Use this guide containing symptoms of some problems your bulldog may be experiencing to relieve him/her until veterinarian help can be obtained.
Is in deep sleep and stops breathing: This could be a condition called sleep apnea meaning temporary suspension of respiration. Try to awaken your bulldog from its deep sleep and keep it awake for a while. If this problem happens often and persists, seek the advice of your veterinarian.

Starts running around and shaking its head: A common cause of this is a bee sting. Try to comfort the dog and find the spot where it was stung. Watch for an allergic reaction. Give Benadryl just in case, and if you can find the location of the sting, apply vinegar and baking soda paste to the spot.

Develops limp in front leg: (With no crying out in pain) Most common cause is jumping down from furniture and spraining the leg. Other front leg limps occur during the growth cycle as the bones are growing. Watch carefully but leave alone. If the limp continues after two days, take your dog to the vet. When the bulldog is in obvious pain from the leg, it could be a torn ligament or cracked bone so you need to go to the vet immediately.

Develops limp in back leg: This is usually more serious than a front leg limp. It could be an indication of a dislocated hip or patella (knee). A trip to the vet is necessary just as soon as possible.

Cannot bear weight on a paw: Look at the paw carefully. Look for a thorn, splinter or shred of glass and remove gently with tweezers if found, then apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound. Check for split or cut pads and apply Bag Balm or Udder Butter to the pad if it is damaged. Check for tenderness from a possible burn from hot asphalt or hot charcoal, or whatever. If the pad appears tender, apply Bag Balm or Udder Butter. If you cannot see any obvious problems then you could be dealing with a broken or very sprained ‘wrist’ or ‘ankle’. Take the bulldog to your vet.

Dry, hacking cough and nasal discharge: This could be a sign of the dreaded disease called ‘kennel cough’. You must see your vet immediately. Even in-house dogs can get this disease if they have had exposure to the disease. They can be exposed to the kennel cough disease at the park, in a show ring, or just about anywhere another infected dog has been.

Foamy (tiny bubbles) white-ish/clear nasal discharge: (even after the slightest bit of activity) This is an indication your bulldog has collapsed or very small nares (nose holes/nostrils). Minor surgery can correct this condition.

Slimy, greenish nasal discharge (sometimes foul smelling): This is a sign of an infection either in the sinus cavities, or somewhere else in the head. Your bulldog will need to see its vet immediately.

Head shaking or rubbing head against side of pen or other rough surface: This is a good indicator of an ear problem. Look into the ear and see if you can see anything wrong. Clean the ear with a mixture of vinegar and water 50/50, wiping out any gook or whatever you may find, then apply Panalog ointment until you can get to the vet and have the ear checked for a middle ear infection, or foreign object (such as a tick).

Ears contain brownish/black tarry looking stuff: This is a sign of ear mites. You will need to clean carefully and remove this gook with a Q-tip, then treat the ear with an ear medication obtained from your veterinarian.

Ears contain a sticky, yellowish, sweet smelling gook: This is a good sign of a yeast infection. Clean the ears with a mixture of vinegar and water 50/50 and apply Panalog ointment. You will need to clean the ears twice a day until the yeast infection has cleared.

Scooting on the tail, or spinning on the tail: This could be a sign of an irritation under the base of the tail. Take your finger and go under the tail to the base and see if you can get any loose hair or dark colored gook out. Clean the area and apply Sweens Cream or another good cream. Look at the rectum opening and see if there are any signs of tiny white worms which require deworming, or little things that look like white rice hanging off the hair around the area which is a sign of a tapeworm and requires medication from your veterinarian.

Weight loss: Several things can cause a sudden weight loss in your bulldog. Tapeworms are often the reason. Your vet can determine if there is a tapeworm problem with a smear under a microscope. Anytime you have had to battle a flea problem, you should have your bulldog checked for a possible tapeworm. Another cause of weight loss is malfunction of the kidneys. You find this usually in the older dogs. A special diet, lower in protein, will be necessary. Blood tests and urine tests will be necessary. Male bulldogs sometimes lose several pounds when there is a female in heat nearby. Females may lose a couple pounds when commencing heat cycles.

Red and oozy looking sores about the size of a quarter: These are usually ‘hot spots’ and need to be treated immediately to stop spreading and infection. Many treatments are used on hot spots. I prefer pure vinegar poured directly on the spot.

Dry, hairless, round spots about the size of a quarter: And then spreading larger. These can result from a stressful situation your bulldog has endured such as surgery, relocation or being kenneled away from home for a night or longer. Sometimes these places spread quite large over the sides. Keep lubricated with a good cream such as the Sweens Cream or Udder Butter. Also have your dog’s thyroid level checked as this can also produce the same symptoms.

