When dogs vomit, they’re at risk for dehydration because they are losing water and electrolytes. It is important to address vomiting immediately and to determine the underlying cause.
Possible Causes of Vomiting
There are many possible causes of vomiting. The common reasons include motion sickness or being car sick, and bilious vomiting syndrome which is often caused by acid reflux and hunger. The more serious cases that need medical attention include poisoning, parasites, parvovirus, food allergies, head trauma, diabetes, infections, tumors, gastroenteritis, side effects in medications, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, kidney disease, Addison’s disease, pancreatic disease, and cancer.
Effects of Vomiting
If not treated immediately, vomiting would deplete their body’s fluids and electrolytes, which would eventually cause dehydration. Signs of dehydration include lethargy, dry eyes, mouth, and nose. In severe cases, they would have sunken eyes, fast heart rate, weak pulse, and fall into unconsciousness. Dehydration could lead to severe complications such as seizures, brain swelling, shock, kidney failure, and may even cause death if left untreated.
What Should You Do?
Vomiting dogs should be consistently rehydrated by giving dextrose powder. It is a powdered form of oral rehydration salts that should be mixed with water (see label for instructions) and be given to dogs as their source of water. Vets also recommend switching them to a soft or liquid diet which consists of mashed potatoes, white rice, or chicken broth. However, it is best to bring your dog to the veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and for proper medication. Severe and frequent cases of vomiting need urgent intravenous fluid to quickly replenish everything that has been depleted from the body.
What You Should Not Give to Vomiting Dogs
Look out for ingredients that contain wheat, soy, legumes, and other grains – these ingredients could cause indigestion and vomiting. Avoid giving them human foods or treats that contain any kind of oil.
Vomiting is not necessarily a medical emergency unless it is accompanied by diarrhea, or becomes frequent and severe. These cases warrant an emergency visit to the vet for further assessment, and to determine whether the dog would need to be confined for further observation and for intravenous fluid. Being aware and observant of your dog’s behavior is always the best way to avoid complications and worst-case scenarios.