The sight of an American Bully throwing up can be alarming. Vomiting is expected in all dog breeds however it can be very distressing for a dog and a cause of concern especially when it happens frequently.
So why does a Bully throw up? When should you be concerned? And what can you do about it?
In this article, we will dive in-depth into the reasons why your American Bully is throwing up, the complications, what to do and when to see a veterinarian.
An American Bully throws up due to food allergies, gastrointestinal infection, intestinal parasites, illness (cancer, pancreatitis, liver or kidney failure), abrupt diet change, ingestion of foreign objects or toxins, heatstroke, reaction to a medication, and motion sickness.
An American bully can improve within a day without any medical attention however if the vomiting is prolonged, it can be a sign of an underlying health problem.
A Bully can either regurgitate or vomit by bringing out swallowed contents.
How do I know if my American Bully is vomiting or regurgitating?
Vomiting is an active process while regurgitation is a passive process. This means vomiting involves the forceful expulsion of the stomach and the upper intestine’s contents through the mouth.
Before vomiting, a Bully will experience nausea, restlessness, and excessive salivation with repeated swallowing and licking of their lips.
This is then followed by abdominal contractions that forcefully remove food or liquid from the stomach through the mouth.
Vomiting can occur immediately after eating or hours after. It also lasts for several minutes compared to regurgitation which is sudden and instant.
The vomited contents can come out as either undigested, partly digested, or digested.
Regurgitation is a passive process that involves the removal of swallowed contents from the throat, esophagus, and mouth.
It happens quickly and without any warning. A bulldog does not present any symptoms before regurgitation compared to vomiting.
A will usually be fine one moment then suddenly they spit out contents from their mouth.
The regurgitated contents are removed undigested. This is because the contents never make it to the stomach and as soon as they are swallowed, they are immediately expelled.
In comparison to vomiting, this means contraction of the stomach muscles is not involved in removing swallowed contents.
An American Bully simply leans forward and the swallowed contents roll out from its throat or esophagus from gravity pull and the help of the esophagus muscles.
A Bully does not have control over this process which is quite sudden.
Regurgitation also usually happens immediately after eating or drinking water. However, it can also happen a few hours after eating.
Regurgitation can either be caused an acquired disorder or birth defects of the esophagus.
Acquired disorders are conditions caused by the throat, esophageal or systemic diseases that cause regurgitation while birth defects of the esophagus can cause a dog to become more susceptible to regurgitation.
The acquired disorders include ingestion of foreign objects that cause obstruction, cancer, poisoning, gastric reflux, and rabies.
Congenital esophageal disorders or birth defects of the esophagus include an enlarged esophagus, Addison disease cancer, and gastric reflux.
Some dog breeds are more susceptible to regurgitation than other dog breeds to birth defects of the esophagus.
These dogs include German Shepherds, Great Danes, Newfoundland, Labrador Retriever, Irish Setter, Chinese Shar-Pei, Fox terrier, and the Miniature Schnauzer.
Acquired disorders that cause regurgitation occur in all dog breeds and also at any age.
The common signs to look out for to know whether your American Bully is regurgitating include:
- Increased breathing noises
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Swelling in the throat
- Increased appetite
- Runny nose
- Bad breath
- Throwing up of undigested food, water, or mucus.
By being aware of the difference between vomiting and regurgitation, you can provide this information to your veterinarian when your dog throws up. This is helpful in the determination of the diagnosis.
Vomiting and regurgitation are caused by different factors and both have different treatment options.
Related: Blue Brindle American Bully: Everything you need to know
What Does Your American Bully’s Vomit Look Like?
An American Bully can throw up vomit with different consistency and color. The vomit types can give an insight into what could be the cause of the throwing up however, it is not a complete diagnosis.
An accurate diagnosis is reached through your veterinarian’s evaluation of your dog, which also includes results from diagnostic tests that are performed to determine the cause of the vomiting.
The different Bully vomit types and the possible causes include:
Clear liquid vomit can be caused by the throwing up of saliva or water when your Bully vomits on an empty stomach or after drinking water.
An American Bully throwing up white foam can be caused by an accumulation of stomach acid which becomes white foam when exposed to the air as it is vomited.
Throwing up of blood can happen due to conditions or diseases that corrode a Bulldog’s stomach lining or upper small intestines which exposes blood vessels, causing bleeding.
A Bully throwing up yellow foam occurs when they vomit on an empty stomach or throw up partly digested food that has bile in it. The color of bile secretions is yellow to green.
Vomiting of yellow foam often happens at night or early morning. It also happens when a Bully has not eaten for a while, drank a lot of water, or eaten a lot of fatty foods, or grass.
Throwing up mucus occurs when a Bulldog drools excessively and then swallows the drool that pools in its stomach. This is vomited as mucus when they are nauseous.
So, do American Bulldogs have stomach problems?
American Bulldogs have stomach issues just like all other dog breeds. Stomach problems are disorders and conditions of the digestive system.
Stomach problems can be caused by illnesses or disorders that either inflame or irritate the stomach.
The American Bulldog is genetically predisposed to food allergies which causes them to have sensitive stomachs, upset stomachs, inflammation of the large intestines (colitis), and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBD).
Other common stomach problems of the American bulldog include incomplete digestion of food, bloat, upset stomach caused by dietary indiscretion, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections, and gastroenteritis which is the inflammation of the stomach or intestines.
The stomach problems cause several symptoms such as throwing up, regurgitation, chronic diarrhea bloat, constipation, dehydration, bleeding, or abdominal pain.
