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Chronic Vomiting in Dogs

Cane Bay Summerville - chronic vomiting in dogsChronic vomiting in dogs is often indicative of an underlying health issue. Occasionally, some dogs may vomit after eating a meal or drinking too much water. If Scrappy goes on his way after getting sick without significant behavioral changes, most likely it was an isolated incident. However, if vomiting continues for two to three days, it is time to start investigating and take your pooch to the veterinarian to figure out what the cause might be.

What Are Potential Causes of Chronic Vomiting in Dogs?

Veterinarians urge owners to take their four-legged friends to the vet if they suspect chronic vomiting, as vomiting by itself is a symptom of other infections or conditions. Some rather common causes of vomiting include:

  • Bacterial or Viral Infection
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Gastritis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Ulcer

What Are Symptoms of Chronic Vomiting?

Not to be confused with regurgitation, which is the body’s way of getting rid of what is in the esophagus, vomiting is an ejection of food from the stomach, and thus has several different symptoms than mere regurgitation.

Vomiting may include:

  • Heaving or gagging noises
  • Unable to keep food down
  • Vomiting more than once in a given day
  • Ejecting yellow bile, mucus, white foam or other fluids
  • Expelling a blood-tinged substance or partially digested food

How Will My Pet’s Problem Be Diagnosed?

If you suspect your pet has chronic vomiting, make an appointment with your pooch’s vet right away. Ask your veterinarian if you should bring anything to the appointment, as some vets will ask for a sample of your dog’s vomit to run tests on it.

Several common diagnostic tools that veterinarians use include:

  • Blood work: This reveals how your pet’s body systems are working, including the kidney and liver.
  • Colonoscopy or Endoscopy: These can reveal if your pooch has any abnormalities such as a tumor or foreign object present.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy may or may not be used along with an endoscopy for further diagnostic results.
  • Fecal examination: Reveals if your dog has intestinal parasites.
  • Radiographs: X-Rays are able to show visually whether a tumor, foreign object or other abnormality is present.

What Are Treatment Options for Chronic Vomiting in Dogs?

First and foremost, if your dog has been vomiting over the past several days or longer, he may have lost a significant amount of fluids that will need to be replenished. The veterinarian may start by suggesting fluid therapy for dehydration. Other treatment options include:

  • Bland Diet: In some cases, the vet may recommend a bland diet for a few days or more to help the digestive system by providing gentle ingredients. Based on your vet’s recommendation, a bland diet may include foods such as boiled chicken and rice. Continue the specified diet until otherwise notified, and slowly begin introducing your pup to his regular food again over time.
  • Medications: A slew of medications are on the market for treating different infections. Anti-emetics are a popular choice to effectively treat nausea and vomiting. Antibiotics may be used for bacterial infections. Corticosteroids are often used for inflammation. If parasites are found, a deworming medication may be prescribed.
  • Surgery: If the cause of vomiting is found to be more severe, such as a tumor or foreign object, surgery may have to be performed to remove the damaging object from your pup’s body.

Chronic vomiting in dogs should always be taken seriously, as oftentimes, this points to a more serious, sometimes lethal health condition.

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