Vomiting in dogs can be an indication of a potentially serious condition, especially if the vomiting is prolonged over several days. When you know how to treat acute cases of vomiting and when to see a vet, you can help Fido feeling better faster.
Why Do Dogs Vomit
Vomiting can be divided into two categories: vomiting and regurgitation.
Vomiting occurs when there is partially or fully digested food in the stomach, and the upper part of the small intestines is then forcibly and involuntarily moved through the esophagus and out of the mouth. Regurgitation is the expulsion of the just-eaten food or food in the esophagus and stomach.
The causes of vomiting and regurgitation are numerous; however, knowing the difference between two types can help owners better explain symptoms to their veterinarians. Making a note of when your dog vomits, whether it is within 30 minutes of eating and drinking, and what is vomited, such as solid food or digested food, can help the vet rule out various conditions.
Regurgitation can indicate an issue with the stomach or esophagus, or be a result of a stress or behavioral-related condition, while vomiting may indicate something deeper in the digestive system or systemic illness.
Can I Prevent My Dog From Vomiting
While vomiting itself is a symptom rather than a condition, it can be prevented in some cases. For vomiting associated with illness or disease, proper vaccination or avoidance of situations where your dog may become infected with illness can help prevent vomiting related to it. Digestive upset is another big cause of vomiting and regurgitation, usually related to ingredient allergies, eating too much of a food or ingestion of a foreign substance or toxin. Monitoring what your dog eats, watching for signs of allergies, and preventing the ingestion of foreign objects and toxins can help prevent these symptoms from becoming problematic and resulting in vomiting.
What Should I Do if My Dog is Vomiting
If vomiting occurs only once or twice without any other symptoms, it is best to pick up your dog’s food for a few hours, then offer a bland diet. Bland diets typically consist of a mixture of plain boiled chicken, turkey or hamburger (without spices) with plain white rice. These ingredients are usually very gentle on the sensitive digestive system and can help calm minor digestive upset.
However, if it is suspected that vomiting is induced by the ingestion of a foreign object, toxin, or overeating, then veterinary care should be sought. Alternatively, if the vomiting continues for more than a day, you should take your furry friend to a vet immediately.
Your vet will perform a full physical exam to look for signs of illness, fever, tenderness, and abdominal pain. He will most likely ask about bowel habits and the consistency and appearance of the vomiting. He may check for signs of dehydration, as vomiting can result in dehydration. If the vet suspects any other serious illness or disease, he may recommend additional tests, such as X-rays or blood work, to rule out these conditions.
Treating minor vomiting symptoms usually involves treating any dehydration with subcutaneous or IV fluids as well as providing medications for easing digestive symptoms. For cases of serious illness, such as viral disease, severe illnesses, or ingestion of foreign bodies, hospitalization and surgery may be required. In chronic cases, your vet may also recommend a change in diet as well as probiotic supplementation.
Natural Remedies for Vomiting in Dogs
If you feed your furry friend a diet free of the most common allergens, such as wheat, corn, and soy products, you can help reduce the risk of vomiting. It is important to feed a high-quality diet with natural probiotic supplements that will prevent vomiting symptoms.
When vomiting does occur, natural remedies, such as plain yogurt and bland foods, such as chicken and rice, can help alleviate symptoms. The treatment of common viral and bacterial illnesses may require setting up a supplementation plan, which minimizes the use of vaccines but helps boost immunity.