When to Worry About Dog Vomiting
Almost all dog owners will encounter their dog vomiting at least once. Although not every instance of vomiting is a cause for alarm, there are certainly situations where it may be necessary to take a dog to the veterinarian.
Dogs commonly vomit due to an upset stomach, which can often be resolved within a day or two with some extra attention and supportive care. Nevertheless, if your dog continues to vomit for over 48 hours or exhibits other concerning signs, seeking veterinary care is recommended.
This article aims to provide dog owners with comprehensive information regarding vomiting in dogs. This includes reasons behind why dogs vomit and when it is crucial for dog owners to be concerned about their dog’s vomiting.
Why do Dogs Vomit?
Dogs can vomit for various reasons. While an upset stomach due to illness or ingestion of inappropriate food is a common cause, severe medical issues like poisoning, heat stroke, or adverse reactions to medication can also trigger vomiting. Below are all the potential factors that can lead to vomiting in dogs.
They are Sick
Some illnesses can cause dogs to vomit. Most notably, parvovirus causes vomiting in dogs. Parvovirus is a very serious and potentially life-threatening disease that mainly affects puppies. The good news is that the vaccination for parvo is a core vaccine for dogs, which means that all dogs are recommended to get the parvovirus vaccine as soon as possible.
When following a traditional vaccination schedule, most dogs should be fully vaccinated against parvovirus at around 16 weeks old. If you suspect that your dog has parvovirus, you should take them to the vet immediately.
They Ate Something They Shouldn’t Have
Most dogs vomit due to ingesting inappropriate substances, which can range from spoiled food from the garbage to a high-fat table scrap. This type of vomiting is distinct from poisoning caused by consumption of toxic substances, and in most cases, dogs tend to recover within a day or two from ingesting such items.
They are Experiencing Poisoning
Dogs may exhibit vomiting and other indications of toxicity after consuming hazardous substances such as cleaning agents, garden chemicals, and medications. Certain foods such as chocolate, grapes and raisins, cherries, onions, and garlic can also be toxic to dogs. If you suspect your dog has ingested a poisonous food or household item, it is imperative to take them to an emergency veterinary clinic without delay.
Changes in Diet
Dogs may experience an upset stomach when there is an abrupt alteration to their diet, especially when their dog food is suddenly changed. To avoid this problem, veterinarians typically suggest gradually introducing the new dog food by blending it with the old one for a few days before making a complete switch.
They are Experiencing Heat Stroke
Dogs will also commonly vomit when they are experiencing heat stroke. Dogs can get heat stroke when they are exposed to hot temperatures without a way to cool off. In addition to vomiting, some other signs of heat stroke in dogs include:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive drooling
- A dry nose and eyes
- Bright red tongue and gums
- Skin that is hot to the touch
- Elevated heart rate
- Passing out and having difficulty walking/standing
- Signs of dehydration
- Signs of shock (emergency)
You should contact your vet immediately if you suspect that your dog is experiencing heat stroke.
They are Having a Bad Reaction to Medication
Vomiting can often be a side effect of many medications. If your dog is on a new medication, you should consult with your vet about potential side effects. If your dog is vomiting, you should contact your veterinarian regardless of whether they have listed it as a major side effect of the new medication. This is because vomiting could still be a possible side effect of the medication.
They Have Another Health Problem
There are many other potential health problems that could cause vomiting in dogs. As a result, you should always contact your vet if your dog’s vomiting persists or if they have other symptoms alongside their vomiting.
When to Take Your Dog to the Vet Immediately for Vomiting
There are times when vomiting is a sign of a medical emergency in dogs. In these cases, you should take your dog to the emergency vet for their vomiting. Here are some signs that you need to take your dog to the emergency vet for their vomiting immediately.
- Your dog has blood in their vomit or feces
- Your dog has severe diarrhea along with their vomiting
- Your dog is showing signs of bloat
- Your dog is showing signs of a foreign body or bowel obstruction
- Your dog is showing signs of poisoning
- Your dog is showing signs of heat stroke
- Your dog is showing signs of shock
- Your dog is showing signs of having Parvovirus
In some cases, it may be a good idea to call your vet before going to the emergency vet.
Other Times to Call Your Vet About Your Dog’s Vomiting
While some cases of vomiting warrant an emergency vet visit, others are best handled through a call and a scheduled visit with your vet. Here are some cases where you do not necessarily need to rush your dog to the emergency vet, but it is still a good idea to call your vet about their vomiting.
- Your dog is on a new medication
- Your dog has been throwing up for 48 hours
- Your dog has been throwing up for 24 hours and they are showing signs of dehydration
- Your dog seems to be getting a lot worse and not better
- Your dog is exhibiting other symptoms alongside their vomiting
In conclusion, dog vomiting can be a relatively common occurrence with various causes. While some instances may resolve on their own with proper care, others may require urgent veterinary attention. It is crucial for dog owners to be aware of the potential causes of vomiting and to observe their dogs closely for any associated symptoms. If you are unsure about the severity of your dog’s vomiting or any other symptoms, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian promptly. Early detection and treatment can often make all the difference in ensuring your dog’s health and well-being.
If you are located in Yavapai County, near Chino Valley or Prescott Valley, contact Chino Valley Animal Hospital. Our veterinarians can diagnose whatever it is that is causing your dog to vomit and help them to start feeling better. Call us today at (928) 636-4382, or Request an Appointment Online today!