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Vomiting In Dogs. Probable Reasons And Symptoms.

dog laying down

dog laying down

There are many different reasons that can cause your dog to vomit. From eating too quickly. Eating too much grass. Or regurgitation – that’s the process of your dog vomiting undigested food. In these cases, there may be nothing to worry about. So, when is there a need for concern? Find out more about vomiting in dogs. Probable reasons and symptoms here…

Vomitting in dogs

Possible Causes

You know better than anyone your dog’s routine and will notice any change in behaviour. It helps your vet greatly if you can suggest a reason for the vomiting. This could include:

  • Medication reaction – if your dog has recently been treated for fleas or worms
  • Heat stroke – if your dog has been exposed to a high temperature for a period of time
  • Change in diet – if you’ve altered the brand or type of food you buy
  • Eating irritating substances – if your dog has raided the waste or eaten any chocolate
  • Bleach or other toxic liquids – if your dog has swallowed anything poisonous

Other causes of vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs which need to be identified by your vet are:


This inflammation of the pancreas is potentially life-threatening and may be caused by endocrine diseases and various toxins

Gastrointestinal blockage

When foreign bodies become lodged in the digestive tract and cause persistent vomiting

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammation of the bowel lining will cause vomiting and diarrhoea as the intestinal tract becomes diseased

Kidney failure

More than one in ten dogs will develop kidney disease where functions are compromised or reduced as a result of ingesting toxins or dental disease

Liver disease

Vomiting is a common symptom of canine liver disease when blood vessels bypass the liver and cause a build-up of toxins

Internal parasites

Heartworms can enter the bloodstream from a mosquito bite, or via other infested dogs

Viral infection

Intestinal viruses are highly contagious and characterised by vomiting and diarrhoea

Bacterial infection

The most common bacterial infections in dogs is Leptospirosis and can affect people too


As the dog’s stomach becomes distended with gas, pressure is put on the diaphragm which can cause breathing issues


There may be little or no early warning signs. But abnormal swellings that continue to grow, sores that won’t heal, and a loss of appetite with weight loss and vomiting may indicate cancer

What to Do

When your dog vomits it’s a good idea to take a sample to show your vet. As you do so make a note of the substance – if your dog’s vomiting blood, or there are foreign objects in the vomit, or your dog’s vomiting bile. Then you shouldn’t let your dog eat or drink for the next few hours. If the vomit is just a one-off and there’s no change in behaviour you can get back to the normal feeding routine. Make sure you watch out for further vomiting after the next meal.

When to Contact Your Vet

If the vomiting continues to occur and is still happening the next day you need to act. Look out for:

  • Vomiting that is frequently repeated
  • Extreme lethargy and disinterest
  • Excessive amounts of blood in the vomit
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Pale gums that are white or grey in colour
  • A stomach that seems painful or bloated

Diagnosis and Treatment

You’ll need to provide your vet with a comprehensive history which includes vomiting frequency, when vomiting has occurred, and give any samples. This helps to diagnose the possible cause of sickness in dogs with vomiting.

A physical examination will follow. This will assess the overall appearance and alertness of your dog, and evaluate the gait, skin, and hair coat. The vet will examine your dog’s eyes, ears, mouth, and nose, as well as weighing your dog. The heart and lungs will be listened to through a stethoscope. And a rectal examination may be necessary.

Further tests will include testing of the blood and urine. And x-rays of the abdomen alongside ultrasounds. Biopsies can be carried out with surgery or by endoscopy.

Treatments may include a change in diet, fluid therapy, antibiotics, or drugs to control the vomiting. Chronic vomiting can create issues such as dehydration, acid-based disorders, and electrolyte imbalances.

A treatment plan will be based on your dog’s condition and the cause of the vomiting. Your vet will advise spaying with surgical removal of the uterus if your dog has pyometra – pus within the uterus. Chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery are first-line treatments for cancer, and your vet will recommend which is appropriate.

When There’s No Other Choice

With your vet’s advice, you may have to consider gentle dog euthanasia at home as your final option. Your dog’s welfare will be the utmost priority. At a convenient time, your home visit vet will give your dog a sedative. This will induce peaceful sleep. The anaesthetic given next will cause the heart to slowly stop. And you can be with your much-loved dog until the very end.

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To ensure accuracy, a professional vet has reviewed and verified the information presented in this article. It is important to note that when it comes to making decisions about euthanasia for your pet, there are no easy answers. It is always recommended to seek advice from your own veterinarian before making any decisions.