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When to take your dog to the veterinarian for vomiting

When to take your dog to the veterinarian for vomiting

Vomiting. We all know that sound, especially when it happens in the middle of the night and your dog is sleeping on your bed. There are many, many reasons a dog can develop vomiting. It’s not always a reason to go to the vet, but it is always something to monitor because it can be a symptom of many health issues.

Reasons a dog vomits:

A dog can vomit because he ate something that disagreed with him.  Vomiting can also be a sign that they ate something toxic, a sign of gastrointestinal blockage, or other other life-threatening diseases.  If your dog has chronic vomiting, it could come from certain infectious diseases (ex. tick borne diseases). It might also come from dietary allergies, metabolic diseases (kidney or liver failure, diabetes, more), inflammatory bowel disease, or even cancer. If your dog starts vomiting suddenly, it could be because of the following reasons:

  • Parasites in the intestines
  • Intestinal obstruction (they ate something they can’t pass)
  • Parvovirus
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Bloat (which is extremely life threatening and must be taken care of IMMEDIATELY)
  • Ingestion of a toxic substance
  • Addison’s disease
  • Pancreatitis

What to do if your dog if vomiting:

If your dog ate something that didn’t agree with him but then proceeded to have a normal bowel movement and act like himself, he will probably be fine. Make sure to monitor him in case it gets worse. However, if your dog keeps vomiting, or has other symptoms such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, or weakness, you should get your vet involved.

When to take a dog to the vet for vomiting:  

  • If your dog vomits multiple times in one day or for more than one day of vomiting in a row.
  • If you saw that they ingested something poisonous or toxic. 
  • If you saw that they ingested an object.

If the following symptoms occur in addition to vomiting:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in frequency of urination
  • Change in thirst
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Unusual or severe lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Collapse
  • Pale or white gums
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss

It’s important to note that vomiting is very different from regurgitation! You should let your veterinarian know which is occurring as they have different causes and treatments. Vomiting uses effort to bring food/liquid up (you can see the dog using its stomach muscles and actively retching). Regurgitation is involuntary and will usually not have digested food.  Regurgitation looks more like a dog burping up material, with no effort, and it generally comes from problems dealing with the esophagus versus the stomach.

Your veterinarian will help diagnose the causes of vomiting, either with blood tests, x-rays, a fecal, or maybe even ultrasounds. It’s incredibly important to be aware of your pet’s behavior and environment in order to prevent any issues (ingestion of toxic substances, objects, or the development of bloat), and to identify potential illnesses early and get the proper treatment and care started as soon as possible. It’s up to us as pet parents to give our beloved pets the highest quality of life. If you do end up needing prolonged health care for your pets and you’re having trouble administering medicine or injections at home, be sure to reach out to us. Our veterinary technicians, Lory Nelson Brunner, is more than happy to help with your pet’s home health care, according to your veterinarian’s treatment plan.

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