Vomiting in Dogs (cont.)

Sporadic Vomiting

Sometimes a dog vomits off and on over a period of days or weeks. There is no relationship to meals. The appetite is poor. The dog has a haggard look and appears listless. Suspect liver or kidney disease, or an illness such as chronic gastritis, stomach or duodenal ulcer, a heavy worm infestation, or diabetes mellitus.

A foreign body in the stomach is another possibility. In an older dog, suspect a gastric or intestinal tumor. A veterinary checkup is in order.

Vomiting Blood

Red blood in the vomitus indicates active bleeding somewhere between the mouth and the upper small bowel. (Blood from the nasopharynx and esophagus may be swallowed.) Common causes are stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastrointestinal foreign bodies, and gastric tumors. Material that looks like coffee grounds is old, partially digested blood. This also indicates a bleeding point between the mouth and upper small bowel. Any dog who vomits blood should be seen by a veterinarian.

Vomiting Feces

A dog who vomits foul material that looks and smells like feces is most likely suffering from intestinal obstruction or peritonitis. Seek immediate professional treatment. Dogs who eat feces may also do this, but it will be an isolated incident.

Projectile Vomiting

Projectile vomiting is forceful vomiting in which the stomach contents are ejected a considerable distance. Typically it occurs in a dog with gastric outflow obstruction. Diseases that cause pressure on the brain (tumors, encephalitis, blood clots) also cause projectile vomiting.