Many dogs experience vomiting as a sign of stomach upset, and there can be various reasons. In this article, our Fort Pierce veterinarians provide insights and guidance on what you should know and how to handle the situation.
Why is my dog vomiting?
Vomiting often indicates an upset stomach and inflamed intestines, which is also known as gastrointestinal upset.
Many dog owners find vomiting in dogs distressing to see. However, it's important to understand that vomiting helps dogs clear their stomach of undigested substances, preventing them from staying in their body or spreading to other areas.
What is causing my dog's vomiting?
Dogs can vomit for various reasons, which is quite normal. Sometimes, even healthy dogs can get sick without any clear cause and get better quickly.
Your dog might have eaten too fast, consumed a lot of grass, or had something their stomach didn't agree with. This kind of vomiting might happen just once and not come with any other problems. So, there's probably no need to be concerned.
Sudden or severe vomiting could be caused by an illness, disorder, or health issue, including:"
- Ingestion of poisons, toxins, or food (garbage, chocolate, anti-freeze)
- Heat stroke
- Reaction to medication
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Change in diet
When is vomiting in dogs cause for concern?
Vomiting may be cause for some concern and constitute a serious veterinary emergency if you see any of these signs:
- Vomiting a lot at one time
- Vomiting with nothing coming up
- Vomiting blood
- Chronic vomiting
- Continuous vomiting
- Vomiting in conjunction with other symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss, fever, anemia, etc.
- Bloody diarrhea
- Suspected ingestion of a foreign body (such as food, objects, children's toy, etc.)
If your dog has been vomiting often or experiencing ongoing, persistent vomiting, it's a worrisome situation. This is particularly concerning if you've observed signs like stomach discomfort, sadness, lack of fluids, bleeding, reduced appetite, fever, weakness, weight loss, or any unusual actions.
These can be caused by:
- Liver or kidney failure
- Uterine infection
- Intestinal obstruction
As a cautious pooch parent, it's always best to prioritize safety and caution when it comes to your dog's health. The best way to learn whether your dog's vomiting is normal or not is to contact your vet.
What should I do if my dog won't stop vomiting?
Your vet will need your help to find the cause of the vomiting based on his or her medical history and recent activities. For example, if your dog has been curiously exploring the kids' rooms or you've caught him sniffing the refrigerator, it's possible he could have gotten into something he shouldn't have.
You spend every day with your dog, so you will likely be your vet's best source of information when it comes to diagnosing the issue. Your vet can then test, diagnose and treat the condition.
A Note on Inducing Vomiting in Dogs
Many worried dog owners have probably searched online for "how to make dogs vomit." When dogs ingest harmful substances, they can experience stomach issues. But these toxins become more dangerous if they enter the bloodstream and tissues. The goal of decontamination is to remove toxins before they're absorbed. If vomiting happens before absorption, it can prevent toxicity.
However, inducing vomiting at home isn't recommended except in extreme cases. Always follow a licensed vet's guidance. Before acting, consult your vet or a poison control center.
Whether to induce vomiting at home depends on what and how much your dog ate and how much time passed. Sometimes, the ingested substance isn't toxic, so vomiting might not be needed.
While vomiting can help expel most toxins, some can damage the esophagus and GI tract when they pass through again. These toxins include bleach, cleaning agents, and petroleum-based products.
Using 3% hydrogen peroxide (the only safe substance to induce vomiting at home) improperly can lead to lung problems. If your dog has health issues or other symptoms, inducing vomiting might be risky. When necessary, it's better to have a qualified vet induce vomiting in a clinic.
When Not to Induce Vomiting
Vomiting should never be induced in a dog that is:
- Having a seizure or recently had a seizure
- Unresponsive or unconscious
- Already vomiting
Additionally, hydrogen peroxide should not be used to induce vomiting in cats, as it is too irritating to kitties' stomachs and can cause issues with the esophagus.
What do veterinarians do to induce vomiting?
At Sunrise City Animal Hospital, we carefully examine your pet to determine if inducing vomiting is safe. If it's determined that this action should be taken, special medication with minimal side effects is used (as opposed to hydrogen peroxide). If your dog does experience any side effects, we are equipped to administer proper care and medication.
What should I do if I suspect my dog has ingested a toxin?
Feel free to get in touch with your vet or Poison Control right away if your pet consumes something harmful. By doing this, our Fort Pierce veterinarians can promptly guide you on whether to take your pet to the clinic or if it's safe to induce vomiting at home. Your pet's health is our priority.
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.