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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23852
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog has vomited up what I imagine to be a hair ball twice

Customer Question

Hi my dog has vomited up what I imagine to be a hair ball twice in a week, she is a border terrier 7 months old, is this normal?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that.
Customer: Anything else?
JA: Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did your Border terrier eat anything unusual?
Customer: No only her regular food, it looked like a stool but was solid? Is it normal that often, it's never happened in any other borders I've had
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. Anything else I can tell the Veterinarian before I connect you two?
Customer: No I don't think so, I was just wondering if there was any thing I can do to help her pass or digest them without having to sick themup
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. To answer you directly, no, I don't believe that it's normal for any dog to vomit twice weekly - whether or not there is hair in the vomitus. I need to differentiate a dog vomiting because too much hair is accumulating in her stomach from a dog vomiting hair just because there's hair in the stomach but her vomiting is due to another cause. However...I believe that what you're seeing isn't a hair ball but, instead, ingesta from the duodenum (the nearest portion of the small intestine to her stomach) that has moved retrograde into the stomach and then vomited and so our challenge is to determine why such retrograde action is occurring. If vomiting twice this past week is all that occurs, there's no reason to pursue a diagnosis. If, however, she continues to vomit, imaging in the form of X-rays or ultrasound of her gastrointestinal tract are indicated in an attempt to spot a foreign body that a 7 month old may have ingested, determine if inflammation typical of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is present, or other abnormalities in the GI tract are present. Diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests might be recommended by her vet but at her age I believe I would start with imaging.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin