As pet owners, it's important to be aware of the various symptoms that may indicate a gastrointestinal upset in our furry companions. One of the most common indicators is vomiting. At our Clovis, our team has put together this guide to help you understand the causes of this condition, and what steps you can take to address it.
Why is my dog vomiting?
Gastrointestinal distress is often indicated by the uncomfortable symptom of vomiting, caused by an irritated stomach and inflamed intestines. It's a common experience for pet owners to witness their furry friend experiencing this discomfort, but it's important to understand that vomiting serves a crucial purpose in protecting your pet's health.
By eliminating indigestible material, your dog keeps their system clear and prevents potential harm to other parts of their body.
Why is my dog vomiting all of a sudden?
While it's not uncommon, there are several reasons why your furry friend may experience vomiting. It could be as simple as gobbling down their food too fast, indulging in too much grass, or consuming something that doesn't sit well with their stomach. In these cases, the vomiting may be a one-off occurrence and not accompanied by any additional symptoms, so you may not have to worry.
Potential causes of acute vomiting (sudden or severe) may be a disease, disorder or health complication 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 should you be concerned about your dog throwing up?
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 furry friend has been experiencing frequent vomiting, it's time to be alarmed. This could be a sign of a long-term or chronic issue. Additionally, if you observe any other symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, low mood, dehydration, presence of blood, lack of appetite, fever, fatigue, weight loss, or any unusual behavior, it's imperative to seek veterinary assistance.
These can be caused by:
- Liver or kidney failure
- Uterine infection
- Intestinal obstruction
As a responsible dog parent, ensuring your furry companion's well-being is of utmost importance. To determine whether your dog's vomiting is a cause for concern, it's best to consult a veterinarian who can thoroughly examine their internal health. By prioritizing caution and safety, you can give your pooch the best chance at a healthy and happy life.
How do you settle a dog's upset stomach?
As the devoted pet parent, you play a crucial role in helping your veterinarian uncover the root cause of your furry friend's vomiting. By sharing details about your pet's medical history and recent behaviors, such as if they have been snooping around the kids' rooms or checking out the refrigerator's contents, you can provide valuable insight into what might have caused the upset stomach. Your veterinarian will then use this information, along with diagnostic tests, to determine the best course of treatment for your furry friend.
A Note on Inducing Vomiting in Dogs
Many a worried pet owner has likely searched for "how to make a dog vomit" in a state of panic. When toxins enter the body, they can cause serious harm by being absorbed into the bloodstream and affecting the tissues. The goal of decontamination is to remove the toxin from the body before it's absorbed. Vomiting can prevent toxicity if it occurs before the intestines absorb the toxin.
Dog owners need to understand that inducing vomiting at home should only be done in extreme situations and with the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. Before taking any action, it's best to contact your primary vet or a veterinary poison control center for advice. The decision to induce vomiting at home depends on what and how much your dog has ingested and how much time has passed. It's possible that the substance or amount consumed wasn't toxic, so inducing vomiting wouldn't be necessary.
While vomiting can safely expel most toxins, a few substances can cause further harm by passing through the esophagus a second time as they move through the gastrointestinal tract. These include bleach, cleaning products, caustic chemicals, and petroleum-based products. Additionally, administering 3% hydrogen peroxide, the only safe home substance for inducing vomiting in dogs, can be dangerous if not done correctly.
In such cases, it can enter the lungs and cause severe problems such as pneumonia. If your dog has an existing health condition or other symptoms, inducing vomiting at home can pose a health risk. In these cases, it's best to have a qualified veterinarian induce vomiting in a clinical setting.
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 Clovis, we prioritize the safety and well-being of your furry friend. Our experienced team thoroughly assesses your pet to determine if inducing vomiting is a safe and appropriate course of action. In the event that it is deemed necessary, we use specialized internal medicine with minimal potential for adverse effects, avoiding the use of hydrogen peroxide. Rest assured, should your dog experience any side effects, our facility is fully equipped to provide the necessary care and medication.
What should I do if I suspect my dog has ingested a toxin?
In case your pet has ingested a toxin, it's crucial that you take prompt action by reaching out to either your veterinarian or Poison Control. By doing so, you'll be able to receive prompt guidance from our knowledgeable Clemmons vets on whether to bring your pet in for treatment or whether inducing vomiting at home is a viable option.
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.