• Open Access

Association between Granulomatous Colitis in French Bulldogs and Invasive Escherichia coli and Response to Fluoroquinolone Antimicrobials


  • Presented in part as an oral abstract at the 2012 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, New Orleans, LA

Corresponding authors: A.C. Manchester and K.W. Simpson, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, VMC 2016, Tower Rd, Ithaca, NY 14853; e-mails: acm273@cornell.edu; kws5@cornell.edu



French Bulldogs develop a form of granulomatous colitis (GC) with histopathological resemblance to GC of Boxer dogs (GCB). GCB is associated with mucosally invasive Escherichia coli whose eradication correlates with clinical remission.


To characterize the clinical and histopathological features, presence or absence of invasive colonic bacteria, and response to fluoroquinolones in French Bulldogs with GC.


A total of 6 French Bulldogs with a histological diagnosis of GC.


Retrospective study of medical records. Bacterial colonization was evaluated using 16S rRNA probes for eubacteria and E. coli. Biopsy specimens from 3 dogs were cultured for bacteria. Clinical response to fluoroquinolone antimicrobials was determined.


All dogs were ≤1 year of age with hematochezia that was refractory to empirical therapy. Clinicopathologic and fecal analysis did not reveal abnormalities. Abdominal ultrasound revealed patchy thickening of the colon in 4/5 dogs and regional lymphadenopathy in 5/5. Colonoscopic abnormalities included irregularly thickened and ulcerated mucosa, hyperemia, and overt bleeding in 4/6 cases. Multifocal accumulations of PAS-positive macrophages and intramucosal E. coli were present in colonic biopsies of all 6 dogs. Administration of enrofloxacin (5/6) or marbofloxacin (1/6) at 4.4–10 mg/kg (median 10 mg/kg) PO q24h for 6–10 weeks was associated with clinical improvement within 5–14 days. All dogs remained in remission over a 3–30 month follow-up period.


Granulomatous colitis in young French Bulldogs is associated with the presence of invasive E. coli and closely parallels GCB. Treatment with fluoroquinolone antimicrobials can induce lasting clinical remission.