Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment of Vomiting in Dogs

Posted on

Dogs are easier to vomit compared to other animals even if they are not sick. Vomiting or regurgitation in dogs is something normal. Dogs always do this from time to time. Nevertheless, it is important to educate yourself about the possible health issues that stimulate your puppies to vomit.
What we recommend to you is to contact your vet and let him check-up your dog so he can determine the right treatment for your vomiting dogs or puppies. Nevertheless, it is important to underline the difference between adult dogs and puppies. Vomiting in the adult dog is about a wait-and-see approach. On the other hands, vomiting in puppy means a serious matter that this young pet may become dehydrated quickly and lose his critical electrolytes. Therefore, if the young dog is always vomiting, set up an appointment to your vet immediately.

The Causes Of Puppies Vomiting

The Causes Of Puppies Vomiting

In most cases of the adult, dog vomiting is the sign of gastric irritation because of swallowed grass, spoiled or rich food, eating inedible objects or eating too much food too fast. In fact, dogs and puppies can vomit due to the motion sickness when they ride cars.
In addition, it is possible to say that vomiting is the sign of canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus. This only can be prevented by providing the proper vaccinations to your dog. In the deep-chested breeds, the unproductive vomiting can be the sign of bloat. Check the vomit that if it contains fecal material or blood and it lasts longer than 24 hours, or if it is the sign of diarrhea with vomiting, you should contact your vet immediately.
The condition above is so serious for your deep-chested breeds. Repeated vomiting along with diarrhea and unproductive vomiting like dry heaving or retching or vomiting that has no connection with eating in your puppy that acts confused and lethargic before or after the event means that he needs a vet.
In dogs, the most common cause of vomiting is gluttony. Dogs tend to eat their food too quickly especially if they finish a meal and then directly do exercising. If this vomiting case happens to your dog, that is annoying but not dangerous.
Induce vomiting is what you need if the case is vomiting because of swallowing dangerous objects or poisoning.
Vomiting vs. Regurgitation
Table 1: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment of Vomiting in Dogs

