Why Does My French Bulldog Have a Runny Nose? – Exploring Solutions to a Common Problem



A runny nose in your French Bulldog can be an indication of many health problems. It’s important to identify what is causing the problem and then, in collaboration with your veterinarian, create a treatment plan. This guide will discuss some possible causes of a runny nose, as well as diagnostic methods and treatments your vet may suggest for your pup.

Common causes of runny noses include allergies, the presence of foreign objects in the nasal passages, a bacterial or viral infection, or something more serious like cancer or malformation of the nasal septum. Runny noses can also be due to environmental temperatures that are too hot or cold for your Frenchie; these cases usually only require limiting their exposure to those conditions until their symptoms subside.

To properly diagnose a runny nose, veterinarians typically recommend taking radiographs (X-rays) or performing an endoscopy to gain an inside view of the nasal passages. Blood tests and biopsies may also be used to rule out other underlying medical issues that could be causing the problem.

Once they’ve determined what is causing your pup’s runny nose symptoms, there are several treatment options that may be recommended depending on their diagnosis. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics if it’s necessary; however if it is found that allergies could be causing the problem antihistamines may also help improve their condition. If a foreign object such as dirt or grass is stuck in their nostril then flushing it out using saline solution would likely relieve any associated distress and/or sneezing they’re experiencing from its presence. Lastly if decease or infections such as cancer are found then surgery might become necessary to correct this issue.

Causes of Runny Nose

A runny nose in French Bulldogs is a common issue that many owners face. This could be due to anything from a cold to allergies and may not always be obvious. Before you take your pup to the vet, it is important to understand what could be causing the issue.

In this article, we will discuss the potential causes of a runny nose in French Bulldogs:


Allergies are one of the most common causes of a runny nose in French Bulldogs, as they can be affected by a variety of environmental triggers such as dust, pollen, and molds. Coughing and sneezing are the primary signs that dust or pollen may be causing your pup to have a runny nose.

If your French Bulldog is showing signs of allergies, you should visit a veterinarian to discuss allergy testing and potential treatment options to reduce symptoms. Additionally, keeping your french bulldog away from potential allergens and ensuring their living environment is clean could also help decrease symptoms.

In some cases, secondary bacterial or fungal infections may cause a runny nose in French Bulldogs if an underlying allergy is left untreated. If your pup’s runny nose does not seem to be getting better after avoiding potential allergens, or if their condition seems to be worsening over time, it is important that you visit your veterinarian for an examination and further testing to determine the cause of their condition.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections are one of the most common causes of a runny nose in French bulldogs. This can happen due to various viruses or bacterial agents, or sometimes even from environmental allergies. The infection will present with clear or coloured discharge and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, reduced appetite, and lethargy.

These infections should be treated promptly with the help of your vet. Treatment options may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Corticosteroids

depending on the cause of the infection.


Heatstroke is one of the main causes of a runny nose in a French Bulldog. This is especially likely during hot summer months or for dogs that are left outdoors for long periods of time.

Heatstroke occurs when a dog exercises too strenuously in hot weather or when their body temperature rises to dangerous levels due to exposure to extreme heat from long-term exposure to direct sun or other sources of heat. Symptoms of heatstroke include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Excess drool
  • Disorientation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures (sometimes)

If your French Bulldog begins exhibiting signs like heavy panting, moderate or heavy drooling or pacing restlessly then there’s a good chance they have developed a fever due to heat exhaustion and their nose will begin running. It is important to take immediate action in this situation and find a way to reduce your fur baby’s core body temperature as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is by turning on an air conditioner, cooling fan or placing damp towels on their body; these methods will help cool them down faster than still air alone and can be lifesavers in an emergency situation.

Foreign Objects in the Nose

Foreign objects in the nasal passages can lead to a runny nose in your French Bulldog. If your pet has been digging or exploring outside, or if they have a habit of playing with small objects, they may have something lodged in one of their nostrils.

The easiest way to tell is to take a look up the nose with a flashlight; however, it is advisable to use a veterinarian’s care for this as the object may be too far back for you to see. In this situation, the foreign object must be removed and medical attention should be sought immediately as damage could happen if left untended.


Your French Bulldog’s runny nose could be caused by a variety of things. It is important to identify the underlying cause so that you can have an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment.

In this article, we will go over the potential causes and their associated symptoms in order to help you figure out what is going on with your pup:

Physical Examination

In order to accurately diagnose why your French bulldog has a runny nose, it is important to perform a thorough physical examination. This includes examining the skin, eyes and nose of your pet, as well as feeling lymph nodes, assessing the oral cavity and evaluating any potential swelling or abscesses on the muzzle. The physical examination can help identify potential infections or allergies that can cause a runny nose in dogs.

