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 Reviewed 16 April 2020 share-a-picture Or go to discussion?join-the-discussion dogphoto

Vomiting is a digestive system disorder describing the condition of involuntary evacuation of undigested or partly digested substance matter through the esophagus out of the mouth.

MyGermanShepherd Health ManualEvery dog vomits, and a lot more often than we do: It is a natural reflex of removing any foreign substance that the dog has ingested and that the esophagus or the stomach cannot cope with.

Scavenging is a major reason for Vomiting.

Conversely, if the dog vomits the food that (s)he always gets and did not catch an infection from ingesting or licking anything other, then some underlying condition has Vomiting as concurrent symptom (side effect):

  • The dog may feel nausea from a middle ear or inner ear yeast infection - Check: Are the ears clean or can you see an inflammation?
  • The dog may have fever - Check: Is the adult dog rectal body temperature above 39.2C / 102.5F, or for a puppy until about age 4 months above 39.0C / 102.2F?
  • The dog may have a heat shock and be dehydrated! - Check: Where is the dog, and is there enough fresh air circulation?

Otherwise, if the dog cannot have caught an infection and it isn't one of the three above, then occasional dog vomiting is not of concern.

Who Suffers Vomiting

Vomiting does not relate to a particular dog breed. Instead it relates to the specific health problems a dog may have.

Acute Vomiting can be caused by a sudden change in diet or the ingestion of something your dog’s body cannot digest. It can also result from quick ingestion of food, particularly "dry food".

Eat-slow-bowl-benefitBut hopefully you won't feed "dry food" anyway, and this stainless steel Eat-Slow bowl should allow you to effectively stop that food gulping once and for all.

Puppy-lost-in-Eat-slow-bowlMy German Shepherd Miguel has this exact pictured bowl since I got him as tiny GSD puppy, and initially he was so small he got lost in the bowl!

I recorded ALL the steps, sorrows, and joys of raising him in My New Puppy Diary for you to learn from, if you like?

giardia-poopFinally, parasites and worms too can cause dog vomiting: Roundworms are particularly common causes of Vomiting, along with Giardia and Coccidia, which will sometimes show in the feces or vomit.

Oh, Giardia-typical poop I can show you right here as well, see the photo.

Warning Signs

If your dog vomits repeatedly, it could mean that the digestive tract is blocked by a foreign object or that your dog ingested something toxic that the gastrointestinal tract doesn't like to take charge of.

Obstructions are extremely rare but if there is one it will often be accompanied by Bloat and Gastric Torsion and a complete lack of movement as well.

Note that it is rare that a dog vomits for a reason other than something the dog has ingested earlier. However, the vomiting may start anytime from a second after ingestion to hours after ingestion.

At night, when the metabolism is down, vomiting could even start many hours after ingestion. My German Shepherd Miguel sometimes vomited 6 hours after scavenging something on a walk!

Where Vomiting is a serious health issue, the vomiting normally is accompanied by other symptoms including Diarrhea, lethargy, behavioural problems and more.

Additionally, if your dog vomits multiple times, it can be a sign of something worse.

Indeed, there are two forms of Vomiting you need to be wary of:

  • If your dog suddenly vomits multiple times, it could be a medical emergency and should be treated immediately.
  • If your dog vomits every day or every week, it could be a chronic issue

Preventing Vomiting

To prevent Vomiting as much as possible:

Ensuring that your dog won't eat too fast is essential, and an effective Eat-Slow bowl helps with that.

Place the Eat-Slow bowl in an enclosed area (simple plinths fixed on the ground will do) which is as large as you want your dog to move the bowl around: The more the bowl moves, the slower your dog will eat, but the more you may have to clean up. mrgreen

  • Both the sturdy plastic Eat-Slow bowl and the stainless steel Eat-Slow bowl not only significantly reduce or even eliminate Vomiting, they also significantly reduce Bloat and hence also the risk of Gastric Torsion!
  • In addition, slower eating means that your dog will digest the food better for improved nutrient absorption.
  • This also means that your dog will sooner feel full, will eat less, and will scavenge less! grin
  • Finally, these bowls perfectly match our advice to serve your dog two or three smaller meals during the day, NOT a single large meal.

Don't let your dog play with anything that could easily be ingested if your dog gets too carried away. All suitable dog toys should be of

  1. adequate size
  2. adequate weight
  3. adequate shape and
  4. adequate material.

Don't let your dog chew on eg household items that may have a hazardous paint, varnish or other form of coating: Chemicals don't fade away when drying up!

Treating Vomiting

To treat repeated or chronic Vomiting you should visit a quality veterinarian to determine the underlying CAUSE!

Obviously, cases of sudden Vomiting multiple times must be treated as an emergency because it shows that there is a persistent obstruction or adverse reaction to a substance that your dog has ingested.

Just serving water is not sufficient and possibly not even an appropriate remedy in this instance: If your dog has ingested a hazardous substance, in rare cases water may make it worse since water may not only dilute but disseminate the substance.

Flushing the throat, stomach, and gut should always be left to a quality vet.

Where the cause is an obstruction, in rare cases you may have to help your dog to throw up the obstruction with a firm and targeted pat on the upper chest. This must always be done while your dog's mouth is facing down, so that the obstruction can more easily come out.



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