My Dog is Vomiting; When Do I Call the Vet?
I see vomiting dogs here at the clinic A LOT. It's probably in the top 3 reasons people come to me for help.
Vomiting, also known as puking, barfing, throwing up, spitting up, or to use the medical term "emesis," is defined as ‘the act of ejecting the contents of the stomach through the mouth’.
If a dog has a full stomach when they vomit, it will be the color of the food, usually brown, and you may be a able to see the dog food pieces. If a dog vomits and there is no food in the stomach, it can either look like a white foam or a yellow/green liquid called bile.
When to call the vet:
If your dog has vomited multiple times in a day, i.e., not just a one and done kind of thing.
If your dog has a history of eating non-food things like toys, under wear, shoes etc.
If your dog has been given any table food, specially fatty foods like french fries, bacon, cheese, pizza, hamburgers, any fast food etc etc.
If your dog has recently got into any form of garbage.
If your dog is acting lethargic, I.e. is lying around feeling puny.
If your dog doesn’t want to eat and/or drink, or tries to eat and/or drink but vomits soon after.
If your dog has any underlying medical conditions, I.e. liver or kidney problems.
If your dog is a senior, over the age of 7.
If your dog acts like their belly hurts or they cant get comfortable.
If there is anything that looks like blood in the vomit.
Your dog is still a puppy or has not been vaccinated against Parvo virus.
Why is Your Dog Vomiting?
There is a very very very long list of reasons your dog may be vomiting. Here are some of the more common reasons:
Gastritis or inflammation of the stomach. This is usually due to something the dog has eaten that has irritated the stomach lining.
Enteritis / colitis: inflammation of the ling of the intestines. Again, usually due to something the dog has eaten or a sudden change in food. Your dog may also have diarrhea with this problem.
Pancreatitis: inflammation of the pancreas. This is a potentially serious condition that needs rapid, aggressive treatment with hospitalization and intravenous fluid support. It can be triggered by eating a high fat meal, but some times the cause is not found.
Foreign body ingestion/ obstruction: this means your dog ate something that is not food, that is not digestible and that is stuck somewhere along the digestive tract. This usually needs surgery to fix the problem. Check out this article for some more extreme examples: https://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/x-ray-contest-2017-ate/
Toxin ingestion: plants, toxic foods, toxic housed chemicals, certain human medications or overdose of prescribed veterinary medications.
As always, be sure to call us if you have any particular concerns. We're always happy to help.