Cause Example Cats Most at Risk Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment
Gastric dilitation and volvulus (bloat) Deep chested, large breed dogs Vomiting, retching, bloated abdomen History; physical exam; radiographs Surgery; supportive care; this is an emergency condition and requires immediate treatment
Benign gastric outflow obstruction Pyloric stenosis, polyps Boxers, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, young animals Intermittent vomiting, weight loss, dehydration History, physical exam, radiographs, endoscopy Surgery to correct outflow obstruction; antacids
Diet change Changing dog food brand or feeding a high fat meal Those switching from a consistent diet Usually no other signs of being ill History and physical exam; tests (eg., fecal flotation) to rule out other causes Withhold food as needed then switch to bland diet and then slowly back to normal diet
Food intolerance or sensitivity Sensitivity to or inability to digest or absorb certain foods such as milk or gluten Gluten hypersensitivity: Irish setters and soft coated Wheaton terriers Sudden onset of diarrhea, sometimes with gas Monitor response to removing ingredient from diet and then adding it again (food trial) Withhold food as needed then switch to diet without the offending ingredient
Intestinal parasites Hookworms Young dogs Diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, pale gums, dehydration, anemia, swollen abdomen, black and tarry stools Fecal flotation exam Multiple treatments with appropriate wormer; decontaminate environment; supportive care
Intestinal parasites Giardia Usually young animals or those who are immunosuppressed Mild to severe soft diarrhea with mucus and a bad odor; weight loss, abdominal pain and vomiting; often intermittent ELISA test on feces; fecal flotation exam or microscopic exam of feces; difficult to diagnose – often need multiple samples over several days Metronidazole, albendazole or febantel; bathing and sanitation to remove Giardia from coat and environment. Reinfection commonly occurs.
Garbage ingestion Those left unattended or unsupervised Diarrhea, vomiting History and physical exam Withhold food as needed then switch to bland diet and then slowly back to normal diet
Bacterial infection Salmonella, E. coli, Clostridia Young kenneled dogs or those who are immunosuppressed Mild to severe bloody diarrhea with loss of appetite, depression, fever and vomiting Fecal culture and sensitivity; microscopic exam of feces Antibiotics; intravenous fluids and supportive care in more serious conditions
Viral infections Parvovirus Young dogs who have not received full series of parvo vaccinations Loss of appetite, fever, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, abdominal pain History, physical exam, fecal test for presence of parvovirus, white blood cell count Intravenous fluids, antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infection, withhold food and water
Viral infections Distemper Young dogs who have not received full series of distemper vaccinations Loss of appetite, fever, depression, cough, vomiting, diarrhea; later see neurological signs History and physical exam; tests (eg., fecal flotation) to rule out other causes; viral testing on blood, urine, or other body fluids Intravenous fluids if dehydrated; antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections. Prognosis is poor
Viral infections Coronavirus More severe in very young dogs, especially those with other intestinal diseases; more of a problem in animal shelters or where there are large numbers of stressed dogs Diarrhea, poor appetite, lethargy, sometimes vomiting Virus isolation or electron microscopy of biopsy Intravenous fluids if dehydrated; antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections
Toxins Strychnine, ethylene glycol, lead, zinc Those left unattended or unsupervised Loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pain History and physical exam; tests (eg., fecal flotation) to rule out other causes; testing of blood, feces or vomit for presence of toxin; x-rays Depends on toxin
Idiopathic Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis Small breed dogs Sudden onset of bloody vomiting and diarrhea, depression, abdominal pain, black and tarry stools, shock History; physical exam; complete blood count; tests (eg., fecal flotation) to rule out other causes Intravenous fluids, antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infection, withhold food and water as needed
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO); also called antibiotic resistant diarrhea German shepherds, dogs with other intestinal diseases Intermittent watery diarrhea, poor growth or weight loss, increased gas, sometimes vomiting History; physical exam; intestinal biopsy; tests (eg., fecal flotation) to rule out other causes; ultrasound; blood tests (eg., serum folate and cobalamin, bile acids) Antibiotics (at least 4-6 weeks); modify diet
Tumors Lymphoma, adenocarcinoma Middle-age or older Chronic diarrhea, weight loss, poor appetite; may see vomiting and dark, tarry stools History; physical exam; intestinal biopsy Chemotherapy or surgery depending upon the type of tumor
Idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease Granulomatous enteritis, eosinophilic gastroenterocolitis, or lymphocytic/ plasmacytic enteritis (LPE) Middle-age; LPE in German Shepherds and Basenjis Chronic vomiting and diarrhea possibly with blood and/or mucus; sometimes straining, mild weight loss, and/or black and tarry stools History; physical exam; intestinal biopsy; tests (eg., fecal flotation) to rule out other causes Modify diet, wormers and antibiotics to treat or prevent hidden infections; probiotics; anti-inflammatory drugs; immuno-suppressing drugs if no response to other treatment
Histoplasma enteritis or colitis Those living in the central US along the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers Loss of appetite, mild fever, depression, severe weight loss, vomiting, blood in stool, straining; may also have respiratory signs Endoscopy and biopsy Itraconazole, ketoconazole or amphotericin B
Obstruction Foreign body, intussusception, pyloric stenosis, splenic torsion Diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite; as progresses see depression and/or possible abdominal pain History; physical exam; x-rays; barium series; ultrasound; exploratory surgery Surgery
Pancreatitis Dogs eating a high-fat meal; Schnauzers and Yorkshire terriers; middle-aged dogs Vomiting, dehydration, painful abdomen History; physical exam;chemistry panel; other blood tests (e.g., PLI or pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity) Restrict oral intake as needed; administer fluids; provide pain control and other supportive care; medications to control vomiting; maintain on low fat diet
Liver or Biliary Disease Hepatitis, biliary obstruction Vomiting; yellow discoloration of gums and whites of the eyes History; physical exam; chemistry panel; other blood tests; x-rays and/or ultrasound; biopsy Medications and fluids to control effects of vomiting and liver disease; possible surgery depending on cause
Kidney Disease nPyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis, urinary obstruction Older dogs Vomiting, increased thirst and urination; decreased or no urination if obstructed History; physical exam; chemistry panel; urinalysis; x-rays and/or ultrasound Diet changes; medications and fluids to control effects of vomiting and kidney disease; remove any obstruction
Peritonitis Perforated intestine Vomiting, painful abdomen; sometimes fever History; physical exam; chemistry panel; complete blood count; x-rays and/or ultrasound Antibiotics, fluids; medications to control vomiting; possible surgery depending upon cause
Pyometra (infection of the uterus) Unspayed dogs who have recently had an estrus (heat) Vomiting; increased thirst and urination History; physical exam; complete blood count; x-rays and/or ultrasound Surgical removal of uterus; medical treatment
Diabetes mellitus Older and female dogs; Schnauzers and Poodles Vomiting; increased thirst and urination; sometimes depression History; physical exam; chemistry panel; urinalysis Insulin therapy; dietary management; supportive care
Vestibular disease or brain disease Older dogs Incoordination; vomiting History; physical exam; possibly MRI Medications to control vomiting; depends on specific condition
Medications Digoxin, erythromycin, chemotherapy Vomiting History; physical exam; drug levels Medications to control vomiting; change drug therapy
Septicemia Vomiting, fever History; physical exam; blood culture Antibiotics; supportive care
Hypo-adrenocorticism (Addison’s disease) Young to middle-age female dogs Vomiting History; physical exam; chemistry panel; complete blood count Medications to control effects of hypo-adrenocorticism
Gastritis Helicobacter infection; high blood urea nitrogen (BUN); stomach worm Vomiting History; physical exam; endoscopy Medications to control vomiting and protect stomach; treat underlying cause; fluids, if necessary
Ulcers Vomiting; blood in vomit; black, tarry stools History; physical exam; endoscopy or barium series Medications to control vomiting and protect lining of stomach and intestines; treat underlying cause; fluids, if necessary
Gastroesophageal reflux More common in brachycephalic breeds (eg, bulldogs and pugs) Drooling, licking of lips, vomiting or regurgitation, bad breath History; physical exam; endoscopy or barium series Feed small, low-fat meals; medications to help protect esophagus, reduce stomach acid and increase movement of food out of stomach
Bilious vomiting syndrome May be more common in dogs with giardiasis or inflammatory bowel disease Vomiting of bile on an empty stomach (usually late at night or early morning) History; physical exam; endoscopy or barium series Feed a late night meal; medications to help protect the stomach and increase movement of food out of stomach
Motion sickness Drooling, vomiting while riding in a vehicle History; physical exam Medications to control vomiting

