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Vomiting in Dogs

While occasional gastrointestinal upset in dogs isn't anything unusual, serious cases require immediate veterinary care. Here, our Rancho Cucamonga vets share some of the internal medicine conditions and other causes of vomiting in dogs and offer advice on what to do when it happens.

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 an unpleasant thing to witness and can be distressing it is your pet’s way of emptying their stomach of indigestible material to prevent it from remaining in their system, or from reaching other areas of their body.

Why is my dog vomiting all of a sudden?

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 even twice, shows no other symptoms, and then returns to normal, there is likely nothing to worry about. (Although we still recommend calling 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)

Chronic Vomiting in Dogs

If your dog has been vomiting frequently or if it has become a long-term or chronic problem, you should be concerned, 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 it 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. Contact your vet for an examination if your dog is vomiting.

What should you do if your dog may have ingested a toxin?

The best thing to do if you are concerned about your dog's vomiting, or if you suspect that your dog has ingested a toxic substance, is to immediately contact your veterinarian or emergency vet, or call Poison Control for more advice. 

Ways to Settle Your Dog's Stomach

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.

Having said that, many veterinarians recommend the following treatments for mild gastric upset in dogs:

  • Skip your dog's next meal then 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 Rancho Cucamonga

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

At Rancho Regional Veterinary Hospital, we have a variety of 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 Rancho Cucamonga.

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 vomiting excessively, please contact our team right away. We are equipped to handle a range of internal conditions or can refer your pet to an internal medicine veterinarian (vet internist) near Rancho Cucamonga if the issue is complex. 

New Patients Welcome

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

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