Bulldog Regurgitating Megaesophagus Due to Gastric Reflux Question


Hello, I have a few questions, and I have heard that Dr. Kraemer is the best when it comes to these things.

bulldog megaesophagus and gastric reflux

We adopted a 6-month-old French Bulldog when he was just 8 weeks old. He is the love of our lives, and we do not know how we ever lived before we had him.


Recently, he started regurgitating his food (not vomiting, regurgitating). After he had done this for 4 days straight and done research online, I was concerned that it may be Megaesophagus.


We didn’t want to take him to his normal local vet because, while he’s a great vet, he isn’t very familiar with this breed. So we took him to another. They did an x-ray and told us everything looked good (normal esophagus, normal nostrils, no blockages, etc.), but that he had an elongated soft palate, causing the issue. They told us that the problem can be fixed surgically, but that is usually only in extreme cases, and they refer out for the surgery.


I was interested in the referral because I was familiar with the soft palate problems from researching the breed. I was interested in the surgery if it was within our budget because I want Yoda to have the best quality of life possible and not have problems down the line due to this issue.


I looked up the place they referred me to, and they had horrible reviews, so I started trying to find other vets who did the surgery. When I found Dr. Kraemer’s glowing reviews, that he was very familiar with bulldog breeds, is affordable, and does this surgery, it was just one of those “THIS IT THE ONE!” kind of moments!

I am emailing because we live in Apple Valley, which is pretty far away. I am hoping that we could get the surgery done at the same time we get Yoda neutered if Dr. Kraemer determines that Yoda is a candidate for the surgery and if the surgery is something that we can afford.

Yoda is doing well now that I have started wetting his food and letting it soak for 15 minutes before feeding him, but I am still concerned because I read that this problem may worsen with age.

I want to have him in our lives as long as possible.

Thank you


1 Answers
Dr. Roy Kraemer Staff answered 5 months ago

Answer for Bulldog Regurgitating Megaesophagus Due to Gastric Reflux

Dear “Yoda” dad, thank you for rescuing him and providing him with loving family and medical care.

megaesophagus contrast xray of a french bulldog puppy

As you rightly noted, megaesophagus is a common occurrence in English bulldogs and French bulldogs; this condition frequently results in chronic regurgitation.


Ongoing regurgitation, retching, and vomiting are likely to lead to aspiration pneumonia, whereby the gastric material and regurgitated food are inhaled and land in the lower airways and lungs.

Airway disease Aspiration Pneumonia

Pneumonia should always be considered as a life threating medical condition


In bulldog breeds, most cases of megaesophagus are secondary to esophagitis.


Bulldog esophagitis is most commonly associated with chronic gastric reflux due to medical conditions related to:

  • Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)
  • Bulldog gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hiatal Hernia


Gastric reflux is prevalent in bulldogs suffering from brachycephalic syndromes, such as the

  • elongated soft palate
  • stenotic nares
  • everted laryngeal saccules

bulldog stenotic nares before surgery correction

The extended soft palate and stenotic nares can disrupt the proper closure of the upper esophageal sphincter, leading to reflux


Hiatal hernia would be less likely but should be ruled out. A barium swallow radiograph is inexpensive and often successful in diagnosing a hernia.


Bulldog gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition where stomach acid and digestive fluids flow backward from the stomach into the esophagus, leading to esophagitis and megaesophagus.

By emphasizing the signs of continuous regurgitation, retching, and vomiting that could lead to aspiration pneumonia, you underscore the need for timely diagnosis and management of these conditions.

Answer for Bulldog Regurgitating Megaesophagus Due to Gastric Reflux DIAGNOSIS:

Beyond a barium swallow, an endoscopic examination offers a more detailed view of the esophagus, aiding in ruling out alternative causes.

Answer for Bulldog Regurgitating Megaesophagus Due to Gastric Reflux PREVENT & TREAT

Preventative Measures:

  • Repair BOAS
  • Blend diet
  • Slow feeders
  • Keep upright position 10 minutes after meal
  • Elevated feeding and water bowl
    • Probiotics
    • StressLess 

V4B bulldog prebiotics and probiotics therapeutic supplement


  • Promotility RX
    • Anti-Reflux RX
    • Anti Vomit Rx
    • Viagra

Please refer to my articles and educational videos to delve deeper into these topics. HERE

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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