The most common complication of an American Bully throwing up is severe dehydration and loss of electrolytes. This is life-threatening to an American Bully if treatment is not provided quickly.
Continuous vomiting leads to severe dehydration because of the loss of a dog’s body fluids which makes the body not carry out its normal functions.
Throwing up is also a sign of serious health conditions that are also life-threatening if not treated in time such as infection, disease, or poisoning.
An underlying health condition can quickly lead to the deterioration of a dog’s health or death.
See Also: American Bully Shaking: How To Help and when to worry
What To Do When Your American Bully Throws Up
Isolated incidences of throwing up are not a cause for concern especially when your dog vomits and continues to be active or participate in their daily activities.
Also if your Bully does not show other signs of illness, no reason to worry.
In this situation, keep an eye on your dog to determine whether the vomiting continues or if any other symptoms appear.
Withdraw their food for 6 – 12 hours after a vomiting episode but provide plenty of drinking water. This allows their stomach to settle and repair itself.
If the vomiting does not continue during this time, resume feeding them their regular food.
When To Seek Help
Seek medical attention when your dog’s vomiting is frequent, that is, they vomit more than once within 8-12 hours, and also if additional symptoms appear.
The appearance of other signs of illness indicates an underlying problem.
Seek medical care when your American Bully:
- Continues to vomit
- Vomits blood
- Has a fever
- Vomits and also has diarrhea
- Has abdominal pain
- Shows signs of dehydration (Lethargy, dry nose, panting, thick saliva, and dry gums)
- Ingested a foreign object
- Tries to vomit but nothing comes out (dry heaving)
- Vomits a large quantity of food
- Refuses to eat
- Is a puppy
An American Bully that keeps throwing up is a cause for concern. Continuous vomiting can quickly lead to dehydration therefore seek medical attention by getting in touch with your veterinarian.
Also, collect a sample of your Bully’s vomit. This will help in determining whether your dog threw up or regurgitated.
The sample can also be used to test for toxins if your dog ingested a toxic substance. You can also take a video recording of your dog’s vomiting with your phone. This will also be helpful to show your veterinarian what your dog experienced.
Also, if your American Bully showed other signs of illness, share this with your veterinarian.
Treatment For American Bully Throwing Up
The diagnosis is reached depending on the diagnostic test results that are conducted to determine the underlying cause of the vomiting.
Treatment will vary depending on the diagnosis. The treatment options include the administration of:
- Anti-nausea medication
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Treatment for disease
- Fluid therapy to treat dehydration and loss of electrolytes
- Probiotics to treat bowel and intestinal inflammation
- A bland diet for 24 hours consisting of boiled rice and chicken
- Diet change for a dog with a sensitive stomach. This includes a prescription or limited ingredients diet, moderate-fat or protein, or high-quality dog food.
In most cases, home care will be recommended after the initial treatment of your Bully. However, in severe cases of dehydration, hospitalization will be required.
How To Prevent American Bully Vomiting
Although occasional throwing up for a Bulldog is common, you can put in place preventive measures to prevent it from happening. This includes:
Gradual diet change
If you need to change your Bulldog’s diet, do it gradually to prevent vomiting. An abrupt diet change leads to vomiting because your dog’s stomach is sensitive to food ingredients and has not adjusted to the new diet.
Bulldogs are prone to food allergies and sensitive stomachs therefore carefully select their diet with the guidance of the veterinarian before introducing a new diet and do so gradually.
Prevent access to potential toxins
Bulldog vomiting due to ingestion of toxins occurs due to accidental ingestion of toxins and most often when your dog has access to potential toxins around the home.
These toxins include antifreeze, cleaning products, or gardening chemicals.
Prevent this from occurring by locking up products that may lead to poisoning when your Bulldog consumes them.
Routine medical examinations
Routine medical examinations of your Bulldog are important in the evaluation of their health status and early identification of diseases.
Early identification of disease allows for early treatment which prevents vomiting as a symptom of certain diseases.
Control motion sickness
Some Bulldogs have motion sickness when in a moving vehicle which causes them to vomit and also have other symptoms.
You can control motion sickness in your Bulldog by not feeding them before traveling, giving them prescribed anti-nausea medication, and also by taking shorter trips to allow them to get used to car trips.
Prevent dietary indiscretion
Dietary indiscretion is the consumption of non-food items or items that are not meant to be eaten.
Limit access to items that your dog should not eat which includes things such as small animals like frogs, plants, table scrapes, or garbage.
These items cause your dog to have a stomach upset, cause obstruction throat or the digestive system or cause injury. A common symptom of dietary indiscretion is vomiting.
Prevent your Bulldog from chewing on foreign objects
Finally, prevent your Bulldog from chewing on foreign objects such as broken toys, sticks, or pieces of bone which can cause esophageal obstruction, stomach upset, and vomiting.
Therefore if you spot your Bully eyeing items that they should not chew on, stop them before they start.
Summary: American Bully Throwing Up
Occasional vomiting is not a cause for concern however when the throwing up becomes frequent or your American Bully vomits several times within 8 -12 hours, this is a sign that something is not right with your dog.
An American Bully throwing up is a very distressing situation. It can be benign but also due to an illness that requires medical attention.
Observe your Bully and pay attention to the frequent vomiting, how long it lasts, and also if other symptoms of illness show up.
Seek medical care if the vomiting is continuous, and additional symptoms are present. The veterinarian will determine the underlying cause and provide the appropriate treatment.