Vomiting

Seeing your pet throw up is worrisome.

Vomiting forcefully ejects food and fluid from your pet’s tummy. If the food is undigested (still whole), it originated from the stomach. If it is digested (broken down in mushy appearance), it came from the intestines.

There are three stages of vomiting:

  1. Nausea (hilo) – too much saliva, swallowing and licking of lips
  2. Retching (duwal) – contraction of tummy to expel food and fluid out
  3. Vomiting (suka) – food and fluid ejected forcefully

WHY IS VOMITING DANGEROUS

Complications of excessive vomiting include aspiration pneumonia (vomit goes to the lungs), malnutrition (weight loss), electrolyte imbalances (chills or cramps), hyperacidity or opposite, and dehydration.

CHECK IF PET IS DEHYDRATED – SKIN TENTING TEST

I highly encourage you watch the 2 minute video below to test whether your pet is really dehydrated.

When there is fever, blood in vomit, dehydration, tummy pain, and your pet is in an unresponsive state, this is an emergency. Please rush to your nearest vet.

CAUSES OF VOMITING

Young Pets

Adverse food reaction or food allergy
Inflammation of stomach
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (inflamed small and large intestines)
Foreign bodies (pet toys)
Intussusception (an intestine goes inside another intestine and is trapped)
Poisoning
Worms
Protozoa (Amoeba-like parasites)
Viruses (Parvovirus, Coronavirus, Distemper virus)

Adult to Old Pets

Same as the young's plus:
Gallstones
Pancreatitis
Blood poisoning (uremia) from kidney or liver failure
Cancer
Sepsis (too much infection in the blood)
Toxemia (poisoning)
Hyperacidity
Electrolyte imbalance
Diabetes
Certain medicines
Heat stroke
Motion sickness
Shock
Hyperthyroidism (too much hormone)
Nerve problem
Psychological problem

WHY YOU NEED TO BRING YOUR PE TO THE VET

Your vet will perform a physical exam focusing on the tummy if there is pain in the area. There will be recommendations to do blood workup (complete blood count and biochemistry profile) and imaging (x-ray or ultrasound) if your pet is more than a year old. During your visit, you may or you may not find out the cause. But treatment options must be laid out to you, keeping patient safety as priority.

If your pet is younger, a screening test for infections will be recommended. For puppies and kittens, it is either Parvovirus or worms most of the time.

WHEN YOU CAN’T FIND A VET AT THIS TIME

Just Today

If this is a “just today” problem, observe and isolate your pet for the next few hours.

Remove all food and water for the next 1-3 hours. Don’t worry, your pet won’t get immediately dehydrated. Fasting or withholding food, water and medicine is NECESSARY to prevent further irritation to the stomach. Vomiting is an act of the body to expel the irritant. Not eating or drinking gives the stomach some time to heal properly, if your pet just ate something bad.

After 3 hours, provide a small bowl of water and bland food. You may also provide dextrose powder in water (2 tablespoons in 250 mL of clean water). Do not force feed.

To feed a small to medium pet bland food, give a matchbox- sized boiled chicken breast without the salt, skin and bones. The broth may also be given but at a little amount. If you have a large pet, a bar-soap sized serving will be sufficient.

Give small but frequent meals and water every 3 to 6 hours for 1 day. If by the next day, your pet is fine, congratulations! Revert back to the old diet. But if the problem persists, or reappears after a few days, please visit the vet.

3 Days or More

If this has been going on for several days or on-and-off for weeks, an immediate visit to the vet is a must. No first aid can fix neither a chronic problem nor an urgent veterinary emergency.

PREVENTION

  • Do not suddenly change the main food. If you plan to do so, you may follow this simple guide:

DAY

MODIFICATION

1

25% new food + 75% old food

2

50% new food + 50% old food

3

75% new food + 25% new food

4

100% new food

Note: Use measuring cups and do some math to compute your serving. To see how much food should be given to your pet per day based on its kilogram body weight, see the backside of your dog food’s packaging. As a rule of thumb, 1 cup of dry food is for 5 kg of body weight. Amount varies depending on your pet’s condition and veterinary prescription.

  • If you plan to introduce treats, give a bite-sized amount and wait for 6-10 hours for any vomit, soft poop or itchy skin. If none, it is safe.
  • Bring your pet to the vet if you feel it may be “something else”
  • Follow your vet’s program for initial or annual vaccination, and deworming program.
  • Do not self-medicate
  • Avoid pet-products that did not undergo quality testing and FDA registration (do not be fooled by social media reviews of people who did not go to vet school but prescribe food for your pet’s nutrition)
  • If you have an ageing pet, request an annual general checkup for comprehensive analysis of your pet’s body. This includes a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, urinarlysis and a whole body x-ray just every 6 months.

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