My English Bulldog Throws Up a Lot . . .

Hi Jan,

I was wondering if you could help me? Gracie my bulldog seems to throw up alot.
Is there something I can do?
Do you think there is something wrong with her?
I am very worried about her..
Thanks so much,
Janice
—-

Hi Janice,

It depends on what sort of vomiting.
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.

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 her throat.

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

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

If you suspect she has eaten the stuffing out of a teddy
bear or a similar item, you can withhold her food for
about 7-8 hours.  Then give her some white bread with
the crust cut off.  It’s really gooey and can catch
what’s clogging her and pass it through.

Be sure she gets small amounts of water frequently
or sucks on an ice cube to keep her from getting
dehydrated.  Then give her a couple pieces of white
bread, broken up into small pieces.  This will bind with
the stuffing and allow it to pass through.  If she throws
this up as well, call your vet immediately.

Vomiting is characterized by the dog heaving for a while
before the stomach contents come up.  When they do, they
may also come through her nose.

If your dog has been vomiting blood or bile, you need to
take her to the vet right away.  Vomiting is dehydrating
which is very dangerous long term.

Throwing up can be an indication of serious illness in
the liver or kidneys or pancreas.  Your vet should be
able to do some simple tests to determine this.

If your bulldog has been “vomiting” for several days,
if she is still doing so, I think it advisable to take her to
the vet to make sure she does not have anything lodged in
her stomach or esophagus.  And make sure it is not a more
serious illness.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you need some clarification.

your bulldog pal,
Jan

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Comments

  1. Diesel
    January 4th, 2010 | 1:01 pm

    My 11 month old English bulldog diesel. Has been throwing up all day. He seemed fine and full of energy. But he has been throwing up all day. At first it was food I only feed him dog food and carrots. But now it’s just water he drinks water and than throws up. He won’t eat any food. He doesn’t have energy. I checked hi play toys and it doesn’t seem like he has eatin any of the stuffing. I’m concerened

  2. Jan
    January 5th, 2010 | 3:18 am

    Take him to the vet immediately – he obviously cannot digest anything. He may
    have eaten some other foreign object that is blocking his intestines. When a dog
    cannot keep water down he is in serious trouble.

    Even if he didn’t eat any toy, there is something wrong with a dog that cannot
    keep any food, even water, down. He needs professional veterinary help now.

  3. Cory
    March 2nd, 2010 | 5:54 am

    My bulldog Jake has been throwing up mounds of food periodically for the past couple of months. Its always food thats been half digested. He does not chew his food he swallows it whole and in big gulps. Could he be throwing up because of over feeding? Should I be concerned?

  4. Jan
    March 2nd, 2010 | 10:10 am

    Assuming you are feeding Jake the normal suggested amount of food in the morning and evening, typically he would not throw up from over feeding. Since it appears that he throws up whole chunks of undigested food, Jake may have one of the bulldog esophagus conditions that cause him to regurgitate his food. When the food can’t make it down the throat and sits there, a dog will reflex and throw it back up. This is fairly common in bulldogs.

    You could try elevating his food bowl which will help him get the food down his throat. All dogs tend to gulp their food – they do not chew it. That’s why kibble is in small pieces. Raising the food bowl will slow him down a bit and more importantly get the food moving down his esophagus. You could also feed him less food at a sitting.

    If he continues to regurgitate his food, you may want to have him checked out by a vet familiar with bulldogs who knows about conditions of the esophagus including megaesophagus (difficulty moving food down the throat) and diverticulum (a pouch in the throat).

  5. Fabia
    June 1st, 2010 | 3:16 pm

    My bulldog Sarge tried to throw-up, heaved, but nothing came up. This was followed by him passing out, for a very short amount of time. After about a minute or two, he got up seemed fine but was still a little lathargic. He didnt just eat, so i dont think that he was chocking, but we did just get back from a car ride. Should i be worried?

  6. Jan
    June 2nd, 2010 | 4:16 am

    When a dog dry heaves but does not throw up and then faints, it is probably not due to choking on food. Sarge could have either had a small seizure or had a fainting spell due to a cardiac condition or he could have just momentarily blocked a nerve impulse that could cause him to pass out. It could be an isolated incident or it could be symptomatic of something more serious. If it happens again or if you are concerned you should take him to your vet for evaluation. Here’s an article on Bulldog Seizures with more information: http://bulldogsworld.com/health-and-medical/head-tremors-bulldog-partial-focal-seizures-paroxysmal-dyskinesia

  7. nancy
    July 13th, 2010 | 8:50 am

    my bulldog 12 puppy Papo has been throwing up, i have tried to feed him wet food mixed with dry n he loves it but he tends to throw up after it. He throws up in the mornings when he wakes up. We have been giving him different kind of raw hides and well he chews anything but he throws up after too. I am concerned about my papo man. Is there something im doing wrong? we think it could be chicken hes allergic too but we are not sure.

