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How Do I Know If My Dog Throwing Up Is Serious?

Watching your pet vomit can be cause for concern. You are likely wondering what you can do to help. You want to know why your dog is vomiting and whether the situation is serious. Most people think about the worst-case scenario when confronted with a vomiting dog.

The fact is that vomiting is a common symptom of different canine illnesses and can be due to several factors. There are ways to find out how serious your dog's throwing up is. 

Vomiting or Regurgitating 

It is vital to understand the difference between vomiting and regurgitating. Vomiting involves the forceful ejection of stomach contents from the stomach and sometimes the upper small intestine. It involves visible motion of the abdominal muscles as it is an active process.  Fluid, food, and debris will come out of the mouth. This usually follows signs of nausea like retching, excessive drooling, and abdomen contractions.

Regurgitation is a more passive action that expels fluids and foods that are undigested. The food will usually come out shaped like the esophagus (a tube). It typically comes after signs such as coughing and difficulty breathing. 

When Vomiting Is Normal

Healthy dogs will sometimes vomit and go on as though nothing happened. When a dog vomits for no apparent reason but appears otherwise fine, it could be due to eating something disagreeable or swallowing too quickly.  Provided they return to normal behavior, activity level, and appetite with no further vomiting or diarrhea, this is likely not of concern.

When Vomiting Is Serious

There are times when your dog throwing up can be cause for concern. Some situations when you should be concerned include:

  • Chronic vomiting

  • Continuous vomiting

  • Vomiting blood

  • Vomiting accompanied by other symptoms

If your dog has symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, fever, lethargy, seizures, lack of appetite, or weight loss, it could indicate something serious. If the dog is trying to vomit with nothing coming up, you should also be concerned. 

Causes of Dog Vomiting

Severe vomiting in canines has too many causes to list. It can be a symptom of multiple disorders and complications. Some causes include:

  • Ingestion of certain substances

  • Poisons or toxins

  • Liver disease or failure

  • Kidney disease or failure

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)

  • Intestinal parasites

  • A reaction to some medications

  • Bacterial infection

  • Heatstroke

  • Bloating and/or stomach twisting 

  • A change in diet 

When to Visit the Veterinarian

It is essential to take your pet to the veterinarian if you suspect that it is ill. If your dog’s behavior has changed drastically or it is experiencing the symptoms above, it is a good idea to consult a veterinarian. When it comes to your pet’s health, it is always better to err on the side of caution.  Your emergency veterinarian in El Paso is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to consult with you regarding your pet’s health.

To learn more about the seriousness of your dog throwing up or if you have any questions, call El Paso Animal Emergency at (915) 545-1148 today to speak with our friendly team.

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