Vomiting in dogs

Vomiting, similar to diarrhea, is a common concern that can adversely affect the health of dogs. Bouts of vomiting can be triggered by a wide range of situations and medical conditions. Vomiting is nature’s way of removing the objects or the substances ingested by the dog but does not sit well on the stomach. Considered as members of the family, dogs are one of the most loved pets. Thus it would not be surprising if dog owners would worry if the pet is seen throwing up. Vomiting may or may not be a symptom of a serious concern but for the safety of the pet and for the peace of mind of the owner, the underlying cause must be identified. Additionally, repeated bouts of vomiting can result to life threatening dehydration.

There are two types of vomiting. The dog’s vomiting is acute if it is sudden and usually a one-time occurrence. If the pet’s vomiting bouts are recurring and lasts for a period of time it is classified as chronic. Acute vomiting is commonly not a sign of a serious medical issue.

Oftentimes, the vomiting would occur because of changing the dog’s diet. Dogs are not only fast eaters, they also have the habit of ingesting spoiled food and non food items. Even if owners provide the pets with sufficient amounts of food, the desire to get the largest share is inherent in canines thus dogs are seen gobbling up food. Because the dogs would instinctively eat fast, more kibble will be ingested. The dog will vomit when the dry kibble doubles in size after absorbing the moisture in the stomach. Dogs have the propensity to eat non-food items. Vomiting that is caused by eating toxic substances and inedible objects that can cause intestinal blockage would need immediate medical attention.

Chronic or intermittent and long term bouts of vomiting can be an indication of a medical concern. Food allergies can cause long term vomiting. Recurring bouts of vomiting can be caused by intestinal parasite infestation, parvovirus, distemper and other diseases.

Vomiting is actually a symptom of a health concern. A vomiting pet may not require any treatment. A dog would need immediate medical attention if it has ingested poisonous substances but if vomiting is caused by the dog’s voracious eating habits, treatment will not be necessary more so if the dog is its usual active self. Withholding food (but not water) for 24 hours is the common management for acute vomiting as this rests the stomach. After the fasting period, the dog can be given easy to digest food like boiled chicken and rice. Diagnostic tests that would determine the medical concern that causes recurring bouts of vomiting would be necessary so that the right treatments can be administered.

Why do dogs vomit? Sarah’s Dogs has more answers to this question as well as first aid for dogs.

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