Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs is typically due to both a high propensity to allergies (food sensitivity ,atopic environmental allergen ), and selective breeding leading to a badly narrowed ear canal. Those anatomic and hypersensitivity bulldog breed propensities dramatically increase the chances of developing an ear infection (Otitis Externa, Ear disease) even at a very young age. This breed selection to an abnormal narrowed ear canal is an anatomical misfortune and a direct outcome of decades of bulldog “smooched skull” inbreeding.
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs puppies brings on pain, itch, redness, odor and swelling. This vicious cycle of chronic infection (yeast and bacteria) and chronic lasting inflammation (itch, swell, redness and pain) can tragically lead to an irreversible state of fibrosis, calcification and eventually mineralization of the cell lining the ear canal. When bone replaces normal epithelium, total ear canal ablation (TECA) with lateral bulla osteotomy (LBO) surgery becomes the only viable alternative to ease your bulldog pain and suffering.
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs can also be due to a hormonal imbalance like hypothyroid and hyperadrenal (cushing syndrome) but its less common then the other leading causes and when diagnosed it typically in adults and senior bulldogs. Your veterinarian should be able to determine if you bulldog suffers from those conditions based on medical findings and lab work.
The key to preventing your bulldog and french bulldog puppy needless pain is early and frequent cleaning. Remember, there is a learning curve to becoming an expert. Repetition will help you recognize even minor changes from the norm. Our entire tool box of photos, diagrams and videos is at your disposal if needed.
Your bulldog external canal starts vertically and then takes a sharp horizontal turn ending at the membrane (tympanic membrane).
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs Tip#1: Omega 3-6 EFA Fish Oil Like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B fish oil has good anti-inflammatory properties and might help reduce the otitis (inflammation)
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs Tip#2: For chronic cases consider an 8-12 weeks trial of strict hypoallergenic diet (hydrolyzed or novel) to rule out food allergy .
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs Tip#3: A allergen blood test can be done to rule out atopic allergies. Note, blood test are not the preferred method to rule out food allergy; the food-trial is the better method.
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs Tip#4: For non-cooperative and high anxiety bulldogs, I suggest you ask your vet to prescribe a “encouragement RX” in the form of a prescribed tranquilizer. This should help to prevent injuries to both pet and owner, reduce stress, and minimize pain. That way you are assuring a proper flushing and treatment application as well as a safe way for you to monitor therapeutic progress or lack thereof.
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs Tip#5: : Otitis in bulldogs due to allergies do not always present with intense itch.
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs Tip#6: I highly recommend class 4 cold laser which I use daily in my practice as part of the short and long term therapy and control of ear disease in bulldogs. Laser Therapy is inexpensive, has no adverse effects and helps in reducing swelling and pain and enhance healing.
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs Warning#1: Oral antibiotics are not recommended for otitis externa; they are costly, not very effective, and in fact can lead to resistance. They should be avoided in most bulldogs and french bulldog otitis externa cases.
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs Warning#2: Otitis Media in bulldogs (middle ear infection) can occur in chronic cases or/and with ear polyps and tumors. In those cases we also might see neurological problems like head tilt, circling, ataxia (wobbly) and nausea. Your vet might recommend diagnostic imaging like x-ray, CT or MRI.
Ear Infection in Bulldog and Otitis In French Bulldogs Warning#3: If your vet is recommending a partial ear resection for what looks like end-stage stenotic ears, I suggest you seek a second opinion, When surgery is the only remaining option, it is most likely that your bulldog will need a total ablation with a lateral bulla osteotomy (TECA w/LBO). This is a very technical surgery, and I recommend that you seek a board certified experienced specialist to perform it. For one, in those cases the anatomy is completely distorted, there are also vital nerves and vessels to avoid, and the bulla needs to be scraped clean, leaving no bacteria behind. In the wrong hands your bulldog puppy might end up with neurological problems and/or a chronic draining tract. On the other hand, when done correctly by a skilled surgeon, your bulldog and French Bulldog is going to be one happy dog thanking you for putting an end has been put to a miserably painful problem.
*The guide was compiled courtesy of Dr. Kraemer, a “must read” for any current or future bulldog owner.