Dogs vomit for many different reasons. Usually it’s not a serious problem, but sometimes it can be a symptom of something that needs attention. It’s important to understand why your dog is vomiting and this will help you decide on the best course of action.
Difference Between Vomiting and Regurgitation.
Vomiting is the ejection of food from the upper intestine and stomach. It is accompanied by heaving. Vomit often contains undigested food and yellow bile. It usually smells quite sour. Vomiting can occur several hours after eating.
Regurgitation is the ejection of undigested food from the esophagus. It usually occurs shortly after eating and there is no abdominal movement. Regurgitation is usually no cause for concern. Dogs will regurgitate when they are having trouble swallowing or if they have gobbled their food too quickly. They just bring the food back up and give it another go. Mother dogs will sometimes regurgitate food for their puppies to eat. Regurgitated food looks similar to what they are eating.
Why Do Dogs Vomit?
Sometimes vomiting is caused by something the dog has eaten. This can be as simple as a diet change or a new medication. Dogs often swallow things they shouldn’t – these include pieces of toys or other items they have found in the garbage can.
Vomiting can be caused by intestinal parasites. Some dogs vomit as a result of car sickness.
Vomiting can be a symptom of underlying conditions. Gall bladder inflammation, acute kidney failure or acute liver failure can all cause vomiting.
If the vomiting is as isolated incident, there is usually nothing to be concerned about.
However, if the vomiting is sporadic over a longer period of time or if it is frequent or chronic, it ca be a sign of something more serious.
There are so many causes of vomiting in dogs that it is difficult to make a diagnosis based on that symptom alone. If the vomiting is an indication of something more serious, there are usually other signs. Watch our for diarrhea, lethargy, weight loss, change in appetite or thirst and change in urination pattern.
What You Should Do.
If your dog vomits more than once during the course of the day or continues to vomit for more than a day, you should see the vet. You should also go to the vet if the vomiting is accompanied by any of the symptoms mentioned above.
If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxin, contact the vet immediately.
If your dog has vomited a foreign object, keep it and take it with you to the vet.
After discussing any changes in lifestyle, your vet will conduct a physical examination and arrange for any diagnostic tests which may be needed to identify the problem.
Once the cause of the vomiting has been isolated, a course of action can be recommended.