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Vomiting in Dogs

Your dog may vomit for various reasons, and you might want to induce vomiting for specific purposes. Today, the vets at Lancaster discussed dog vomiting and explored actionable measures to assist.

Reasons Why Dogs Vomit

Vomiting frequently signals irritation in a dog's stomach and inflammation in the intestines, indicating gastrointestinal upset. Almost every dog owner recognizes that although witnessing their dog vomit is unpleasant and distressing, it serves as their pet's method of expelling indigestible material from the stomach.

This action helps prevent the material from lingering in the system or reaching other areas of the body.

Causes of Vomiting in Dogs

Dogs may vomit for various reasons, and occasionally, even healthy dogs may become ill without an apparent cause and recover swiftly.

Your dog might have vomited due to eating too quickly, consuming excessive grass, or ingesting something their stomach finds disagreeable.

This kind of vomiting could be a singular incident without additional symptoms, so it may not necessarily cause concern.

However, acute vomiting (sudden or severe) in dogs could be linked to diseases, disorders, or health complications, such as:

  • Heatstroke
  • Ingestion of poisons, toxins, or food
  • Bloat
  • Reaction to medication
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Change in diet

When To Worry About Vomiting in Dogs

Vomiting may be cause for some concern and constitute a serious veterinary emergency if you see any of these signs:

  • 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 toys, etc.)
  • Vomiting a lot at one time
  • Vomiting with nothing coming up
  • Vomiting blood
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Seizures

Chronic Vomiting

If your dog frequently vomits or experiences a long-term or chronic issue, it should raise concerns—particularly if you observe symptoms such as abdominal pain, depression, dehydration, blood, poor appetite, fever, weakness, weight loss, or other unusual behaviors.

Several factors can cause long-term, recurrent vomiting, including:

  • Cancer
  • Liver or kidney failure
  • Uterine infection
  • Constipation
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Colitis

As a cautious pet owner, it's always best to prioritize safety and caution when it comes to your dog's health. The best way to learn whether your dog's vomiting is normal is to contact your vet. 

What To Do If Your Dog Won't Stop Vomiting

Your veterinarian will need your help to find the cause of the vomiting based on your dog'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 to Induce Vomiting in Dogs

Owners in a panic often search for "how to induce vomiting in dogs." Toxins not only cause gastrointestinal upset but can also inflict serious damage as they are absorbed into the bloodstream and infiltrate the tissues. The objective during decontamination is to eliminate the toxin from the body before absorption occurs. If vomiting is induced before the intestines absorb the toxin, it may prevent toxicity.

However, dog owners must understand that inducing vomiting at home is not advised except under extreme circumstances. Furthermore, this should always be carried out under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. Before taking any action, contact your primary veterinarian or a veterinary poison control center for advice.

The decision to induce vomiting at home depends on the substance and quantity your dog has consumed, as well as the elapsed time since ingestion. There is a possibility that the substance or amount consumed wasn't toxic, making inducing vomiting unnecessary.

While vomiting can safely expel most toxins, certain substances, such as bleach, cleaning products, and other caustic chemicals and petroleum-based products, can cause more damage by passing through the esophagus a second time via the gastrointestinal tract.

Additionally, incorrect administration of 3% hydrogen peroxide, the only safe home substance for inducing vomiting in dogs, can lead to significant problems such as pneumonia if it enters the lungs.

Inducing vomiting in a dog with pre-existing health conditions or other symptoms may pose additional health risks. If vomiting is deemed necessary, having a qualified veterinarian perform the induction in the 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
  • Lethargic
  • Unresponsive or unconscious
  • Already vomiting

Note: Hydrogen peroxide should not be used to induce vomiting in cats, as it is too irritating to kitties' stomachs and can cause issues with the esophagus.

How Veterinarians Induce Vomiting in Dogs

At Lancaster, we thoroughly assess your dog to determine the safety of inducing vomiting. If we decide that this action is necessary, we use specialized medication with minimal side effects, opting for it over hydrogen peroxide. In the event of any side effects experienced by your dog, we can provide appropriate care and administer the necessary medication.

What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Ingested a Toxin

Immediately contact your veterinarian or Poison Control if your pet ingests a toxin. This allows our Tucson emergency vets to promptly offer advice on whether you should bring your pet in or if you can or should induce vomiting.

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.

Our vets in Lancaster, will carefully examine your dog to determine whether inducing vomiting is safe for your pet. Call us today!

Welcome New Patients

Sears Veterinary Hospital is now welcoming new cat and dog patients! We have a talented veterinary team that is passionate about providing the pets of Lancaster with the best care possible. Contact our office to book your cat or dog's first appointment today.

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(661) 948-5911