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Vomiting can often be a symptom of something very serious going on with your dog or cat, and you should always contact us if you notice your pet vomiting. Pets, especially small dogs and cats, can become dehydrated very quickly if they vomit large amounts and may need to be treated with IV or subcutaneous fluid therapy. Your pet may vomit for a number of reasons, including toxin or foreign object ingestion, motion sickness, pancreatitis, or other internal organ disease (such as liver or kidney disease).
An interesting fact for pet owners! - Horses, rabbits, and rats are among the few pets that possess muscles around their esophagi that prevent them from vomiting.
Three stages of vomiting in pets
1 Nausea – indicated by drooling, frequent swallowing, yawning, or lip smacking.
2 Retching – the contracting of the stomach in a way that prevents them from relaxing so nothing comes from the mouth.
3 Vomiting – when food physically expels from the mouth.
Pets need immediate veterinary care if they:
• Loss of appetite.
• Also have diarrhea and lethargy.
• Are vomiting multiple times per day.
• Are vomiting though they have not eaten in several hours.
• Have a fever.
• Have projectile vomiting.
• Have vomit containing bright red blood, or if vomit looks like coffee grounds.
• Show signs of depression or physical pain.
• Vomits once in a day and continues to vomit the following day.
Any of these symptoms can signify serious illness including ulcers, kidney or liver failure, distemper, cancer, diabetes, poisoning, or Addison’s disease.
Treatment for vomiting pets
Treatment for vomiting varies, depending on whether the vomiting is acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). During your pet’s physical evaluation, the veterinarian will discuss which form of vomiting your pet has been exhibiting and will ask questions about symptoms, such as whether food or bile was present in the vomit. Blood tests can be performed to determine the functioning of the pancreas, liver, and kidneys and can also determine if there are any toxins in the bloodstream. Imaging may be required discover any foreign bodies that might be present in the stomach or intestines, or screen for certain diseases and cancer.
Treatment will ultimately depend on the cause of the veterinarian’s findings and could range from medication to control vomiting to treatment for cancer if a tumor is found. Regardless of the diagnosis and treatment plan, pay close attention to your pet after treatment is implemented, and if any drastic changes occur, be sure to notify the veterinarian. Keep our office informed of any improvement or worsening of the condition, and follow-up with all appointments until the problem subsides.
Keep in mind that the following foods are harmful to most pets’ digestive tracts and can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea:
• Baby food.
• Coffee or tea.
• Dough containing yeast.
• Fruit seeds/pits.
• Grapes and raisins.
• Macadamia nuts.
If you have any questions about vomiting in pets, please contact our office.