  8. Jan
    July 13th, 2010 | 9:30 am

    I’m not sure from what you’ve said if he throws up every time he eats or if this is a new thing. If the answer to both of those is yes, I think you need to take him to your vet. If you’ve been giving him rawhides it’s possible that he may have swallowed one and has it stuck in his stomach or intestines. Rawhides expand in moisture and if your bulldog swallows a large chunk of one, it may be lodged inside somewhere. Your vet will have to do an x-ray to find out for sure.

  9. kelly
    November 22nd, 2010 | 12:35 am

    My 2 year old English Bulldog throws up yellowish foam. It starts out by her dry heaving and than the foam stuff comes out. No its not stuffing from a stuffed animal. Its like mucus that is yellowish in color but foamy. Can you please help me with this

  10. Jan
    November 29th, 2010 | 4:41 am

    Yellow foam is is bile mixed with saliva. It is usually caused by an empty stomach. Bile is secreted by the liver’s gall bladder to aid in digestion by breaking down fats and neutralizing stomach acids. Occasional vomiting of yellowish bile in the morning on an empty stomach is not a cause for alarm in a bulldog. If you feed her in the evening and morning she may not do this again.

    If your English Bulldog is throwing up this yellowish foam on a regular basis, then you need to take her in for a checkup. It can be a sign of more serious disease such as inflammatory bowel disease or a hormonal disorder.

  11. Terry
    December 2nd, 2010 | 8:28 am

    My one year old bulldog throws-up daily. Sometimes it is food that is regurgitated from her stomach, other times it is after she just ate, sometimes it is whitish similar to the consistancy of egg whites. We have her on all natural food, raised dish, and gets fed 3 times a day. We have had her to two different vets, both ran tests. The gave her barium and the one checked for mega-esophagus. She is currently on famotidide twice daily and metoclopramide 3 times daily. It helped for about a 1 1/2 weeks, but now she is throwing up again. What else can we do? She is just a sweetheart with so much personality. I hate leaving her in the kennel when we are gone, but I currently have no other choice. PLEASE GIVE ME SOME DIRECTION.

  12. Jan
    December 2nd, 2010 | 11:55 am

    I’m not sure from what diagnosis your vets gave after the tests. If she has megaesophagus then she cannot swallow her food properly because of muscle weakness in her throat. The two drugs she is taking are for GERD or acid reflux which would be a side effect of her regurgitation.

    Bulldog regurgitation can often be solve using gravity. That’s why I recommend the food is elevated in a two step process. The first step is about 4 inches and your dog puts her paws on that step. The second step is about 6 inches and has the food bowl. This places your dog in a slanted position, allowing gravity to help move the food down her throat.

    Since elevating the food does not help you may consider a devise known as the Bailey Chair which allows you to feed your dog while she’s in a vertical position.

    There is a very helpful support group at Yahoo Groups called Megaesophagus, here’s a link to it: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/megaesophagus/
    I think they could help you understand this debilitating English Bulldog disorder.

    Here are a couple comments from the group moderator:
    “We invite your membership and any suggestions you may have as we continuously seek to improve our information and support for those in need of help dealing with what used to be a very ominous prognosis. Our collective hands on experience in the day to day care of these dogs may be useful to you as well. Please be reassured that we are careful to remind list users that other than our list volunteer advisor, who is a DVM, we are not DVMs and we urge those seeking information to take ideas back to their dog’s own doctor for discussion to tailor the best plan for their dog.

    THE BAILEY CHAIR:
    The Bailey Chair is a valuable aid for the feeding of dogs with megaesophagus. A FREE VIDEO is available for building and using the Bailey Chair for dogs of all sizes, and includes information and pointers on day to day management of of the disease/disorder.”

    She suggests there are also other diseases that can cause similar symptoms and should be tested for such as “Addison’s, Myasthenia Gravis, hypothyroidism and lead toxicity (if lead exposure). Perform a thyroid panel, not just a T4, as sick euthyroid may erroneously suggest hypothyroidism.”

    Good luck and remember there are solutions for this kind of disorder and your dog can live a fairly normal life.

  13. Jan
    December 3rd, 2010 | 2:51 am

    What to do if your English Bulldog is not diagnosed with megaesophagus but continues to throw up.

    Try the two step elevated food. My Vivy had what’s known as esophageal motility disorder which is a fancy name for her throat doesn’t push the food down properly. She threw up almost every time she was fed. When I did the two step food elevation she never threw up again. The height of the steps depends upon how tall your bullie is. You want her at an angle from shoulders to tail rather than just the head up like an elevated bowl would do.

    There is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation. Vomit comes from the stomach
    and regurgitation comes from the throat. Vomit is digested food, regurgitation looks whole. If the food comes out in recognizable pieces and is not digested it’s a pretty good sign that she has one of the bulldog esophagus disorders. Even is you don’t mind cleaning up (I didn’t) it’s not good for her to throw up stomach acid.

