Vomiting in dogsWhen a dog vomits, it can be caused by many. In addition to food, diseases can also trigger vomiting. Gentle diet helps to treat.
Most dog owners will have observed their dog vomiting at one time or another. Often it remains with a unique happening, but it can come also to always recurring and chronic vomiting with dogs.
Vomiting is usually caused by a dysfunction of the stomach, but disorders of other organs or poisoning can also be the cause of vomiting in dogs. The following is a list of various causes of vomiting in dogs, as well as appropriate therapies, among others.
Nausea, retching and vomiting in the dog
Vomiting is an important protective mechanism of the body that serves to move foreign bodies or toxic substances out of the body as quickly as possible. Typically, vomiting is divided into three phases:
In the phase of Nausea the dog becomes restless, yawns, smacks, or salivates more often. Many dogs also eat grass during this phase.
At Choking the dog contracts the abdominal muscles, curls up the back and keeps the mouth closed all the time.
Finally, the affected dog in the last phase will Vomit stomach contents. If the dog has eaten grass before, this will be vomited together with mucus and possibly also bile (yellow mucus). Occasionally white foam is also mixed with the vomit.
Some dogs, mostly smaller breeds, trembling during the nausea or vomiting phase. With the end of vomiting, the trembling in the dog usually subsides again. If the trembling and vomiting continues for several hours, then a veterinarian should be consulted to rule out poisoning.
vomiting or regurgitation?
Often vomiting in dogs is confused with another mechanism, called regurgitation. Unlike vomiting, regurgitation is not active, but passive. The dog coughs, with food and/or water from the esophagus coming back into the mouth and being spit out. The whole process usually happens very quickly. It is not preceded by nausea or retching.
It is important in the dog to distinguish between vomiting and regurgitation, as both have different causes. While regurgitation is a disorder of the dog's esophagus, the problem with vomiting is usually the stomach.
Signs of gastric torsion
Other symptoms that can be mistaken for vomiting in dogs are those of gastric torsion. This is a dangerous condition that usually affects large breeds of dogs such as Great Danes, German Shepherds or Irish Setters and always requires a quick operation.
Dogs with gastric distortion are very agitated, salivate more and show both nausea and retching. The dogs try in vain to vomit, but due to the twisted stomach this does not succeed. Basically one distinguishes between acute. Chronic vomiting in dogs. Acute vomiting in dogs begins suddenly and occurs only sporadically, whereas Chronic vomiting for longer than two weeks persists. If the dog vomits at night, the reason is usually an empty stomach.
If the dog vomits acutely, the following causes may be considered:
– Reaction to feed – swallowed foreign body (plastic, cloth, wood, stones etc.).) – inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) – inflammation of the colon (colitis) – bloody gastrointestinal inflammation (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis) – infectious diseases – parasites – medications – toxins
The following will now go into more detail about each cause.
Reaction to food as a cause
The most common causes of vomiting due to food intolerance in dogs are eating spoiled food and a too rapid change of feed. If the food is changed, this should be done gradually over several days.
Spoiled food must be kept safe, especially from puppies, as they tend to eat everything that comes in front of their nose. In general, when feeding the dog, care should be taken to offer fresh food. This plays a particularly important role when feeding raw meat (especially when barfeeding).
Much rarer is a Food intolerance (i.e., a food allergy) or a food intolerance (no immune system involvement) cause vomiting.
swallowed foreign bodies as a cause
Also inedible things such as toys or stones are swallowed again and again by young dogs or certain dog breeds (for example Beagle or Labrador Retriever) and then lead to vomiting.
In these cases, the foreign body must usually be surgically removed by a veterinarian. Small foreign bodies with a smooth surface are usually transported naturally through the gastrointestinal tract and excreted. However, these dogs then do not vomit.
Inflamed abdominal organs as a cause
Inflammation of the pancreas or large intestine can not only cause diarrhea, but also cause the dog to vomit. In case of a bloody gastrointestinal inflammation, blood can be found in the vomit as well as in the diarrhea feces.
Infectious diseases as cause
Contagious diseases that cause bloody vomiting and diarrhea in dogs include parvovirus and distemper. Especially for puppies up to the twelfth week of life and for unvaccinated or insufficiently vaccinated dogs, these infectious diseases represent a great danger.
Parasites as a cause of vomiting
An infestation with parasites can also be the reason for acute vomiting, in which case a worming treatment is part of the therapy. Parasites that often cause discomfort in dogs are roundworms (ascarids), giardia and coccidia.
Poisoning and medication as a cause
Certain poisons (for example, antifreeze or slug pellets) and side effects of medications, such as antibiotics or chemotherapeutics (drugs against tumors), can cause vomiting in the dog.
Under no circumstances should the dog be given medicines that are intended for the treatment of humans – this can result in vomiting or even worse consequences.
Causes of chronic vomiting in dogs
If the vomiting in the dog is already a chronic condition, that is, the vomiting occurs regularly over a period of more than two weeks the following diseases can be the cause:
– chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBD) – disturbance of gastric emptying – hypofunction of the adrenal glands (Addison's disease) – tumors – diseases of the liver – diseases of the central nervous system
Dogs with chronic vomiting must be taken to a veterinarian in any case, who can then clarify the cause and initiate appropriate therapy.
Gentle diet for acute vomiting
If a dog vomits acutely, has no fever and is otherwise very lively, it can be treated conservatively. This means first of all to give the dog No food for 12 to 24 hours to give, so that the irritated gastrointestinal tract can calm down a bit. Water, on the other hand, must be offered constantly.
Afterwards, the dog can be carefully fed again with gentle food. Examples of gentle diets are boiled rice, boiled noodles or boiled potatoes, each combined with cottage cheese or poultry meat. Fat should be eliminated from the dog's diet for some time. At the beginning should be fed several times a day small meals, so that the dog's stomach is not immediately overloaded again.
If the dog tolerates the diet well, it can be gradually switched back to the original food.
If feeding the dog a soft diet alone is not enough to stop vomiting, the vet may prescribe appropriate medication (called antiemetics). These are, for example, products with the active ingredients maropitant or metoclopramide.
In case of bloody vomiting or suspicion of a stomach ulcer, the dog should be given a stomach protector in addition to the antiemetics, for example omeprazole.
Simple home remedies and homeopathy for treatment
Homeopathic remedies can have a supporting effect and alleviate vomiting. An example is the administration of a few globules of Nux vomica D6 (in the morning and afternoon) and Pulsatilla D6 (in the morning and evening).
As a simple home remedy, some chamomile tea or fennel tea can also help dogs that are constantly vomiting. This can be offered to the dog cooled down in pure form or mixed with the drinking water.
Exceptionally, in consultation with the veterinarian, the herbal human product Iberogast® can be used to treat vomiting in dogs. For this purpose, depending on the size of the dog, three times a day between five. Administer ten drops (dose carefully).
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When does the dog need to go to the vet?
If the vomiting occurs only once and the dog is otherwise fit, then the treatment can be done by the pet owner at home with simple means as described above.
It becomes more critical, however, if the dog vomits and also has diarrhea, blood is mixed in the vomit or the dog's general condition deteriorates. Also, if fever or shortness of breath occurs, the dog must be taken to a veterinarian immediately.
If very large quantities are vomited, the dog can become dehydrated and also lose important electrolytes. The veterinarian can do this by infusion. Treat with so-called oral rehydration solutions.