Additionally, your veterinarian may need to collect a sample of mucus or fluid from your pet’s nose for further testing in order to rule out pregnancy or congenital defects. Once these tests are complete and any underlying medical conditions have been ruled out, then treatment for the runny nose can be determined and prescribed.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are often used to diagnose a variety of conditions and illnesses in French Bulldogs. A complete blood count (CBC) can help to determine if the dog has an infection, such as kennel cough, as well as whether there are deficiencies in the blood that may be causing the symptoms. Depending on the results of the CBC, additional tests might be necessary. Additionally, specific types of cultures or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing can be conducted to further identify any infections that could be causing a runny nose.

If your pup is not responding to treatment and the underlying cause remains unclear a urine sample may be taken to screen for kidney problems or other underlying illnesses. Ultimately, without a physical examination and results from appropriate diagnostic tests it will not be possible to identify the cause of your French Bulldog’s runny nose.


X-rays can be a valuable tool in diagnosing the root cause of a runny nose in a French Bulldog. By taking an X-ray, your veterinarian can look for signs of foreign objects, tumors, or other abnormalities that may be causing the issue. X-rays can also be used to check for airway obstructions or presence of infection such as rhinitis due to allergies or canine distemper virus (CDV). Additionally, puppers with luxated patellas (loose kneecaps) may exhibit symptoms similar to those caused by a runny nose. In this case, an X-ray would help confirm the diagnosis.

After an initial evaluation and physical examination of your pup, X-rays may help provide further insight into what is causing your French Bulldog’s runny nose.


If your French Bulldog has a runny nose, it may be an indication of a respiratory infection. It is important to seek proper treatment for your pet in case the cause is an infection. This includes consulting with a veterinarian to determine the cause and receive an appropriate course of treatment.

In this article, we will discuss the treatments commonly used for a French Bulldog with a runny nose:


Antihistamines are drugs used to treat the symptoms of allergies. They work by blocking the action of histamines, which are chemicals produced in the body when an allergen is encountered. Symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itching can typically be relieved with antihistamines.

When it comes to treating French Bulldogs with allergic rhinitis (runny noses), antihistamine medications is often one of the most commonly prescribed treatment options. Commonly prescribed antihistamines for dogs include diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl®) and Chlorpheniramine (brand name Chlo-Amine®). These medications help decrease inflammation in the nasal passages, relieving many of the symptoms associated with rhinitis such as sneezing, stuffiness, and runny/congested noses.

In more severe cases, where your dog may be having a particularly difficult time coping with their allergies or if they have underlying medical conditions that require additional treatment, your veterinarian may suggest prescription antihistamines such as Cetirizine or Loratidine. These medications may require more frequent dosing but tend to provide more extended relief than over-the-counter options.

For French Bulldogs that suffer from chronic allergic rhinitis due to recurrent exposure to specific allergens in their environment, desensitization therapy or “allergy shots” may also be explored as a possible treatment option by your veterinarian depending on your pet’s individual situation. This type of therapy works by gradually increasing a dog’s tolerance for specific allergens to which they are allergic using small amounts of either natural or synthetic allergens given at regular intervals over a period of time – thus essentially “desensitizing” them toward their environmental triggers over time.


One of the most common treatments for French Bulldogs with runny noses is antibiotics. Depending on the cause of the discharge, there are a variety of antibiotics that can be prescribed, including Amoxicillin, Cefpodoxime, and Doxycycline.

While these may be effective in treating infection and clearing up the discharge, it is important to ensure that the underlying cause is addressed in order to prevent recurrence. In addition to antibiotic treatments, many veterinarians also recommend supplements to help reduce inflammation and boost immune system health. Be sure to talk with your vet about all available options before beginning any treatment regimen.


Decongestants can provide relief to French bulldogs with runny noses. Decongestants are medications that reduce the amount of mucus produced in the nasal passages and help reduce congestion. The most common active ingredient of decongestants is pseudoephedrine, which can be found as an oral suspension or as a nasal spray, both of which are effective treatments for French bulldog runny noses. However, it is important to discuss any medication with a veterinarian before giving it to your pet, as some medications may not be suitable for all animals. Decongestants should only be used under the guidance of a qualified professional, as there are potential side effects and contraindications.

If your French bulldog has been diagnosed with a bacterial infection that is causing its runny nose, antibiotics may also be prescribed in addition to decongestants. Additionally, if allergies are contributing to the problem, oral antihistamines and/or corticosteroids may need to be administered alongside decongestant treatment. Again, it is recommended that you speak to a licensed veterinarian before administering any type of medication or supplement so that your beloved pet receives only treatments suited specifically for its needs.


Surgery is an option for some physical ailments and injuries, and can be used to treat many conditions, depending on the specific medical issues. Some of the common types of surgery include:

  • Orthopaedic surgery: Orthopaedic surgery is a specialty that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, including trauma or diseases of the bones, joints, tendons and other connective tissues.
  • Cardiothoracic surgery: Cardiothoracic surgery is a specialized area within medicine that focuses on treating patients with diseases related to their heart, lungs and chest cavity. Cardiac surgeons perform coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), valve repair or replacement and heart transplants.
  • Neurosurgery: Neurosurgery is a surgical specialty that deals with conditions affecting the central nervous system—the brain or spinal cord—as well as peripheral nerves. Common procedures involve removal of tumors or blood clots that are causing neurological symptoms; corrective surgeries such as those used to treat hydrocephalus; skull and spine reconstruction to address deformities; nerve repair; laminectomies to alleviate spinal pain; and other treatments.
  • Vascular Surgery: Vascular surgery is a field dedicated to diseases relating to venous circulation—peripheral vascular disease (PVD)—and arterial circulation. It includes procedures like open vascular surgery (to restore blocked vessels), angioplasty (to widen arteries) or laser-assisted vein repair (for varicose veins).


