Sickness & Vomiting in Dogs

Written by kellie tunbridge
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Sickness & Vomiting in Dogs
A dog's activities, habits and environment can contribute to its sickness and vomiting. (Dog image by Jan Zajc from

Sickness and vomiting in dogs may result from gastric or nongastric causes. Taking preventive steps and knowing when to seek treatment can help ensure a healthy life for your dog.

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Gastric Causes

Common gastric causes of vomiting in dogs are consumption of garbage, ulcers of the stomach, cancer of the stomach or upper intestine, parasites, food allergies or a foreign object lodged in the stomach or upper intestine.

Nongastric Causes

Diseases affecting the organs can lead to toxicity of the blood. Nongastric causes of vomiting may be related to pancreatitis, kidney failure, pyometra, liver failure, diabetes, Addison's disease, inner ear infections, distemper, parvovirus or exposure to lead, insecticides, antifreeze or other chemicals.


The veterinarian may order tests to determine the cause of prolonged or chronic vomiting. Tests may involve X-rays, ultrasonography, endoscopy or biopsy.


Treatment for vomiting depends on the cause. According to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine (WSUVCM), the most common treatment for sporadic vomiting is fasting for 24 hours while administering fluids to prevent dehydration. WSUVCM recommends introducing a bland low-fat dog food three to six times daily and gradually transitioning to the dog's regular diet.


Keeping current with all vaccinations will ensure protection against diseases. Keeping the dog's environment free of antifreeze, chemicals, garbage, insecticides and lead will prevent accidental poisoning.


It is always best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out exposure to harmful chemicals, infectious diseases or a serious medical condition. If diarrhoea is present and vomiting is accompanied with blood, seek prompt medical attention.

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