There are many reasons why your dog may vomit, and also for wanting to induce vomiting. Today, our Mechanicsburg vets share what you should know about vomiting in dogs, what to do if your dog is vomiting, and what to do 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.
As nearly every dog owner knows, vomiting is your pet's way of expelling undigested material from their stomach to prevent it from remaining in their system or traveling to other parts of their body.
Causes of Vomiting in Dogs
Several things 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, consumed too much grass, or ingested something that upsets its stomach. This type of vomiting may be an isolated incident that is not accompanied by other symptoms. Therefore, vomiting in dogs is not always cause for alarm.
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
This is cause for concern if your dog has been vomiting frequently or if it has become a long-term or chronic problem, especially if you have observed symptoms such as abdominal pain, depression, dehydration, blood, poor appetite, fever, weakness, 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 dog's medical history and recent activities, your veterinarian will need your help to determine the cause of the vomiting. For instance, if your dog has been exploring the children's rooms or you've caught him sniffing the refrigerator, he may have gotten into something that he shouldn't have.
How to Induce Vomiting in Dogs
Anxious owners frequently search for "how to induce vomiting in dogs." Toxins can cause gastrointestinal distress and severe tissue damage when absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the tissues. The objective of decontamination is to eliminate the toxin before it is absorbed by the body. If it is possible to induce vomiting before the intestines absorb the toxin, it may be possible to prevent toxicity.
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, and 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
At , we carefully examine your dog to determine if vomiting induction is safe. If it is determined that this course of action is necessary, special medication with minimal side effects is administered (as opposed to hydrogen peroxide). If your dog experiences side effects, we can administer the appropriate treatment and medication.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Ingested a Toxin
Immediately contact your veterinarian or Poison Control is the best thing you can do after your pet ingests a toxin. This way, our Mechanicsburg emergency vets can immediately provide advice about whether you should bring your pet in, or if they think 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.