A French Bulldog’s runny nose can be caused by a number of factors and can have various treatments. In order to prevent a runny nose from occurring in the first place, proper care and attention should be given to the French Bulldog. Proper diet and exercise, as well as proper grooming and regular vet visits, can all help to keep the French Bulldog healthy and happy.

Let’s take a look at some tips to help prevent a runny nose in your French Bulldog:


Vaccinations are an important step in protecting your French bulldog from a number of common illnesses. Vaccines help stimulate the body’s immune system to ward off infections or diseases. It is important that you keep your dog up to date with all recommended vaccinations. Make sure to discuss with your veterinarian about the best options for preventive vaccination for your French bulldog, which may include the following:

  • Distemper: Distemper is a viral disease that can affect the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems of dogs and is often fatal if not caught early. Vaccines against distemper should be administered as part of an annual preventive healthcare program.
  • Parvovirus: Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration in young puppies. Puppies should receive their first vaccinations at 6-8 weeks of age, with boosters every 3-4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks of age. Afterward, they should have booster shots once a year or as recommended by your veterinarian to keep immunity levels up.
  • Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects many different species of animals and can lead to kidney and liver damage if left untreated. Vaccinations for leptospirosis are commonly given two times per year as part of a preventive healthcare program for dogs living in areas where there’s known leptospirosis activity or those who come into contact with wildlife regularly.
  • Rabies: Rabies is another viral disease that can be very serious if it’s not treated promptly and correctly; it’s typically transmitted through animal bites or saliva contact between animals. The rabies vaccine should be administered once a year as part of an annual wellness exam for all dogs over six months old residing in areas where rabies is present, such as most states across the U.S., Canada, South America and more countries worldwide.

Allergy Testing

If you suspect that your French Bulldog may be suffering from allergies, it is important to have them tested to determine the source. Allergies can come from a variety of sources, including food, environmental triggers such as dust mites, and even contact with shampoos and cleaners.

A veterinary clinic or specialist may be able to perform an allergy test to detect specific allergens. During an allergy test, a pet will be exposed to a variety of substances by injection or thru the skin. If an allergic reaction occurs in response to one of the substances, then this will help identify the source of the allergy.

In addition to performing a clinical examination and obtaining a detailed history of your pet’s symptoms, your veterinarian may also recommend eliminating certain foods from their diet as part of diagnosing allergies in French Bulldogs. This process can include:

If there is no identifying trigger found through testing or dietary elimination trials and symptoms persist without relief, then desensitization injections may be recommended by your veterinarian which could significantly reduce allergic reactions to certain irritants over time.

Avoiding Excessive Heat

Heat can not only be a threat to your French Bulldog’s health, but it may also affect the duration and severity of their runny nose. As such, it is important to keep your French Bulldog in a cool and comfortable environment at all times. Beyond ensuring that their home is adequately temperature-controlled, you should try to limit any additional sources of heat that they may come into contact with.

To keep your French Bulldog cool and comfortable, you should:

  • Ensure that they have access to plenty of fresh water.
  • Limit their exposure to direct sunlight whenever possible.
  • Monitor the air circulation in their living areas throughout the day, as stagnant air can quickly become oppressive during hot summer days.
  • If travelling or taking part in activities with your French Bulldog, such as hiking or exploring the outdoors on a warm day, you should find ways to break up these activities by providing them frequent breaks in shaded areas and carrying along enough fresh water for them to stay hydrated.

Keeping the Nose Clean

Keeping your French Bulldog’s nose clean is one of the best ways to prevent a runny nose. When the nose becomes dry, it can become blocked and could lead to unpleasant infection. To keep it clean you will need to use a clean damp towel to gently wipe away any crusty deposits that may have become stuck on the nose. Make sure not to scrub too hard as this may cause irritation.

It is also important that you regularly check your French Bulldog’s nasal passages for any blockages or obstruction. If there is an apparent blockage then you should contact your veterinarian immediately as they will be able to assess the situation and recommend the best method of clearing it away.

Finally, make sure that you are keeping your French Bulldog well hydrated by providing plenty of fresh water so that their nose remains nicely moistened and clear of debris or dust. If their skin becomes overly dry then give them a few drops of coconut oil which can help keep their skin nicely moisturized and comfortable.

Jenna Kassidy

Jenna Kassidy is a passionate writer and dog lover. With a background in English literature and animal behavior, she combines her two passions to bring readers of Paw Appreciation, a blog about all things canine, the latest in research, training and health tips, as well as heartwarming stories and a wealth of information on different dog breeds.

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