Ear Infections in Bulldogs: A complete Guide!

Ear infections in Bulldogs can present themselves quite obviously. Is your Bulldog scratching its ears, whining, and shaking its head unusually often? If so, then perhaps you should make a veterinarian appointment ASAP.

Did you know that as much as 20 percent of dogs suffer from a type of ear disease? Due to the shape of their ear canal, dogs get ear infections often compared to humans. This issue is common among puppies but adult dogs can also become infected. Dog breeds with especially large ears tend to get it, but that does not mean other breeds are immune from the condition.

Ear infections in Bulldogs are common but if left untreated can lead to chronic outer ear canal diseases. This disorder can cause a lot of pain and can become irreversible if ignored. The genetic predisposition of the Bulldog is the narrow ear canal of the breed. This provides a humid and warm environment yeast and bacteria can thrive in.

Dogs and Their Incredible Ears

Dogs have fantastic hearing. Sure, their sense of smell is great too, but their hearing acuity is really at a different level. Some dog’s hearing, Bulldogs included is up to hundreds of times better than ours. They are particularly superior at hearing high frequencies.

The typical human adult can only hear up to 20,000 Hertz. Dogs, in comparison, can hear sounds as high as 47,000 to 65,000 Hz. Ever wonder why we do not hear a dog whistle when it is blown? That’s because those devices are calibrated at ultra-high pitches only dogs can hear. This is quite astounding. It also helps to give one a better appreciation and sympathy for a dog that has an ear affliction.

The Three Types of Dog Ear Infections

There are essentially three kinds of ear infections.  The first is an infection that involves inflammation. The other two on the other hand pertain to infections of the middle and inner ear canal.

If your pet does not drink or eat normally because of nausea or disorientation, confinement for fluid therapy thru intravenous means is necessary. Nausea must stop so the dog is more comfortable, and prolonged dehydration is very dangerous. At this point, a sedative or anesthetic for the dog may already be necessary to clearly evaluate the ear tissues, get samples for bacterial culture, and thoroughly clean the ear.

How do you treat an ear infection in a bulldog is quite similar to how you would treat other breeds. Before looking into the treatment, let us examine the different causes for an infection, the symptoms, and how to prevent them.

Common Ear Infection Signs You Can Detect

How do I know if my dog’s ear is infected by merely observing it at home? Before calling your veterinarian, there are many telltale signs to watch out for.

Head Tilting

Observe Your Dog For Queer Head Movements

A Bulldog with sick may habitually tilt its head usually to the side of the affected ear. It might even fall, lean, or roll in the direction of the infected side. Do not mistake this as a dog trick. This will happen since its sense of balance is affected. As a result, to merely walk is difficult and it might even drift around in circles toward the side of the infected ear. It may also become hesitant to move at all, and will likely sit or lay in one spot.

When both ears are infected, it may swing its head side to side akin to an elephant.  Staying still on its feet will require much effort. Furthermore, a dog with an ear infection might not be able to hear on the affected side.

Ear Infections Foul Odor

There might be some discharge from an infected ear accompanied by an unpleasant smell. You will be able to see dark substances in the canal that resemble sticky coffee grounds that are yellowish or black. A dog’s ears will also appear reddish, due to swelling.  A foul odor will likewise be indicative of an infection. Further investigation of the ear will reveal that there is pain when you touch it.

Other Symptoms Your Bulldog Has an Ear Infection

Your dog may also unexpectedly vomit if the ear infection is in its acute stage. If the facial nerve in the area of the inner ear is damaged by an infection, the dog may show some of the following symptoms:

Difficulty eating

Unusual drooling

Staring without blinking

Dry eyes due to infrequent blinking

Discharge from the eye

Droopy eyelids, lips, and nostrils on the infected ear’s side

How Can I Stop My Dog Getting Ear Infections – Knowing the Causes

A Bulldog’s ear canal is more upright compared to the human ear. It forms a bend and has a tendency to retain fluid. This physical trait makes canines in general more susceptible to ear problems. These infections are usually caused by yeast, bacteria, or both. Bugs can also be a source of infection, especially in puppies. Other causes are:


Thyroid malfunction


Autoimmune disorders

Foreign objects

Excessive earwax production

Ear mites or fleas

Warts and tumors


When to See Your Veterinarian for Your Dogs Ear Infection

If you observe any or a combination of the symptoms described above, it is time to see the doctor. Immediate treatment is required for your dog’s comfort.  Immediate intervention likewise prevents the spread of infection elsewhere. It is generally good not too good to treat your own at home. The ear is a very delicate organ and will need expert medical attention.