Rashes, pimples and tiny little bumps: The location of these is a key in identifying the cause. On the top of the lower back and hips is a good sign of a food allergy. You may need to gradually change your bulldog over to a lamb and rice diet, or other. On the stomach is a good sign of a contact allergy such as grass or the bedding your bulldog sleeps on. Do not rule out carpet deodorizers and floor cleaning products. In the ears is a sign of an allergy to dust, pollen, high grass and insects and perhaps the bedding too. Around the mouth, chin and under the neck is a good sign of an allergic reaction to plastic food and water bowls and plastic toys. Also these pimples can occur from the mouth area being constantly moist from sloppy drinking of water (quite common with bulldogs). Some vets claim the pimples are also an adolescent type acne resulting from puberty. An allergic reaction to antibiotics can also happen to a bulldog, especially from a penicillin based antibiotic. This reaction will cause your bulldog to develop a rash across his stomach area and he may start panting and holding his head down as if he has a headache. Get to your vet immediately if you suspect an allergic reaction from a medication.

Wheezing is another sign of an allergic reaction to pollen, chemicals in the air, or other irritating matter. Sometimes this wheezing is accompanied by a runny nose.

Penis discharge: Almost all adult male bulldogs will have a small amount of a discharge that is white or yellowish in color. Do not be concerned about this. If your dog starts to lick at himself excessively and has a lot of foul smelling discharge, he probably has an infection under the foreskin of his penis. Pull the foreskin back and remove any grass or whatever you see, then clean the area with a good antibacterial soap, like Dial, rinse well and then apply an antibiotic salve to the area. Do this cleaning and medicating twice a day until healed.

Vaginal discharge: A thick light red discharge usually a couple of weeks after a heat cycle could mean the dreaded condition called Pyometra. This discharge looks somewhat like canned tomato soup. Take no chances, have your bulldog checked by your vet immediately. A little clear discharge usually means nothing in an adult female bulldog.

A greenish colored, foul smelling discharge is a sign of an infection up in the uterus, possibly from an unborn pup. Have your bulldog checked by your vet immediately.

Pregnant female vaginal discharge: A clear or white mucous looking discharge is quite common in a pregnant female after about the fifth week of gestation. Just watch for a change in the color. If the discharge becomes blood tinged, call your vet and seek advice. If a pregnant female anytime during gestation starts having a greenish/brownish colored discharge, alert your vet to the situation but do not upset your bulldog by rushing to the vet. This could just mean her body has aborted one or more pups and you need to keep her as quiet as possible hoping to save some of the pups. This is quite common and it is frightening but first of all just try to keep her quiet and resting. If this discharge continues for a long period of time, then call your vet again and take your bulldog in for a checkup.

Big round ‘cherry’ looking thing in the eye corner nearest the nose: This is most likely the Cherry Eye condition. Read more about bout this here.

Excessive blinking and tearing of an eye: Pull the eyelids out and see if you can find a foreign object such as an eyelash or gnat. Flush this object out if possible. If no foreign object then look at the eye closely. This could be a result of the eyelashes irritating the eye (entropion). Minor surgery should be performed to correct this.

White or yellow discharge from the eyes: This is sometimes caused by an allergic reaction to pollen or other chemicals in the air. Clean the eye and then put a couple drops of a safe eye lubricant in each eye. If the condition persists, have your vet check the eyes.

Vomiting: Projectile vomiting of food once or twice within an hour is usually a sign of an acute stomach upset. Call your vet and alert him to the situation. Occasional vomiting or spitting up undigested food may just mean the stomach is too full. If the vomiting persists for several times starting with food, then water/fluid, and on to the yellow stomach bile being thrown out, you must get to your vet immediately. Poisoning, foreign objects eaten and serious illness can all cause this type of vomiting.

Constipation: This can be caused by a foreign object blocking the bowels. Bulldogs have been known to swallow their rawhide chews, their blanket bindings, panty hose, and lots of other objects and becoming so blocked they cannot have a bowel movement. If your bulldog has not had a bowel movement within twenty four hours, even after being walked and exercised, it is time to have your vet check for the problem. A change in diet can also cause constipation as well as not getting enough food for his needs.

Diarrhea: This can be a sign of a stomach or digestive disorder and if you cannot control the diarrhea within twenty four hours you must take your bulldog to the vet before he becomes dehydrated. Try to control diarrhea first with an anti-diarrhea medication such as Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismal tablets. A sudden change in diet/food can cause diarrhea as well as overfeeding.

Not eating: Older dogs sometimes cannot eat the hard, dry kibbles and their food needs to be softened by soaking in water or adding canned food. If a dog refuses to eat, it may be due to a toothache or something wrong in the throat. Not all dogs eat every meal. Some will clean their bowls for a day or two, then not want to eat much of anything for another couple of days. Familiarity with the dog’s eating habits will help you decide whether you need to seek the advice of your vet.

Not drinking water: If your bulldog refuses to drink its water, you must think about the possibility of dehydration and take it to the vet. Bulldogs normally require a lot of water, half of which goes down their throats and into their bodies and the other half on the floor.

Excessive water drinking: This is a sign of something wrong somewhere in your bulldog’s body. Kidney problems can cause excessive thirst. Seek the advice of your veterinarian as soon as possible.