Just like humans, healthy dogs get sick to their stomach from time to time. A heavy meal, a stomach virus or a rambunctious romp can all cause your dog to lose the contents of their stomach. However, vomiting can also be a sign of serious illness, especially if it is chronic or follows a pattern. Many serious diseases that can cause vomiting can be avoided with proper vaccination. If your dog vomits several times and displays other symptoms, such as lethargy and disinterest in food, you must take them to the veterinarian to find out the cause and make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations. In the meantime, you can learn about the following four types of vomit and what they might mean.
Granular and Chunky Vomit
If it appears that your dog has vomited chunky pieces of undigested food, they may have a simple upset stomach caused by eating too fast or a stomach bug. Chunky vomit usually indicates that the material is coming from the stomach and not indicative of a huge problem. This type of vomit usually resolves on it's own. However, you should seek medical attention if your dog continues to get sick or has any other symptoms.
Sudden and Acute Vomit
Sudden and acute vomiting is scary and often points to a larger underlying problem. Internal parasites, parvovirus, intestinal obstruction, organ failure and accidental poisoning can all cause serious and sudden vomiting. If your dog suddenly starts vomiting copious amounts, they need medical attention right away. Do not wait for the condition to get better. Many of the conditions that cause sudden and acute vomiting, such as intestinal parasites, can be avoided through vaccinations.
Slimy and Clear Vomit
Liquid and slimy vomit often indicates that something is going on and not that your dog's food didn't agree with them. Liquid foamy vomit, either with or without coloring, can mean that something is wrong with your dog's kidneys or pancreas. It may also indicate gastritis or acid reflex disease. This type of vomit often points to a chronic ailment rather than a passing upset.
Bloody and Grainy Vomit
If you find blood in your dog's vomit or a grainy substance that looks like coffee grounds, it could mean that your dog is bleeding internally. Many conditions, including gastrointestinal conditions, can cause internal bleeding. Bleeding is usually an emergency, and you should contact your vet immediately. If your dog is being treated for internal bleeding and the color, consistency or amount changes, contact your veterinarian.
Chronic vomiting can be caused by parasites, disease, or ingestion of a toxic substance. With so many possible causes, vomiting must be evaluated by a veterinarian like those at Basking Ridge Animal Hospital. Keep a diary of your dog's symptoms and make an appointment right away.