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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26806
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have an 9 year old French Bulldog. Every single time he

Customer Question

I have an 9 year old French Bulldog. Every single time he drinks water, he throws up. If I give him too much water between feedings he will simply throw up most of his food. He has had back surgery so I throw in a treat every day of natural chicken jerky for hip health. Physically he learned to walk again and I never associate pain with his demeanor so he has healed well.
What I do now is give him a large bowl of water in the morning, let him puke and then bring him in for his first meal. He only eats Science Diet Healthy Mobility dry food with small bits of ripped cold cuts on top (salami or ham). He is always happy to eat. Then over the course of the day I severely limit his water intake, nonetheless he will puke something up. Then after his dinner walk I give him another large bowl of water before feeding him. After he throws up, I let him in for his meal which he devours. For the rest of the night I give him mini water breaks. When I brought him to the Vet, she thought he might have a kidney problem. His urine was tested and the results were negative. He just likes water she said. $350 later in costs, he got a clean bill of health. He is getting skinnier if I"m honest with myself, he is not scrawny, but nonetheless I have noticed the weight loss. From looking at a French Bulldog health book, I noticed something that they say is a sign he might be ill. He shakes his head several times several times a day and he isn't playing with his usual toys, and he sleeps quite a bit, but he always has. The book ultimately was useless and I cannot afford to go to the Vet like I feel I should without gathering some useful information. He's happy, spoiled and always willing to play with me. Do I need to change his diet? Am I feeding him too much dry food? I give him about a cup or less of dry food. He has no lumps, his coat is a healthy shine, why does my dog binge on water and why is he having more trouble than normal keeping his food in?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Tosh. Because he's otherwise well I would expect to find a functional problem causing his vomiting. Megaesophagus and pyloric outflow stenosis would head my differential diagnosis list. Megaesophagus defines a "ballooning out" of the normally rigid musculature of the esophagus and pyloric outflow stenosis defines an abnormal narrowing of the area through which the stomach empties; it's a disorder over-represented in bulldogs. My initial diagnostic would be X-rays with a barium swallow. If the results are equivocal, scoping and biopsy of Tosh's upper GI tract should be considered.

I don't believe this is a dietary problem. I believe that water is inducing his vomiting which isn't unusual with functional GI problems. Some dogs don't handle water well while other don't handle food well. Some don't handle dry food as well, some don't handle wet food as well. It can be trial and error to see how best to feed these dogs. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.