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Vomiting in Dogs

Your dog may experience an upset tummy occasionally – this is normal. But what about ongoing bouts of illness? Here, our Oceanside vets discuss internal medicine conditions and other causes of vomiting in dogs and share advice on what to do.

What to Know About Vomiting in Dogs

Vomiting (and diarrhea) in dogs is a common sign of an irritated stomach and inflamed intestines or gastrointestinal upset in dogs.

Almost every dog owner understands that while vomiting in dogs is unpleasant and can be distressing, it is your dog’s way of emptying their stomach of indigestible material to prevent it from remaining in their system or reaching other areas of its body.

When Vomiting (& Diarrhea) Strike in Dogs

There are many possible causes of vomiting in dogs. In some cases, it can even occur suddenly in previously healthy dogs.

It's possible that your dog ate too quickly, ate too much grass, or ate something their stomach doesn't agree with. This type of vomiting may occur only once and be accompanied by no other symptoms. As a result, vomiting in dogs isn't always a cause for concern.

That said, potential causes of acute vomiting (sudden or severe) can be related to diseases, disorders, or health complications such as:

  • Heatstroke
  • Ingestion of poisons, toxins, or food
  • Bloat
  • Reaction to medication
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Change in diet

When is vomiting in dogs an emergency?

Dogs are likely to vomit occasionally without serious issues. If your dog vomits once or twice, shows no other symptoms, and returns to normal, there is likely nothing to worry about. Although, you should still call your vet to let them know.

That said, in some cases, vomiting can be a clear indication of a serious medical issue that needs urgent care. Contact your vet or nearest emergency animal hospital right away if you see any of these signs:

  • Vomiting in conjunction with other symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss, fever, anemia, etc.
  • Suspected ingestion of a foreign body (such as food, objects, children’s toys, etc.)
  • Vomiting a lot at one time
  • Vomiting/dry heaving with nothing coming up
  • Vomiting blood
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Continuous, repeated, or recurring vomiting
  • Vomiting accompanied by bloody diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • If vomit appears foamy or bright green (See below for details)

What is chronic vomiting in dogs, and why does it happen?

It is considered chronic if your dog has been vomiting frequently or it has become a long-term problem. This can be concerning, especially if you have noticed symptoms such as abdominal pain, dehydration, blood, fever, weakness, weight loss, or other unusual behaviors.

If your dog experiences long-term, chronic vomiting, their illness may be caused by conditions such as:

  • Cancer
  • Liver or kidney failure
  • Uterine infection
  • Constipation
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Colitis (inflammation of the colon)

As a pet owner, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If your dog experiences excessive vomiting, please contact your vet for an examination.

What to Do if Your Dog Ingests a Toxic Substance

If you are concerned about your dog's vomiting or if you suspect that your dog has ingested a toxic substance, immediately contact your veterinarian or emergency vet or call Poison Control for more advice. Do not induce vomiting in dogs unless specifically instructed to do so. Some substances may cause additional harm if they are thrown up after ingestion.

How to Settle a Dog's Upset Stomach After Vomiting

If you believe your dog's vomiting is not due to anything serious, there are a few things you can do to help soothe your pup's upset stomach. Of course, we recommend that you call your vet to let them know what's going on; your vet knows your dog best and may be able to offer advice on how to best handle your dog's tummy troubles.

Here are some of the common treatment options for mild vomiting in dogs:

  • Skip your dog's next meal and provide a smaller portion for the following meal. If your dog does not vomit again, return to normal feeding.
  • Provide your dog with a light on-the-stomach formula dog food from your vet's office to help ease them back to normal eating.
  • Make your dog a light meal of cooked chicken and boiled rice and feed it in small portions.
  • Provide your dog with plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated.  
  • If your dog is not back to normal within 24 hours, contact your vet to book an examination for your pup.

Veterinary Internal Medicine in Oceanside

Veterinary internal medicine involves treating diseases and disorders of animals' internal systems. Our veterinarians bring extensive experience in diagnosing and treating various internal conditions, including those that cause sudden or severe vomiting in dogs.

At Surfside Animal Hospital, we have various diagnostic tools and treatment methods at our disposal. We can manage patients with multiple diseases or disorders and provide effective treatment alternatives for those who do not respond well to standard procedures.

If your dog requires a procedure that we are unable to offer, we will refer you to an experienced veterinary internal medicine specialist near Oceanside.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

If your dog is experiencing excessive vomiting or diarrhea, please contact our veterinary team in Oceanside right away. We are equipped to handle a range of internal conditions.

Specialty Vets at Surfside Animal Hospital

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Surfside Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Oceanside companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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