Causes & Treatment of Vomiting in Dogs – VOSD Expert Advice™

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Vomiting or throwing up is a common side effect when a dog is sick. It could apply to almost every illness in a dog. As a rule, vomiting should be taken more seriously than say diarrhea or loose-motions because the underlying reasons can be varied and more complex. 

Why do dogs vomit or throw up?

Vomiting is when the stomach rejects partially undigested food. However, before the dog actually does vomit you might notice symptoms such as drooling, retching or contractions. While there are many causes, some common ones for dogs vomiting include:
  • Bilious vomiting symptom
  • Motion sickness (after a long car journey)
  • Eating foreign substances
  • Eating too quickly
  • Being overly active soon after a meal
In most such cases the dog will feel relief after having thrown up or will seek green grass to self-induce vomiting (it is safe). In case the dog has thrown up because it has not digested food it may try to eat the vomited food back – while repulsive to you it is common and safe for the dog. RememberThrowing up once is okay since it is trying to rid itself of a substance that is in their body. So this is normal. However, if the dog continuously throws up then contact your vet immediately.

When a dog continues to vomit

While you may address the symptom (vomiting) immediately an examination to determine the underlying cause and addressing this cause with your vet is essential. When your dog vomits and even after throwing up the food does not feel any relief, or vomits in succession even when the stomach is empty and is it vomiting only bile or white foam it is usually due to a specific reason. The  reasons and what needs to be done:
  • Kennel Cough: Kennel-cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs (canine tracheobronchitis). This disease is easily transmitted from one dog to another through mere contact in a contaminated area. Besides symptoms such as nasal discharge, eye drainage, vomiting white foam is also a result of this disease. Contact your Vet for a complete diagnosis and treatment. Once the vet has completely diagnosed this disease, treatment will lead to a complete recovery. An antibiotic course will address kennel-cough. Search on the search bar above for kennel cough treatment
  • Bloat: This is a critical and life-threatening condition. During bloat, a dog’s stomach becomes full of gas, liquid or air. Thus creating discomfort and pressure on nearby organs. The dog’s stomach gets twisted and does not allow it to expel this gas or belch. In such cases, blood circulation to the heart is restricted and the dog could go into shock. Get your dog immediately to a vet. This is an emergency. Search on the search bar above for bloat treatment
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):  This happens when a dog’s stomach and/or intestines become inflamed due to cell inflammation.  As a result, it affects the digestion of the dog and causes extreme vomiting and diarrhea. See your vet immediately.
  • Pancreatitis: This occurrence happens when a dog’s pancreas is swollen and becomes inflamed. As a result the stomach cannot process /digest the consumed food. See your vet immediately. Search on the search bar above for pancreatitis treatment.
  • Reflux Gastritis: Observe the time of day when your dog is vomiting. If this is most often in the morning then your dog could be suffering from Reflux Gastritis—a condition caused when the stomach is irritated by acid (usually on an empty stomach). This condition could also cause the dog to be in severe pain. See your vet immediately. 
  • Kidney disease: Vomiting white foam apart from being physically weak and disoriented indicates that your dog could be suffering from kidney disease. See your vet immediately for a physical examination of your dog. Search on the search bar above for renal treatment
  • Parvovirus: This is a viral infection transmitted through oral contact with infected feces. This is mostly found in puppies it can also infect any dog. The infection shows up normally a week to 10 days after exposure to a contaminated source. Other symptoms of this disease include fever, bloody diarrhea, and lethargy. There is no cure for Parvovirus. Any treatment will keep the dog comfortable and lessen the symptoms. Search on the search bar above for parvo treatment

How do I treat a dog vomiting continuously?

Most of the key reasons for vomiting white foam have been explained in the section before this. Before you see the vet, ensure that you have noted down any other symptoms that the dog has shown at the time of vomiting. Any and more information will help the Vet with a complete diagnosis besides a series of tests that it will perform on the dog. The orals/ injectibles that you will need to have to address vomiting depend on how aggressive the vomiting is:
  • Oral antacids in syrup base or tablet form – such as Digene or Mucain that can be given to the dog using a 5/10ml syringe – squirting directly into the mouth at 5ml for 20kg. This can be used 4-5 times a day. This works well if there mild indigestion or acidity etc.
  • Ranitidine (common brand Rantac) for acidity, heartburn, stomach ulcers: It is available as a 25mg/ml in 2ml ampules or 150mg tablets. 2ml/ 40kg body weight or 150mg/40kg body weight oral is an adequate dose. Use oral dose
  • Ondansetron (common brand Emset) for nausea/ vomiting: Emeset available in 4mg tablets and 2ml ampules. In case you can get the dog to take in tablet great, but in most cases with continued vomiting, it will throw up the tablet, because of that an injection works much better. A 2ml ampule can be given to a 40kg upto 4 times a day.
  • Metoclopramide (common brand Perinorm) for nausea, vomiting, heartburn: Available as 10mg tablet and 2 ml ampule. This can be given typically together with Ondansetron for best action and injectible dose similar to Ondansetron.
In case the dog is able to keep it’s stomach contents after 1 dose continue with a combination of the 4 oral medications.

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The information contained in VOSD Vet Advice™ is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical action which is provided by your vet. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For any emergency situation related to a dog’s health, please visit the nearest veterinary clinic.