VOSD Vet

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Acute Vomiting in Dogs

It’s not unusual for dogs and cats to experience occasional bouts of vomiting. Sometimes they might ingest something that doesn’t agree with their stomachs, or they may just have sensitive digestive systems. However, the situation becomes more serious when the vomiting persists and the pet begins to expel nothing but bile, a yellow fluid, indicating an empty stomach. In such cases, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care promptly.

While vomiting can stem from simple causes, it could also signal underlying health issues that require attention. Its complexity lies in the fact that it can result from a variety of factors, making pinpointing the exact cause challenging. Therefore, seeking professional veterinary guidance becomes essential to ensure the well-being of your pet.

Symptoms

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Signs of pain and distress
  • Weakness
  • Presence of bright blood in vomit or stool (hematemesis)
  • Presence of dark blood in vomit or stool (melena)

Causes

  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Changes in diet
  • Rapid consumption of food
  • Intolerance to certain foods (e.g., human food)
  • Allergic reactions to specific foods
  • Ingestion of foreign objects
  • Acute inflammation of the stomach (gastroenteritis)
  • Parasitic infections (such as whipworms, roundworms, giardia)
  • Stomach displacement, especially common in deep-chested dogs and highly critical
  • Tumors
  • Metabolic disorders (e.g., kidney disease)
  • Liver disease
  • Heat stroke
  • Adrenal gland disorders

Diagnosis

Please take a sample of the vomit to the vet. A significant amount of mucus could signal an inflamed intestine. Undigested food might be due to food poisoning, anxiety, or overeating. Bile could indicate inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis. Bright red blood suggests a possible stomach ulcer, while brown, coffee ground-like blood may point to an intestinal issue. Strong digestive odors often accompany intestinal obstructions.

The vet will check the pet’s mouth for foreign objects, like bones, or enlarged tonsils. They’ll take the pet’s temperature and examine the abdomen. If it’s a minor issue, the vet might suggest limiting the diet to clear fluids and collecting stool samples. Sometimes, vomiting helps clear toxins from the intestines.

Treatment

Treatment will be prescribed based on the root cause of the vomiting. Possible treatments include:

  • Dietary adjustments
  • Medications for dogs to manage vomiting (such as cimetidine, anti-emetics)
  • Antibiotics for bacterial ulcers if necessary
  • Corticosteroids for treating inflammatory bowel disease
  • Surgery if vomiting is caused by a tumor
  • Special medications to address vomiting induced by chemotherapy

Living and Management

Adhere strictly to the treatment plan prescribed by your veterinarian. Avoid testing different medications or altering your pet’s diet without guidance. Monitor your pet’s condition closely, and if there’s no improvement, schedule a follow-up evaluation with your veterinarian promptly.

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