    I talk about this and other English Bulldog disorders in my book, available at http://www.BulldogHealth.com

  14. kevin
    December 30th, 2010 | 7:05 am

    hi, i have a problem that sounds familiar to some of the above; Hugo is my 20 month old pedigree English bulldog. he is happy and playfull however almost everyday he vomits. sometimes its soon after eating/drinking. he mainly eats royal canine bulldog food with a small serving of cooked meat mixed in (generally chicken,ham or beef) and he only ever drinks water (lots of water)his food and water bowl are both elevated 4-6 inches on a stand designed for bulldogs. sometimes it’s regurgiated food, sometimes it looks like vomit. if he has a drink he sometimes regurgiates it up into a thick white goo. he has actually passed out shortly after being sick, and spent two long scary days in the vets. we think this fainting was lack of oxygen due to his throat/esophagus possibly being blocked by food.
    we have tried al sorts to stop him being sick. we have changed his food numerous times, kept him off certain foods, tried him with a milk bowl instead of water but nothing seems to work. could this be a serious problem? he is completely happy in him self, he is a good weight (his nick name at the local bulldog club is ‘big bear’) and is in general good health. he can be found on face book under Hugo Wrinkles best young.
    if you can offer any advice it would be greatly appreciated.
    thanks for your time.
    kev

  15. Jan
    December 30th, 2010 | 9:14 am

    It sounds like Hugo could have one of the esophagus problems. The only way to know for sure is to have tests done by a specialist vet or a good vet school. They would probably do an x-ray and depending on what they find a motility test with barium.

    Sometimes they do pass out from lack of oxygen due to complications from Brachycephalic Syndrome, a condition that all Bulldogs have to an extent just as they all have an elongated soft palate. Brachycephalic Syndrome is a combination of elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and everted laryngeal saccules. In your case the laryngeal saccules may be closing off the airway rather than just the food getting caught. You can read more about this syndrome and see photographic examples at this site: http://www.acvs.org/AnimalOwners/HealthConditions/SmallAnimalTopics/BrachycephalicSyndrome/

    You could try elevating the food in two steps. The first one about 4 inches and the second one about 6 inches so his throat goes at an angle to his stomach. This could help by using gravity to move food down Hugo’s throat.

    If he has the everted saccules and he continues to pass out the only way to fix that may be surgical removal.

  16. March 1st, 2011 | 7:38 pm

    My bulldog is going to be 4 years old this summer and he does the dry heaving thing and then throws up the yellow foamy flem. He used to throw up a couple of times on occassion and be just fine. A couple of times he threw up and appeared to have passed out. The last time he threw up, I was outside with him holding him rubbing his back. He threw up, passed out and appeared to be having a seizure. He came out of it, but scared me. This was the first time he appeared to have a seizure. Is there something more serious going on?

  17. Jan
    March 2nd, 2011 | 4:42 pm

    Hi Tina,

    He probably passes out due to lack of oxygen. The elongated palate in Bulldogs can lead to his airway being blocked and then he passes out for a moment. The white foamy stuff comes from the throat especially when a Bulldog overheats.

    Lack of oxygen, known as hypoxia, can cause a seizure. Seizures are the result of abnormal electrical activity in the brain which could in turn be due to many different conditions some more serious than others.

    Since he has a history of passing out and he appears to be having more severe symptoms as time goes by, you may want to have him evaluated, especially if it happens again. Most likely it’s from his Brachycephalic characteristics described above.

    It would be very helpful to your vet if you can describe the conditions under which the passing out and the seizure happened. As much detail you can provide will help your vet evaluate what causes the seizure. For example was it hot or had he been running around. Overheating in a bulldog can lead to throat constrictions and passing out. Or did you hold him a certain way? Keep a log in the future.

  18. Shawn
    September 11th, 2011 | 3:54 pm

    My English bulldog is just over a year and a half old now. He has been vomiting yellow foam all the time. He has been very sick for about 4 days now. I’m not sure what to do. I plan on taking him to the vet tomorrow. He wont eat or drink anything. He has no energy at all. Keeps vomiting yellow foam. He cant control his going to the bathroom either, he has been going in the house. He finally drank some water this morning, but immediately pee’d it out. Any ideas?

  19. Cristina Ponce
    March 20th, 2013 | 2:09 pm

    My English Bulldog is 4yrs old and has suffered from vomiting since he was about a year old. He was diagnosed with magaesphagus, dry eyes, allergies, and brachycephalic syndrome. It has been a long 4 years with him.

    The symptoms that he first started showing was that he was constently losing hair, had a dry nose with dried boogers and started getting green eye boogers, and was constantly urinating indoors. He has suffered from pneumonia, Urinary tract infections and even a liver infection.

    Shane the yellow vomit is called bile. He vomits yellow because his stomach is empty. Try feeding him something that he doesnt always eats. For example when this happened to me and i took him to the doctor he ended up devouring a dog food can that the doctor gave me. Your best bet is to take him to the doctor so that they can give you the medication, so your dog can get better.

    If your dog eats and throws up right after your dog most probably has magesophagus. You can try feeding your dog elevated or build him a baileys chair if that doesnt work.

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