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Vomiting in Dogs

There are many reasons why your dog may vomit, and also for wanting to induce vomiting. Today, our Harrisburg vets share what you should know about vomiting in dogs, what to do if your dog is vomiting, and what to do to induce vomiting in dogs.

Reasons Why Dogs Vomit

Vomiting is a common sign of an irritated stomach and inflamed intestines, or gastrointestinal upset in dogs.

In order to keep indigestible material from building up in their system or traveling to other parts of their body, dogs vomit. Although this is an uncomfortable and upsetting sight to see, it is their natural method of doing so.

Causes of Vomiting in Dogs

Several things can cause a dog to vomit, and sometimes even healthy dogs will fall ill for no apparent reason and recover quickly.

It's possible that your dog ate something their stomach doesn't agree with, ate too quickly, or consumed too much grass. There is no correlation between this kind of vomiting and any other symptoms; it can happen just once. Therefore, it's not always a reason to be concerned when dogs vomit.

That said, potential causes of acute vomiting (sudden or severe) can be related 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 toy, etc.)
  • Vomiting a lot at one time
  • Vomiting with nothing coming up
  • Vomiting blood
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Vomiting and bloody diarrhea in your dog
  • Seizures

Chronic Vomiting

You should be concerned if your dog has been vomiting a lot or if there seems to be a chronic or long-term problem. This is especially the case if your dog is exhibiting symptoms like depression, dehydration, blood, poor appetite, fever, weakness, or weight loss.

Long term, recurrent vomiting can be caused by:

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

As a prudent pet owner, it's always best to put your pup's health first. Contacting your veterinarian is the best way to determine whether your dog's vomiting is normal or not.

What To Do If Your Dog Won't Stop Vomiting

Your veterinarian will require your assistance in determining the cause of your pup's vomiting based on his or her medical history and recent activities. For instance, if your dog has been curiously exploring the children's rooms or has been caught sniffing the refrigerator, he may have gotten himself into something he shouldn't have.

How to Induce Vomiting in Dogs

Owners in a panic often Google "how to induce vomiting in dogs." In addition to causing digestive distress, toxins have the potential to seriously harm the body when they enter the bloodstream and travel throughout it. Decontamination aims to eliminate the toxin from the body prior to its absorption. Toxicology may be prevented if vomiting can be brought on prior to the toxin being absorbed by the intestines.

That said, 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 veterinarian or a veterinary poison control center for advice. 

Whether or not your dog should be induced at home is determined by the substance and amount consumed, as well as the amount of time that has passed - there is a possibility that the substance or amount consumed was not toxic, in which case inducing vomiting would not be necessary.

While vomiting can safely bring up the majority of toxins, a few will cause additional damage when they pass through the esophagus a second time during their journey through the GI tract. Bleach, cleaning products, and other caustic chemicals, as well as petroleum-based products, are examples.

Additionally, if 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (the only safe home remedy for inducing vomiting in dogs) is administered incorrectly, it can enter the lungs and cause serious problems such as pneumonia.

Inducing vomiting may result in additional health risks if your dog has a pre-existing health condition or exhibits other symptoms.

If induced vomiting is necessary, it is preferable to have it performed in-clinic by a qualified veterinarian.

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

We at Colonial Park Animal Clinic examine your dog in-depth to see if it's safe for him to be throwing up. In contrast to hydrogen peroxide, a unique medication with minimal adverse effects is used if it is decided that this course of action is required. We are prepared to give your dog the necessary attention and medication if they do experience any negative reactions.

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

The best course of action is to contact Poison Control or your veterinarian as soon as possible after your pet has consumed a toxin. Our Harrisburg emergency veterinarians will be able to provide you with prompt advice on whether to bring your pet in or if you should try to 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.

If your dog is vomiting, or if you think that your dog has swallowed something dangerous and requires urgent care, contact us right away!

New Patients Welcome

Colonial Park Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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(717) 540-7140