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Vomiting In Pets And When To Worry

vomiting in pets

Uh oh, your pet has been vomiting – what should you do?

The first thing to do is to clean it up, obviously! Not only is this good hygiene, but it prevents your pet eating their vomit, which is generally best avoided.

Additionally, if you can stomach looking at what’s come up, it can be helpful to check your pet’s vomit for any unusual inclusions. These could be toy pieces, worms or fresh blood.

There are many reasons why pets is vomiting. Vets often categorise different causes of vomiting into gastrointestinal causes (i.e. problems with the gut itself), or extra-gastrointestinal causes (problems elsewhere in the body that can cause a pet to feel nauseous).

Common gastrointestinal causes of vomiting are:

  • Infections – worms, salmonella or giardia
  • Dietary ‘indiscretion’ – when your pet eats spoiled, toxic or unsuitable food
  • Foreign bodies – non-food items that if eaten can cause gut blockage
  • Food allergies or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gut tumours
  • Car sickness

Extra-gastrointestinal causes of vomiting include diseases of other organs, which can cause nausea or affect gut health, such as:

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Hormonal imbalances e.g. Addison’s disease or uncontrolled diabetes
  • Brain or ear diseases, causing loss of balance and dizziness

If your pet does vomit, but seems otherwise well, it’s reasonable to monitor them for a while at home. However, if they seem lethargic, have vomited multiple times, have bloody vomit or profuse diarrhoea, then it is best to have them seen promptly by our veterinary team for some supportive treatment.

Depending on your pet’s symptoms, we may also suggest some further diagnostic testing to investigate why they’re vomiting. Vomiting really is unpleasant, so we’ll do our best to help your pet feel better (and keep down their food) as quickly as possible!

If your pet has vomited and you are unsure if they need veterinary attention, please do not hesitate to contact Pet Doctors on 5576 0400!

This article was featured in our July newsletter. To sign up to future editions of our newsletter please visit our sign up page