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When should your Dog’s Vomit Concern you? Causes and Treatment

Well Pet - When Should Your Dog's Vomit Concern You Feature Image

Your dog or puppy throws up for many reasons. It could have something to do with his diet, for example poor nutrition, or he could have eaten something spoiled or perhaps gobbled down too much food too quickly. 

However, it could also be a dog health problem, and the dog’s vomiting as a result of a serious sickness would require immediate attention from a vet or due to the consumption of a toxic substance. 

If you find your dog throwing up and not eating, that could be associated with systemic and gastrointestinal disorders both of which need to be inspected by a professional.

Why is my Dog Vomiting?

It is essential first to understand that there is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation. Dogs throwing up can be defined as the forceful ejaculation of the upper small intestine and stomach contents. It can contain dog food that is partially digested or yellow bile.

Regurgitation is mild without abdominal heaving. Here, undigested dog food is ejected from the esophagus. It will happen almost immediately after meal consumption. Vomiting, on the other hand, happens after the meal.

When to take Dog to a Vet for Vomiting

Note if it is a one-off or if it is chronic vomiting your dog has. Stomach troubles are the most common triggers of vomiting in dogs. These could include inflamed bowel illness, gastritis, bloating, an upset stomach, or obstacle from a foreign body. Others may include:

  • Non-digestible material in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Motion sickness
  • Addison’s disease
  • Intestinal parasites in the digestive tract
  • Gastric dilation
  • Acute liver failure
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Acute urethral obstruction
  • Colitis
  • Peritonitis
  • Bilious vomiting syndrome
  • Heatstroke

All these could result in additional symptoms such as throwing up or pooing blood, dark brown mucus, fatigue, decline in appetite, among others.

When your dog vomits red vomit, has loose stools, and is presenting other symptoms, like weight loss, it could be a secondary reaction to critical illnesses such as kidney complications, pancreatic disease, or liver issues. 

It could also be an indication of neurological trouble such as meningitis, or brain tumor. Other psychological troubles like anxiety and extreme fear could also be the cause of it.

Clear foamy vomit is different from that undigested food. If it is yellow or clear, it is a health issue that is not linked to the dog food consumed. When it is liquid in form, it is often an indication of a serious health problem. 

If your dog starts coughing and something looking like white foam or mucus comes out of his mouth, that could be expectoration stemming from respiratory causes and should not be confused with vomiting.

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When to Call your Vet

If your dog or puppy keeps throwing up, be sure to call your veterinarian and get help if the following happens:

  • Your dog is in pain, has a fever, or is lethargic
  • Severe vomiting occurs suddenly
  • Bloody diarrhea and vomit is seen
  • You suspect your pet swallowed a foreign object

If intestinal obstruction were to occur, it is a life-threatening health condition and surgery will be required. If the cause of these regurgitation cannot be deduced, you may be asked to consult an endoscopy specialist. Here, tubes will be inserted through the mouth of into the stomach. An endoscope can get rid of small objects in the stomach.

Should Excessive Vomiting in Dogs Worry You?

First, it is important to understand that vomiting is a common occurrence even in normal healthy dogs, mostly resulting from a minor stomach upset or gastritis. When dogs throw up resulting from an upset stomach, it usually has something to do with their diet, such as them consuming something irritating such as rotten food, bones, or grass. 

If it happens only in one episode, it can be quickly treated yourself. However, if it is chronic, you need to act quickly by getting your dog to the veterinary as soon as you can. When your dog or puppy refuses dog food, experiences weight loss and is lethargic, you should have him examined. 

If your dog or puppy also has diarrhea and has declined demeanor, consider visiting the veterinary. With excessive vomiting, your dog is likely to be dehydrated; a state that could lead to the breakdown of the functioning of vital organs.

Distinguish whether your dog is throwing up bile or blood. Bile which is necessary for digestion is light brown, greenish and yellow. The smell comes across as strong and sour. Blood, also referred to as hematemesis is alarming and indicates a serious health complication.

Depending on where it is coming from, bloody dog vomit can look different. When it is fresh, the blood will be bright red. In it, you will notice streaks of small clots. When digested, blood will be dark brown or black.

Vomit that looks like coffee grounds could mean that there is bleeding in its stomach. Should you notice red streaks in your dog’s vomit or diarrhea, contact your vet immediately. It could signal internal bleeding or stomach ulcer.

What to do if Dog is vomiting on an Empty Stomach

Your dog or puppy may start throwing up when his stomach has been empty for too long. It is known as bilious vomiting syndrome often resulting from acidity and irritation.

Because your dog has not been consuming food throughout the night, bilious syndrome causes the throwing up of mucus, fluid, and bile in the morning.  If you notice your dog throwing up in the early morning and is okay the rest of the day, he may be suffering from this syndrome.

