idiopathic) and are considered “immune-mediated”.

Tip #2 Bulldog & Fr. Bulldog IBD / BIOPSY:

Histopathology is accepted as a gold standard for diagnosing IBD, however, histopathology is not without limitations. There is a large degree of variability in the number of inflammatory cells seen in biopsy specimens of normal dogs, and objective criteria for a diagnosis of IBD have not been agreed upon.

Tip #3 Bulldog & French Bulldog IBD / FOOD TRIALS:

Several trials with hypoallergenic diets and/or antibiotics may be needed before improvement is shown.


Warning #1 Bulldog & Fr. Bulldog IBD / PROTEIN LOSS (PLE):

Severe forms of bulldog IBD may cause persistent vomiting, protein-losing enteropathy (PLE), marked weight loss, and chronic diarrhea.

Warning #2 Bulldog & Frrench Bulldog IBD / RULE OUT:

Other gastrointestinal diseases in bulldogs and other pets can be clinically similar to IBD.

  • GI foreign body/obstruction
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Pancreatic disease (chronic pancreatitis, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency),
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Bulldog intestinal lymphoma

Warning#3 Bulldog & French Bulldog IBD / BIOPSY:

There is a wide variation in the histopathology and cellular pathology interpretation of intestinal biopsies, thus, diagnosis is ultimately based on the integration of clinical and histopathologic findings, the exclusion of other causes for observed clinical signs, and the response to therapy.

Warning #4 Bulldog & Fr. Bulldog IBD / STEROIDS WARNING:

 Any bulldog or pet receiving long-term immunosuppressant drugs like prednisone should be aware of the potentially harmful long-term adverse effects.

Among the common health risks related to many autoimmune suppressant drugs are:

  • GI ulceration
  • GI perforation
  • Liver damage (steroid hepatopathy)
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract infection (cystitis)

Warning # 5 Bulldog & Fr. Bulldog IBD / PRE & PROBIOTICS

long-term use of immunosuppressant drugs like prednisone and antibiotics for bulldog IBD can damage, and kill the good bacteria in your bulldog’s bowels, and bring on bulldog dysbiosis.

I recommend that you add probiotics like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Pre & Probiotics Advanced Formula with live bacteria for all IBD pets on long-term drug treatments.

Warning #6 Bulldog & French Bulldog IBD / LIVER

Long-term use of immunosuppressant drugs like prednisone for IBD can damage your French bulldog liver (steroid hepatopathy). I recommend you supplement with a liver detoxifier like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Liver Cleanser to minimize the steroid damage to your bulldog liver.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Bulldogs

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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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