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Dogs Vomiting


FACTSHEET

 

 

 
 

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What causes vomiting?

Vomiting is not a disease; rather, it is a symptom of many different diseases. Many cases of vomiting are self-limiting after a few days. Less commonly, vomiting may result from a serious illness, such as cancer. Even when vomiting is caused by mild illnesses, it may lead to death of the animal if treatment is not begun early enough to prevent severe fluid and nutrient losses.

 

How serious is vomiting in dogs?

Your veterinarian will attempt to determine how sick the dog has become as a consequence of the vomiting. When the dog is systemically ill (that is, more than one body system is involved), some of the following may be noted:

  • Diarrhea

  • Dehydration

  • Loss of appetite

  • Abdominal pain

  • High fever

  • Lethargy

  • Bloody vomiting

What types of tests are performed to find the cause?

If vomiting is associated with several of the above signs, your veterinarian will perform a series of tests in the hope that a diagnosis may be made. When this can be done, more specific treatment may be initiated. Diagnostic tests may include radiography (x-rays) with or without barium, blood tests, biopsies of the stomach and intestinal tract, and exploratory abdominal surgery. Once the diagnosis is known, treatment may include special medications, diets, and/or surgery.

 

If your dog does not appear systemically ill from the vomiting, the cause may be less serious. Some of the minor causes of vomiting include stomach or intestinal viruses, stomach or intestinal parasites, and dietary indiscretions (such as eating garbage or other offensive or irritating materials). A minimum number of tests are performed to rule out certain parasites and infections.

 

These cases may be treated with drugs to control the motility of the intestinal tract, drugs that relieve inflammation in the intestinal tract, and, often, a special diet for a few days. This approach allows the body's healing mechanisms to correct the problem. Improvement is expected within 24 days. If this does not occur, a change in medication or further tests are done to better understand the problem.

 

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Vomiting Questionnaire:

  1. How long has the vomiting been present?

  2. Is the vomiting more or less frequent than a few days ago?

  3. What is the consistency and color of the vomit? Any blood in the vomit?

  4. Is your dog's appetite normal? If not, is she eating at all?

  5. Have there been any changes in your dog's diet recently?

  6. Does your dog have access to other foods? If so, what?

  7. Is your dog as active as normal?

  8. Does your dog have diarrhea? If so, for how long?

  9. Does your dog go outside your house or yard unsupervised?

  10. Does your dog have access to garbage or plants?

  11. Does your dog have toys that he could have swallowed?

  12. Do you have other pets who are vomiting?

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