People often get confused with regurgitation as vomiting in dogs. Vomiting is an involuntary act of forceful expulsion of food from small intestines or stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose. Regurgitation is a passive act of expulsion of undigested food from mouth.
Difference between Vomiting & Regurgitating are:
- Vomit is an active act where dog is drooling, making retching sounds and having stomach contractions. On the other hand, regurgitating is a passive act and does not have any warning sign.
- When dog vomits, food is generally semi-digested, while in regurgitation, food is not digested.
- While vomit is in chunky, granular, or liquid format, regurgitating is always in the cylindrical shape of the esophagus.
Common Causes for Regurgitation:
- Overeating of food
- Eating food quickly
- Anxiety or over-excitement after eating food
- Dilated esophagus that does not effectively move food to the stomach.
Types or Texture of Vomits:
Types or texture of vomits can tell you a lot about possible reasons for vomiting. It might be a good idea to analyze the vomit before cleaning it out.
Following are the types or texture of vomits:
- Chunky Vomit: Chunky vomit generally happens when a dog vomits food in small intestines or has just reached stomach for digestion. The presence of chunky pieces of undigested food shows that the food was not digested before it was vomited out. This type of vomiting generally denotes the reason of vomiting as eating too fast or running immediately after eating.
- Granular Vomit: Granular vomit generally happens when a dog vomits food from the stomach. The food has been in the stomach and undergoing the digestion process for some time and has been vomited out during the digestion process. The vomit might have coffee coloured granules which generally denotes blood in vomit. This type of vomit generally happens when the dog digests something which is not suitable for the dog to digest like chocolate, garbage etc.
- Liquid Vomit: Liquid vomit generally has frothy, slimy liquid and clear liquid without any particles of food denotes something more serious underlying health condition like Lyme disease, cancer, stomach ulcers etc.
Common Causes of Vomiting:
Following are common causes of vomiting:
- Eating garbage or indigestible food.
- Ingesting rubber balls, stones, hair, sticks and other foreign objects
- Intestinal parasites i.e roundworms
- Viral infections i.e distemper, parvovirus and coronavirus
- Diseases i.e diabetes, cancer and stomach ulcers
- Eaten poisons like rat poison, antifreeze, pesticides or household drugs, like acetaminophen and aspirin
- Travel or Motion sickness
- Stress or Anxiety
Signs to worry about vomiting in dogs?
Dog vomiting once or twice in a day in a month or two might be okay. However, you must visit a vet if following signs are showing up:
- Continuous in a short term or Acute vomiting
- Long term Chronic vomiting
- Vomiting a lot at one time
- High fever, weight loss, lethargy etc. with vomiting
- Blood in vomit
- Vomiting with nothing coming up
- Bloody diarrhea
- Suspected foreign body stuck in intestines
Causes of Acute Vomiting in Dogs?
Acute vomiting, is a sudden bout of vomiting in a short duration of time, denotes as a symptom of quite a few diseases, disorders, and complications.
- Ingestion of dangerous substances like poison or chocolate etc.
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Sudden diet change
- Bacterial Infection
- Viral infection
- Medicine reaction
- Viral Infection
- Heat Stroke
Causes of Chronic Dog Vomiting
If your dog has been vomiting for a long time, it may be a symptom of the following diseases:
- Intestine obstruction or inflammation
- Kidney or liver disease
- Uterine infection
Prevention of Vomiting in Dogs
While not all the reasons of dog vomiting can be eliminated but some of the preventions for this are as following:
- Don’t change diet suddenly. You should slowly introduce new food or diet into a dog’s existing diet.
- Don’t give your dog toys or bones that can be swallowed and will get stuck in the intestines and cause intestinal blockage.
- Prevent dog eat table scraps. Grapes, Xylitol, Chocolates, etc are some of the human foods that are extremely dangerous for dogs.
- Don’t let your dog eat from garbage as eating from garbage will increase the exposure to toxins etc.
Diagnosing Vomiting in Dogs
When you approach a vet for diagnosing the issues related to vomiting in a dog, he will :
- Interview pet parent about:
- The texture or color of Vomit.
- Constituents of Vomit i.e what all was vomited out.
- What do you think triggered vomit?
- Exposure history to toxic foods or substances.
- Any medication which dog is taking.
- Any existing medical condition of the dog.
2. Conduct or suggest diagnostic tests such as:
- X rays
- Endoscopic evaluations
- Urine tests
Treating Vomiting in Dogs
Basis of the pet parent interview and diagnostic test results, the vet will put together a treatment plan for your dog.
Following is a bare minimum plan your vet will put your dog on to help with the immediate condition of your dog :
- Bland and Low-fat food
- Small, but frequent meals
- Frequent water intake to avoid dehydration
- Pre-biotics to keep good gut health
To treat underlying medical conditions your vet will prescribe medicines or medical procedures etc