Bulldog Vomiting Bile and Food

A French Bulldog owner contacted me concerning his health.  She did all her research into a good breeder
and it sounds like she had a very good one. But stuff can still happen.

We have been in contact with the breeder several times, and visited her house prior to the day we got to take him home. She also made a few surprise visits to our house to check on his progress.

I am still very concerned for his health however. He has been vomiting occasionally.  We have been keeping him on a diet of red meat or chicken necks and some dried food.

He usually eats twice a day, which we have recently changed to just dried food, a smaller meal in the morning and a larger portion at lunch time. We also give him an occasional “natures energy treats”. They are just a dried food treat, and he probably has 2 of these a day.

He will sometimes get up in the middle of the night to be sick (according to my son) and I will sometimes find vomit around the place, which appears to consist of bile. He has vomited entire meals up almost immediately after eating on occasion. He has been off and on his food recently, and he appears to have lost a little weight and his energy levels seem to be a little low, which I can only assume is from a lack of food. The dried food seems to suit him a lot better, and since we’ve switched to that he seems to be holding it down. We are trying to find meals that suit him, and if you could offer any advice, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance ,



Hi Marisa,

From your description it sounds like Jean-Baptiste may have a couple things going on: vomiting bile and one of the esophageal disorders that are fairly common in Bulldogs.

Since the French Bulldog is a dwarf English Bulldog there is a high probability of these disorders. A bulldog puppy vomiting yellow bile in the morning is fairly common and not usually cause for concern.  It happens because the dog hasn’t eaten for a while and stomach acids have accumulated overnight.  These acids irritate the stomach lining and cause him to vomit.

Try giving him an evening meal and see it this helps with this.

In my French Bulldog Health book I go into detail about the esophageal disorders. They sounds scary but there may be an easy fix.  First of all, there is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation. If your dog is simply throwing up food right after eating, food that has not been in the stomach, it is probably simple regurgitation from the esophagus (throat).

Bulldogs tend to gulp their food and sometimes eat so fast that the food can’t get down the esophagus properly and so they throw up.

There is a condition common in Bulldogs called esophageal motility disorder, where the normal constrictions of the esophagus don’t work properly and cause the bulldog to not “swallow” properly and often regurgitate.

There is a simple way to alleviate this condition that I recommend in my book.  Elevate your bulldog’s food dish.  This lets gravity take over and help get the food down his throat.

To soothe an upset stomach you can feed him a little canned pumpkin with his food – be sure it is pure pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie mix which is loaded with sugar.

You can also feed him more frequently, smaller meals and see if he holds it down better.

There are, however, other things that can cause vomiting, including food allergies, metabolic disorders, ulcers, or even obstructions in the throat, or if he has something lodged in his stomach like a rawhide bone or teddy bear.



  1. November 15th, 2011 | 8:38 pm

    […] Comments(0) […]

  2. Stephanie
    December 3rd, 2011 | 8:20 pm

    The same thing happened with our 1 yr old English Bulldog Maximus. He would regurtitate his food after eating or several hours later after a meal, but would eat it back up…we thought it was normal but when he did it in front of the vet during a check up and we told her he was doing it for several months…she recommended a barium swallow study (a study where your pet swallows a dye contrast and xrays are taken) and some blood work (to check fir Graves disease). We did both and found out he had one portion of his esophagus narrow and mildly displaced and then enlarged…Blood work was normal. He was diagnosed with Megaesophagus..he was prescribed Reglan and Prevacid…We elevated his feeding bowl higher to be eye view with him and presoaked his dry food with water…These changes have been going on for almost a week now and so far no regurgitation. Hope that helps!

  3. January 14th, 2012 | 9:50 am

    Hi Jen
    My name is Tyese, I have a 12 week English bulldog puppy that biting his feet until they are raw. I took him to the vet and they gave him chlorphrniramine 4mg and ketochlor mediated shampoo two weeks ago and he still having the same problem. Please help me with my baby. Thank you

  4. Jan
    January 15th, 2012 | 9:44 am

    Hi Tyese,
    Paw biting is a classic sign of allergies. I would suspect either a contact allergy or food allergies. Changing the food to a high quality dog diet is an easy way to find out. Pick a food with no corn, wheat, soy or chicken. This rules out most grocery and “big box” store foods inclucding Purina, Nutro, Beneful and Goodlife which in my opinion are allergy producing low quality foods full of fillers and unhealthy ingredients. Go to a specialty dog store for the best selection of good foods for your puppy. My current favorite is Prairie lamb or venison formulas made by Nature’s Variety.

Leave a reply