There are numerous reasons why your dog might vomit, as well as why you might want to induce vomiting in him. Today, our San Gabriel veterinarians discuss what you should know about dog vomiting, what to do if your dog is vomiting, and how to induce vomiting in dogs.
Reasons Why Dogs Vomit
Vomiting is a common sign of an irritated stomach and inflamed intestines, or gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
While vomiting in dogs is unpleasant to witness and can be distressing, it is your pet's way of emptying their stomach of indigestible material, preventing it from remaining in their system or reaching other areas of their body.
Causes of Vomiting in Dogs
There are a number of things that can cause a dog to vomit, and sometimes even healthy dogs will fall ill for no apparent reason and recover quickly.
It's possible that your dog ate too quickly, ate too much grass, or ate something their stomach doesn't agree with. This type of vomiting may occur only once and be accompanied by no other symptoms. As a result, vomiting in dogs isn't always a cause for concern.
That said, potential causes of acute vomiting (sudden or severe) can be related to diseases, disorders, or health complications such as:
- Ingestion of poisons, toxins, or food
- Reaction to medication
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Change in diet
When To Worry About Vomiting in Dogs
Vomiting may be cause for some concern and constitute a serious veterinary emergency if you see any of these signs:
- Vomiting in conjunction with other symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss, fever, anemia, etc.
- Suspected ingestion of a foreign body (such as food, objects, children’s toy, etc.)
- Vomiting a lot at one time
- Vomiting with nothing coming up
- Vomiting blood
- Chronic vomiting
- Continuous vomiting
- Bloody diarrhea
If your dog has been vomiting frequently or if it has become a long-term or chronic problem, you should be concerned, especially if you have noticed symptoms such as abdominal pain, depression, dehydration, blood, poor appetite, fever, weakness, and weight loss, or other unusual behaviors.
Long term, recurrent vomiting can be caused by:
- Liver or kidney failure
- Uterine infection
- Intestinal obstruction
As a cautious pet owner, it’s always best to prioritize safety and caution when it comes to your pup’s health. The best way to learn whether your dog’s vomiting is normal or not is to contact your vet.
What To Do If Your Dog Won't Stop Vomiting
Based on your pup's medical history and recent activities, your veterinarian will need your assistance in determining the cause of the vomiting. For example, if your dog has been curiously exploring the children's rooms or sniffing the refrigerator, he may have gotten into something he shouldn't have.
How to Induce Vomiting in Dogs
Panicked owners frequently Google "how to induce vomiting in dogs." Toxins cause gastrointestinal distress, but they can also cause serious harm when absorbed into the bloodstream and reach the tissues. The goal of decontamination is to remove the toxin from the body before it is absorbed. Toxicity may be avoided if vomiting is induced before the toxin is absorbed by the intestines.
That said, dog owners should know that inducing vomiting at home is not advised except under extreme circumstances!
In addition, this should always be done under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. Before taking this action, call your primary veterinarian or a veterinary poison control center for advice.
Deciding whether your pooch should be induced at home depends on what and how much your dog has consumed, and how much time has passed - there's a chance that the substance or amount consumed wasn't toxic, so inducing vomiting wouldn't be necessary.
Though vomiting can safely bring most toxins up, a few will cause more damage by passing through the esophagus a second time by moving through the GI tract. These include bleach, cleaning products, other caustic chemicals, and petroleum-based products.
Also, if 3% hydrogen peroxide (the only safe home substance that can be used to induce vomiting in dogs) is incorrectly administered, it can enter the lungs and cause significant problems such as pneumonia.
If your dog has a pre-existing health condition or there are other symptoms, inducing vomiting may result in other health risks. If induced vomiting is necessary, having a qualified veterinarian induce vomiting in-clinic is preferable.
When Not to Induce Vomiting
Vomiting should never be induced in a dog that is:
- Having a seizure or recently had a seizure
- Unresponsive or unconscious
- Already vomiting
Note: Hydrogen peroxide should not be used to induce vomiting in cats, as it is too irritating to kitties' stomachs and can cause issues with the esophagus.
How Veterinarians Induce Vomiting in Dogs
We carefully examine your dog at Temple City Animal Hospital to determine whether inducing vomiting is safe for your pet. If it is determined that this action must be taken, a special medication with few side effects is used (as opposed to hydrogen peroxide). If your dog does experience any side effects, we are prepared to provide the necessary care and medication.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Ingested a Toxin
The best thing you can do after your pet consumes a toxin is to contact your veterinarian or Poison Control right away. Our San Gabriel emergency vets can then immediately advise you on whether you should bring your pet in or if you can or should induce vomiting at home.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.