Dog Vomiting Treatment
Dog Vomiting: “Vomiting is generally defined as the forceful ejection of stomach and upper intestinal contents,” explains Dr. Jennifer Hawkins, DVM. Dr. Hawkins is the director of Orange County (OC) Animal Care and of their new facility. She says that vomiting can contain yellow bile or dog food that has been partially digested, and usually smells sour.
A dog may vomit simply because he’s eaten something disagreeable or gobbled down too much food, too fast. But vomiting can also indicate something far more serious-your dog may have swallowed a toxic substance, or may be suffering from a condition that requires immediate medical attention. Vomiting can also be associated with gastrointestinal and systemic disorders that should be evaluated by a veterinarian.
Difference Between Vomiting And Regurgitating
Before we get to the causes of vomiting, we need to distinguish between vomiting and regurgitation. When dogs vomit, they are forcefully ejecting the contents of their stomach and upper small intestine, bringing food, fluid, and debris onto your carpet.
Regurgitation is different. Instead of ejecting the stomach contents by force, regurgitation is a passive motion that expels undigested food and fluids. Unlike vomiting, the signs of regurgitation are difficulty breathing and coughing. One way to tell if your dog has regurgitated instead of vomited is to look at what the dog has thrown up.
Dog Vomiting Blood
In some cases, a dog vomiting blood necessitates an immediate trip to your veterinarian (or the emergency clinic, if it’s after hours). A dog vomiting blood that is uniformly bright red signifies a large amount of bleeding. Black or dark-brown blood that looks like coffee grounds indicates the bleeding has been going on for a long amount of time, so that is very concerning. “A lot of people don’t realize that’s dried, partially digested blood,” Dr. Diehl explains. “That is almost always serious, even more serious than a streak of red blood.”
It can be scary to see your dog throwing up blood, but the best thing to do is stay calm and take your dog to the nearest veterinarian right away. Severe blood loss — especially if it is happening quickly — can lead to serious problems for other organs, and can also be fatal. A dog who is vomiting blood requires immediate medical attention.
The medical conditions that could cause your dog to throw up blood include:
- Stomach cancer
- Tumors of the stomach or esophagus
- Stomach ulcers (which can be caused by some medications)
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Hormonal imbalance
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Toxin ingestion (certain plants or heavy metals)
- Bacterial or viral infection
- HGE or Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
- Clotting disorders (ingestion of rat poison can cause improper clotting)
Dog Vomiting And Diarrhea
- Foreign material such as bones, sticks, leaves, grass, toys or garbage contents may be seen in vomited material when dogs and cats eat indiscriminately. Vomitus that contains dark, gritty material that looks like coffee grounds can mean irritation or bleeding in the stomach.
- Feces that are dark or look like tar can indicate bleeding in the stomach or high up in the intestines. The blood is digested before it’s passed, which is why it takes on such a dark color.
- Diarrhea that is watery or covered with mucus typically means a problem in the colon, which is the organ responsible for absorbing excess moisture from the stool.
- Streaks of red, undigested blood in feces tends to indicate a problem lower down in the digestive tract, typically the colon or rectum.
Home-treatment is not appropriate under all circumstances, however. If your puppy starts to vomit or have diarrhea, you should call a veterinarian. The same is true for elderly dogs and those suffering from serious, chronic diseases. These individuals often don’t have the reserves necessary to maintain normal body functions in the face of even a mild bout of vomiting or diarrhea. Other warning signs that you should call your veterinarian immediately include:
Dog Vomiting Yellow
If there’s something in the vomit besides yellow foam, it may help to bring a sample to your veterinarian. Of course, if there’s grass in the foam, for example, you may already have your answer. So keep your dog from grazing on the lawn, and see if the vomiting subsides.
It’s hard to know when to bring your dog to the vet and when to take a wait-and-see approach. If there is a problem than needs to be addressed, waiting too long can lead to a more severe issue and could cost you more in the long run.
“Pets can’t speak,” Dr. Jensen says. “All we really have to go on are these physical symptoms. If something is occurring in your pet that has never happened before, pick up the phone and make a call. Even if it’s just a one-time thing. If nothing else, it will then get noted in your pet’s file in case it does develop into a trend.”
Dog Vomiting White Foam
Is your dog vomiting white foam? Bearing witness to your dog vomiting white foam can be disconcerting at the best of times and cause dog owners to panic at the worst. There are so many reasons for digestive upset in dogs, and they share so many similar symptoms, that general upset can be difficult for veterinarians to diagnose quickly. While some of the causes for a dog vomiting white foam — such as a dog finding rotting food in the garbage or ingesting a foreign object — can occur to any dog at any time, you can manage, treat or prevent the riskiest and most dangerous reasons for a dog vomiting white foam.
First, if your dog is a puppy, elderly or has pre-existing medical problems, you should see your veterinarian immediately if they’re throwing up a lot of white foam. In addition to identifying a severe underlying condition, your vet can treat your dog for dehydration from vomiting. If your adult dog is otherwise healthy and only occasionally spits up white foam, it’s likely just regular indigestion.
You should see your vet to rule out any medical problems if the vomiting episodes become more frequent, your pet exhibits other symptoms or is behaving abnormally.