To properly guide the assessment of your veterinarian, provide them with a comprehensive background as you observed its development. This is particularly vital if your dog’s diagnosis is by a new doctor.

How a Veterinarian Will Likely Treat Your Bulldog’s Ear Infection

See Your Veterinarian Immediately if You Notice Telltale Symptoms

To start, the ear canal is visually examined with the aid of an otoscope. This medical instrument provides both light and magnification to see thoroughly inside the ear. This procedure allows your veterinarian to see if the eardrum is intact. He will likewise check if there is any redness or swelling, injury, or foreign object in the canal. Under situations when the dog is not cooperative due to pain, a sedative is given to calm and anesthetize the dog and a safe examination can be done.

If a sample of the discharge from the ear canal is obtained, some kind of laboratory analysis is conducted.  This is vital in helping your veterinarian select the appropriate medicine to treat the inflamed canal. Culture and susceptibility tests is done for more stubborn ear infections to guarantee your Bulldog gets the specific medication.

A competent veterinarian will methodically clean your dog’s ears too. A medicated ear cleanser is used in the clinic, and follow-up cleaning of the ear with a similar cleanser and topical medication is a likely routine the vet will teach you to do at home. If the ear infection is already severe, it is quite likely that oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications like steroids will form part of the treatment regimen.

A vet can also tell you to buy specific Bulldog eardrops that you will administer within 10-14 days, depending on the assessment.

Recovery Timelines of Bulldog Ear Infections

The typical ear infections get better within 7-14 days, once a vet prescribed treatment starts. However, bad infections or conditions caused by underlying health issues may take even months to resolve. Sometimes they even become chronic and are lifelong conditions you must manage. In some severe cases and after a thorough assessment, a veterinarian may even recommend surgery.

Whenever required also adhere to any follow-up clinic appointments. Failure to abide by your dog’s treatment course cause a return of the infection. Particularly with antibiotics, finish it all. It is tempting to stop once your pet looks well. It is a common mistake not to complete the medicines. This could lead to future resistance of certain bacterial strains to antibiotic treatment.

Avoiding Ear Infections in Your Bulldog

A responsible and caring dog owner can certainly prevent or minimize infections. Since wetness is a common and recognized culprit of ear infections, measures to avoid it are a wise thing to do. For instance, always exhaustively make sure the dog’s ears are not wet after a bath.

If your dog has a history of ear infections, look into hidden causes like diet and allergies to help mitigate the onset of new infections. Vitamin C is a good supplement for your dog’s diet. It is a great antioxidant that will help control yeast build-up in the ears.

Ear cleaning can prevent infections, but you must do this only if a trained professional has taught you. The usual protocol is to fill the ear canal with a specific ear cleaning solution. Work the vertical ear canal gently from the outside. Once you have done this, wipe out the canal of any excess solution with an absorbent gauze.

Cotton and paper towels are a no-no since these may leave fiber residue, and cause irritation. Only use cotton swabs for cleaning your dog’s earflaps.  Do not use them in the ear canal, as these notoriously push in earwax into the canal. There are also commercially available detergents that are specifically formulated for a dog’s ears. These formulas are usually alcohol-free.

There Is No Substitute for Vigilance

Ear infections in Bulldogs are to be expected at some point. It is a common and often recurrent issue in all dog breeds. However, with your diligence and a veterinarian’s expertise, you can keep your dog’s ears clean, safe, and healthy. The moment you observe your dog has symptoms of an ear infection, go for an immediate check-up. Prompt treatment will prevent the problem from turning into a prolonged and serious issue.

Leave a Comment