When little Fido is throwing up it can be pretty scary -for both of you - and to treat puppy vomiting effectively you need to figure out what's causing the problem.
It's actually fairly common in puppies because they tend to try and eat anything, and everything, that they can get into their mouths... a recipe for an upset tummy for sure.
But there are also some very serious dog illnesses which include vomiting among the early, and most common, symptoms.
So, how do you know what's at the root of the problem, and what action
Check out the information on this page to find out.....
When Vomiting Might Be Serious...
your puppy is showing any of the following types of behaviors or symptoms and
is vomiting, he could be in big trouble.
Pups showing any of these symptoms need professional help.. right away!
Repeated, forceful vomiting if
your puppy has vomited several times over a period of 3 - 4 hours, has
emptied his tummy, and continues to vomit even though he hasn't had
anything to eat or drink (or simply can't keep anything down), he needs
help immediately. Repeated vomiting can cause serious dehydration, and
even if the cause of the vomiting turns out to be nothing to worry
about, the dehydration alone is a significant health risk.
Also has diarrhea or other symptoms
puppy vomiting that is accompanied by diarrhea, lethargy, loss of
appetite, panting, pacing or other signs of distress or illness needs to
be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately. It could be due to
poisoning, a parasitic illness such as giardia, or a serious illness
such as Parvo or something similar. Again, dehydration is a big concern,
as are complications or progression of the disease/toxin
Blood in the vomit
blood in your puppys' vomit could indicate significant
irritation/inflammation of the esophagus, stomach ulcers or a bleeding
disorder of some sort. The blood can be bright red, or may be dark and
look sort of like coffee grounds. Seek help right away
Evidence of foreign objects in vomit
if you see pieces of things (non-food items) that your dog has ingested
(such as string, plastic, cloth etc.) in his vomit, get him to the vets
office. If he is 'retching' or 'dry heaving', strains to poop but isn't
able to pass anything, or seems distressed in any way this could be an
Has a distended belly and seems distressed
these can be symptoms of Bloat (also sometimes called Torsion), and
this condition is most common in large and giant breed puppies/dogs.
It's caused when the stomach fills too rapidly and literally twists into
an abnormal position. This causes repeated vomiting and/or retching,
drooling, a swollen belly, stress and anxiety that progresses rapidly
(often seen as panting, drooling and extreme restlessness). This is another emergency situation. If you even think
your dog could be suffering from bloat, don't wait, get him to a
veterinarian right away. Without prompt veterinary attention he could
easily go into shock and die quickly and painfully. If you own a large
or giant breed puppy, check out my interview with The Great Dane Lady, where she discusses bloat in detail.
sort of acute puppy vomiting ALWAYS needs to be evaluated
by a vet quickly, to avoid potentially serious complications or
Never try to treat puppy vomiting like this at home or by yourself. You need to get your little one to a veterinarian.
Warning.... Warning.... Warning.....
One of the most common causes of severe, repeated vomiting in puppies is the very serious, potentially deadly disease called Canine Parvovirus.
can kill a young puppy within 24 hours (that's not an exaggeration) and
it's absolutely heartbreaking to have this happen to your precious pet.
with repeated vomiting who also seems listless or lethargic - even if
there is no diarrhea present yet - needs to be seen by a vet
immediately to rule out this deadly disease!
When You May Be Able To Treat Puppy Vomiting Yourself...
There are times, when you can often 'wait and see' whether or not your puppy's vomiting settles down, or you can try to treat him at home.
If your pup vomits once or twice, but isn't showing any other symptoms and he doesn't act or appear to be sick (ie he's active, playful and will eat and drink without problems) then it may be something minor that's causing him to throw up.
this situation, you might be able to figure out what's causing the problem and either
treat it yourself, or at the very least take a 'wait and see' attitude
for 24 hours or so, and give it a chance to clear up on it's own.
BUT if you're worried, or your puppy is acting unwell, don't take chances. Get him to your vet right away!
Here are some things that might cause a temporary tummy upset in puppies, and tips on treating a puppy who is throwing up.
Eating forbidden 'stuff'
puppy vomiting due to eating something he shouldn't have (BUT NOT
SOMETHING THAT IS TOXIC) usually causes your pup to look pretty sorry
for himself, and to be a bit quieter or less energetic than normal. It's
pretty self-limiting though, and usually lasts 24 hours or so. He may
also have a little diarrhea as well, but will otherwise seem fairly
normal. No real lethargy, or distress, and will drink water and be able
to keep it down. He will need to drink plenty to combat any dehydration
caused by the vomiting. In this situation, you can usually afford to
wait 24 hours to see if he improves. However, if he doesn't seem better
the next day, or gets worse at any time, you need to have him examined
by your veterinarian.
If Fido has ingested something toxic though he might be in real trouble, even if he seems okay right now. There are lots of common foods and products that are deadly for dogs, check out my Foods Poisonous To Dogs page to learn which ones you need to be on the lookout for.
Sudden change in diet (a
new puppy food, some table scraps, or different treats and so on) can
cause tummy upset. Puppy vomiting that your sure is a result of this
sort of dietary change, usually works itself out within a couple of
days. Again, you shouldn't see any other signs of illness in your puppy
(other than maybe a little diarrhea), and he should seem happy, healthy
and active otherwise. When this happens you can again usually give it a
day or so, and see if there is improvement. Make sure he drinks plenty
of water too. If he doesn't improve, or gets worse, take him
to your veterinarian for evaluation. You can usually avoid this sort of
tummy upset by making any dietary changes gradually. If you need to
change his brand of food for example, make the transition over a period
of about a week or so, gradually introducing the new and phasing out the
old. And don't suddenly start giving him 'extras' such as bones, fancy
treats, or 'edible chew toys', introduce them a little at a time.
bad case of worms can cause puppy vomiting, and the vomit might even
contain the worms themselves! If your puppy has been given a deworming
medicine, then you can probably wait a day and see if it gets better,
but if he hasn't been dewormed yet, see a vet right away.
some medications can have side effects, including making your pup feel nauseous, or actually make him throw up . The most
common 'culprits' are worm medications, anti-biotics, certain
painkillers, drugs used to treat heart problems or Cushings' disease,
high doses of steroids, and chemotherapy. If this happens, talk to your
veterinarian. Sometimes you can give certain drugs with food which helps
to offset the nausea effect, or change to another medicine. In many
cases, the vomiting wears off as your dogs' body adjusts to the
A Too-Empty Tummy this might sound strange, but puppies often vomit a small amount of yellow or green foam or fluid, especially first thing in the morning. This is usually caused by a build-up of stomach acid overnight, due to his tummy being empty and the acid having nothing to 'work on'. You can often treat puppy vomiting like this by giving your pup a handful of kibble, or a few plain dog biscuits about an hour before bedtime.
Treating Chronic Vomiting In Puppies Or Dogs
If your puppy or older dog experiences chronic vomiting (ie he vomits on a regular basis,
maybe once a day or several times a week), but doesn't seem to be
acutely unwell, have him seen by your veterinarian as soon as you can, but it isn't
necessarily an emergency.
Conditions such as canine acid reflux
disease (can cause a puppy to vomits a yellow or
greenish liquid especially in the morning), irritable bowel syndrome, ongoing liver disease,
hormonal imbalances or congenital diseases can all be at the root of the
If your puppy is throwing up, never give him over-the-counter or human medicines without first consulting your veterinarian.
human medications are toxic to dogs, and even when the medication is
okay to use, it's important to get the dosage exactly right.
veterinarian can advise you on this, so treat a puppy/dog who is vomiting on a regular basis (even if he seems fine otherwise) by getting him in for a check up.
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