why does my dog vomit after eating
If you observe your dog vomiting once and he otherwise appears healthy, his vomiting is likely not a concern. Should he vomit repeatedly, his vomit contains blood and/or he appears ill, you will want to contact your veterinarian and bring your dog in for an examination. When meeting with your veterinarian, you will likely be asked a variety of questions in order for your veterinarian to understand what is occurring. Be prepared to let your veterinarian know when the vomiting first began, what it looks like, if there is blood in his vomit and if your dog appears to be physically uncomfortable. He may also inquire as to whether your dog appears to want to vomit but is unable to get anything out, whether it is possible that your dog has eaten something that is toxic or could be poisonous and whether he has had diarrhea. All of these questions will help your veterinarian determine whether your dog is vomiting or regurgitating and whether he is doing so is because of gastric or non-gastric disease.
Your veterinarian will consider the presence of other symptoms like fever, pain, dehydration, depression and weight loss. Your veterinarian will conduct a physical examination of your dog, evaluating his heart and respiration, as well as checking his mouth, abdomen and rectum. Depending on what is observed during the physical examination, your veterinarian may recommend laboratory testing. A fecal flotation will test for parasites and if a bacterial infection is suspected a fecal culture and sensitivity test will be recommended. If other signs of illness are present, a complete blood count and chemistry profile may be recommended. Should your veterinarian have any concern about a tumor or foreign object he may request x-rays.
Barium study, endoscopy, colonoscopy and ultrasound are other options that may be considered depending upon what is seen during the examination. After determining if there is a health condition causing your dog s vomiting, as well as what that condition is, your veterinarian will provide treatment recommendations. Often, your veterinarian will recommend not feeding your dog for about 24 hours and providing small quantities of water often. In some cases, a bland diet will be recommended going forward and if vomiting does not continue, you can slowly return your dog to his usual diet. In some situations, the diet will have to be permanently changed and certain ingredients avoided. Medication may be prescribed by your veterinarian for certain conditions. If during the examination your veterinarian notices that your dog is dehydrated, he may administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids.
Q. I have a 4-month-old dog.
She sometimes vomits after eating. Is she just eating too fast? Is it the food? Or is it something more serious? I took her to the vet two weeks ago, but he didn t seem to be concerned. A. This is a frequently asked question, and an important one. Many dogs become excited about getting fed. They proceed to eat too quickly and promptly regurgitate. It s important to be able to distinguish between vomiting and regurgitation. Vomiting in dogs involves dramatic, full-body heaving, accompanied by the horrible retching sound that may wake you up in the middle of the night. Vomited food is partially digested, smells bad and is difficult to clean up. Most dog owners are pretty clear on what vomit looks like. Regurgitation, on the other hand, usually happens quickly, soon after a dog eats, without a lot of drama.
The regurgitated material looks mostly like food, and is sometimes tubular just like the esophagus. Although eating too fast is often a cause of regurgitation, another more serious medical condition can also cause it. Megaesophagus occurs when the esophagus loses the normal muscular tone that allows it too squeeze food down into the stomach. Food may simply sit in the esophagus until it is regurgitated. Causes of megaesophagus can include certain diseases of the immune system, such as myasthenia gravis, or hormonal disorders, such as low thyroid levels. In any event, if your dog continues to retch, take her back to your vet, where he may want to take X-rays to rule out megaesophagus. Another idea that may help is to offer more frequent, smaller feedings, so your dog is not so hungry and cannot eat as much at one time. Jon Geller, DVM
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