It can be disconcerting when dog vomiting takes over your happy dog world. Your best pal tends to get himself into a cycle which he repeats regardless of the outcome. His tummy gurgles with anticipation, sometimes audibly, thus he will graze in the backyard hoping to facilitate the process, only to come inside and create a mess (which we would prefer hit the floor) usually on the carpeting or some other inconvenient to clean locale. To top things off he then wants to re-ingest his expulsion. Every once in awhile dog vomiting is actually normal. Lacking the ability to ask for an antacid, dogs are equipped with their own natural method of dealing with feeling ill. We have all had that nauseated nastiness that indicates if we could just vomit we would feel so much better. Dogs get that too from time to time and thus, nature has provided them with the necessary means of alleviating their discomfort.
However, there can be much more significant reasons for dog vomiting than mere discomfort. Some are very simple reasons that require no action by the concerned human and others can be quite serious. Cases of perpetual stomach ejections should always be checked out by a high quality veterinarian.
Just a brief side note. Humans react poorly to their dogs over 98% of the time when their dog makes the dreaded oral mess on the floor. Part of it is just simply our desire that for just this one time, they manage to get it into a place that is easy to clean up. Dogs are usually smart enough to figure out that bodily wastes are not tolerated inside the home, and they often feel as though they have created a “soiling error.” This feeling that they have just seriously disappointed their human can add stress that can add to the upset stomach. Thus, humans who can calmly encourage their dog to vomit either in the bathroom or other easy to clean floor or better yet, make it outside, are going to have fewer instant replays when the emotional upset encourages another round.
Although it is a bit uncomfortable to do so, investigating the contents in the puddle is part of determining the reason for the puddle. Simply take note to whether it seems to be mostly mucous or if it looks like there is undigested food or other undetermined elements in the mix. Take care to notice of there is any blood, even nominal amounts. Dog vomit is not pleasant for either the dog or the human. For those who would rather replace the carpet before actually having to come into contact with the slimy puddle, dog regurgitation tends to put a serious damper in their day. And while no one looks forward to the very distinctive feel of the slick mess under a paper towel, bringing a sample to the veterinarian can help clear up the mystery much faster.
Undigested food that has come from a can may be difficult to discern from other stomach contents. Take a deep breath and grab a container or a baggie designed for dog waste clean up. If there’s a real concern, your best bet is to take a sample along with you to the veterinarian for examination. Although it is typically the first inclination, don’t pick it up with a paper towel or any other item that can leave substances like fibers behind in case it needs to be examined under a microscope. The cleaner you can retrieve your sample the better the view from the microscope lens.
Dog vomit with a high level of mucous content and a low level of food particles can mean inflammation of the intestinal tract, stomach, or in rare cases even the bowels. This means that your pup downed his food and initially it agreed with his system. Over time as the digestion process continued, something began to disagree with his system until finally he just couldn’t resist the urge to get rid of it. This sort of inflammation, when repeated, can mean a multitude of issues including the lack of any number of specific digestive enzymes, an allergy to something he is ingesting, or a disturbance of the intestinal tract.
If the puddle is filled with mostly food that looks as though it has been swallowed and then returned, this can be caused by over eating or a bad case of anxiety. In rare cases, it can also indicate food poisoning. It usually doesn’t take a veterinarian to figure out that if the dog vomit is littered with bits and pieces of socks, tin foil, that Christmas ornament you were searching for, or your credit card that your little guy decided to eat something that was supposed to be inedible and ended up paying the price with an adverse stomach reaction.
Bloody dog vomit can be sign of a more serious condition (although if your little garbage disposal is eating inedible objects this can be serious depending on his snacking selection) and requires professional assistance. It can simply mean that the intestinal tract and bowels are having significant indigestion and inflammation or it could indicate an internal laceration.
In some cases, the problem is solved as soon as the dog vomits. If there is a foreign object, a toxicity in something he ate, or a general “oops I really shouldn’t have eaten that” issue going on, he will most likely be much more comfortable after he rids himself of the issue and is even likely to have solved the problem completely.
Puppy vomit can be a sign of a struggling adjustment of his tender digestive system. It can mean that he wasn’t quite prepared for the weaning process, indicate that he is younger than he was initially presented to his potential owner, or it can simply be a case of over excitement. New puppies are a handful of emotions which vacillate between fear, excitement, apprehension, joy, and of course those emotions that accompany getting in trouble for his behavior. An excited puppy may not be able to keep his food down. Other puppies may be experiencing more than adjustment problems and may have come to his new home with ample issues regarding his health. Digestive problems are not uncommon in puppies of larger breeds that were obtained via a pet store or a puppy mill. If you know your new puppy came from a questionable background and he has repeated his vomiting routine more than twice in 24 hours, take him to the vet. If he has vomited once a day for more than 2 or 3 days, take him to the vet. Most cases can be cleared up with a little professional investigation.
If your dog is prone to episodes of dog vomit, prepare for his needs in advance and during his prone hours, restrict his movement to an area of the house that you can handle the mess. However, do your best to keep a close eye on the incident as you don’t want your dog to clean up his own mess.
David Beart is owner of the www.professorshouse.com, a site dedicated to dog information, family, relationships and household issues.