Why Are My American Bulldog’s Eyes Red? Common Causes and Solutions

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies too. Allergies can cause redness in the eyes, along with other symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and skin irritation. Common allergens for dogs include pollen, mold, dust mites, and certain foods. If your American Bulldog’s eyes are red and they are also exhibiting other signs of allergies, it’s important to identify and eliminate the allergen from their environment.


Eye infections can lead to redness and discomfort. Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections can affect the eye and surrounding tissues, causing inflammation and redness. If you notice discharge, swelling, or squinting in addition to red eyes, it’s possible that your American Bulldog may have an eye infection. Prompt veterinary attention is necessary to properly diagnose and treat the infection.


Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common condition that can cause redness, discharge, and itching in the eyes. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergies, or irritants. American Bulldogs are particularly prone to developing conjunctivitis due to their prominent eyes and facial folds. Treatment for conjunctivitis typically involves medicated eye drops or ointments prescribed by a veterinarian.

Foreign Body Irritation

Sometimes, foreign objects such as dust, dirt, or plant material can become lodged in your American Bulldog’s eye, causing irritation and redness. Your dog may paw at their eye or rub their face against surfaces in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort. If you suspect a foreign body in your dog’s eye, it’s important to seek veterinary assistance, as attempting to remove it yourself may cause further damage.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, occurs when the tear glands do not produce enough tears to keep the eyes adequately lubricated. This can lead to redness, discharge, and discomfort. Certain medications, hormonal imbalances, or underlying health conditions can contribute to dry eye syndrome. Treatment typically involves the use of artificial tears or other lubricating eye drops to provide relief and prevent further damage to the cornea.


Glaucoma is a condition characterized by increased pressure within the eye, which can cause redness, pain, and even vision loss if left untreated. While glaucoma is more commonly associated with older dogs, it can affect dogs of any age, including American Bulldogs. It’s important to seek immediate veterinary attention if you suspect glaucoma, as prompt treatment is necessary to preserve your dog’s vision.


Inflammation of the eye, known as uveitis, can cause redness, pain, and sensitivity to light. Uveitis can be caused by various factors, including infection, injury, or an underlying autoimmune condition. It’s essential to seek veterinary care to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment to alleviate the inflammation and prevent further complications.

Corneal Ulcer

A corneal ulcer is a painful, open sore on the surface of the eye that can cause redness, discharge, and squinting. Ulcers can occur as a result of trauma, foreign objects, or underlying conditions that affect the integrity of the cornea. Treatment for corneal ulcers typically involves medication, including antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection and promote healing.


Cataracts are characterized by cloudiness or opacity in the lens of the eye, which can cause redness and changes in vision. While cataracts are more commonly seen in older dogs, they can also develop in younger dogs, including American Bulldogs. Surgical removal of the cataracts may be necessary to restore vision, but this should be determined by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Genetic Factors

Some American Bulldogs may be more prone to developing red eyes due to genetic factors. Certain genetic conditions, such as cherry eye or eyelid abnormalities, can contribute to eye redness and discomfort. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about the breed to determine if any genetic factors may be contributing to your dog’s red eyes.

Symptoms of Red Eyes in American Bulldogs

Recognizing the symptoms of red eyes in American Bulldogs can help you identify potential issues early on. Some common symptoms to look out for include:

Redness and Blood Vessels

One of the most noticeable signs of red eyes is, of course, the redness itself. The whites of your dog’s eyes may appear bloodshot, and you may also see prominent blood vessels.


Excessive tearing or discharge from the eyes can be a sign of an underlying issue. The discharge may be clear, cloudy, or even pus-like in consistency.

Squinting or Excessive Blinking

If your American Bulldog is squinting or blinking excessively, it may be an indication of eye discomfort or pain.


While a certain amount of tearing is normal, excessive tearing or watery eyes can be a sign of an underlying problem.

Swelling or Puffiness

Swelling or puffiness around the eyes can indicate inflammation or an allergic reaction.

Cloudiness or Opacity

If you notice a cloudiness or opacity in your American Bulldog’s eyes, it may be a sign of a more serious condition such as cataracts or corneal ulcers.

Changes in Behavior or Appetite

Sometimes, eye issues can cause behavioral changes or a decrease in appetite. If your American Bulldog seems lethargic or disinterested in food, it’s important to consider their eye health as a potential factor.

