There are numerous reasons why your dog might vomit, and also for wanting to induce vomiting. Today, our Ambler veterinary team shares what you should know about vomiting in dogs, what to do if your dog is vomiting, and how to induce vomiting in dogs.
Reasons Why Dogs Vomit
At Spring House Animal Hospital our vets often seen dogs that have been brought in to us because of vomiting. Vomiting is a common sign of an irritated stomach, inflamed intestines, or gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
Although 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.
Causes of Vomiting in Dogs
There are countless reasons why your dog might vomit and sometimes even healthy dogs will fall ill for no apparent reason and recover quickly.
It could be that your pet ate too quickly, dined on too much grass or ate something their stomach simply doesn't agree with. This type of vomiting is often a one-time occurrence, not accompanied by any other symptoms, and likely not a cause for concern.
That said, potential causes of acute sudden or severe vomiting can be related to diseases, disorders or health complications such as:
- Ingestion of poisons or toxins
- Reaction to medication
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Change in diet
When To Worry About Vomiting in Dogs
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
If your dog has been vomiting frequently or it has become a long-term or chronic issue, 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 canine companion it is always best to err on the side of caution and contact your vet if your dog is vomiting or showing any other troubling symptoms. Your vet will examine your pet 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
What To Do If Your Dog is Vomiting Repeatedly
If your pet's vomiting is more than just a one-off it's time to head to the vet. 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.
Inducing Vomiting in Dogs
Concerned pet owners may find themselves searching "how to induce vomiting in dogs" in an effort to help their dog empty their stomach of something they shouldn't have swallowed. However, dog owners should know that inducing vomiting at home is not advised except under extreme circumstances!
In addition, this should always be done under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. Before taking this action, call your primary vet or a veterinary poison control center for advice. Though 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 in a dog that is:
- Having a seizure or recently had a seizure
- Unresponsive or unconscious
- Already vomiting
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 Veterinarians Induce Vomiting in Dogs
At Spring House Animal Hospital in Ambler, we carefully examine your pup 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 To Do If You Suspect Your 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.