Vomiting vs. Regurgitation

So far, vomiting and regurgitation are different. Regurgitation is the passive process that happens without any strong muscle contractions. It happens minutes to hours after your puppy enjoys his food. He just undigested the expelled material.
The occasional regurgitation is not the cause of any concern unless it makes the puppy cannot get enough nutrition from his food. Chronic regurgitation may happen to the young puppies. As the result, your puppy grows slower than other dogs.
Vomiting Treatment and Prevention

Vomiting Treatment and Prevention

Even though vomiting in dogs is normal, vomiting can be a sign of serious illness. If no virus attack, vomiting can lead in dehydration that will kill puppies quite fast. If your pup vomits three or more in a single day two or more days in a row, you should bring your pup to the vet.
If you have kids, they are vomiting because of the stomach upset that pediatricians will give the BRAT diet while they are recovering their tummies. BRAT means bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast only.
When kids are vomiting or have stomach upset, pediatricians usually prescribe the BRAT diet while their tummies recover: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. The idea is to eat foods that won’t aggravate an already irritated digestive system.
While you’re unlikely to get a dog to eat bananas or applesauce, the same principle applies after your puppy has vomited. Rice, soft boiled potatoes and boiled chicken with the skin removed are all good options that will give your puppy a little nutrition without upsetting its stomach again.
If your puppy has a more serious condition causing its vomiting your vet may prescribe further medical treatment, such as antibiotics and additional fluids to prevent dehydration. Always check with your vet before starting your puppy on any treatment.

  • If your puppy throws up right after eating, it just may be eating too fast. Try to work on slowing down how fast your puppy eats.
  • Feed puppies in separate bowls to cut down on “competition” eating, or place a large non-swallowable ball in the dish so the puppy is forced to eat around it.
  • Feed your pup several small meals per day instead of one large meal to avoid overeating.
  • Vomiting also makes your pups thirsty but drinking will also upset the tummy. What you can do here is to provide water in a syringe for every 15 or 20 minutes. Another way to do is to offer an ice cube so your puppy can lick it.
  • Ask your vet whether you can give Pepto-Bismol to manage to vomit or not. It can coat the stomach wall and soothe the upset and the bismuth to absorb the bacterial toxins that stimulate vomiting.
  • Vomiting should only happen once or twice if it is not a cause to take a concern as long as your puppy looks normal before and after. For an older dog, you should allow him to take 12 to 24 hours of rest to resolve gastric irritation. On the other hands, young puppies especially the toy-size breeds always need a meal. Do not let them starving for longer than six to eight hours.

Inducing Vomiting in Puppies

Puppies are great to ingest things they should not. Therefore, it is possible if you want to induce vomiting to make sure that your puppy does not absorb the toxic material. You should not induce vomiting in your puppy if he swallows something sharp or if your puppy loses his consciousness.
Last but not least is to always consult your vet before giving any treatment to your puppy even if you really want to make it throw up. Even though you are sure that you can do the proper action. Your vet has more experience to handle the case. What we recommend you is to provide Ipecac, the hydrogen peroxide solution and salt as the safe remedies at home to get your pup to vomit.
Inducing Vomiting in Puppies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *