Vomiting in Dogs

Numerous factors can lead to canine vomiting, along with a desire to induce vomiting. In this article, the veterinarians in Vancouver address the topic of dog vomiting and potential remedies.

Reasons Why Dogs Vomit

Vomiting is a common sign of an irritated stomach and inflamed intestines or gastrointestinal upset in dogs.

Most dog owners know that vomiting in dogs is unpleasant to observe and can cause concern. However, it serves the purpose of purging their stomach of indigestible substances to avoid them lingering in their system or affecting 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.

Vomiting in dogs may stem from rapid consumption of food, excessive grass ingestion, or consumption of substances incompatible with their stomach. This vomiting may occur as an isolated event without additional accompanying symptoms, thereby minimizing the need for alarm.

Nevertheless, acute vomiting, characterized by its sudden and severe nature, may be linked to underlying diseases, disorders, or health issues, including:

  • Heatstroke
  • Ingestion of poisons, toxins, or food
  • Bloat
  • Reaction to medication
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • 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 toys, etc.)
  • Vomiting a lot at one time
  • Vomiting with nothing coming up
  • Vomiting blood
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Seizures

Chronic Vomiting

If your dog has been vomiting frequently or it has become a long-term or chronic issue, this is cause for concern, especially if you've noticed symptoms including abdominal pain, depression, dehydration, blood, poor appetite, fever, weakness, weight loss, or other unusual behaviors.

Long-term, recurrent vomiting can be caused by:

  • Cancer
  • Liver or kidney failure
  • Uterine infection
  • Constipation
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Colitis

As a cautious pet owner, it's always best to prioritize safety and caution when it comes to your dog'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

Your veterinarian requires your assistance in identifying the source of the vomiting using your dog's medical history and recent activities. For instance, if your dog has been inquisitively exploring the children's rooms or if you've observed it sniffing the refrigerator, there is a chance it may have ingested something inappropriate.

How to Induce Vomiting in Dogs

Concerned pet owners often search for information on "how to make dogs vomit." Toxins can lead to gastrointestinal disturbances and potentially severe harm when they are absorbed into the bloodstream and infiltrate the body's tissues. Decontamination aims to eliminate the toxic substances from the body before absorption occurs. Inducing vomiting, if performed prior to the toxins being absorbed by the intestines, may 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. 

Determining whether to induce vomiting at home depends on the type and quantity of the ingested substance and the elapsed time since ingestion. There is a possibility that the substance or amount consumed may not be toxic, rendering the induction of vomiting unnecessary.

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 and petroleum-based chemicals.

Additionally, if 3% hydrogen peroxide (the only safe household item for inducing dog vomiting) is administered incorrectly, it may enter the lungs and lead to significant issues, such as pneumonia. Inducing vomiting may also pose additional health risks if your dog has an underlying medical condition or exhibits other symptoms.

When necessary, it is preferable to have a qualified veterinarian perform the induction of vomiting in a clinical setting.

When Not to Induce Vomiting

Vomiting should never be induced in a dog that is:

  • Having a seizure or recently had a seizure
  • Lethargic
  • 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 Mountain View Veterinary Hospital in Vancouver, we conduct a thorough assessment of your dog to ascertain the suitability of inducing vomiting. In cases where this action is deemed necessary, we employ specific medication with limited adverse outcomes, in contrast to hydrogen peroxide. Should your dog exhibit any side effects, we are prepared to provide appropriate care and administer medication.

What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Ingested a Toxin

Promptly get in touch with your veterinarian or Poison Control in the event of your pet's ingestion of a harmful substance. This will enable our Mountain View Veterinary Hospital emergency vets to promptly offer guidance on whether it is necessary to bring your pet to the clinic or if inducing vomiting at home is recommended.

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.

Contact the vet in Vancouver immediately if your dog is experiencing vomiting. Your pet's health is our top priority. Contact us now!