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Dog Vomiting: Most Important Things You Need To Know As A Dog Owner

Dog Vomiting is an active process, usually with vigorous abdominal contraction. Vomiting can result from various disorders, including those of the gastrointestinal system and other abdominal conditions, systemic or metabolic disease, and drug toxicity. Although vomiting has value in protecting the animal from ingested poisonous substances, the clinical importance stems from many conditions that also cause it.

Important Information About Dog Vomiting


Dog vomiting should be happening for several reasons, and your vomiting dog may show abdominal heaving and nausea. I want to discuss why your dog is vomiting and what you should do about the dog vomiting. Firstly, It is crucial to know the cause of the vomiting, and you need to differentiate between vomiting and regurgitation. 

Information on Dog Vomiting

Vomiting Vs. Regurgitation?


Vomiting occurs as gastric contents are forcefully expelled out of the mouth. The act of vomiting can be classified into three components-nausea, retching and vomiting. Vomiting is essentially a protective mechanism like a reverse peristaltic movement, with the function of removing excessive quantities of ingesta or toxic materials from the stomach. 

Beautiful Dogs

Actual vomiting is accompanied by retching movements, including contraction of the rumen and abdominal muscles seldom occur in ruminants but common in man and small animals. If the ingesta has thrown back from the esophagus-fresh looking boluses of poorly masticated feed mixed with saliva, which is false vomiting that is regurgitation. The vomiting center’s natural stimulation located in the medulla oblongata of the brain arises through afferent vagal, sympathetic, vestibular, and cerebrocortical pathways. 

Types of Dog Vomiting


There are two types of vomiting. These are-

  • Acute vomiting: which can be defined, vomiting has a shorter period.
  • Chronic vomiting can be defined as vomiting that has persisted for longer than 5 to 7 days or has failed to respond to symptomatic treatment.

Causes of Vomiting in Dogs

What Causes Vomiting In Dogs?


The significant causes of vomiting in dogs are:

  • Metabolic/Endocrine disorders: uremia, hypoadrenocorticism, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, hepatic disease, endotoxemia, hepatic encephalopathy, electrolyte disorders, acid-base disorders.
  • Stimulation from higher brain centers: psychogenic, CNS tumor, increased intracranial pressure, encephalitis, limbic epilepsy.
  • Intoxicants: lead, zinc, strychnine, ethylene glycol.
  • Gastric disorders: gastritis, helicobacter, parasites, ulceration, neoplasia, foreign bodies, dilatation-volvulus.
  • Small intestinal disorders: inflammatory bowel disease, neoplasia, foreign body, parasites, parvovirus, intussusception, bacterial overgrowth.
  • Large intestinal disorders: colitis, parasites.
  • Abdominal disorders: pancreatitis, peritonitis, neoplasia.
  • Stimulation of the cerebellum: motion sickness and vestibular disease.
  • Stimulation from different visceral sources: tactile stimulation of the pharynx, pharyngitis, and cardiopulmonary disease.

Sick Dog

Diagnosing Dog Vomiting


To determine the actual cause of a dog’s vomiting requires various steps. Your vet will perform or ask the owners about your pets, and then he or she perform a physical examination or execute the confirmatory diagnosis. The diagnosis requires several steps as follows:

History of your dogs like:

  • Young unvaccinated animals are more susceptible to infectious diseases such as parvovirus or canine distemper
  • Vaccination status. 
  • Travel history.
  • Previous medical problems, and medication history such as noted whether nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been used or the possibility of toxin or foreign body ingestion should be determined.

Diagnosis of Dog Vomiting

Description of vomiting episode:

  • Determine the duration, 
  • Frequency, and 
  • Relationship to eating or drinking and obtain a complete physical description of the vomits. 
  • A dietary history including the type of diet or recent diet change is vital because vomiting may be associated with an adverse reaction to food.
  • Vomiting in the immediate postprandial may suggest an adverse reaction to food or overeating. 

Vomiting an undigested or partially digested meal more than 8 to 10 hours after eating suggests a gastric outflow obstruction ( foreign bodies, mucosal hypertrophy, tumor, or polyps ) or a primary gastric hypomotility disorder. 

Description of Vomitus: a description of vomits should note the amount, color, consistency, odor, presence, or absence of bile or blood. Undigested food suggests a gastric origin. 

Digested food containing bile suggests an intestinal origin. Vomitus having a fecal odor suggests a lower intestinal obstruction or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. 

The presence of blood in the vomits, either fresh, bright red blood or digested blood with a ‘coffee grounds’ appearance, indicates gastrointestinal erosion or ulceration. 

Physical examination– careful examination of the mouth and oral cavity may reveal icteric membranes, uremic breath, and ulceration, or the presence of a foreign body located around the base of the tongue. The presence of fever suggests an inflammatory or infectious process. 

Decreased heart rate or cardiac arrhythmias in a vomiting animal may sign a metabolic disturbance such as hypoadrenocorticism. Placation of the bowel is characteristic of linear foreign body obstruction. Melena suggests upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Laboratory Tests for Diagnosis of Dog Vomiting 

  • radiographic examination- necessary to confirm gastric dilatation, volvulus syndrome, gastrointestinal foreign body obstruction.
  • Adrenocortical testing- for hypoadrenocorticism; Bile acid testing- for liver disease.
  • Toxicologic testing- for lead poisoning; Neurologic examination; Endoscopy; Ultrasonography.

What Can I Give My Dog for Vomiting?


The treatment of a dog vomiting should depend on the disease’s cause and the severity of the vomiting. The overall health condition can also affect your dogs that the type of treatment. Your vets may prescribe antibiotics when the vomiting is a result of an infection. If vomiting episodes are acute and of short duration, they may be self-limited and are frequently treated by your experts with symptomatic therapy.

Treatment of Vomiting in Dogs

Other medication may include- metoclopramide; domperidone is an effective antiemetic with both central nervous system and peripheral effects on the gastrointestinal system. Your vets are given antiemetic drugs to control refractory vomiting in dogs older than four months of age. Potential fluids are initiated when electrolyte or acid-base imbalance or dehydration occurs.

Until vomiting is well controlled, you fed your pets a small amount frequently (3 to 6 times daily) of a highly digestible, low fiber diet- cooked rice or cooked cereals supplemented in a 50:50 ratio with cottage cheese, boiled chicken, or commercial baby chicks.

Final Advice on Dog Vomiting


Dogs are susceptible to sudden changes in food, environment, and owner. Vomition is the first sign of such changes. As a dog owner, you must be very cautious about your lovely pet’s health and well-being. In my article, I have tried to cover almost everything about dog vomition. I think this article will help you to keep your lovely dog healthy and playful. 

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