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Diagnosing and treating the cause for vomiting in senior dogs is critical because they might not be able to recover as quickly, and the vomiting is more likely a sign of another illness.Written by Dr.
After practicing as a veterinarian for more than 25 years and being chief of staff at Animal House of Chicago, I have treated my fair share of senior dogs for episodes of vomiting. Senior dogs, like puppies, are not as resilient and may become more significantly and more rapidly affected by vomiting compared with adult dogs.
Vomiting can be more dangerous in senior dogs because they may already have other health issues. If your dog is bright and alert, and only vomits once, it may not be necessary to call your veterinarian.
Never give your dog any medications, including over-the-counter human medications, unless advised to do so by your veterinarian. When senior dogs vomit, their abdominal muscles contract very strongly multiple times before the food is actually ejected from the mouth. How suddenly the symptoms appeared is a good clue to what the cause of the vomiting may be. In senior dogs where the vomiting can be associated with other diseases, your veterinarian will often recommend a variety of lab tests. At any given time, Animal House of Chicago is treating several dogs for chronic liver and kidney failure with fluid therapy, dietary modifications and Eastern and Western medical protocols. You can also keep a simple diary of how often he is sick, how long after eating it happens, and what the dog is fed. Not keeping fluids down: If the dog drinks water but is unable to keep it down, and this persists for more than one to two hours.
If your dog is throwing up in the morning before breakfast, it may be because the time between dinner and breakfast is too long. Anytime the wellness of your pet diminishes and continues for more than a few days, contact your veterinarian. This version of How to Keep a Dog From Throwing Up was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on March 3, 2015.
The cause of the vomiting has ranged from something simple, like the dog eating too many treats, to something more complex, like a senior dog with liver or kidney disease. Keep a closer eye on your senior dog and take him to your vet if he continues to throw up, because vomiting can severely dehydrate dogs. The difference between regurgitation and vomiting is that in regurgitation, the food that is expelled comes from the mouth or esophagus versus the stomach.
In many cases of vomiting in dogs, food is withheld for at least 24 hours while small amounts of water are provided frequently.
Few de-wormers kill every kind of intestinal worm, so it is very important that the appropriate de-wormer be selected.


Oral fluids are often inadequate during vomiting or diarrhea because they may be vomited up or pass through the animal too quickly to be sufficiently absorbed.
As a general rule, these drugs should not be given if the dog could have ingested a toxin or may have a bacterial infection. You can baby your dog as you would a sick child and give him homemade food such as boiled potatoes, rice and well-cooked, skinless chicken. Place it on a low wall, chair, or table, so that the bowl is above the dog's shoulder height.
Review your dog's food intake for the past month and work out what types of meat he has eaten.
The allergen is most commonly a protein source (a meat such as lamb, beef, or fish), but can include gluten or even rice. He may still be feeling nauseous and chances are that any food he eats may be vomited back.
However, if he goes to a large water bowl and drains the entire volume of water, that water will hit his sensitive stomach and he's likely to vomit the water back up. If everything goes well and your dog doesn't throw up again after 24 hours of bland food, transition him back to his regular diet. Try dividing his daily food allowance into four portions and space those four meals out over the day: breakfast, lunch, tea, and supper. Throwing up can be a general sign of ill health, and should not be ignored if your dog vomits regularly.
Your veterinarian will combine information from you, the physical exam, and possibly laboratory and other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the vomiting. However, in certain situations with our senior pets, your dog may require fluid therapy, antibiotics, a change in diet, anti-emetics (drugs to help control vomiting) or other medication. If your dog vomits but is otherwise well, keep a close eye on what your dog is eating or drinking. The repeated contraction of the stomach muscles when the dog vomits can cause inflammation of the stomach lining. A dog that cannot keep fluids down may become dehydrated which is dangerous in itself and requires medical attention.
This will leave food in your dog's stomach throughout the night, and it should prevent or at least minimize the morning vomiting.
Both vomiting and regurgitation can occur right after eating or drinking, or up to several hours later.
Your veterinarian will ask you a series of questions to determine how severe the vomiting is. If the vomiting does not recur, the dog is slowly switched back to his normal diet or a special diet over the course of several days.


If your dog is vomiting, but showing other health problems, take your dog to the veterinarian and treat any underlying health issues.
It may help if a small dog can see out of a window, in which case, purchase a dog booster seat to raise him up (always wear a safety harness when traveling in the car). If he drinks this without vomiting, then after two hours you can allow him free, unrestricted access to water. A diet of plain chicken and boiled rice for a few days may help calm his stomach and decrease acid reflux.
It will be helpful for your veterinarian to know when the vomiting started, how many times your dog has vomited, what the vomit looks like, and if your dog is uncomfortable. If the dog is showing signs of illness, a complete blood count and chemistry panel are often recommended. If it occurs frequently, your dog should see a veterinarian. Kennel Cough This upper respiratory disease may lead to a dog throwing up white foam in addition to nasal discharge, excessive coughing and eye drainage. For this reason, in some cases, even if the fecal flotation test is negative, a de-wormer may still be prescribed. Although it usually runs its course in 14 days, it is always best to seek medical attention. BloatWhen an abnormal buildup of air and intestinal fluids occurs, it can lead to your dog's stomach bloating up.
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms in conjunction with white foam, seek medical attention immediately. Kidney Disease A serious cause of white foam can be kidney disease. Dogs that have been urinating more than usual or having accidents in the house may start to vomit and exhibit more serious symptoms as the kidney disease progresses.
If treated early, dogs can lead a healthy life with minimal problems. Rabies If your dog is up to date on vaccinations, white foam should not be a sign of rabies. If a dog does manage to get rabies, white foam is usually one of the last symptoms they exhibit (after extreme aggression and muscle spasms). Regurgitation vs. Regurgitation is when the dog throws up food that has not been digested yet, and the kibbles can be recognized easily. This is usually not serious and it might be due to the fact that the dog has eaten its food too fast.
Vomit is a more serious issue as it can be a sign of disease. A dog throwing up white foam is a sign of digestive tract issues, so watch for additional signs to determine how quickly you need to seek medical attention. While many dogs may just throw up white foam because they ate something they should not have, it is better to be safe than sorry.



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