5 things to know about vomiting

Don't just dismiss

  1. Vomiting should be taken seriously. When unresolved, it can cause changes in electrolyte balance that are essential to normal cell function and lead to life-threatening dehydration.
  2. Make a veterinary appointment if you see blood in the vomit or it contains matter with the consistency of coffee grounds (digested blood). Call your vet if you notice lethargy, vomiting for more than 24 hours, a painful belly or a fever.
  3. An isolated case of vomiting might subside if you withhold food (but not water) for 12 hours and then feed your dog plain white rice and boiled chicken for two days. If that doesn’t work, your veterinarian may check for the cause and suggest famotidine (Pepcid AC), maropitant (Cerenia) or ondansetron (Zofran).
  4. Infrequent vomiting, such as after eating grass, is likely an isolated incident. But vomiting even once a week may indicate a disease.
  5. Remember, regurgitation does not include retching. With regurgitation, there’s no warning, and it may indicate an esophageal problem.

This article has been reprinted with permission from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s DogWatch newsletter, published by Belvoir Media Group. When you become a member of the Riney Canine Health Center, you will receive a free subscription to DogWatch.