Vomiting - Dogs>
What Does Vomiting Mean for Dogs?
Unfortunately for those of us who love living with our loyal four-legged friends, vomiting is a fairly common problem with dogs. Throwing up or regurgitating food once is usually harmless; your dog may have simply eaten something which does not agree with them. In such cases the vomiting has probably served its purpose and relieved the stomach of something unwanted. If your dog is continually vomiting or they are regurgitating blood, it is more likely to be a symptom of another medical issue and will require treatment with Animal Wellness Center.
Reasons Dogs Vomit:
- Worms or parasites
- Internal obstruction
- Cancer or tumors
- Eating a foreign object
Anytime your dog vomits, you should check the house and see if you notice any missing toys, socks, treat bags or bones, or garbage has been eaten. Corn cobs in particular are bad news for a dog’s digestion. If you believe your dog consumed something indigestible, bring them to Animal Wellness Center so our vets can identify it with an X-ray and remove it right away.
Other symptoms to watch for:
- Behavioral changes
Another not-uncommon occurrence is when a dog will vomit yellowish fluid or foam. This happens when the stomach is empty and bile irritates the stomach lining. Stomach acid is created when your dog is hungry. If they do not eat right away, this acid builds up and is expelled as bile. If your dog seems otherwise fine, you can try reducing the time between meals (without increasing the overall amount of food) and see if it gets better. Yellow vomit usually indicates a minor problem with the upper gastrointestinal tract, though you should still consult your veterinarian if you notice your dog has vomited bile.
Caring for Your Dog: What You Can Do to Help
If your dog’s vomiting is an isolated episode and he doesn’t seem to be dehydrated or otherwise in distress, you should take away access to food and water (don’t forget to close the toilet lid!) for at least an hour. This will give your dog’s stomach time to settle and reduce the amount of vomit you have to clean up. After an hour or two, start reintroducing small amounts of water, and if he keeps it down you can begin with small amounts of bland food (white rice or baby food for example) after another hour has passed. If there is no additional vomiting, you can resume a normal diet the following day.
Infrequent episodes of upset stomach are probably nothing to worry about, as long as your dog goes back to his normal healthy habits afterward. But vomiting can also be a symptom of more serious health problems, and it’s important to understand when to seek medical help.
Prevent Dehydration from Vomiting!
One of the immediate consequences of vomiting is dehydration. The more your dog throws up, the more dehydrated he will be. This can lead to weakness and additional vomiting. Provide a small amount of water or ice cubes to keep your pet from becoming dehydrated.
When Vomiting is a Sign of Trouble for Dogs
If your dog continues to vomit for an extended period of time, you should seek medical help at Animal Wellness Center immediately. Chronic vomiting can be a sign of allergic reaction, infectious disease, cancer, liver failure, parasites, and other conditions.
If your dog is showing any of the following conditions along with vomiting, it’s time to call our vets:
- Distended abdomen
- Collapsing or not wanting to rise
- Anxiety and unable to rest
- Racing heartbeat
- Pale gum tissue
- Unable to keep down water for longer than 12 hours
- Abnormal behavior
Remember, you know your dog best. In general, dogs do vomit more often than humans, and it can be difficult to identify the reason your dog is sick, and whether it’s cause for concern. If you see any signs of blood, whether fresh or clotted, you need to take your dog to the vet immediately, as this almost always a sign of a problem requiring medical treatment. The best advice is: when in doubt, check it out.
Another sign you need to take your dog to a vet right away is if your dog is repeatedly heaving, or attempting to vomit without producing anything. This is frequently a symptom of bloat or torsion, which are very serious (and sometimes fatal) conditions.
Consumption of Toxic Substances
We may ask you to bring in a sample of the dog’s vomit, as it can sometimes help in diagnosing the problem. You should take a look at the vomit yourself and see if you can tell what has come up. Your dog may have eaten something without your knowing.
If you suspect your dog may have eaten something toxic, call Animal Wellness Center right away. Dogs have been known to get into rodent poison, medicine, chocolate, and many other poisonous substances. The sooner the issue is diagnosed, the sooner your dog will start recovering.
A veterinarian at Animal Wellness Center can put your mind at ease if it turns out to be a simple case of “garbage gut,” and can start the right treatment plan if your dog is sick with a more serious condition. In many cases, early treatment is a life-saver.
How to Reduce Your Dog’s Chances of Vomiting
You can’t prevent your dog from ever vomiting again, but you can take reasonable steps to make it less likely.
- If you need to change your dog’s diet, do it gradually
- Feed your dog multiple smaller meals per day, rather than one large meal once a day
- Don’t let your dog chew on toys they can swallow or chew into small pieces (including some types of bones)
- Stop your dog from scavenging garbage
- Watch your dog carefully when out walking, especially if he has a tendency to eat unsavory things
- If your dog gets carsick, make sure your dog rides on an empty stomach
- Don’t feed your dog people food, as it might not digest well
If you have any concerns about something your dog ate or might have eaten, it’s always a good idea to check in with your veterinarian to be on the safe side.
Talk to a Veterinarian About Your Dog’s Vomiting Symptoms
Animal Wellness Center veterinarians are here to offer help not just in diagnosing immediate symptoms, but for any questions or concerns you may have about your dog’s well-being. We are true animal lovers, and we want to help our customers and their owners make the most of their lives together.