Visible Abnormalities or Growths

If you notice any visible abnormalities or growths on or around your dog’s eyes, it’s crucial to have them examined by a veterinarian. These could be signs of more serious conditions that require immediate attention.

Diagnosing the Cause of Red Eyes in American Bulldogs

Determining the underlying cause of your American Bulldog’s red eyes requires a comprehensive diagnostic process. Some common methods used by veterinarians include:

Physical Examination

A thorough physical examination allows the veterinarian to assess the overall health of your American Bulldog and examine the eyes for any visible abnormalities or signs of infection.

Medical History

Providing your veterinarian with a detailed medical history, including any previous eye issues or treatments, can help them better understand your dog’s current condition and potential underlying factors.

Eye Tests and Evaluations

Various eye tests, such as fluorescein staining to detect corneal ulcers or tonometry to measure intraocular pressure, may be performed to gather more information about your dog’s eye health.

Laboratory Tests

In some cases, laboratory tests, including bacterial or fungal cultures, may be necessary to identify the specific cause of the red eyes.

Specialist Consultation

In complex cases or when specialized care is required, your veterinarian may refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist for further evaluation and treatment.

Treating Red Eyes in American Bulldogs

The treatment for red eyes in American Bulldogs depends on the underlying cause. Some common treatment options include:

Medication and Eye Drops

Medicated eye drops or ointments may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms and treat specific conditions such as conjunctivitis or dry eye syndrome.

Antibiotics or Antifungal Treatments

If an infection is present, antibiotics or antifungal medications may be necessary to clear the infection and prevent further complications.

Allergy Management

If allergies are identified as the cause of your American Bulldog’s red eyes, your veterinarian may recommend allergy management strategies, such as avoiding known allergens or prescribing antihistamines.

Artificial Tear Supplements

For dogs with dry eye syndrome, artificial tear supplements can help provide lubrication and relieve discomfort.

Corneal Repair Procedures

In the case of corneal ulcers or injuries, surgical procedures or treatments such as corneal debridement may be necessary to promote healing and prevent infection.

Glaucoma Management

If glaucoma is diagnosed, treatment may involve medications to reduce intraocular pressure or surgery to alleviate the condition and preserve vision.

Surgery or Corrective Procedures

In some cases, surgical intervention or corrective procedures may be required to address conditions such as cataracts or eyelid abnormalities.

Long-term Management and Preventive Measures

In addition to specific treatments, long-term management and preventive measures may be necessary to maintain your American Bulldog’s eye health. This may include regular veterinary check-ups, proper grooming and hygiene, avoiding known irritants and allergens, providing a healthy diet and nutrition, and considering genetic testing and breeding considerations for breeding dogs.

Preventing Red Eyes in American Bulldogs

While some eye issues may be unavoidable, there are steps you can take to help prevent red eyes in your American Bulldog:

Regular Eye Care Routine

Establishing a regular eye care routine, including gentle cleaning around the eyes, can help prevent the buildup of debris and reduce the risk of infections.

Proper Grooming and Hygiene

Maintaining good grooming practices, including keeping the facial folds clean and dry, can help prevent irritation and infection.

Avoiding Irritants and Allergens

Identifying and avoiding known irritants and allergens, such as certain cleaning products or outdoor allergens, can help reduce the risk of allergic reactions and subsequent eye issues.

Healthy Diet and Nutrition

Providing a balanced and nutritious diet can support overall eye health and reduce the risk of certain eye conditions.

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

Routine veterinary check-ups allow for early detection and management of any underlying health issues that may affect your American Bulldog’s eyes.

Genetic Testing and Breeding Considerations

If you plan to breed American Bulldogs, it’s essential to consider genetic testing and breeding considerations to minimize the risk of passing on eye-related genetic conditions to future generations.

In conclusion, red eyes in American Bulldogs can be caused by various factors, ranging from allergies and infections to more serious conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts. It’s important to observe your dog’s symptoms closely, seek veterinary attention when necessary, and follow the recommended treatments and preventive measures to keep your American Bulldog’s eyes healthy and comfortable. With proper care and attention, you can help ensure that your furry friend’s eyes stay bright and clear for years to come.

ThePetFaq Team