There are many reasons a dog may vomit ranging from an upset stomach to severe health complications. Today, our Yucaipa vets discuss vomiting in dogs and when it should be cause for concern.
Reasons Why Dogs Vomit
Vomiting is a common sign of an irritated stomach, inflamed intestines, or gastrointestinal upset in dogs. Although vomiting is not pleasant for the dog or the pet parent, it's your pup’s way of emptying their stomach of indigestible material to prevent it from remaining in their system, or from reaching other areas of their body.
Vomiting Vs. Regurgitation
Regurgitation is when your dog seems to 'burp up' undigested food. This is a passive process where food is expelled, typically from their esophagus. This often happens because a dog ate or drank too quickly. Vomiting is a dynamic process, with the dog actively using their stomach muscles and bringing up material that looks digested.
Causes Of Vomiting In Dogs
There are numerous reasons why your dog might vomit! You might find that your healthy dog will fall ill for no apparent reason and then quickly recover.
Perhaps your pooch dined on too much grass or ate something their stomach simply doesn't agree with. This type of vomiting is often a one-time occurrence that is not accompanied by other symptoms and is generally not a reason for concern.
That said, potential causes of sudden or severe vomiting can be related to diseases, disorders, or health complications such as:
- Ingesting poisons or toxins
- Reaction to medication
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Change in diet
When To Worry About Vomiting in Dogs
In some cases, vomiting can indicate a serious veterinary emergency. If your dog displays any of the following symptoms bring them to the nearest animal emergency clinic right away:
- Vomiting in conjunction with other symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss, fever, anemia, etc.
- Suspected ingestion of a foreign body (such as food, objects, children’s toy, etc.)
- Vomiting a lot at one time
- Vomiting with nothing coming up
- Vomiting blood
- Chronic vomiting
- Continuous vomiting
- Vomiting and diarrhea
If your dog has been vomiting frequently or it has become a long-term or chronic issue, this is also a cause for concern, especially if you've noticed any additional symptoms such as abdominal pain, lethargy, weakness, or weight loss.
If your dog is having frequent bouts of vomiting it is always best to have them checked out by a veterinary professional to find the underlying cause that is making them ill.
Long term, recurrent vomiting can be related to:
- Liver or kidney failure
- Uterine infection
- Intestinal obstruction
Inducing Vomiting in Dogs
If you know your pup has ingested something they shouldn't have, you may find yourself searching "how to induce vomiting in dogs" in hopes that you can get your pup to eject whatever it is they ate. However, it should be noted that inducing vomiting at home is not advised except under extreme circumstances.
Before attempting to induce vomiting at home you should always call your primary or emergency vet or a veterinary poison control center for advice. They will be able to advise if it is necessary to induce vomiting and guide you through the process.
Though vomiting can safely bring most toxins up, a few will cause more damage by passing through the esophagus a second time. These include bleach, cleaning products, other caustic chemicals, and petroleum-based products.
Determining whether your pup should be induced at home depends on what and how much your dog has consumed your vet's advice, and how much time has passed. Depending on these and other factors, there's a chance that the substance or amount consumed wasn't toxic, or that it has already moved past their stomach and into other parts of their body. In either case, vomiting would not be a helpful solution.
If your dog has a pre-existing health condition or there are other symptoms, inducing vomiting may result in other health risks. If your dog needs to have vomiting induced, having a qualified veterinarian induce vomiting in-clinic is preferable.
When You Shouldn't Induce Vomiting
Vomiting should never be induced in a dog if:
- They are having a seizure or recently had a seizure
- Your dog is low-energy or lethargic
- Your pet is unresponsive or unconscious
- They are already vomiting
Hydrogen peroxide should not be used to induce vomiting in cats, as it is too irritating to kitties' stomachs and can cause issues with the esophagus.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.