Why is my dog vomiting?
Vomiting is a common reason for dogs to go to the vet. There are many different reasons your dog may be vomiting. It can be the body’s way to remove nasties from the gut, it can be a pain response, or it can simply be because your dog has eaten too much too quickly!
When should I call the vet?
If your dog seems well in general and has only vomited once - you might choose to hold off calling your vet. However, in situations where your dog has vomited multiple times, or is starting to seem off in terms of demeanour, bringing your dog to your vet should be your next step. You may also choose to use Felcana's soon to be launched online chat-based Symptom Checker, where you can get free advice on what to do next.
Is this something I should worry about?
Usually, vomiting is a short and easily treated illness and your vet will be able to give you medications to help your dog feel better quicker. However, sometimes reasons for vomiting may be more sinister and your vet may need to do some additional tests. Your vet may want to keep your dog in the clinic to give them fluids.
Is there anything I can do while waiting for my vet appointment?
Until you have seen or spoken to your vet, don’t feed your dog. You should, however, continue to offer your dog water in little amounts often, this will help to keep them hydrated. Keep your dog quiet and comfortable, don’t exercise them as this could worsen their illness and make them more dehydrated.
What info should I give the vet?
Your vet will ask questions about your dog to try to understand the cause of the vomiting. Some of these may include:
- Does the dog try to vomit but not produce anything? You might want to consider filming your dog to help the vet determine whether they’re vomiting, retching or coughing as it can be quite difficult to work out.
- What is the appearance of the vomit? Was your dog vomiting blood, bile, or foam etc.? This can help your vet determine the cause of your dog vomiting.
- Has there been a change in the dog’s diet or has the dog recently eaten a very fatty meal? A common cause of vomiting is a change of diet. High fat treats such as meat or cheese can have the same effect.
- Has your dog been eating and drinking as per usual? Does your dog seem to be more lethargic, or is his behaviour at home normal?
- Has your dog been producing diarrhoea? If so, you might want to note the appearance of the diarrhoea, such as its colour or consistency. Taking a picture is usually very helpful for your vet!
What will the vet do?
The vet will perform a clinical exam of your dog and if your dog’s symptoms are mild enough, the vet may suggest treatment just to relieve discomfort. This can include not feeding your dog for a few hours and then feeding an easily digestible low-fat diet such as boiled chicken and white rice.
If your vet is suspicious of certain gut illnesses, they may suggest x-rays, ultrasound scans or blood and urine tests. The treatment in these cases will be dependent on the cause and in some cases, the vet may want to keep your dog in the hospital to give them fluids and medications.
Is there anything I should do to stop this happening again?
Whilst in many cases there is little we can do to stop our pets getting ill, there are a few things we can do to reduce the risks, such as keeping toxins, poisons and rotten food well out of reach of dogs, not allowing them to drink from dirty watercourses, not giving anti-inflammatory drugs on an empty stomach and supervising them while playing with balls, sticks etc. to ensure they don’t swallow them.