Your dog vomits for many reasons. He could have eaten something his stomach disagrees with, or perhaps gobbled down too much food too quickly. However, it could be a dog health concern, and he could also be vomiting as a result of a serious illness requiring immediate medical attention or due to the consumption of a toxic substance. If your dog is vomiting 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. Dog vomiting can be defined as the forceful ejaculation of the upper intestines 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 consumptions. Vomiting, on the other hand, happens hours 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 problems are the most common triggers of vomiting in dogs. These could include inflammatory bowel disease, gastritis, bloating, an upset stomach, or obstruction from a foreign body. Others may include:
- Non-digestible material in the gastrointestinal tract
- Motion sickness
- Addison’s disease
- Parasites in the digestive tract
- Gastric dilation
- Acute liver failure
- Acute urethral obstruction
- Bilious vomiting syndrome
All these could result in additional symptoms such as vomiting blood, blood in poo, dark brown mucus, lethargy, loss of 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 problems, pancreatic disease, or liver issues. It could also be an indication of neurological problems such as meningitis, or brain tumor. Other psychological problems like anxiety and extreme fear could also be the cause of it.
Clear foamy vomit is different from that with food that is partially digested. If it is yellow or clear, it is a medical issue that is not linked to the dog food consumed. When it is liquid in form, it is often an indication of a serious medical 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.
When to Call your Vet
If your dog keeps vomiting, 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 an object is blocking the intestines of your dog, it is a life-threatening condition surgery will be required. If the cause of these regurgitations 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, understand that vomiting is a common occurrence in dogs mostly resulting from a minor stomach upset or gastritis. When dogs throw up resulting from an upset stomach, it is usually because they consumed 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 a vet as soon as you can. When your dog refuses dog food and is lethargic, you should have him examined. If your dog also has diarrhea and has declined demeanor, consider visiting a veterinarian. 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 an acute health condition. 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 may start vomiting 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 eating throughout the night, bilious syndrome causes the throwing up of mucus, fluid, and bile in the morning. If you notice your dog vomiting 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 condition. If bilious syndrome is suspected, medication could be added to the treatment plan.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What does it mean if a dog throws up blood?
Occasional regurgitation means your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have. If the vomit is bloody, it could signal a medical 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?
Severe blood loss through vomiting or bleeding from the intestinal tract can quickly cause serious problems in vital body organs, and can be fatal. Ulcer perforation and severe internal bleeding require emergency treatment for shock or hemorrhage. IV treatment or blood transfusion may be done to replace the fluids lost from excessive vomiting.
When should you be concerned about your dog throwing up?
Dietary indiscretion or poor canine judgement may cause your dog to vomit and may not be a major cause for concern. Acute and sudden vomiting can signal a serious medical condition requiring emergency treatment. If you notice blood in stool followed by excessive thirst, severe lethargy, collapse, diarrhea, and pale or white gums, seek immediate medical attention.
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 a serious underlying condition. 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 severe, surgery may be needed.
Why does my dog vomit so much?
Dogs vomit for serious and minor reasons. Although it is a common occurrence, vomiting can be a secondary reaction to irritation and stomach issues such as gastritis or physiological problems 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 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 severe and life-threatening 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 intestines. 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 hours for you to notice he swallowed something that cannot be digested. Whether it is after 20 minutes or hours 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 vomited, 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 24 hours 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 fluids intravenously to prevent dehydration.
Medications may be prescribed to prevent the urge to vomit. In cases where bloody vomit or diarrhea are involved, diagnosis and treatment have to be done by a veterinarian, and hospitalization may be required for further treatment and observation. Understand that dog vomiting in some cases can be a sign if severe conditions 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.