If your dog is vomiting it's bound to be upsetting for both you and your pooch. Below, our Seattle veterinary team explains why dogs vomit, what to do if your dog is vomiting, and how to induce vomiting in dogs.
Why is my dog vomiting?
Our Seattle vets at Northgate Veterinary Clinic often seen dogs that have been brought in to us because of vomiting. Vomiting is a common symptom of an irritated stomach, inflamed intestines, or gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
That said, dealing with a pet that is vomiting is never pleasant it's your dog’s way of emptying their stomach of indigestible material to prevent it from remaining in their system, or from reaching other areas of their body.
What is causing my dog to vomit?
The. truth is that there are countless reasons why your dog might vomit and sometimes even healthy dogs will fall ill for no apparent reason and recover rapidly.
Perhaps your pet ate too quickly, dined on too much grass or ate something their stomach simply doesn't agree with. Typically, this type of vomiting is a one-time occurrence, not accompanied by any other symptoms, and likely not a cause for concern.
But if your dog is experiencing a bout of acute, severe vomiting it could be related to diseases, disorders or health complications such as those listed below:
- Ingestion of poisons or toxins
- Reaction to medication
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Change in diet
Should I be worried about my dog's vomiting?
In some cases vomiting can indicate a serious veterinary emergency. If your canine companion displays any of the following symptoms, contact your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital right away.
- Vomiting in conjunction with other symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss, fever, anemia, etc.
- Suspected ingestion of a foreign body (such as food, objects, children’s toy, etc.)
- Vomiting a lot at one time
- Vomiting with nothing coming up
- Vomiting blood
- Chronic vomiting
- Continuous vomiting
- Bloody diarrhea
My dog seems to vomit frequently, what should I do?
If your pooch has been vomiting frequently or if vomiting has become a long-term or chronic issue for your dog, this is also a cause for concern, especially if you’ve noticed symptoms including abdominal pain, depression, dehydration, blood, poor appetite, fever, weakness, weight loss or other unusual behaviors.
When it comes to the health of your pup it is always best to err on the side of caution and contact your vet if your dog is vomiting or showing any other concerning symptoms. Your vet will examine your pooch and investigate any symptoms that indicate serious underlying health conditions.
Long term, recurrent vomiting can be related to:
- Liver or kidney failure
- Uterine infection
- Intestinal obstruction
My dog keeps vomiting repeatedly, what should I do?
If your pet's vomiting is more than just a one-time issue, your veterinarian will need your help to find the cause of the vomiting based on your pup's medical history and recent activities. For example, if your dog has been curiously exploring the kids’ rooms or you’ve caught him sniffing the refrigerator, it’s possible he could have gotten into something he shouldn’t have.
How can I induce my dog to vomit?
Concerned pet parents may find themselves searching "how to induce vomiting in dogs" in an effort to help their dog vomit up something they shouldn't have swallowed. However, dog owners should know that inducing vomiting at home is not advised except under extreme circumstances! Induced vomiting should always be done under the guidance of a licensed vet!
Before taking this action, call your veterinarian or a veterinary poison control center for advice. Although vomiting can safely bring most toxins up, a few will cause more damage by passing through the esophagus a second time by moving through the GI tract. These include bleach, cleaning products and other caustic chemicals and petroleum-based products.
Deciding whether your pup should be induced at home depends on what and how much your dog has consumed, and how much time has passed - there's a chance that the substance or amount consumed wasn't toxic, so inducing vomiting wouldn't be necessary.
Also, if 3% hydrogen peroxide (the only safe home substance that can be used to induce vomiting in dogs) is incorrectly administered, it can enter the lungs and cause significant problems such as pneumonia.
If your dog has a pre-existing health condition or there are other symptoms, inducing vomiting may result in other health risks. If induced vomiting is necessary, having a qualified veterinarian induce vomiting in-clinic is preferable.
When Not to Induce Vomiting
Vomiting should never be induced if your dog is experiencing any of the following:
- Seizures or recently had a seizure
- Loss of energy or strength
- Unresponsiveness or loss of consciousness
- Vomiting already
Note: Hydrogen peroxide should not be used to induce vomiting in cats, as it is too irritating to their stomachs and can cause issues with the esophagus.
How do vets treat vomiting in dogs?
At Northgate Veterinary Clinic, we carefully examine your pooch to determine whether inducing vomiting is safe for your pet. If it's determined that this action should be taken, special medication with minimal side effects is used (as opposed to hydrogen peroxide). If your dog does experience any side effects, we are equipped to administer proper care and medication.
What should I do if I think my dog has ingested a toxin or poison?
Immediately contacting your veterinarian, a nearby emergency animal clinic, or Poison Control is the best thing you can do after your pet ingests a toxin. This allows the veterinarian to provide advice about whether you should bring your pet in for professional care, or whether they think you can safely induce vomiting at home.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.