Vomiting is a very common occurrence in dogs as it is an in-built defense mechanism for them. It is a part of their basic primal nature of scavenging. If they consume something their body does not approve of, they will vomit it out. However, it can also be a sign of a serious health problem in dogs. We shall have a look at the causes in this article.
What is the Difference between Regurgitation and Vomiting in Dogs?
It is important to make ourselves familiar with two medical terms. These terms include regurgitation and vomiting. A dog may suffer from either of the two, and we need to understand the difference to help the pet in a better way. When a dog regurgitates, he does it without much effort to throw up. The food has never reached the stomach and is expelled from the esophagus itself. It will be partially digested food strewn across the floor. Vomiting on the other hand takes a lot of physical effort. The dog will forcibly throw up the contents of the stomach or intestine. You will find that the dog coughs and hackles, trying to forcibly expel the food out of his mouth. If you find the dog trying to eat up what he just vomited, stop him immediately. It not only sounds gross, but is not healthy for the dog to consume it again. Remember, there was a reason why it was lying on the floor and not in the dog's stomach.
Some of the most common reasons that lead to vomiting in dogs are as follows:
Intestinal Worms Causing Trouble
Intestinal parasites are one of the most common causes of vomiting in dogs. Worms that lead to vomiting include hookworms and Giardia. Apart from vomiting, the dog may suffer from diarrhea, dehydration, anemia, abdominal pain and swelling, weight loss, etc. The dog requires deworming and supportive care to get rid of the intestinal parasitic infection.
Dog Eats Too Much, Too Fast
A very hungry dog that eats food too fast and eats more than his stomach can hold, may suffer from vomiting. You can avoid this scenario by making sure you feed the dog on time or increase the amount of dog food you feed him. Also, make sure that your dog does not overeat or else he may puke all over the floor.
Excess Stomach Acid and Bile, Upset Tummy
A dog who vomits brown or yellow fluid on the floor, especially before eating or early in the morning, suffers from an upset stomach. Excess of bile and stomach acids cause the dog to vomit. This happens especially when the dog remains hungry for a long period of time. It causes irritation of stomach that leads to vomiting. The best way to deal with it is by feeding the dog frequent meals. This will prevent an empty stomach. But, make sure the dog is fed smaller meals as you don't need to feed him more than his stomach can hold.
No Table Scraps and Sudden Diet Change, A Strict No-No
You may want to share your food with your dog, but it may not go down well with his digestive system. Table scraps and human food can lead to vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Sometimes, a sudden change in dog food or introducing a new brand or food, may cause a stomach upset. The dog may be suffering from food intolerance or may have a sensitive stomach. Some dogs are not able to digest certain foods like milk and gluten. So, watch what you give your dog to eat.
Something's Stuck in the Throat
Dogs have a habit of chewing on to anything and everything. Some may even swallow a toy or some non-edible object while playing. When a foreign object enters the digestive system, the dog will suffer from bouts of coughing and repeated vomiting. Similar behavior may occur if the dog eats up a lot of grass. The dog suffers from severe nausea and vomiting. Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately for help and get the object removed as soon as possible.
Bacterial or Viral Infection Giving the Dog a Hard Time
A microbial infection can also lead to vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Bacterial infections such as Salmonella, E. coli, Clostridium and infections due to viruses like parvovirus, distemper and coronavirus will cause vomiting in dogs. Severe infections lead to excessive vomiting and diarrhea. This leads to dehydration and the dog requires immediate fluid therapy to prevent the body from going into shock.
If you observe vomiting in your dog, take him to the veterinarian for further check up. If possible, take along a sample of the vomit for further diagnosis. If the dog has vomited just once, he should not be given food or water for about 12 hours. You can give your dog a few ice cubes to suck on or water to drink. If he is able to withhold the water, feed him a little bland food. This includes boiled chicken and rice. Feed him after every few hours. If he vomits again, you may need to visit the veterinarian again. Antibiotics, antiemetics, etc. may be prescribed by the veterinarian to help control the dog's vomiting. Do not take a chance, especially if your dog vomits blood. It may be a sign of a serious health complication. Take corrective actions and help your dog remain healthy and happy.