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Cleaning up vomit is a fact of life if you're lucky enough to have a dog in your life. Although all dogs vomit from time to time, it's important to distinguish between simple upset stomachs and more serious conditions that can cause vomiting.
Some people use "regurgitation" and "vomiting" interchangeably, but the words don't mean the same thing. Vomiting occurs when digested food is forcefully expelled from your dog's stomach. Regurgitated food never makes it the stomach. It becomes lodged in the esophagus until your dog manages to deposit it on your kitchen floor. You can often tell whether vomiting or regurgitation has occurred by taking a close look at the contents of your dog's digestive system. If the material is liquid, it's vomit. If it's fairly solid and composed of recognizable food, regurgitation has occurred.
Vomiting can be caused by:
Regurgitation may be caused by:
Call the veterinarian if your dog is vomiting and you know or suspect he or she has eaten chocolate, ingested a poison or swallowed a foreign object. It's also important to call if your dog:
Treatment for vomiting is based on the cause. Removing foreign objects, treating accidental poisoning or treating underlying diseases can be helpful. Vomiting, regardless of the cause, may cause dehydration. During your pet's visit, he or she may give intravenous fluids to combat the effects of dehydration.
The sudden onset of severe vomiting or vomiting that doesn't go away is always a reason for concern. If your dog displays any of the signs mentioned above, call our office as soon as possible.
American Kennel Club: Dog Vomiting, 3/28/17
PetMD: Dog Vomiting – Why Is My Dog Throwing Up?
Dogtime: Possible Reasons for Dog Vomiting
Healthy Pets: Megaesophagus – The Regurgitation Disease, 10/29/12
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