4 Things to Do If Your Dog Is Vomiting
If your dog vomits just once, do not worry. Sometimes a dog will just eat fast, at other times a dog might have an upset tummy after eating something strange when “dumpster-diving”. What do you need to do if your dog starts vomiting several times?
1. Take away your dog´s food so that his stomach can rest. There is some controversy about this but a healthy dog can easily go without food for 24 hours. Some say up to 48 hours is fine.
If you feel better about taking him to the vet right away, that is certainly okay. The exam or lab work might reveal an abnormality that can be treated right away.
2. Make sure he is not drinking and filling up on water; if he is drinking he is not fasting. Be sure to close the bathroom door and put the seat down!
If your dog is old, very tiny, or has other health problems, keeping him without water is NOT a good idea. An old dog should be taken to the vet as soon as he starts vomiting.
3. If vomiting stops after a simple fast, he can be put back onto water (you can give him ice cubes to lick and then small amounts of water if he holds them down with no problems) and bland food (white rice with boiled hamburger or chicken breast is a good diet to use when it is time to resume feeding).
If he is holding everything down you should feed him small meals four or five times a day for a few days, then switch back to his regular food slowly.
I do not recommend you give any over-the-counter medications to stop the vomiting. If he needs medication he should be examined before you start.
4. If your dog continues to vomit even on an empty stomach, or starts vomiting again as soon as you begin feeding him, you need to take him to your vet for a physical exam and lab work. Do this as soon as possible since some problems, like bloat, need to be taken care of as soon as possible. If it is not treated the dog will die.
Take some of the dogs vomit (in a small plastic bag) with you if possible and be sure to tell the vet if you have seen any blood or black color in the vomit.
Why is my dog still vomiting even on an empty stomach?
1. Poisoning: Some poisons will cause vomiting. They need to be treated right away.
2. Bloat: If the dog´s stomach is swollen and filled with gas, it will become extremely painful. The dog will try to vomit but nothing will come out. If your dog is trying to vomit but nothing is coming out get him to his vet.
3. Stomach ulcers or cancer: Your dog might be vomiting up fresh blood (red) or digested blood (black).If you notice “coffee grounds” in your dog´s vomit that is a sign that she is bleeding a lot. You need to find out why.
4. Blocked intestine: Your dog can have a blockage from eating something (like a rubber ball) or might even be blocked by a piece of his own intestine (intussusception). Your vet will have to take x-rays to find this out.
5. Infection: Parvovirus is the most common, but several other types of infection will cause a dog to vomit. If he continues to vomit and you do not get help, he will become even sicker and die.
What kinds of problems might show up on the exam?
1. Pancreatitis: Your dog will have a painful belly and will be obese or probably at least have a history of eating fatty garbage. Besides the blood work, your vet will recommend x-rays to check the pancreas.
2. Kidney disease: If your dog took in poison or is old and suffering from kidney failure, he will start vomiting because the toxins in his body are making him sick. Your vet can find this out with a lab test.
3. Liver failure: There will probably be a lot of signs besides vomiting. Your dog´s gums will be pale, and then yellow, her belly might be swollen, and she might even have seizures. If you notice these symptoms, as well as the vomiting, you need to take your dog to the vet for an exam and lab work.
4. Diabetes: Your dog can develop diabetes for several reasons, and one of them is pancreatitis that happens over and over, destroying the pancreas over time. His pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin, he can develop a condition called ketoacidosis, and will start vomiting as a result.
5. Ruptured bladder: Sometimes a dog can have a ruptured bladder after being hit by a car. She would not start vomiting until a few days later, when the toxins were in her bloodstream. Your vet will be able to tell this from the exam, blood work, and x-rays.
6. Pyometra: If you have a female that is not spayed, she will drink a lot of water, will have a discharge from her vagina, and will eventually start vomiting. The vet will notice abnormalities on the exam and the blood work and she will need surgery to save her life.
What should you do if your dog is vomiting?
This article only gives you some things to start thinking about if your dog is vomiting. Yes, it is a lot to think about.
There are a lot of other abnormalities that you might not even notice but your vet will be able to pick up them during a physical exam, so if you are worried about your dog being too old, weak, depressed, or especially if she is vomiting after you stop feeding her, take her in right away.
Vomiting may be nothing to worry about, or it may be a sign of something serious.