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…
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:
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
When foreign bodies become lodged in the digestive tract and cause persistent vomiting
Inflammation of the bowel lining will cause vomiting and diarrhoea as the intestinal tract becomes diseased
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
Vomiting is a common symptom of canine liver disease when blood vessels bypass the liver and cause a build-up of toxins
Heartworms can enter the bloodstream from a mosquito bite, or via other infested dogs
Intestinal viruses are highly contagious and characterised by vomiting and diarrhoea
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
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.
If the vomiting continues to occur and is still happening the next day you need to act. Look out for:
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.
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.