Vomiting in dogs is not a disease, but a symptom of a disease or an irritation to the stomach. In most cases, dogs have eaten something that has irritated their stomach. Once they have vomited and removed the irritant, vomiting stops and no treatment is needed. However, there are times when your dog does not stop vomiting — or the vomiting is accompanied by other problems such as diarrhea — and your dog will need to be seen by the veterinarian.
There are many reasons that your pet will vomit such as:
- Eating adverse foods
- Swallowing a foreign body
- Viral Infections (parvovirus, coronavirus)
- Bacterial Infections (Salmonella, E. coli)
- Liver Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Abdominal Mass/Cancer
Vomiting may be accompanied with other symptoms. Your dog may be drooling, have a loss of appetite or quiet due to nausea. They may have diarrhea if the irritation extends to the small intestine and colon, or have a fever due to inflammation or infection. If the reason for your pet's vomiting is damaging the stomach or intestinal lining, you may see blood in the vomit or the stool.
If the vomiting continues, hold off food and water for 8-12 hours allowing the stomach to calm down. If your dog has not vomited in that time, offer small amounts of water every hour. Once your dog is able to keep water down for 8-12 hours, you can offer small amounts of a bland diet to your pet (cooked white rice with boiled hamburger, chicken or yogurt) along with the water. Give only about 1-2 tablespoons of the bland diet every hour. When your pet is active and feeling more like themselves, mix the bland diet with your pets’ regular diet.
Serious vomiting or vomiting accompanied with other symptoms indicates that your pet should be seen by a veterinarian. Your pet will have a thorough physical examination to determine if or what test should be run to help diagnose your pet's illness. Possible tests that may be run may include blood work, fecal analysis, urinalysis, x-rays, and/or barium study. Your pet may be given fluids to help re-hydration, anti-emetics to stop the vomiting and decrease nausea, and/or antibiotics to help fight infection. Medications may be sent home with your dog to be given along with the bland diet. If your pet continues to vomit even with medication, it is important to contact us and update your pet's condition.