Offering a small portion in his night meal and early in the morning will solve the problem. If this does not help, it might be necessary to have blood work, fecal exam, urinalysis, and abdominal X-rays to rule out any serious medical complications. If bilious syndrome is suspected, medication could be added to the recovery plan.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What does it mean if a dog throws up blood?

Occasional regurgitation means your dog has consumed something he shouldn’t have. If the vomit is bloody, it could signal an issue such as esophagus or stomach tumors, stomach cancer, kidney disease, stomach ulcers, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, heartworm, parasites, bacterial or viral infection, toxin ingestion, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, gastritis, trauma, clotting disorders, or hormonal imbalance. Bloody vomit (hematemesis) is a medical emergency.

Is dog vomiting blood an emergency?

Dire depletion of blood through vomiting or bleeding in the gut can quickly cause serious complications in vital body organs, and can be fatal. Ulcer perforation and grave internal bleeding require emergency treatment for shock or hemorrhage. IV drips or blood transfusion may be done to replace the fluids lost from extreme vomiting.

When should you be concerned about your dog throwing up?

Dietary indiscretion or poor canine judgement may cause your dog to throw up and need not alarm you. However, acute and sudden vomiting can signal a serious complication requiring immediate care. If you notice blood in stool followed by extreme thirst, extreme lethargy, collapse, diarrhea, and pale or white gums, seek immediate medical care.

Why is my dog throwing up bloody mucus?

If your dog is vomiting blood, it means he is bleeding internally. Bloody vomit that has a high concentration of mucus is a sign that your dog’s upper intestines (duodenum) or stomach are inflamed, bleeding, or ulcerated. When the source of the irritation is the duodenum, bile is usually present. Your dog will need tests for prompt treatment

Is bloody diarrhea in dogs an emergency?

With so many causes ranging from benign to the deadly, large volumes of bloody stool warrants a trip to an emergency clinic even if your dog is acting fine. Blood in feces can be caused by infections, inflammatory conditions, and colon cancer. Left untreated, your dog can become very sick and die.

What would cause my dog to cough up blood?

A dog coughing up blood (hemoptysis) may indicate serious underlying diseases. Inflammation may trigger the production of blood from the trachea, lungs, or larynx. If your dog has ingested a foreign substance, he may be given a laxative to expel it naturally. Should the cough and the bleeding be dire, surgery may be needed.

Why does my dog vomit so much?

Dogs throw up for serious and minor reasons. Although it is a common occurrence, vomiting can be a secondary reaction to irritation and stomach problems such as gastritis or physiological troubles such as liver, pancreatic, and kidney disease. It can also indicate a neurological issue such as brain tumor or meningitis. If he refuses to eat, has abdominal pains, a tender stomach, or is lethargic, check with your vet immediately.

Why does my dog’s vomit look like poop?

Vomit that looks and smells like poop must be considered an emergency. It indicates a critical and fatal condition. Severe trauma and blockage of the lower intestines are usually suspected. Intestinal strangulation may block oxygen and blood flow leading to gangrene in the gut. Left untreated, it can cause death in a matter of hours. This symptom is an emergency.

How to Induce Vomiting in Dog

Before poison is absorbed into a dog’s system, it takes time. Sometimes, it can take awhile for you to notice he consumed something that cannot be digested. Whether it is after 20 minutes or even more after you notice there is a problem, the quicker you get the toxin out of his digestive system the better; to prevent the absorption of it into the system. Before inducing vomit for your dog, call your vet.

Only when given the go-ahead, then do it. If your dog is looks dizzy or is unconscious, it can be dangerous to try inducing. The first thing when trying to induce your dog is to feed him with small amounts of food. The food is meant to dilute the poison. The next step is to give your dog hydrogen peroxide. Because hydrogen peroxide tastes extremely bad, your dog will be prompted to vomit.

The other way to remedy is salt. One tablespoon of salt causes dryness at the back of the tongue and can lead him to purge. Once he has thrown up, get the vomit analysed.

Treatment for Dog Diarrhea and Vomiting

Tender loving care and home remedies can tackle problems where mild vomiting and loose stools are involved. For instance, food could be withheld for about a day to allow the gastrointestinal tract to rest. Once the symptoms are resolved, your vet may ask that you introduce small amounts of bland food. Extreme gastroenteritis may be controlled with water fluids intravenously to prevent dehydration.

Medications may be prescribed to prevent the urge to throw up. In cases where bloody vomit or diarrhea are involved, the diagnosis have to be done by a veterinarian, and hospitalization may be required for further treatment and observation. Understand that dog throwing up in some cases can be a sign of serious diseases including diabetes, viral infection, and certain types of cancers.

If your dog throws up, he doesn’t necessarily need the immediate attention of a vet. However, should you notice other signs such as bloody stool or vomit, something could be seriously wrong. Notify your vet immediately.