Vet Blog

Dog Vomiting Causes and Treatments

August 03, 2020

Dog vomiting is not an uncommon problem that crops up every now and again.

Usually, it's a very minor concern caused by eating too fast or getting into the garbage can. However, there are other instances where dog vomiting can be indicative of a much more serious problem. Yet, how do you know when is which? To help solve this dilemma, we'll need to first understand what causes dog vomiting, and then talk about ways we can determine whether or not veterinary intervention is needed.

What Causes Dog Vomiting?

Dog vomiting can be caused by a number of things including:

  • A gastrointestinal bacterial infection
  • A diet change or food intolerance
  • Ingestion of garbage or a foreign body
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Post-operative nausea
  • Viral infections
  • Bloat
  • Car sickness
  • Heatstroke
  • Pancreatitis
  • Acute liver failure
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Ingestion of toxic substances

When Should You Be Concerned About Your Dog Vomiting?

An occasional bout of vomiting is usually nothing to be concerned about. Yet, when your dog vomits frequently or chronically, it could be a sign of a more serious condition, and it's important to bring your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

Other Symptoms to Look for

Other symptoms that can indicate a more serious problem include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in vomit
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased or decreased thirst/urination

When to Visit Your Vet

If you're wondering what you can give your dog at home to stop the vomiting, scratch that thought. The best thing you can do is bring them to their veterinarian if your dog has vomited more than once in a day, or continued beyond one day. The causes of vomiting are varied, so it's important that your veterinarian run diagnostic tests to determine the cause of vomiting. Tests your vet may run include:

  • Blood work
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • Fecal exams
  • Endoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • Exploratory surgery

Once we establish what's wrong with your pet, we can start forming a treatment plan.

Treatment Options for Dog Vomiting

In mild cases, your dog will likely only need a gentle diet and some time to recover. However, in more severe cases of dog vomiting it may be necessary to put your pet on one or more of the following:

  • Fluid therapy to correct dehydration
  • Antibiotics for a bacterial infection
  • A change in diet to address food intolerance
  • Antiemetics (to control vomiting)
  • Disease management for chronic conditions such as acute kidney or liver failure